As Agnes goes in search of her mentor, being asked to check out her laboratory in the woods along with the other members of the Oasis Clan, it seems that someone else is watching and waiting to take possession of Minette if they can.
What They Say
Clan Oasis travels to the lab of Mizeh Altworth to learn why El energy still lingers after the meteor shower. Upon arrival, Altworth is missing - and the group is attacked by the powerful and mysterious Avril.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Something is wrong in the heavens, as El, that magical substance, continues to gather in the sky long after the once-in-seven-years meteor shower occurred. So, Leicester's father, who is the high priest in town, has asked the Oasis Adventuring Clan to investigate why the El has not dispersed as it usually does. In order to achieve this, they are to travel to the laboratory of Mizeh Altworth, the specialist in making sentient dolls and other things. Agnes is happy with the idea, since she was trying to find her former teacher to begin with. They set out for the lab, and it is a good thing that they have Agnes along, since the path to it, which is inside a forest, is filled with magical traps of the non-lethal variety--they send you back to where you started.
After a few times being teleported back to the start, the gang decides to allow Agnes to guide them, since she knows the way. After finding the house, Minette reveals that she recognizes the place, and Agnes then reveals that this is where Minette was born. Agnes knows this as she was, in fact, present at Minette's "birth." We then have a flashback to that event, which appears to have taken place some time ago, when Agnes was somewhat younger. At the time, unfortunately, there was not enough El to power Minette, so she fell asleep shortly after being awakened. It seems that the night of the meteor shower was the time when enough El was present to awaken Minette and power her fully.
As the clan search the house, they don't find much of anything, as it appears that Altworth is not there (they had been falsely inspired to hope she had come back by signs that the magical traps they encountered earlier had been reconfigured by someone). Minette, of course, being a curious child, finds an opening underneath the house, where she stumbles upon a statue holding a small pearl. The pearl in turn fits into a hidden nook among the bookcases, and being placed in that nook a secret wall compartment is opened revealing a letter, which is addressed to Agnes. Altworth has apparently gone off in search of an artifact that can recycle El.
While the quest would seem to be over, things are about to get rather dicey as Nick, who has been standing guard outside, lets out a yell. The rest of the group rushes out to see him squaring off against a little girl. Not a normal little girl mind you. This little girl moves extremely quickly and has the strength of many men. Agnes recognizes her: the girl's name is Avril, and she announces that she is here to take Minette's core. Since, well, Minette will be killed if her core is removed, the members of Oasis quickly come to her defense. While we have been shown before that they are all very talented, Avril far outclasses all of the members of Oasis combined, and it is only because of the balance of numbers that she is unable to seize Minette and steal her core. As the contest is becoming a stalemate, a shadowy figure appears and calls Avril off. Agnes recognizes him as well, calling him Aberdeen. We, the viewers, have some idea of who he is as well, as he was present in the flashback to Minette's birth, and thus is connected to Mizeh Altworth too. Agnes even calls him "brother," though at this point we do not know exactly what their relationship is. Being asked why he is doing this by Agnes, Aberdeen merely responds that he needs Minette's core, before disappearing.
Here we get the first largely serious episode, as it appears that an old associate of Mizeh Altworth, the expert with creating living mannequins, named Aberdeen has come into the picture, demanding that Minette give up her core to him (which would basically kill her). This turn of events comes immediately after Agnes, who has been searching for her old mentor, learns her first definite clue as to Altworth's whereabouts: she had left on a journey in search of an artifact that can recycle the magical substance El, which would conceivably be of great use to someone who is trying to create artificial beings that run on that substance. Of course, the Oasis gang rally round Minette to protect her, as Aberdeen has a very powerful associate, Avril, who seems to have abilities and powers that go beyond a mere mortal (considering what Altworth and her pupils do, it's probably fair to guess that Avril is a living mannequin, just like Minette, but one with far greater combat abilities). Will the plot continue to stay in high gear after its apparent debut here? We will have to see.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard