Ah, now we're getting somewhere. It may be hidden is what looks like another standalong story, but this episode of Fairy Musketeers hints that Cendrillon has finally decided to wheel out the big guns - in her own, understated little way...
What They Say
Join Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and Briar 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 episode, another town for the gang to pass through as they search for Cendrillon's hideout. By day, Ezel is a busy and bustling place, but there's an abandoned mansion on the edge of town that seems to hide a monster - those passing by the building at night can hear growling from within, with the truly unlucky seeing pairs of glowing eyes shining out at them. Souta's warned away from the building by a local musician, who tells him that is he goes into it, he'll never come out again. The building used to be a bar, but one day the owner's daughter went down to the cellar and never returned. Rumours began of the 'cellar monster', and persisted long after the bar's owners had sold up and left town - just the sort of tale to catch Souta's attention. By coincidence, Randagio is in town, on his way back from a failed attempt to seek help from the powerful Lycans, and he's not about to pass up an(other) opportunity to capture Souta...
There are two sides to this episode, that eventually come together towards the end of the ep to let you know that things are finally beginning to happen. The gang may be having a hard time trying to find Cendrillon, but she's not exactly sitting back and waiting for them to come to her - she has her own plans, and if her own people aren't up to the task (and they clearly aren't), then there are others who can do her dirty work for her. Enter the Lycans, who as the name may give away are werewolves. Strong and independent, they don't just kowtow to Cendrillon and do what she wants, but I think it's a safe bet that they'll be getting involved on the side of the bad guys. Their leader is Lord Jed, who circumstance brings to the same village as Souta and friends at just the point that Cendrillon would like. His arrival on the scene is too late in the day for any real fireworks in this episode, but watch this space. It seems that Fairy Musketeers is finally beginning to bring the underlying story into play instead of just relying on the gang's adventure-of-the-week, and that's definitely a good thing.
That said, Jed's late arrival on the scene means that most of this episode is the adventure-of-the-week, and as with most episodes up until now it's fun and enjoyable without being spectacular. The ghost in the old abandoned building is a staple of anime, so it's not as if you haven't seen anything like it before, but Fairy Musketeers approaches it with its usual sense of fun and with a little twist in the tale that works quite nicely.
For the most part, then, the show carries on doing what it does best, and having some light-hearted fun. But the little prospect of trouble that's been bubbling under since the beginning of the series is starting to get a little closeer to the surface now - here's hoping that full use is made of that potential.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac mini with 1GB RAM and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.