Whaaat? The Russian team engaging in shady tactics? So unrealistic! Zero stars! Gosh. The nerve of this show.
All jokes aside, I’ll be honest. This may very well be the first episode I genuinely loved, from start to finish. A case can be made for how sad that is, considering we’re a quarter of the way into the show (yes, I checked, and it is 20+ episodes). But as we’ve said, I tend to stick with things for the long haul unless they just bore me. And this episode did the exact opposite of bore me.
Now let’s be clear. There’s nothing stellar about this. It’s a very straightforward episode. It’s silly, dumb fun. But that’s honestly why I enjoyed it as much as I did. No, it didn’t actually advance the plot. But we all know I couldn’t care less about plot on its own. It’s just a framework. A roadmap, if you will, that the characters follow to generate story. And story, I remind you, is all about the characters. What we got out of this episode was a nice little bit of character work, if I’m honest. Nothing special, but highly enjoyable.
The first thing to note is the proper introduction to team Russia. I’ll be honest. Watching them, and following the notably somber mood the show has largely maintained around the more plot-centric events and characters, I was wary of them. Helped none by the fact that it’s freaking Russia. I expected this to just be all serious and stuff, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was actually a lot of fun. The characters were funny and a couple of them were actually reasonably well developed in their own right. Nothing mind-blowing, but the foundation’s there and works well for what it is.
Their reasons for doing what they did are simultaneously funny and kind of sweet. And one of the characters on their team legitimately pulls a move that, while dodgy, also comes across as noble… somehow. It’s weird. But it leads to a cool action scene between that character and Yumilia, so I was fine with it. Said scene is brief, yet somehow better animated that most of the action from last time. And that’s kinda sad.
So yeah. That basically boils down the episode. A lot of fun moments with the surprisingly quirky team Russia, a short but neat action scene, and a sweet moment or two for Hazuki. Some surprising character development out of the episode’s focus (which is, again, nothing amazing, but I take it in the context of what the show’s given us thus far) pushes it over that bar into being delightful Junk Food. It’s silly, dumb fun and I couldn’t be happier with it. You can do the serious stuff every now and again, but more like these, please. Or, if you wanna see another reasonable example of fluff done decently, the last episode of Black Clover wasn’t too bad.
But for more Maerchen Maedchen, catch up on Crunchyroll, where it’s Simulcast Thursdays at 11:00am EST. That’s all for me, here, folks. As always, thanks for reading. Keep up the awesome.