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Parallel World Pharmacy
Episode 11

by James Beckett,

How would you rate episode 11 of
Parallel World Pharmacy ?
Community score: 4.4

Something I've appreciated about Parallel World Pharmacy is how it goes out if its way to highlight the underrepresented voices of the women in it's world—and not just the hot waifus/cute sisters/queen moms, either! My favorite part of “The Miracle at L'Estacque” has to be the introduction of Professor Casper (aka “Prof. Black Mold"), a well-meaning but often ignored academic on the verge of retirement, with nothing to show for her decades of research into molds and microorganisms. Could you argue that it is a little convenient and possibly lore-breaking for a woman to spend years investigating microorganisms before Farma introduced the telescope and the whole concept of germ theory? Maybe, but it's also another chance for our boy to give an overlooked older woman the chance to be vindicated after dealing with a bunch of sexist assholes. That's always a plus.

That said, it's maybe telling that my favorite part of this episode has nothing to do with Farma's work in L'Estacque, which is pretty underwhelming, despite being the focus of the title and everything. Farma's work at the village sick house ends up being very easy and simple for him to handle, and all it really amounts to is giving him the clues to track down the infected merchants that are stubbornly making their way inland. This trail of breadcrumbs is itself even more foreshadowing and table-setting, basically serving to kind of clumsily connect the Queen's TB infection and the sudden onset of Black Death to a larger conspiracy that is obviously going to tie into the schemes of Spooky McNecromancer, who we sort of met a couple of weeks ago in Farma's dad's flashback dreams.

There are more concrete developments on the conspiracy front back in Saint Fleuve, when a group of Knights attacks the city and unleashes a wind-propelled horde of infected flying squirrels upon the populace. Is this absolutely ridiculous, absolutely? Does the barely animated and poorly edited action undercut the climax pretty significantly? Oh, you betcha. Still, we only have a week to go in the season, so we had to get the ball rolling on this evil wizard plot somehow, so it's good that we've gotten at least the bare minimum of setup for the grand finale. I also appreciated that Ellen got to have a bit of character development when it comes to her feeling less-than-capable compared to her bosses godlike abilities. It's a good reminder that even Farma can only do so much, and that it requires the hard work and dedication of many people in order to combat something as deadly as a this current epidemic. And, as Lotte is happy to remind people, you've got to wear your damned masks!

So, while this episode is definitely more mixed than what I would have liked to see so close to the end of the series, it's got enough good things going for it to keep the story on its tracks in this final stretch. All that's left to do now is see how everything concludes in the season finale.


James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.

Parallel World Pharmacy is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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