The Summer Solstice Festival is here and it is a festival where the Rucha, a fighting game would be held. From the preview last week, Chagum is challenged by a muscular boy of Rota to a fight in the ring. With Chagum’s lack in the training of the martial arts, the odds are against him to beat this boy. How would he fare in this fight, and will he be discovered in the midst of battle considering the huge number of peasants and secret people going for this festival.
According to Wrex’s reviews, this is an original episode not related to the novel. My thoughts will come after my episode summary, but I am fully enjoying Seirei no Moribito after each episode.
Chagum is chopping firewood, even though he was not proficent at it. It was the Summer Solstice Festival and Chagum noted that there was a similar festival where the capital celebrated the defeat of the water spirit. He realized that the peasants did not have time due to agriculture harvesting, and hence did it during this time. Chagum’s friends then asked him to check out the rucha, a fighting game held during the festival. The leader of the children told Chagum that the statues around this place were the eight warriors that helped the first Emperor to destroy the water demon. He also added that their eyes would become blind if they stared at the idol.
Chagum corrected that only those who stared at the royalty of Yogo would suffer from that, and that was more symbolic rather than fact. They asked Chagum how he knew such details, with Chagum having difficulty answering. One muscular foreigner boy asked them to help him with the rucha, but the leader of the group challenged that foreigner. Yasam, who hailed from Rota said that all the kids would be his little henchmen if the leader lost and embarrassed the leader with an easy defeat. Yasam also said he did not need weaklings as his henchmen and kicked the statue, calling the emperor of Yogo a coward.
Chagum told him to take those words back and challenged him to fight. Yasam said he would give Chagum a chance by training for a day until the festival came. The penalty if Chagum lost would be a slug, and if he lost, he would take back his words. At home, Chagum asked about the Rota people, and asked how he could fight a battle with someone trained in the arts of Yasam. Barsa said that Yasam’s style was more for war, while Rucha was more like play.
However, she proposed that there was a way to win if it’s merely making the opponent go out of the ring. Barsa did tell Chagum he could not go for the festival as they might gain attention from people who ply their trade in the shadows.The next day, Chagum asked Barsa for advice on the fight. Barsa said that since he was not going for the festival, she would teach him. Chagum remained silent, as Barsa gave him the hint of the flowing gentle water in a water wheel as an analogy and said the trick was to get the momentum started.
The festival was starting at night, and Barsa said as compensation for not going to the festival, they would have something good to eat (unagi!). They needed more firewood to cook it though, and Barsa asked Chagum to chop some more. Chagum then realized the trick of the momentum, and Barsa realized that he was gone when she called him for dinner. Barsa wondered what Jigoro would do in this situation. Chagum was not in time for the festival as Yasam told Chagum’s friend to eat the slugs. The Rota warrior who won was Yasam’s father. Chagum showed up and Yasam asked if he came to eat the slug.
Chagum said that the ring still remained and asked if Yasam was afraid to fight. Yasam was enraged and they fought , as Chagum stood near the edge. Yasam told him to attack him, but Chagum taunted him as Yasam charged him. However, Chagum sidestepped him, with Yasam out of the ring on his knees. Yasam said it was an unfair fight and refused to apologize. Yasam’s father then came along as the two were tussling, and said that Yasam lost but told him to be proud as he had won the tournament. He also said with pride that Yasam was the strongest among the boys.
Chagum was not happy that Yasam did not apologize, but Barsa cut in to correct the father. Barsa told his father that Yasam should keep his promises and challenged his father to a fight to acknowledge the child’s mistake. Barsa, on her way to the ring, said that she had a lot to tell Chagum later. A small crowd was gathering and the fight cam as Yasam’s father grabbed her sleeves and pushed her toward the edge. However, Barsa flipped him in a slam and defeated him. Yasam ran over and said that his father took the women lightly, but his father recognized that Barsa was different and he would have lost to her 10 out of 10 times.
He then told Yasam to admit. As they walked home, Chagum was feeling guilty, and Barsa said that they might have been seen. Chagum said that it was his fault, but Barsa added that she caused a bigger commotion. He said that it did not dissolve his guilt as he was the one who broke the promise. He said that the way he went so far to fight for his beliefs made her happy as a parent. Chagum was surprised at her kind words. A frog was then observing them, but a snake was near by.
Well, if you ask me about this episode, one of my favorite parts in this episode is the appearance of Barsa to rescue Chagum’s pride. If anything, she is perhaps the person who believed in the pride of someone who fought for his own beliefs. It is a really amazing sight too when Barsa literally eliminated the father with ease simply to fight for Chagum. I mean, she is perhaps the one that was pretty angry at Chagum (though she did not seem that surprised that Chagum is going to leave for the festival), yet also the one to fight for her child.
To me, it really shows how great a character Barsa is. She is dependable at all times, being careful to be the guardian of Chagum. Yet, when he is in trouble despite the very fact that they might be discovered, she will fight for him at all costs. I believe that her role as a guardian and a bodyguard taught her the importance of belief, because having a belief is the sign of a warrior.
Which parent in the world does not want her child to fight against something in his beliefs? Which parent in the world will not be proud of a child that will do everything that is right and pursues the goal relentlessly? To me, Barsa really is a maternal figure for Chagum. I really enjoy the various warm scenes on the interaction of Chagum and Barsa, despite some of the slightly queer graphics of the face. Still, considering that the level of graphics for the series is so insanely high, it is not a huge derivation from viewing pleasure.
On the part of Chagum, he just has this quality that never allows him to seam into the peasant life. Despite his dressing and his way of life, the thing is that his mentality and character has the qualities of nobility (not the snooty kind, the honorable type). He does not really bother that much when his group of friends lost since they really did. However, it is only when the country’s royalty is insulted that Chagum is provoked into action.
That is definitely not a bratty behavior, but one that is provoked into action when his own belief system and his honor is crushed by someone. Chagum really will grow up to be a wonderful man, if he does survive. He feels to me to be one that is intelligent and wise beyond his age. He is quick to temper when things that affect him hits him, but he is also quick to recognize his mistakes and try not to make them again. That, to me, is not a common 12-13 year old kid who has just left his parents after a few attempts at assassinations.
Chagum is definitely a worthy prince, if he had stayed as one. You will be hard fought to find a negative trait of him considering his young age. I really hurray-ed for Chagum when he won against that smug boy with a smart technique. It is low of Yasam to deny Chagum his win. In a fight, as long as the rules are followed, a win is definitely a win. The symbolism of the frog being ensnared by a snake seems that they are being watched quietly by some evil being that is not striking yet. It seemed somewhat accurate as the preview talked about an enemy of Barsa finding her.
I wonder who it is.