A two part episode featuring Nike, of The Adventures of Nike fame. In the first part, Nike visits a town with a wall in the middle, and starts a tradition of writing things on it that turns it into a tourist destination. Later, Saya comes by and changes the tradition to one meant for the people of the city rather than travelers, and by the time Elaina arrives, the wall has been torn down by embarrassed citizens removing what they’d written. In the second part, two towns are fighting over who has the best wine. One of them makes the discovery that sex sells, and that branding is a thing, and is handily beating the other town until Nike comes along and exposes the scheme.
It’s really kind of amazing to see this show slide downhill. We’re so very, very far from the emotional, highly personal story of the first episode. The first half of the episode is just… unremarkable, yet still manages to feel drawn out and tiresome despite being all of ten minutes long. In it, two towns built a wall as a monument to how much better of a show Kino’s Journey is. Then they tear it down because, duh, who needs a monument to recognize that Majo no Tabitabi isn’t as though-provoking as Kino’s Journey was?
The only item of interest was that Saya, of all people, gave them the idea to tear it down and reunite their towns, making her way more beneficial to the world than Elaina has been up until now. It feels weird to root for Saya…
…but here we are. Good job, Saya! I do want to mention something about Elaina, though, who shows up in the last minute of the episode.
As seen in Figure 1, Elaina doesn’t really seem to be on this journey to see new things or to help people. She doesn’t care that the town has torn down the wall and its people have been reunited, she’s just here to see how the story turned out. It really seems like she just wants to go to the places Nike went to, like some kind of pilgrimage. She’s basically an annoying tourist rather than a character that has an impact on the places she goes to. While looking back I suppose that’s always been the case, here it seems much more obvious.
The second half of this episode feels like it came from some zany ecchi comedy, and really goes to show just how fast a show can run out of ideas. It doesn’t feature Elaina at all, opting to tell us a story that is 100% about Nike instead. It is dreadful. I don’t even want to write about it, so here, have a complete episode synopsis in only three images.
For a show whose author asked “Absolutely do not show underwear, please.” because he wanted it to have a wide audience appeal, this episode about men lusting after grapes “lovingly stepped on” by a beautiful woman because it appeals to their fetish feels… not good.
In summary, this is a garbage episode of a show that is swiftly falling lower and lower on my ranking of shows this season.