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EP. REVIEW: Somali and the Forest Spirit


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#894822



Joined: 08 Apr 2019
Posts: 80
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:44 pm Reply with quote
One of my favourite anime this season. I love the relationship between Somali and the Golem. The backgrounds are absolutely gorgeous!

I really want to try Yabashira’s sweets... They look delicious.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 3138
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:02 am Reply with quote
On the subject of the background art, I'll pass along this tweet from Thomas Romain
https://twitter.com/Thomasintokyo/status/1213289210435661824:

Quote:

French creator Vincent Nghiem is background director on the show. It’s the first time he is working at this position and wanted to create something very special.

The problem being that Japanese background studios are not used to work in styles very different than the background art you usually see in anime. @AYMRC had the same problem on the Ping Pong the Animation a few years ago.

The only solution is to make incredible sacrifices. He had to check and correct every background (by himself around 300 cuts x 12 ep = more than 3000 backgrounds) in only a few months.


Episode two is a contender for best episode of 2020, and we're only a couple of weeks into the year. Gorgeous and deep.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2581
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:47 am Reply with quote
Fun show, almost an iyashikei. I like that the non human design are quite varied and not so much the usual one we see all the time (no sign of cat girl yet, good). Somali is great and avoid all the pitfall of children character.
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Denys Lalande



Joined: 28 Jan 2018
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:00 pm Reply with quote
"Little kids are always listening" -- ask any parent who has ever made the mistake of Uttering A Profanity Within Earshot Of A Child. One wonders if the writers had this in mind when including this....
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Florete



Joined: 21 Jan 2018
Posts: 97
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:44 am Reply with quote
Literal emotionless rock is a better written character than 90% of anime out there have.
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blameitonStarBlazers
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Joined: 06 Oct 2018
Posts: 67
Location: Westchester, NY
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:12 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I think, in the end, this series may end up breaking our hearts. There have been hints at that in both this and last week's episodes. But at least we'll go down reveling in the physical beauty of the piece, with its dreamy mushroom jellyfish and fascinating character designs. Someone in marketing really ought to be thinking about selling plush Kikilas for us to hug if things get too dark.

Yes, I’m already tearing up watching this lovely lovely show. I want my Kikila plushy NOW, please!
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2581
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:00 am Reply with quote
There's a bit of a clash between this and episode 2. In 2 Golem learned to make medicine and there were no mention of clan specific medicine. Here Golem doesn't even consider making medicine and suddenly these have to be custom made for specific clan... It's not a big deal, but they could have tried to make this episode with the previous episode in mind...
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Calsolum



Joined: 11 May 2010
Posts: 761
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:26 am Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
There's a bit of a clash between this and episode 2. In 2 Golem learned to make medicine and there were no mention of clan specific medicine. Here Golem doesn't even consider making medicine and suddenly these have to be custom made for specific clan... It's not a big deal, but they could have tried to make this episode with the previous episode in mind...


I'd have to go back and check the specifics but I believe what Golem learned was 'simple' medicine for external injuries, something that was also easy to make with common plants/herbs. Also the oni seemed to be smarter than they let on, or at least the 'master' did, so perhaps he noticed Somali was human? Or maybe the medicine he taught him for external wounds worked on minotaurs and humans? If this is addressed later that would be great, might even be something omitted from the source material.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8722
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:40 am Reply with quote
I think it was mostly an issue of time. The medicine for colds he learned to make took most of a day, and that's not counting the sun-dried root pulp the oni already had on hand. Golem had money, apothecary had medicine already made, so the only delay was running back and forth between the shop and the cafe.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 4668
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:18 am Reply with quote
Episode 5:
Anybody else freaked out by Uzoi being described as her companion’s ward, similar to Somali and Golem, but her physicality around him suggesting their relationship is sexual? She’s way too old looking to be kneeling between his legs...

I pegged human guy’s condition as feather-based, but completely missed his false talons. Good eye for detail!

I loved the glowy cave this episode, seemed a bit different than the last glowy cave. The variety in this series is fantastic!
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8722
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:20 am Reply with quote
Didn't bother me since I didn't believe that was their relationship. "Kind of like my guardian" was just a convenient way to describe it to a child and an unemotional golem, in a way the child could understand. Before that, they first agreed with the description of "traveling companions," then he said she chose to support him in his time of need, while she emphasized they weren't related.

It's possible he was a guardian when she was a child, perhaps more like a guard pet considering humans' status, but even if she grew up to love him, it wouldn't necessarily make this is a bride-raising situation (plus we don't know the relative life-spans of humans and harpies - they could've both been children together!). Of course, this could well be yet another time I'm missing the flags and offering the benefit of the doubt where it's undeserved. But for now, I'll wait for it to betray me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 3138
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:41 pm Reply with quote
I'm with you, Gina. When I saw that scene at the bedside, I did think it displayed an unexpected degree of physical intimacy between them. Looking at their relationship as a whole I do think guardian and ward is probably a more accurate depiction.

I thought the encounter with the sand shark a bit hokey, since they turned it away with a single and only mildly effective gunshot.

I don't understand, other than for dramatic reasons, why Uzoi needs spoiler[to kill Somali and take, presumably, all her blood. Why not try with a small donation first? Plus Somali is just a kid so she has much less blood than Haitora. If all Somali's blood is needed, seems to me it wouldn't be enough.]
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 801
PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:23 am Reply with quote
yuna49 wrote:
I don't understand, other than for dramatic reasons, why Uzoi needs spoiler[to kill Somali and take, presumably, all her blood. Why not try with a small donation first? Plus Somali is just a kid so she has much less blood than Haitora. If all Somali's blood is needed, seems to me it wouldn't be enough.]


The prophecy she was going off of was pretty vague, and--especially as we've now seen in episode 6--spoiler[she was mainly acting out of desperation, and part of the reason why she couldn't bring herself to kill Somali was because she wasn't sure what exactly to do or whether it would work.]

Also, jeez, that episode was at least eleven times more horrifying than I ever expected from this show. Seems I was right to suspect that the animaloids weren't being particularly honest about how their conflict with the humans went. I find it hard to blame Haitora for what he did; spoiler[murdering a random beast-person isn't the most noble thing, but understandable in the context of seeing his whole village raided and its occupants tortured and eaten, with him and his family left dying of starvation in a cave. Sometimes the cornered beast is you. The wife and child cannibalizing her and immediately dying of feather-itis, while he somehow survives with only mild disfigurement, seemed a bit much both in terms of forced drama and in terms of the old "women in refrigerators" trope... that part could have been written better.]
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8722
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:18 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Also worth noting is the almost throw-away line we hear as Somali and Golem are walking through the witches' library, that they have a vast collection of medical texts. That certainly means that Golem can do some studying for the next time Somali gets hurt or sick (or they bump into Haitora and Uzoi again)

This has been bugging me since the city's existence was revealed. "There's a city over yonder where all the world's knowledge is stored. You should check it out! Meanwhile, we'll just go off in the opposite direction in our time-sensitive search for a cure!" Rolling Eyes

Depending on where this series wants to go, this episode feels like it came too early, since this city would basically be their best bet for a solution to all their problems except for actually finding humans. If there's a cure for Golem and/or Haitora, it's there. If there's not, and no humans can be found, Somali could probably stay there, since they don't seem to harbor any ill-feelings toward humans. Unless there's some major revelation that changes everything (like the witches instigated the war because of human persecution, or the only cures are half-way across the world), it seems like it will be hard to offer a compelling reason for them to leave.

Also, as obnoxiously oblivious and self-centered as Praline is, her sister, knowing how she is, should've been doing something to intervene, if not clean up her mess. If she knows Praline is hoarding books, then drop by every day and reclaim them if no other solution could be found. She could send familiars or minions by to do it.
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dragon695



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 1252
Location: Clemson, SC
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:04 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Quote:
Also worth noting is the almost throw-away line we hear as Somali and Golem are walking through the witches' library, that they have a vast collection of medical texts. That certainly means that Golem can do some studying for the next time Somali gets hurt or sick (or they bump into Haitora and Uzoi again)

This has been bugging me since the city's existence was revealed. "There's a city over yonder where all the world's knowledge is stored. You should check it out! Meanwhile, we'll just go off in the opposite direction in our time-sensitive search for a cure!" Rolling Eyes

To be honest, Haitora has likely resolved that there is no cure. Or if there is, it is not going to be gleaned from books. They already were on their way following a lead before they met Somali, so why would they change course now?
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