by Nicholas Dupree,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Healer Girl ?
Community score: 3.8
After last week's excursion to the boonies, it's back to business with Healer Girl. Well, technically it's back to somebody else's business, as our apprentice trio wind up helping at Sonia's (and their teacher's) clinic this episode. And while the entries without her have been perfectly solid, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad to have the little gremlin back in the fold. She just brings that extra bit of energy to the group that puts their interactions over the edge, and that's critical for a show like this one. Plus she brings out Reimi's smug side, which is a delight in and of itself. Just look at them. Give up the act and duet already, you two.
Beyond flirting, it's also nice to get a better look into Sonia's personality outside of just being a competitive prodigy. We don't spend a ton of time at the clinic itself, oddly enough, but what we do get illuminates a lot about who Sonia is and how she ticks. We know she's confident and hungry, but she's not headstrong – for as much as she wants to change the rules around Healing to get rid of age requirements so she can hit the big time all the sooner, she recognizes that just shirking those rules and performing outside her current qualifications wouldn't actually help her cause. At best it would get swept under the rug, and at worst it would get her license revoked altogether, so right now all she can do is earnestly work to prove herself – and if that means upstaging “The Witch of KMU” and her entire legacy, then so be it! It adds some much-needed texture to her personality, and makes her a more rounded person we can root for even as she's still a smug little jerk.
Speaking of, we also get a few more hints about Ria and her own struggles as she visits with her former teacher. She's also struggling with limitations, though hers are a lot less arbitrary than the exams and age requirements vexing Sonia. While her old mentor doesn't seem to be at death's door, she's showing her age and it's questionable how much longer she'll be able to practice, and that reality puts a spotlight on the limitations of medicine to battle the endless march of time. Whether it's medical science or magic songs, it's not possible to preserve life for eternity, and I'd imagine that's a bitter pill to swallow for any physician, especially one as talented as Ria. We don't see any more of that conflict for now, but it's an intriguing tidbit that will hopefully come back up later. Along with some details we get about Reimi's home life later on, this episode peppers in some interesting hints at the cast's outside relationships and motivations, even if those seeds aren't ready to sprout quite yet.
From there though, this becomes another episode largely separated from Healing of any kind, morphing into a classic school-life adventure as Sonia ropes Kana into helping with her culture festival stall. The ensuing shenanigans are funny, don't get me wrong, but it's another odd decision where it feels like the show is sidestepping its own central premise to indulge in more generic fare. Main character gets roped into an unexpected festival event? Yup. Gags about how one of the girls can't cook? You got it! The only really unique thing about what follows is that the girls are trying to learn Russian cuisine thanks to Sonia's background, and while it's funny that Hibiki winds up being the best at cooking borscht, it also kinda felt like I'd stepped into an episode of Love Live! for about ten minutes.
Which isn't a bad thing, I should make clear. Between Sonia's personality and the sharp direction on display across the whole episode, it's a fun and breezy watch. Reimi fumbling through inviting Ria to the culture festival is adorable, and her cut-off musical reaction is stellar. There's even a really sweet moment where Sonia sings a lullaby to help a worn-out Kana get a refreshing bit of sleep. This is quality comedy with a dash of sentiment that has become the hallmark of the show. But at the same time they've built an increasingly interesting world around the concept of Healing, and I'd like to see more of it along with the cast bouncing off eachother.
Still, I can only complain so much when Healer Girl is back to doing what it does best. This is overall a fun, charming episode that effectively fleshes out Sonia without ever missing a beat with its gags. It's hard to stay mad at that.
Healer Girl is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
discuss this in the forum (18 posts) |