“Akazukin no mori” (赤ずきんの森)
I felt like I was missing out with Anna doing the majority of the work this season so I thought I’d give one last anime a try and see if I liked it.
Honestly it isn’t something I think I would pick up if it wasn’t for the fact that I needed something else to watch. Not that the episode was bad because I enjoyed it.
Whilst the main characters are still a bit of a mystery I guess the general idea of what they are doing at the moment is clear enough. They seem to be travelling between “Story Zones” helping put right what the Chaos Tellers are messing up, this time out as you can tell by the title it was the story of Little Red Riding Hood.
First up I’ll explain why the characters are a bit of a mystery I guess.
Really enjoyed the thought of all the characters in the Story Zone, indeed in that universe, having a Book of Fate which basically tells them their entire life story. It is already written out and when it deviates it is because of Chaos Tellers. We know from the end that the main MAIN character Ex has nothing written in his book, I don’t think we can necessarily determine the other three don’t either but it very much feels like if they knew their fate they wouldn’t be travelling between worlds righting wrongs.
Also whilst they aren’t story characters that we know they can take control of some of them. Ex takes the form of Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Reina takes on Cinderella and I believe Shane takes someone called Goliath and Tao takes on Robin Hood (it could have been the other way round) and when fighting in those forms those forms are Ex or Reina and not Alice or Cinderella.
So how they have managed to become those characters and be able to use them is a mystery, what they all are is a mystery and why they are travelling to Story Zone’s is a mystery.
There is a chance that those characters are who those people are, after all it seems strange for them to be able to just randomly call upon actual characters from stories, there is a chance because this is based on a game it is just a power they’ve gained from doing something in another world or picked up randomly like summons in Kingdom Hearts and it is something we’ll learn later on.
Whatever it is that is their mystery and it is a strange enough mystery that if the episode hadn’t been as good as it was in other ways I’d have kept watching anyway.
All the characters were pretty interesting and whilst we didn’t really get to know any of the main four party crew Ex got to shine as the optimist whilst the others also had their moments. It really let you get to know the main characters in the Story Zone though and fall in love with them individually even though you’ll never meet them again.
As they did this it was easy to figure out who the Chaos Teller was in the episode and I liked the twist they had on having a Book of Fate.
I mean it is fine if you are just some person who is going to go on living a normal life, maybe have a family and whatever else but what happens when you aren’t just one of the back ground characters or the heroes but one of the victims?
We don’t look at Red Riding Hood really as a victim, we know in different versions of the stories she is either saved before being eaten or saved after being eaten by the wolf and that she goes on to live a normal life after but as a child, reading that you are going to be eaten by a wolf and have to live in its belly for a unknown amount of time, even if you are able to talk to another living Red Riding Hood who went through it how terrified must you be?
You know the Huntsman is going to save you but then you see him getting close to your mum the pressure of BEING EATEN, not being a hero or anything else but BEING EATEN, leads you to imagine that your ONLY purpose and only emotional connection to these people is as a thread that holds them together. The Huntsman is nice to you because he gets to be the hero that saves you and then at the same time is trying it on with your mum, your mum is raising you to send you to a known threat that whilst she can’t stop it deep down you are going to want her to look more actively to stop, the people in the village know that you, YOU, are the chosen wolf fodder so they can live happy lives knowing that you are the sacrifice to keep this Zone ticking over.
All that pressure on a young, intelligent girl is going to open a crack that the ACTUAL Chaos Teller can creep into and use to their own ends.
That was really good story telling.
I guessed that Riding Hood wasn’t going to be the victim we all thought she was from the moment they started going on about how this all works because it made sense for this kid who knows they are going to be eaten by a wolf to want to change her story. Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t anyone?
The fact that it all went back to normal with no one remembering what happened was a decent ending too, it put the story back on track and got Riding Hood to the point where those cracks in her personality had been covered up because suddenly she understands what is happening instead of feeling isolated and alone.
It makes the world look like a scary place to live. Opens the question of do you want to know what is going to happen to you every single day of your life? How you die? Who you fall in love with? Everything?
What would you feel if you ended up being the “chosen one” in a story that didn’t have a nice part in it for you but everyone looked at you like this was the best role you could play?
“Yeah I’m just living my life over here free and safe but THAT is the character we all desire to be, the little girl being eaten by a fucking giant wolf…”
You can say that or feel that because you aren’t that little girl and whilst she might feel different when the deed is done of course a intelligent, even a unintelligent, youngster is going to lose their shit when finding out their story is “weak and feeble kid that gets eaten for being a nice person.”
Can’t wait to see what other stories they go to save.