This Path, the Crystallization of Premonition
Shirayuki is instructed to head out to Laxdo for an errand and Zen, Mitsuhide, Kiki and Obi take her half way as Zen visits Laxdo fort for an inspection as usual reports have stopped coming in from there.
Zen arrives to find everyone bed ridden and that the armoury is empty. Kiki then suggests getting Shirayuki over to have a look at everyone.
Shirayuki arrives but also soon feels the effects of the disease. However because of that she was able to figure out that it was due to the burning firewood as she’s been working close to them and was quickly affected. Apparently a group of travelers, who turns out to be bandits, gave them the firewood for free.
Shirayuki’s overworking herself and Zen eventually figures it out by discovering that Shirayuki’s been constantly making medicine for everyone. So he visits her and tells her to close her eyes whilst he counts to sixty, a tired Shirayuki quickly falls asleep.
Obi discovers the bandits hideout so with Mitsuhide and Kiki, Zen heads out to get the castle’s stolen goods back. With Shirayuki as his driving force, he pushes on to win.
Just as the romance looks to be kicking off, we seem to have a new ‘visitor’ and a spanner in the works as Zen’s brother appears next episode. Not to be judgmental about someone I’ve not had the chance to see, but from first impressions in the preview, he doesn’t seem like the ‘welcoming’ type. No doubt this will definitely be an obstacle for Shirayuki to get through. In what way though? That I’m not sure. Possibly to ‘steal’ her away, or possibly not to accept her. But you don’t introduce such an important character like the male lead’s brother without something stirring up.
At first I thought this would be an episode of showing us how brilliant and amazing Shirayuki’s herbalist/pharmacy abilities were. Although we knew them anyway, I’d say it was good to see them put into practice in a large group of people rather than when she ran her own little herb shop. Which actually made me wonder if she’ll ever go back and visit her old store and customers. Or perhaps they’d come over here for her medicine? Unlikely, but that’d be nice to see.
Anyways, actually though, by the end of the episode, I felt it was much more focused on the ways that Shirayuki is affecting Zen and how inspiring she is to him. And of course also how he deals with Shirayuki’s refusal for help as he always wants to step in. Seeing his ability to hold back when she was faced against Haruka’s sword, he easily holds off this episode. Although I must say, both of them are equally as stubborn as each other, it’s a good match, whether they see it or not is a different story.
Speaking of the stubbornness, I feel that they will eventually get to a point where they both realise how much they care for each other and then mutually agree that they won’t do unreasonable reckless things again. Shirayuki must be able to see or sense how her recklessness and willingness to dive into anything is something that worries Zen. After her tears from Zen’s book, he must realise that vice versa is true too.
The tensions and emotions were good, and Zen and Shirayuki’s relationship advanced slightly this episode. The only thing that I felt was annoying was the fact that nothing was looked into too deeply. The entire plot of the episode definitely felt like it could’ve been something spread over two episodes allowing time to go into more detail. The cause of the disease was found quite quickly and easily resolved. The herbs seemed common ones that Shirayuki could just make huge batches, and the bandits were very swiftly taken out. Neither of that is done badly it just felt too rushed. Otherwise another enjoyable episode.