Two down, one to go... No, I'm not talking about bad guys - we've barely gotten started on them - but about Souta's collection of Musketeers. There are meant to be three of them, after all, and now it's time for the third to make her entrance. If she can stay awake for long enough to do that…
What They Say
Join Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and Blair Rose from Sleeping Beauty as they are appointed to be guardians of a sealed key which could control a parallel universe inhabited by characters of well-known fairy tales. A rebel clan, lead by a she-devil Cinderella, desperately searches for the key. Cinderella, with her magical power, finally tracks the key down in the real world where we live and sends her gang over. To protect Sota, a tenderhearted boy who keeps the sealed key in his body, three Musketeers travel from the parallel world. They make a vow to destroy Cinderella's evil plot.
Another day, and another round of chaos at Souta's house - this time the girls are fighting over who's going to get to go with Souta to a sketching contest at the botanical gardens. Not much of a contest, though, as it's a school event - so Red and Snow White get left to watch over the house while Souta and Ringo are gone, but their curiosity gets the better of them and they sneak out of the house to follow them. Although the distraction of food is never far away. The contest involves making sketches of flowers - just the thing for Souta, who's a sucker for plants anyway - but Souta's artistic efforts are interrupted when he finds a strange girl sleeping in a flowerbed. Looking to keep her out of trouble with the park-keepers, Souta tries to wake her up - but when she does, she attacks Souta and Ringo...
It's a fair call by Red and Snow White to go following Souta, of course – you can't protect your target if you just let him wander off. What's funny is how often they get distracted along the way, with food and cosplay both getting in the way of the girls doing their jobs. I'm glad I don't have to rely on their protection.
The main event is the introduction of the third musketeer, of course. Meet Briar Rose, a sleepy girl with a prickly personality (literally as well as figuratively) and a tendency to punish severely anyone who dares to wake her up – something that I suspect Red and Snow White will have to do quite often. She may look dozey, but she's quite capable of defending herself and others. I'm a bit split on whether I like her or not, though – she makes for good comic relief in short bursts and is handy in a battle, but having her asleep most of the time doesn't really make her the most exciting or lovable of characters.
The episode also sees Gretel make another attempt to get her hands on Souta, with predictable results, but the scene showing Hansel's reaction to her defeat and Gretel's feelings about the way he treats her almost make you want to give her a hug. At one point, he notices an injury that his sister picked up during the battle, and Hansel gets noticeably excited as she anticipates him showing some sympathy – love and sympathy are all she really wants from him, after all – but instead he goes cold on her, and you just see her deflate. Awww.
Briar Rose's introduction is one of the main points of this episode, although it's possibly not the highlight of it – no matter how much mayhem she may cause. A decent outing for Gretel, though, and a little peek into Souta's unusual ability to talk to plants, give this episode plenty to make it worth watching.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac mini with 1GB RAM and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.