Score: A

Things are just never easy. Lawrence and Holo had a good plan here, but some elements were thrown into the mix that leave them in bad situations. I would say Lawrence’s situation is far more dire since Holo seems extremely confident. But things are getting out of hand. Remerio has betrayed them and that means everyone is in danger. Well again, not so much Holo since she’s a giant wolf but the human characters are at plenty of risk. Lawrence is at the mercy of anything that comes across him in that state and Nora is on the hit list from those scumbags. Though I presume she’ll be safe until she gets the sheep into town. They don’t want to draw attention to themselves with smuggled gold in the picture after all.

This guy is somewhat pitiful

It’s not a total surprise that Remerio is doing something like this. The downside to going with an illegal solution is that there are no legal protections. Remerio was a necessary partner in this deal for many reasons. Lawrence needed them off his back for a few days so they could pull off this smuggling idea. So, there was no way to exclude them. Not as if there were many other businesses so desperate for money that they’d jump into a smuggling plan that would ruin them if the Church discovered what was going on. But that desperation possibly made them completely reckless. If they cut out Lawrence and Nora that’s even more money and they have no one left that might report them to the Church.

Admittedly I don’t think betrayal should have been a major motivation. Lawrence is a minor merchant and Nora is very much in a dangerous position regarding the Church. Neither has a real reason to betray Remerio. But greed and paranoia can make people act out irrationally.

Band of fools

I both love and hate the guys that attacked Lawrence. They work extremely well because of how believable they are. These guys aren’t exactly mercenaries. They are likely regular staff at that business and have been pulled into this mess. So not having the guts to kill Lawrence themselves is pretty fitting. It is important since we can’t have Lawrence die here. But it’s hardly a stretch that these gutless jerks would leave him for wolves and hope they finish him. It is a stupid thing of course since they’ve crossed the line of betrayal. Now even if Lawrence didn’t have reason to get payback against Remerio before…he does now! Their attitude towards Nora is sad. Even guys like this guy the BS that she’s got pagan magic on her side instead of her just having an elite dog and excellent shepherdess skills. For that reason, they’ll kill her themselves…

Kids these days

Holo really has the best situation here. Which is amazing considering she’s surrounded by angry wolves and one giant angry wolf. But I don’t feel any real fear for her and partly that’s because she’s utterly calm. The only emotion I’m seeing is utter annoyance at this “brat” that is puffing himself up and trying to intimidate her. Because to Holo he is truly just a child. An arrogant youngster that likely hasn’t been a giant wolf for too long. He’s got this authority over the wolves of the forest and clearly is a reason they almost never howl. So, detecting someone of Holo’s caliber passing through HIS forest clearly angered him so much that he put out the challenge.

The key here is that Holo doesn’t care about this forest. She’s not staying. If she can get that across to this brat, he may let her go. That doesn’t seem extremely likely of course. He didn’t say anything openly. Whether he hasn’t matured to that level yet or the show simply cut to after he spoke to Holo I’m not sure. But I don’t get the feeling he wants a peaceful chat. My impression is that he wants to cement his position by proving his dominance over a similar wolf to himself. But Holo’s attitude is what makes that brief scene so good. She’s just annoyed. Holo has been alive long enough to not obsess nearly so much with that kind of cheap stubbornness and pride. What each of them value is different.

Friendly pack here

It does raise a good question of who will win if they fight. Will Holo triumph or this upstart brat? Youth and inexperience do go hand in hand. I can’t imagine he’s had a chance to tangle with someone of equal size and strength to himself. If experience can be leveraged, then Holo has a massive advantage with centuries of life behind her. But youth can be an advantage. I don’t think Holo is past her prime or anything XD. But there are possible ways he could win. Especially if size does differ between males and females when it comes to giant wolves. If Holo was completely in on fighting she would have transformed before going out there. But he may force her hand if he’s going to demand she respond to his challenge.

Nora’s a sweet girl

There were some fun elements in this episode though. I liked the chat between Nora and Holo. It was cute and a good bit of levity in a weighty episode. Holo teasing her with talk about being a rabbit that is devoured each night XD. Holo has no problem joking around and using innuendo like that. Of course, she also totally sank Enek by claiming he was in love with her when he’s protecting Nora from her! I’m sure for a normal dog the concept of a giant transforming wolf is terrifying. He can’t go after Holo because Nora doesn’t understand the situation. Lawrence was the butt of some jokes during that chat, but I think even he was fine with that.

The big win was Nora acknowledging that she does understand the stakes here. Lawrence may feel sorry for dragging her into this, but he’s overstating things. Nora isn’t an idiot. She knows how much danger she currently faces from the Church anyways and how she might lose even more than an arm if they are caught. This is an all or nothing gamble. If Nora ever wants to get out from under the Church and live a life that she can be happy with, she must take this opportunity. It’s a scary situation, but she’s not blind to the risk.

Life is not treating him well

I do feel bad for where the episode ends for Lawrence. He’s had such a brutal run all stemming from one bad decision. When he took advantage of that merchant who was cheating people it all went downhill for him. He got greedy and forgot that there is no such thing as a perfectly safe product. Markets can shift for just about anything and betting it all can sometimes cost you everything. Now he’s hurt, cold, and far as he know Holo may be dead. We can be confident about her chances, but it’s a battle between giant wolves. There’s no way for him to know Holo is fine. And far as he knows Nora may be dead soon too and he did draw her into this. Being killed by their own side isn’t what any of them signed up for!

These two need some time to relax!

This was a great episode. It ended on a tense note, but it was a great ride from start to finish. Even little moments like Holo basically telling the wolves to “back off” was just fun. A great reminder of how powerful she really is and how messing with her isn’t worth it! But the situation is bad. Nora’s safety is very much up in the air. Lawrence should be fine since seemingly all the wolves have gathered to Holo and the alpha of the forest. But depending on how things go that might change. His safety is tied to Holo’s safety really. But they still must figure out a solution about Remerio and the guys that fully intended for Lawrence to die in that forest! I cannot wait until the next episode!

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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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