What They Say
Minette spends some time with Miriam, but their visit is cut short when Miriam suddenly collapses. Before there's even a chance to summon help, Garnet appears and shares the shocking truth behind Miriam's illness.
If you want to get sympathy from the audience, introduce a sickly girl. If you want to annoy the audience, make it so that her only chance for a cure seems to require the death of one of the main characters. The creators accomplish both goals admirably this episode.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
So, the Harvest Festival is over. What does that mean? Well, it means that it must be time for an info dump. Yes, Leicester's father and mother aren't just character accessories, they're here to tell us all about the imbalance in the flow of El in the world. Apparently, Altworth, the shadowy inventor and mentor of Agnes, figured out that the problem was tied to an ancient artifact, the Hooded Waterwheel that she mentioned in her letter to Agnes. Alworth went in search of the artifact and has not been heard from since. So, the Oasis gang is tasked yet again with investigating the whole matter.
In the meantime, Minette is going off to visit her friend Miriam, the girl she met while wandering about town several episodes ago. She's not alone, as Nick is there to guard her. Miriam is never exactly in the best of health, but she seems slightly better this time. After the briefing is over, Leicester comes by to take over looking after Minette. Minette and Miriam are talking about a gift for her cat, and Leicester suggests a small bell with some crystite added. So, they go around town gathering the materials, since Leicester will put together the gift himself, so that Miriam doesn't have to spend anything for it. The final item is a small piece of special crystite, and the best source for that is apparently the Tortilla Company, so for the first time we pay a visit inside their building, with the Sisters acting in their usual manner (Ritos vamping for Leicester (ignored), teasing Salsa (successful) and being her usual snarky self).
In the meantime, Agnes has gone back to Altworth's place to search for further clues about the Hooded Waterwheel, while Carina is searching the library for information about the artifact as well. Her magic search, however, turns up nothing. Chelsea is off to the beach (even if she has no idea why she is there). Leicester and the girls, finished with their business at the Tortilla Company, are now in his workshop, working on the gift for Miriam's cat. Apparently, they overdo it a little bit, as they make quite a few of the little bells, enough to give gifts to everyone.
Just when everything seems nice, a sudden El shower appears in the sky and Miriam collapses. While Minette panics and others call for a doctor, Garnet suddenly appears and notes that a doctor will be of no use. As the others are puzzled, Garnet asks if Agnes is around. It just so happens that Agnes walks in the door of the Oasis house at that point, and Garnet recommends that Agnes take a look at Miriam. Yes, if you haven't guessed it already, Miriam is an automaton, like Minette. The problem is that Miriam's core is unstable. Agnes also reveals that she once knew a Miriam, except that this Miriam was human...and Aberdeen's sister. She was very sickly, however, so it appears that Aberdeen transferred his sister into an automaton in order to free her from her sickness. The problem is that the current imbalance of El in the world is interfering with Miriam's core (Minette has a special core that can regulate the flow of El, which is why she's unaffected), and Garnet predicts that her core will stop working altogether. That is why Aberdeen attacked the Oasis group to try to steal Minette's special core.
The episode finishes with Leicester trying to comfort Minette, who is very upset at the idea of losing her friend. Just then, we hear a dramatic scream coming from the room Miriam is in, along with Agnes and Nina. A vase crashes. As Leicester and the other rush in, they see Aberdeen there holding his sister, with Avril at his side. We end with a standoff.
Minette's best friend in the whole world is Miriam, a seemingly sickly, but very sweet and well-mannered young girl. The two really enjoy being with each other, even though they are radically different in their behavior and temperament (Minette being extremely lively and silly, while Miriam is very well-behaved and rather restrained, though that is likely related to her not being in the best of health). How could two such different little girls be such good friends? It makes sense, of course, when one finds out that Minette and Miriam do share one very important thing in common. Sadly, it's that shared aspect that also makes things difficult for the members of the Oasis group, since the only apparent means to cure Miriam of her illness would involve the death of Minette. That does not make for a happy thought, though the situation seems to be especially hard for Minette, who is very upset at the idea of her friend dying. I guess the silly part of the show is largely over.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard