Score: A-

That sense of doom that lingered over the previous episode has finally had its form revealed. It’s a devastating situation for anyone, but especially for a merchant. Going bankrupt is truly one of the greatest defeats a merchant can suffer beyond outright getting killed. In some ways physically dying is probably less shameful since it’s not like merchants are warriors. Trading and making money is their expertise and field of battle. And Lawrence has failed horribly. His entire future is banking on getting enough money back. His personal future of course is also banking on finding a way to get Holo to forgive him.

This was a terrible day!

As a fan of the original anime this was an episode that I was dreading the arrival of. It just hurts seeing these two get utterly slammed by cold reality. Lawrence took a risk and he got burned. He did try to mitigate risk by trading for armor like he did. But he still took on a massive debt because he was caught up in the moment after Holo revealed the trick that merchant was using. And it just hurt seeing Lawrence so utterly horrified by the realization of what kind of hole he was in. It hurt equally as much seeing Holo get yelled at. You could see the moment coming though. Lawrence was steadily getting turned down by one person after the next. Despite having many acquaintances gained as a merchant when the time came to try and get help…he basically got nothing.

I hate seeing Holo like this

I can’t be overly harsh on Lawrence, but I don’t want to say he did nothing wrong. Someone whose life is basically going up in flames is going to lose their cool and the ones that suffer the most when that happens are the ones closest to them. It’s true that taking Holo around when he was effectively begging for money sent a weird message. And it didn’t help a thing that they were cheerfully drinking in town hours earlier. But Holo isn’t a merchant or a human being. She’s not going to necessarily realize something like that until it’s brought up. Wanting to be there wasn’t a crime. Her wolf’s pride demanded that she stick with him while he was in a bad position. She just didn’t know that wasn’t the correct choice from a human perspective in that world. Lawrence didn’t spell it out earlier either.

In the end Lawrence shook her off and said one semi-harsh thing. Apologies aren’t everything, but Lawrence felt like crap at about the same time as he said it. It is very much Lawrence to look like someone that did something significantly worse than what he did. Ending the episode on that moment hurts. We’re just left with a fade to black with Lawrence feeling even more like garbage than he already did. It’s hard to say how Holo feels in this moment. She likely is feeling a mix of hurt, but also maybe angry at herself. Is she more focused on the fact that he pushed her away or that she might have been a reason he couldn’t get more money from those people? I guess we’ll find out next episode.

He has responsibilities to balance

I suppose Jacob knew pretty much immediately how screwed Lawrence was the second he mentioned Remerio. Well, he probably didn’t know that he bought the armor on credit and had ruined himself. But he knew that if he had business with Remerio it probably wasn’t going to be a good thing. It does say how much he cares that his first suggestion if Lawrence and Holo were married was to get a divorce… Wouldn’t even be a joke. With Lawrence’s catastrophic situation his wife would be brought down with him. He could have given him a heads up. But I suppose Jacob has a perspective that it’s important to learn lessons in person. And he’s not going to coddle merchants (even ones he likes) that make mistakes.

It’s completely clear that Jacob does care about Lawrence. Which is why seeing a favourite like him falling into a hole like this hurts even more. It also just happened to be a hole that the association wasn’t made to protect its members from. If the mistakes a merchant makes due to greed could be covered by the guild it would encourage everyone to be stupidly reckless. And the association would lose all trust if branch leaders were free to play favourites. Jacob isn’t free within the position he’s placed in to do more than wish Lawrence the best of luck.

They can’t take him without her putting up a fight!

The one thing even a stressed-out Lawrence needs to keep in mind is that life isn’t over. For a normal person this would be horrific and obviously this could be the death of Lawrence as a merchant. But Holo won’t let Lawrence be taken to be put into servitude or killed. Even if his career ends she will make sure he walks away from this alive. Tell the merchants guilds good luck if they want to take him from her! Yes, things are rocky at the end of this episode. But I don’t see Holo’s pride letting her break away from the stance she established earlier in the episode!

If Lawrence didn’t have Holo and still ended up in this situation it would truly be over. It’s a horrible reality that he’d be captured, put into servitude, and probably broken down or killed along the way. Either a decade rowing or working in dangerous mines. His dreams would truly die even if his body survived. And he’d walk out of those hells without any money. It would truly be over.

Holo should always be smiling!

The moments up to disaster were very cute though. I love that Holo heard every word said in there which wasn’t to Lawrence’s benefit XD. If they can turn things around she can get back to getting him to invest in her! She definitely pushed her luck a bit in acting super cute to get a promise for those honey pickled peaches. But in the end Lawrence can’t stay mad at her. Heck, we got pretty close to a confession there anyways. Nora is his type and that’s been thrown out into the open. But that doesn’t mean his feelings are pointed anywhere besides towards Holo.

I could watch these two at their happiest for a whole season and be perfectly content. They just have great chemistry even when they are hanging outside the den of a dying trading company. Cute little moments such as Holo giving him a small speck of the meat pie she had been gulping down was just perfect. Just too bad reality had to come down on them eventually.

This is a tough spot

The question of course is what is Lawrence going to do here? He is in a seriously bad spot. Not only is he bankrupt, but he must provide money he doesn’t have in less than 2 days. His going around asking people for help has used up time and doesn’t appear to have provided more than a bit of loose change and water being dumped on him. I mean if they want to turn to crime, they could probably pull something off. Holo is a giant wolf after all. But right now, they are in a bad spot, and they need to get back on the same page before they can even try to find a solution. The next episode can’t arrive soon enough!

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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