This episode is a bit of a mess all around. The big problem is that it fails to tell the story it’s trying to tell—ie., what caused Klaudia to finally tell Ryza that she wanted to join the group on their adventures.
Now, this is something that has been building for several episodes at this point. Klaudia has time and again tried to broach the subject but has always backed out at the last moment. Instead, it seems that she has kept trying to make herself useful so that she would be invited naturally. First, she set up the beach trip to help the party decompress. Then she went above and beyond to make the perfect pudding recipe as payment to get the wood to repair the group’s new base—even though her initial efforts were deemed good enough.
This episode begins with more of the same—with her secretly trying to push her archery skills to the next level so she can fight alongside her friends in battle. Only this time, it’s clear that Ryza knows what’s going on—knows exactly what causes finger blisters like the one Klaudia is sporting. However, in a genuinely good character moment, Ryza seems to understand that it’s important for Klaudia herself to gain the self-confidence to tell her true dreams to those she cares about—both her friends and her father.
This issue in this episode isn’t the setup so far or the overall character arc—it’s the events that drive Klaudia to leap. Klaudia, Ryza, and Lila model dresses for Jonna, a random townsperson who truly believes her “prince” will one day show up to whisk her away—you know, from her infamously isolated and xenophobic village that no one from the outside comes to. Yet, somehow, seeing the three women model dresses convinces Jonna to leave the island and search for her prince on the mainland instead. Why or how this decision is made is never explained—which makes it baffling that it would have such a major effect on Klaudia.
This is supposed to be the defining moment of Klaudia’s character arc—the moment where she goes from being an obedient child to a young adult chasing her dreams. Yet, what caused her to finally put herself out there? Was it her friend’s going into danger? Her lack of control over her own life? No, it was the impulsive decision of a random woman who is completely out of touch with reality—and we don’t even know why this affected Klaudia as it did. Yes, “show, don’t tell” is important but what is shown has to convey the message just as well as words would. It ends her whole arc so far on a massive anti-climax.
The rest of the episode likewise feels a bit off. For Klaudia to join Ryza and the others, they need her father’s permission. But while the show is attempting to portray her father as overprotective, the fact of the matter is that he isn’t. Ryza has almost gotten her friends killed several times by biting off more than they can chew. I wouldn’t entrust my worst enemy’s safety to Ryza much less my daughters. And while Ryza seems to have had growth in this area—at least to the point she’s started to realize how dangerous her actions have been for her and her friends—there’s been no real test of this. We’ve not yet seen any adventure where she has acted any differently than she used to.
Yet, while his mistrust of Ryza is understandable, his test for her to show her strength is nonsensical. How does fixing a flooded room show that Ryza and the others are strong enough to keep his daughter safe from danger? It’s baffling to the point of pulling you right out of the story. We’ll just have to see if Klaudia’s father’s other tests make any more sense in next week’s episode.
• Ryza and Klaudia’s thighs hold a rather lengthy conversation in this episode.
• Klaudia, Ryza, and Lila trying on dresses specifically tailored for another woman make no sense—especially considering their different sizes and body types.
• Those forearm-length gloves have got to be uncomfortable for Lila. I mean they compress her arm fur(?) so much you can’t even tell it is there.
• I wonder if Jonna is a one-off character or if we’ll see Ryza and the others rescuing her from a group of monsters sometime soon.
anime“>Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is currently streaming on