Episode 20: Lover
In episode 20, “Lover” Itami is given the week off and the focus is on Tyuule using Zolzal’s men for her plans, and Sherry trying to escape as those who supposed peace are hunted down.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: Oprichnina (Gimlet & Tyuule)
With the Oprichnina law in place, accusing and arresting someone over accusations of treason is so easy and simple that it has the entire capital held in fear. Especially those who supported peace with Japan since it is clear to them they are the targets of the law. But even with the leader of “the cleaners” Gimlet, who does the footwork of getting the would-be traitors, and Tyuule, who seems to oversee them and report to Zolzal, being quite aggressive, it doesn’t seem enough. Well, at least for Tyuule who we already know is trying her best to find ways to provoke the SDF/ Japan to re-declaring war so Zolzal’s empire will fall like her kingdom did.
But, as noted in the last episode, I remain so unsure of how and why Tyuule has such a high ranking position and why she is respected by Zolzal’s soldiers. After all, I’m sure some of them took part in diminishing Tyuule’s power and making her into Zolzal’s sex slave.
Topic 2: Escape from Home (Sherry)
One of the targets of the Oprichnina campaign is the Tyueri family, of which we mostly know young Sherry. The precious 12 year old who swears Sugawara, the diplomat from Japan, will become her husband. But it seems that if they do ever become married, it will be without her parents and without her childhood home. For upon hearing the cleaners are coming, for one of the Tyueri family’s friends Senator Marquess Casel, they send both of them through their underground tunnel and stall for them. An action which costs their lives and their grandeur home. Thus leaving Sherry as the last of the Tyueri and her reliant on her wits and Senator Casel.
Topic 3: Sherry’s Final Hope (Sherry and Sugawara)
With her family murdered, her home razed in a fire, and perhaps no access to currency, she finds herself at the mercy of the SDF who have been explicitly told by Minister Kanou to not get involved with Zolzal’s tyranny. Yet, despite this, the SDF has already started preparations for if the minister changes his mind. But, on the front lawn of the Jade Palace, here comes Sherry, with Senator Casel in tow, hoping for mercy as the cleaners spread through the streets to hunt these two down.
Now, at first, Sugawara, despite his personal feelings he says, decides to deny both Sherry and Senator Casel. However, with the combination of one of Princess Pina’s knights pushing the idea he is betraying the feelings of a little girl and then him hearing her scream as Gimlet tries to take her away, it pushes Sugawara into action. Leading to a knight putting their hands on Gimlet, and Pina’s knights going to battle with the cleaners. Likely starting a battle which may end up bringing the SDF once again to war.
A Week Off For Itami: While Itami is featured for a small portion to let us know he is still on the run, with his crew, from the assassins, that is about it for him. Which I sort of welcome for it makes it so his part doesn’t begin to fill like filler as the more interesting storyline dealing with Zolzal’s tyranny goes on. Though, I must admit, I do hope they end up heading to the destination Rory wanted to deal with that god who wants to marry her.
Sherry’s Transition From Minor Character To More: Sherry, previous to this episode, was just a smart little whipper snapper who we occasionally got to see make goo goo eyes over Sugawara. Now though, I feel it is fully established that she is someone who maybe a consistent player and may rise up to Princess Pina’s level in time. For even at the age of 12, her negotiating skills and confidence seem like they are going to make her quite a foe for whoever opposes her.
On The Fence
Sugawara and Sherry – To Be Married at 16: While it is nice that Sherry broke through to Sugawara and got him to put his duty for his country aside to help the young girl who he has grown close to, I did feel a bit uncomfortable with him declaring her as his future bride once she turns 16. For while that may offer protections to her, and he may walk back from that in private, there remains the chance he was dead serious and that is just something hard to accept from a grown man talking about a 12 year old.