Sugar Apple Fairy Tale
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 4 of
Sugar Apple Fairy Tale ?
Community score: 4.3
I am not a violent person, but wow, Anne slapping Jonas was satisfying. It may be a lesser punishment given that he didn't just steal her confection – he also tried to kill her because I doubt he assumed that Challe would protect her – but when you come down to it, the slap was only part of his just desserts. The real price he paid was his humiliation: not only did he fail even to make butterfly wings in the time Anne made a whole butterfly and a flower, but he then had to listen to Anne and the Silver Sugar Viscount laugh at him in front of the king and queen while he lay face down in the dirt. Given Jonas' personality and overweening pride, that feels like a very respectable price for him to pay, especially if you think about how it could come back to haunt him for the rest of his life.
Even without Jonas' humiliation, this is a triumphant episode. It's true that Anne doesn't win the medal and become a Silver Sugar Master, but she more than had her skill acknowledged by both the royal couple and the Silver Sugar Viscount. But more than that, she learns to have more faith in her skill, and that's something she badly needed. She also proves herself as good as her word, if not better: she gives Challe back his wing sooner than she promised. Yes, it comes during a dark moment, but the more important takeaway is that Anne always intended to emancipate him. She had a brief downturn into hypocrisy, and it's still hard to forgive her for buying him, but giving her our trust as viewers feels a little easier now.
Also worth mentioning is that Challe seems to be doing his part to help her to understand how her owning him stunted their relationship. He doesn't call her by her name or let her touch his wing until she has returned his amputated appendage. Those are both measures of trust and equality that she's not permitted until they are truly on equal ground, although I think Anne still needs to understand that. But when he tells the fairy born from Anne's gaze and a blueberry that Anne is “special,” what he's really saying is that she's proven that she can be trusted. He's still not entirely comfortable with what appear to be burgeoning feelings for her (hence his made-up reason for staying with her and Mithril Lid Pod). Still, he's also willing to acknowledge that she's someone he doesn't want to leave, even if Mithril proves himself to be the ultimate mood killer.
Hugh, revealed to be the Silver Sugar Viscount this week, may be another. He's not heedless of atmosphere like Mithril, but there's something unsettling in the way that he treats Anne. It almost feels like he's playing with her as if he has his own plans for her skills that he's not sharing with anyone. It would have been so easy for him to allow the king to award her the medal; that he essentially batted the chance away is something we ought to keep in the back of our minds. It would also have been simple for him to declare that Jonas stole Anne's piece because he knew. Since Challe has always been honest with his feelings, that puts Hugh more in the Jonas camp regarding how he deals with Anne, which is worrying.
At least Anne is making progress and growing. We haven't really acknowledged that Anne is still grieving – her mother died two weeks before the story began. She's starting to deal with that grief, which may make all the difference as she continues to evolve as an artisan and grow up.
Sugar Apple Fairy Tale is currently streaming on
Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.
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