by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Fairy gone ?
If there's one thing Fairy gone would like you to know with its tenth episode, “Cursed Child”, it's that Marlya is a cursed child. Everyone around her suffers or dies, her life has been filled with tragedy, and just in case all of the repetitive flashbacks haven't driven that home, Maryla is happy to remind you herself in voiceover. Marlya, the cursed child, is seriously cursed, everyone.
In all honesty, this isn't too bad an episode of Fairy gone, but it is seriously hindered by being a memorial episode for a character it's almost impossible to care about. Ozz seemed like a nice enough fellow, but in order for the audience to properly empathize with characters mourning a death in their ranks, simply being nice isn't going to cut it. Since the entire cast of Fairy gone save for our primary leads are little more than space-filling archetypes, so much of “Cursed Child's” efforts to evoke pathos end up feeling wasted. We're not tuned into each hero's personal turmoil – we're just being told that sad things happened for twenty minutes while treacly music plays in the background.
To give the show some credit, the visual direction this week is more consistent than what I've come to expect from Fairy gone. The animation is nothing to write home about, but it doesn't look as roughshod as it has in the past, and the reliance on low lighting and subdued colors gives the story an appropriately dour edge. The thrust of the main plot is also coalescing into something easier to follow, even if it's still dull as dirt half the time. Duke Diese has hidden away to practice his stabbing with Fratanil and plot a little insurrection of his own, and Dorothea is scrambling to make sure the other Fairy Weapons and Artificial Fairies aren't being tampered with or stolen. They begin by travelling to Tubal, a town in the Duchy of Kal-o that Marlya lived in during her search for Veronica, which is under the jurisdiction of Duke Ray Dawn. Dawn catches wise to Marlya's resentment quickly, but like so many of Fairy gone's plot threads, this conflict doesn't go anywhere interesting yet. It's yet another bit of exposition that will probably become relevant in an infodump some other character will drop three weeks from now.
Instead of developing one of the series' main antagonists, Fairy gone uses the rest of this episode's runtime to give Marlya a reunion with the leader of Biaklay Mafia, a Santa Claus looking man who's hilariously named Mr. Don Jingle. To make things even more ridiculous, Klara goes out of her way to explain to Free and Serge that the Biaklays have somehow been designated as a mafia organization despite not actually committing any crimes. I don't know if this is a translation error or a case of Fairy gone not understanding that words mean things, but I draw the line at a “mafia that doesn't do crimes”. That isn't a thing, Fairy gone. “Criminal” is literally the cornerstone of the word's definition. It's an organized body of criminals. Not only is this detail painfully lame, it robs Marlya of some potentially interesting backstory. It would have been neat for our otherwise doe-eyed heroine to have some ties to the criminal underworld!
Either way, it seems Marlya worked as a bodyguard for Biaklay, and much of the episode's second half involves Jingle grilling Dorothea agents over their worthiness to associate with his beloved Marlya, specifically Free. It's a none-too-subtle take on the “boyfriend meets his girl's dad for the first time” routine, which would be a hell of a lot more endearing if Free and Marlya's relationship didn't feel so perfunctory. Outside of a scant few transparent “shipping” scenes, this ostensible romance has been yet another victim of Fairy gone's tell-don't-show style of storytelling.
So when the post credits scene reveals a cadre of spider-car-things filled with artificial fairies rushing through the countryside, my immediate reaction was "well, okay." The ominous music and shocked soldiers would indicate that this threat of renewed war is supposed to be a Really Big Deal™, but I was much more concerned with why in the world the Biaklay would be called a mafia organization if they don't commit any crimes. Forget the oncoming war, I demand that we get some answers to this pressing linguistic crisis before the show goes on hiatus. Mr. Jingle must answer for his (lack of) crimes.
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