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EP. REVIEW: Healer Girl


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Saeryen



Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 517
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2022 7:14 pm Reply with quote
This show is simply heartwarming.
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 801
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 3:18 pm Reply with quote
Episode 1 was good. Episode 2 was alright. Then episode 3 happened. Holy crepe. So much singing, and I like the touch that all the practicing they did for the test got their brains stuck in "singing only" mode. (This happens to me with iambic pentameter.)

I suppose the real test going forward will be how well it balances heavier stakes with its current goofy optimism. I'm still carrying around the trauma of Tales of Zestiria, but Healer Girl can't go that dark, right?
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 2078
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 9:29 pm Reply with quote
~I suppose~some-thing will hap-pen e-ven-tu-l-ly...but...it, will haaave an up-side~~ Smile
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 10:31 pm Reply with quote
After the second episode, I was a little worried that the show would end up being less of a musical than it appeared to be with the first episode, so it was a nice surprise to see that thought forgotten right away with the musical number at the start of the third episode. Hopefully we continue to get more of that =)
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2022 4:09 pm Reply with quote
Fun episode this week. The post horror movie marathon faces were pretty great.

Shouldn't they have been in scrubs? I can understand no face masks for obvious reasons, but besides that I think the rest should have been worn in that setting.

I agree that seeing them swap out and take breaks and so on during the procedure was a nice detail that they easily could have looked over.

It was really odd to have Reimi say that she and Hibiki couldn't sing anymore (but spoke perfectly fine, without any struggle), and that Kana would have to do it, then she and Hibiki sang essentially the same song to the patient. So could were they just not able to sing to the same target anymore because they ran out of Healer mana or something for that individual? Were they both too tired to hit a high note (or something) that the doctor needed, but were fine for the required notes for the patient?

I really would like to know some more details about how this healing singing is supposed to be working. Right now it basically seems to be, as determined by the plot. I mean, if they don't want to define it, then I guess that's fine, but it certainly weakens the drama imo
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Saeryen



Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 517
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2022 7:32 pm Reply with quote
Every episode has made me cry happy tears so far. Hallmark of a great anime, possibly best of the season.

The horror movie reactions were basically how I would be. Not that I hate scary stuff as a rule, but gore buckets are not my cup of tea; that part made me laugh so hard because it was kinda relatable. Though during the surgery they were pretty far away so I don't know how they saw anything other than the amount of blood you'd see from a minor cut.

As usual the singing part was like a loving hug to my soul.
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Regalli



Joined: 26 Apr 2022
Posts: 79
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2022 8:06 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Something I haven't been totally clear on so far is just how integrated the whole Healing thing is with the rest of the medical community. We've seen enough to know it's for real, and regulated enough that you need a license to practice, so it's not considered some fantastical pseudo-science. But at the same time there are still regular hospitals and doctors, so clearly there's a need for medicine beyond the power of music. Considering how much competition there is between fields of specialization in real life, you have to imagine there would be at least some skepticism about being able to treat ailments or injuries with a sappy love song, yeah?


The sense I’ve gotten from Healing is that it’s in a similar realm to some of the treatments I get for managing chronic illness - there are studies showing it definitely WORKS, but they maybe haven’t identified the mechanism by which it works, or you know it’s effective for Condition 1 but not necessarily 2 and 3 yet. The grandmother in Ria’s clinic, for example, seems to get regular treatments to try and stave off attacks like the one we saw in episode 1. It won’t cure the bronchitis permanently, but it means the flares are rarer and less severe when they do come, and later seems to help her through the attack but they still want to keep her overnight for observation. There’s obviously some Standard Fantasy Healing Magic in play, since Kana used it to heal a skinned knee, but I doubt even Ria would be able to make cancerous lesions disappear, just keep the patient alive through the operation. (And after that first skinned knee, the other big songs have all seemed more like relieving symptoms or keeping things stable until a doctor can take a look, not curing the problem. The pregnant woman still needs to go to the hospital to figure out what happened, and not even Sonia objected to the idea of calling for an ambulance.)

So I can see the surgeon here thinking that obviously Healing works for little scrapes and scratches, maybe when you have a cold, but this is SERIOUS medicine, and he has yet to see a good double-blind study on the helpfulness of magic music in surgery compared to regular, non-magic music. (It’s been mentioned a couple times that there are standard accepted songs that appear to have specific functions, not just improvising, so it’s probably not all music in this world that has the healing magic.) Add in the usual inter-field rivalries you mentioned, and the surgeon’s chip on his shoulder about this being his first time as the lead surgeon but he DEFINITELY has this handled, and we have a serviceable arc for an episode that’s more about the girls and Ria’s backstory than this guy.

On being worn out from singing for so long - I’m not trained in music theory and struggle to pick out individual notes by ear, but I did chorus singing for years as a teen and some parts take more out of you than others. And you can definitely wear out your singing voice while still having a functional speaking voice, especially if it’s using a different part of your register than you usually speak in. Your alto line that only has two notes repeated is much less strenuous than the soprano’s fancy swooping descant, even if you’re singing the same words at the same speed. (Why no, I’m not bitter about boring alto parts at all, why do you ask.) And sometimes the part just has an oddly difficult note sequence or the like. I’d need to rewatch, and honestly even then I’d check with someone who has a better sense of reading music to confirm, but it seems like Kana’s part is much higher than where the song started, and Reimi and Hibiki are harmonizing - probably in a part of their registers they’re much more comfortable with. It also could be that singing to two people at once is harder than a single patient, since Kana points out that Ria could do mother and baby but they split who they’re addressing it to between the girls, but there are definitely mundane explanations for being spent on the hard part but still able to sing an easier one.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 3070
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2022 2:53 pm Reply with quote
@Regalli Thanks for the musical insight. Makes sense, but for the uninitiated, it still seems odd. Maybe they could have just presented it a different way?...
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Thesarum



Joined: 25 Mar 2022
Posts: 66
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2022 4:12 pm Reply with quote
A lot of the effects of "Healing" we've seen (other than the skinned knee) seem to be in the same domain as placebo effects (which are real) - pain, stress, anxiety, etc. Which actually is a pretty believable setup. Music demonstrably affects mood, stimulates endorphins, etc. So maybe the mechanism is effectively a song-induced super-placebo. Healing can act on the natural healing and regulatory mechanisms of the body (up to and apparently including stimulating limited cell regrowth for the skinned knee, or was that effectively just pain relief?), but can't, for example, dissolve a tumor, instantly set bones and make other physical interventions.

OR it could just be that this is all we've really seen because it's all Kana and the crew have license to do, and Healing is RPG-magic with a licensing body and exams.

It does seem to be that the "visualizations" aren't just for our benefit as viewers and exist in-universe, but only other healers can perceive them? (Shoko asked Ria to describe one of Kana's in one episode I think?). The target also perceives something, but probably not the full visualization.. just the emotion it carries... or something?
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rizuchan
Collector Extraordinaire



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
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Location: Kansas
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2022 10:50 am Reply with quote
Regalli wrote:

So I can see the surgeon here thinking that obviously Healing works for little scrapes and scratches, maybe when you have a cold, but this is SERIOUS medicine, and he has yet to see a good double-blind study on the helpfulness of magic music in surgery compared to regular, non-magic music.

All this, and also, the guy was already feeling like they didn't have faith in him, having to be accompanied by the senior surgeon. Then they're like "Oh, we totally trust you and all, but we're bringing some alternative medicine specialists in to help, just in case" and then when said alternative medicine specialists arrive, they dump their trainees on him instead. That's gotta feel like a lack of respect.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 2078
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2022 11:22 pm Reply with quote
Covnam wrote:
...Shouldn't they have been in scrubs? I can understand no face masks for obvious reasons, but besides that I think the rest should have been worn in that setting....It was really odd to have Reimi say that she and Hibiki couldn't sing anymore (but spoke perfectly fine, without any struggle), and that Kana would have to do it, then she and Hibiki sang essentially the same song to the patient....Were they both too tired to hit a high note (or something) that the doctor needed, but were fine for the required notes for the patient?...
First, they were at a significant distance across the OR and outside what doctors call the "sterile field". Not metaphysical, it was discovered in the last century that airborne particles transfer pathogens and if the air and everything within a few feet of the patient were made free of contamination, post-op infection risk could be rendered almost negligible. Air flow in ORs is filtered and managed to enter from above and exit at floor level near the table and in the episode, I'd guess where the girls were, air would be set to flow away from the area of the operation.

As an occasional choral singer I second what Regalli said. Someone with training and doing vocal exercises can sing on-and-off for hours if need be without severely straining the vocal cords. My late wife sang with Ambassaor's Chorale and her group got a Guinness record for continuous singing, several days in fact. Her range was from Baritone to Soprano and she could reach a high-C (most difficult) but only after a week's preparation, so high parts tend to strain the voice more. Similarly when singing with more volume/power for extended periods, which is why rock stars tend to get vocal polyps and if not careful end their career.

Ep5- I'm with Saeryen, I love this show more every episode! This one beautifully captured the magic of seeing the Milky Way far from city lights and fireflys in summer while giving us some well-integrated backstories as well. Didn't devolve into a "swimsuit episode" either and good move to reference Night on the Galactic Railroad....Seems Ria-sensei might have done some unauthorized healing of her own...Now, they had better publish a songbook dammit!
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Thesarum



Joined: 25 Mar 2022
Posts: 66
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 3:35 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Shoko, of course, is a total shit-stirrer and takes to the whole thing like it's second nature, and it's still sweet to see just how Married(TM) she and Ria are.


Shoko is one of the best things about this show. And ShoRia is adorable.

Quote:
There are enough hints from Ria that there's more to the story than she's letting on (for instance: the completely different hair color of the woman in the flashback


It's implied there's a similar story with Hibiki too, I think. Strong rebel healer without a license energy going on. I'm sure we'll find out more, eventually. Though as this episode demonstrates, this series is in no particular hurry to deliver its plot.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 3070
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2022 10:26 pm Reply with quote
@Hiroki not Takuya - Interesting info about the sterile filed. Regardless, while they were a out of the way, being in the same room, I would still expect them to be dressed in something more appropriate than their healer ponchos, even if it's not required.
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Saeryen



Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 517
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2022 9:57 am Reply with quote
Episode 5 was super cute!

I agree with Nicholas that spoiler[we don’t have the whole story regarding Kana’s healer, since as he said the hair color is different (though hair dye could explain it)].

Regarding the surgeon in Episode 4, yes, I can see why he would feel like the others didn’t trust him, but also it’s important when you’re in medicine not to let your pride get in the way of saving lives, since spoiler[the patient likely would’ve died if not for the girls].

(I’ve never been to medical school, but I do know that the first priority always ought to be the patient.)
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wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 801
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2022 7:14 am Reply with quote
I've been off my game all week, and sure enough, it's because I skipped Healer Girl Monday. Shameful.

I'm enjoying how Reimi has slowly gone from the most potentially problematic character to one of the most well-rounded. She just has self-control issues around the things she likes. (Or very good self-control, depending on your perspective.)

Assuming this show doesn't have a really dramatic tonal shift planned for the finale, our big conflict for the season will probably have to do with The Rules. It's not hard to imagine Ria having a past that could catch up with her. I'm wondering if the treatment she used on Kana was entirely legal. Probably not.

I'm also cracking up that my prediction from the preview guide is at least half right, since green-shirt bowlcut boy has been in 4 of the 6 aired episodes, and has a new minor injury in three of them. He's probably doing it on purpose.
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