Maybe I’m jumping to some wild conclusions, but I’ve got a hunch that this episode just might correspond to the beginning of a new volume in the manga. The time jump… the new characters… the new intros and outros… I don’t know, somehow, the clues are just adding up.
Speaking of the new theme songs, I still prefer the original ones, but maybe these’ll grow on me; maybe the jingles will get stuck in my head. I’m not sure what to make of the panda patrol, either, but those are probably going to be famous last words, won't they? Flash-forward a couple weeks and I’ll have their figurines crowded all over my desk and their scrolls decorating all my walls.
I continue to be a little… befuddled by the setting of this show. Initially, it seemed like they were going for an alternate history with one-to-one analogs. For damn sure, it looked like the alchemical kids were in Austria or one the pre-unification Germanic states. The kids looked German, their names sounded German, their city had German architecture… and, most telling of all, their boss’ title was “fuhrer.”
Then, some of you insisted that this was supposed to be England, and that didn’t seem right at all. They show their world map in this one and it looks like Conan’s Hyperborean Age by way of the Magical Land of Oz so, after some careful analysis and reasoned hypotheses, I concluded that this is full-out fantasy. Then... they introduce all these people of Xing, which is obviously supposed to be China… so I’m just going to give up on trying to figure this out. The creators' mind seem to keep changing, oh so capriciously.
Anyway, the prince’s dilemma in this episode’s actually a pretty interesting one. While they may be going willy nilly about geography, regal succession disputes are something hewn a little closer to reality than the usual neat-and-tidy royal families you usually see in fantasy. I did get a lot of enjoyment out seeing Edward just sock the Lin Yao as soon as they met again. There’s nothing more irritating then somebody who scams out of a bill - - especially if they can damn well afford it.
Watch this episode, "Envoy from the East" below, decide yourself and read my comments on the previous episode here.