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Sugar Apple Fairy Tale
Episode 5

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 5 of
Sugar Apple Fairy Tale ?
Community score: 4.2

©2023 Miri Mikawa, Aki/KADOKAWA/'Sugar Apple Fairy Tale' Partners

After the tension of the previous storyline, it's time for things to slow down a bit for Anne, Challe Fenn Challe, and Mithril Lid Pod. Following the disappointment of the competition, Anne is doing something I heartily approve of: scouring Lewiston for candy shops. Of course, she's not doing it to eat her feelings or because she has an insatiable sweet tooth; she's looking for further instruction and inspiration for her craft. That's worth admiring given what she's just been through – even though she knows she deserved that medal, she's not going to pout about it or do whatever unhealthy thing Jonas is undoubtedly doing. No, Anne is going to pick herself right back up and keep studying so that the next time she has the chance to be named a Silver Sugar Master, she won't miss out.

That's become her driving force. Challe may be dismissive of it (though I think he's secretly proud of her), but Anne's one-track mind will stand her in good stead. It could be a way to cope with her grief, but at least it's a productive one, and just waiting around or practicing without guidance isn't going to help her. She clearly understands that, so she jumps at the chance to help the grumpy Kat in his workshop after a misunderstanding. It's hardly fair that he's blaming her (even in part) for the theft and destruction of a wedding confection, but Anne just saw how incredibly skilled he is. She'd be a fool to refuse the chance to watch him work.

Challe's reaction to Kat's offer is also interesting. There's probably some jealousy in there (that whole tugging scene is classic romance stuff), but we can surmise that he doesn't see a difference between what Silver Sugar Masters can do and what Anne is capable of. To his mind, Kat's offer is an insult to someone as talented and honest as Anne, and he may see her taking Kat up on it as her debasing herself. If anyone knows about the horrors of subservience, it's Challe, and he doesn't want to see her go down that road. Since they don't know anything about Kat, Anne could be getting herself into a bad situation that might lead to at least indenture, so Challe's reaction feels warranted. Kat is just prickly and gruff, but it could have been a lot worse.

Unfortunately, this episode comes with something slightly uncomfortable beneath the surface. For all that Kat is strict about who he'll work for – people who deserve his labors rather than those who could buy them easily – he still keeps a slave, the deceptively ancient fairy Benjamin. He has no problems ordering Benjamin around, and when the little fairy reveals to Mithril Lid Pod and Anne that he knows where his wing is and could take it and leave at any time, we're meant to believe that slavery to Kat is something he doesn't mind because Kat is a good master. If you don't have a background in or a lot of experience with the history of slavery and enslaved peoples, this might go right past without much issue. Still, with that knowledge, this treads unpleasantly close to myths about “happy slaves” content to stay with “good masters.” Does original author Miri Mikawa mean this? That's hard to say because she does seem to be attempting commentary on the evils of slavery, but this still stands out in a bad way.

At least Challe and Anne are making positive progress. It's nice to see that he doesn't sexualize her (and neither do any of the other full-grown men, which is excellent since she's fifteen), and at this point, their romance is looking sweet with just a soupçon of “dangerous bad boy” thrown in. As Anne meets more people, her relationships with Challe and Mithril Lid Pod also keep growing, and as we move next week into the second of the source novels, that's something to look forward to.


Sugar Apple Fairy Tale is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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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