Sorry on the bad pun intended, but with the phrase of “Tamago” running in my head when Torogai keeps going “Tamago” when she enters the room, that is perhaps the only title I can think of right now. Seirei no Moribito Episode 4 starts off really strong, concluding the rescue mission of Barsa by Tonda but the graphical level drops slightly compared to the crazily fluid graphics shown in Episode 3.
That said, it is nevertheless a good development episode, as we know a little bit more between Tonda and Barsa, as well as what the enemy is thinking right now. I have also abandoned the I.D. Analysis method for Seirei and Emily, preferring to leave that for merely thoughts, rather than providing a short summary and thought section. I think it will be better for me to give it one post rather than combining two distinctively different series together.
Tonda finally rescued Barsa as he carried her as the shaman Torogai summoned a water spirit to answer some questions, but was given cryptic information as it was for a month already before she got any response. She realized that without a natural bond, it would be impossible to engage it more but she found out that Chagum was not dead. However, her thoughts were disrupted by royal assassins as they were eventually poisoned after being dealt with a ninja-like technique as she slotted a letter in the pockets of one assassin.
The Seidoushi introduced Shuga to the emperor, with the emperor impressed at his ability at such a young age. The reports came in about the assassins’ failure to capture Chagum due to Barsa. The emperor decided to make a fake funeral while sending soldiers to the mountains to hunt them down since Barsa was critically injured and could not travel far. The first prince in the tower asked his attendant whether it was inappropriate to make a funeral when it was not even confirmed that Chagum was dead and his mother sent to the inner palace. He also added that Chagum’s happy face makes it all worthwhile.
As the failed assassins against Torogai, the Seidoushi was not angry and dismissed them from duties to recover and the letter wrote that the Seidoushi had made a grave mistake in predicting the stars. Shuga replied that they should ask for advice from Torogai, but the Seidoushi rejected the notion, saying that it would lower their pride to ask help from outsiders. Still, the Seidoushi informed Shuga about a secret ancient scripture made by previous stargazers, but since it was in ancient Yogo (?), it would require a long time. He asked if Shuga could concentrate on deciphering the text and he agreed.
Cleaning Barsa’s wounds, Toya and Saya arrived as they got the news on Barsa. Barsa woke up shouting out as she realized that she had slept for one day and tried to get up, asking if Tonda found any physical presence when she picked her up. Tonda said he did not, as he checked Chagum’s body to rid him of the possession by the request of Barsa. However, his abilities were not good enough as he required the powers of Torogai, his master. Barsa was desperate to get well but Tonda told her that she was not burdening them and she should concentrate on getting well.
While Barsa rested, Tonda told Chagum that it was a good season for medicine and told him that he had been treating Barsa since 20 years ago when she was learning her trade. Tonda called her an obaa-san and with Chagum surprised that Barsa had been a bodyguard since young, Tonda corrected him by adding that she only became a bodyguard six years ago. Saya and Toya were also rescued by Barsa then when human smugglers tried to take Saya away and we also realized that the two were not blood related. It was time to redress Barsa’s wounds as Chagum was asked to turn around and a cute moment came when Chagum had his stomach growling but he had no idea he was hungry. As they ate, Torogai came in chanting Tamago (egg), eventually eating and pointing to Chagum, screaming “TAMAGO!”
My biggest question for Seirei no Moribito is definitely the apparent role of Shuga. He strikes me as a man who cares a lot for Chagum, yet he is also relatively naive and allowed himself to be clearly manipulated by the Seidoushi. I feel that he is one that cannot sense or understand the political powers and struggles within the kingdom and will eventually become merely a sacrifice or turn rotten due to the influences. The investigation of the Yogo text might tell him something different though.
I have a feeling that the water spirit residing inside Chagum is not a malignant one, and in fact the survival of the water spirit might be the way for the nation to prosper. It seems that the nation is somewhat in a slope of decline in terms of the economy, and the appearance of the water spirit looks to be a convenient way to secure popularity and belief within the country.
Somehow, it feels like a ploy to satisfy the selfish heart of the emperor. Which emperor will believe in such a tale and killing his second born child for a water spirit? It is the action of men that will move mountains, not myths that cannot even be proven as yet.
I also feel that Tonda is very amusing with his words toward Barsa, and there is almost zero romantic interest between the two of them. I mean, calling someone Obaa-san in front of a child that you have not met until now. I feel that it is really a strong friendship that has been born for a long time, and hearing how Barsa has been training for ages reminds me of the hallucination/dream that Barsa had at the end of episode 3. It feels to me that one of the spear warriors who fought must be her relative and the name of the relative is shouted out.
I did not catch the name sadly when she screamed it out, but it is apparent that the dream that she has is probably her memory when she is training as an apprentice in fighting with this certain relative/benefactor and she noticed the fight behind the tree. Still, I really feel that this episode shows the vulnerability of Barsa and shows that no matter what a warrior she is, she is still human. Seirei no Moribito really does well on realism.
Torogai is totally amusing! She is not only a shaman of healing, but it is clear that she can fight albeit her old age. I mean, even Barsa had some problems fighting four of those assassins sent by the royal family and even though it is two less, the way in which Torogai dispatched them so easily impresses me quite a bit on her magical prowess. I also wondered about her funny appearance which she keeps chanting “Egg egg egg” like a maniac. I really did not expect her to be the master of Tonda though.
Lastly, after the huge high in Episode 3, there is bound to be a slightly lower graphical technicality in the series, and I found that some of the faces in the long shots tends to be not as detailed in the drawing compared to last episode. Nevertheless, considering the very high standards that the show has set for itself, it is still extremely high compared to other series in this season. The next episode seems to deal with the discovery of Chagum being the spirit and the unrevealing of the old ancient text deciphered by Shuga.