The Journey of Elaina Episode 11: Elaina in Saya's body beheld Saya in Elaina's body
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Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina Episode 11 Review – Best In Show

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Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina Episode 11 Review – Quick Summary

In Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina Episode 11, “The Two Apprentices,” Saya arrived in Qunorts on a mission for Sheila: deliver a magic box to the United Magic Association branch office. To Saya, the mission was routine, so she didn’t take any special precautions. Unfortunately, the leader of the resurgent criminal gang called the Curio Company set her sights on Saya. Can Saya escape her wily clutches? Meanwhile, Elaina also arrived in Qunorts. Excited by the prospect of visiting some of the sites made famous by her favorite book, Elaina stared in the window of a particularly famous restaurant. Unfortunately, she didn’t know she was being watched. Will she realize it in time?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina Episode 11

The Journey of Elaina Episode 11: Elaina's tiny fists are still fists

Elaina’s body might have tiny fists, but I bet they still stung! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Elaina, in Saya’s body, had just found Saya in Elaina’s body. It got confusing to talk about, so in my notes, I referred to them as Elaina(Saya Body) and Saya(Elaina Body). That’s probably overkill, but I confuse easily, so I had to take extraordinary measures.

Elaina(Saya Body) demanded an explanation, and Saya(Elaina Body) said she had no idea why they switched bodies — or why the town was in complete chaos. Elaina blurted out that she knew about the chaos thing, but when she saw Saya(Elaina Body)’s reaction, she cleared her throat and tried to change the subject.

Elaina(Saya Body) made a gesture that looked like a cross between American Sign Language (ASL) for either “put aside” or “organize.” She had such a serious expression that it was hilarious! Saya(Elaina Body) wouldn’t let it drop. She said that she had been trying to deliver a magic box that should never be opened. Seeing no box, Saya(Elaina Body) asked where it was. Elaina(Saya Body) repeated the sign.

Finally, Elaina(Saya Body) admitted that maybe she’s opened it, just a little. Saya(Elaina Body) started beating on her real body’s head and practically screamed (13:00), “There’s no way anything good would come of opening something like that!”

Opening the box might have been the dumbest thing we’ve ever seen Elaina do. At least it set up a funny moment!

Best in Show Moment for Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina Episode 11

The Journey of Elaina Episode 11: Elaina still has goals before she can appear before Niké

Elaina still wants to travel so she can figure out who she is. There’s no way she can face Niké until she does that. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Setup: Elaina Has Seen the Hints

Elaina knows.

All season long, as she visited the places from Niké’s book, and she’s gathered the clues. In this episode, Elaina listened to both Fran and Sheila talk about the role they’d played against Curio Company in the incident reported in Niké’s book.

At the end of the episode, after Sheila, Saya, and Mina had left, Fran came right out and asked (21:51), “You’ve realized, right? Who my teacher was?”

Smiling brightly, Elaina said, “Your teacher? Who…?”

The Journey of Elaina Episode 11: Elaina is well aware of the identity of Fran's teacher

Elaina’s wearing a knowing smile… Capture from the Funimation stream.

But look at her expression. That’s not the expression of a student trying to think through a question. That’s a conspiratorial smile that says Elaina knows full well who Fran’s teacher was. She just doesn’t want to admit it — to herself or to anyone else.

I would be easy to get criticize Elaina for trying to remain uninvolved at the beginning of the story, or to object to her saying that “I don’t have any problems the way I am” (22:07). On the surface, those sound like something a shallow person would say. But that would miss something important, something that I suspect is at the heart of this story.

Delivery: Elaina Chose to Ignore Them

Elaina is wildly talented. She’s also willing to put the hard work into earning first her apprenticeship, then her official recognition as a witch. In the scope of the world she knew at the time, she had done very, very well. She had every excuse to be proud of yourself.

Take that same confident but young woman, and of her, ask: How would she react if she learned the most famous witch of all time, the witch whose exploits she had trilled to as a child, the witch whose journeys still inspired her as a long adult as an example of something still beyond her…

Was actually her mom. And the two famous apprentices from the book were her teacher and her friend’s teacher.

The Journey of Elaina Episode 11: Fran herself was an almost mythic character from Niké's travels

Elaina’s own teacher had a bigger than life part within Niké’s travels. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Elaina’s trying to find out who she is. She got a big shock in episode 9. Remember how she folded under the pressure of the homicidal attack? She had to be asking herself how Niké would have reacted. She’d likely tell herself that Niké would not have folded.

“I still want want to keep traveling,” she said (21:14). Elaina’s still trying to figure out who she is. Before she can present herself to Niké, she wants to be someone worth presenting. She wants to go beyond talent and become accomplished. It’s really hard to put into words, but the pressure on talented people can be debilitating. It’s no wonder she tried to err on the side of confidence!

What did you think Elaina’s admission that the consequences of opening the box were her fault — and was something she needed to fix? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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