Stella is so cheerful and cute, it’s almost as if she belongs to a different anime. In fact, this whole episode just feels… weird. For one, it’s littered with slapstick humor. When we first meet Stella, her grandpa opens the door in her face and the girl goes down. Later in the episode, she somehow manages to lose her grandpa in his wheelchair, so he goes flying off into the distance. She then chases after him, but trips and ends up flipping over him. I mean, just look at the old man’s face. Eventually, it’s time for Luke to face off against the Horror of the Week. The tension is rising, the music is swelling — look, things are about to go down, my dudes. Then all of a sudden, the music cuts out and this blobby thing hits the Horror’s magical seal. Uh, what? Luke looks behind him to see Stella doing her best Ghostbusters impersonation. This episode is so goofy, I actually like it.
Beyond the slapstick humor, there are some incongruent moments as well. These old ladies accost Luke and give him a hard time. On the contrary, I don’t think Luke has had any experience with the fairer sex. How old is he? Probably in his early 20s? I can’t really tell. On the other hand, Stella is probably a teenager. Ah, too young for him then. In any case, look at all these comically sized pictures on the mantel. And no, that is not a penis in one of the pictures. Get your mind out of the gutter. Worst of all, this is what the Horror of the Week looks like. And while fighting it, Luke spouts corny lines like “You forgot the strength of a loving heart.” Groan. Again, this whole episode is just goofy.
So what’s going on? Y’know how Sword and Sophie left for El Dorado way before Luke ever got off his butt and left Russell City? Well, he’s somehow ahead of them. I think the village elder from last week’s episode mentioned something about a Makai Alchemist visiting the Land of Guidance, no? In any case, Luke and his bike were asked to drop by some dinky village near the coast. Supposedly, a Horror was sealed here a long time ago, but it’s coming back with a vengeance on the next full moon. So with the help of Stella and her grandpa, Luke eventually discovers where the Horror is currently napping. How? Y’see, if you pose like a statue, then position yourself just right, you’ll end up pointing at the exact location. Really? Over there? How can you tell?
Anyways, it turns out the sealed Horror was once a Makai Knight, but he eventually succumb to the darkness. In the middle of subduing the enemy, Luke can’t help but relate everything back to his parents. Naturally, we need to tie this episode into the bigger picture, so the fallen Makai Knight obviously represents his father. Ghosts of presumably other Makai Knights and Alchemists suddenly light up the cavern. Per anime convention, they proceed to lend Luke their strength, and he comes to the realization that even when people die, they pass on their hope to the next generation. In other words, the ghosts represent his mother. And with their powers combined, he defeats this Horror of the Week for good.
As for Stella, well, her bag of tricks weren’t really much help after all. Apparently, her grandpa used to tell her stories about the occult just to keep the poor child entertained. After all, her parents are rarely around. As a result, the girl grew up with a fixation on all this weird stuff. The old man laments that she doesn’t even care about dressing up. Oh no, don’t say that! What a pity that a girl doesn’t want to dress up! But seriously, what’s the harm in Stella being herself, y’know? I guess the grandpa is just afraid of the girl getting into trouble, but you can’t protect them from everything. But since Stella couldn’t really help Luke in the battle at all, I guess she doesn’t really have the aptitude to be a heroine. So before he departs, he erases everyone’s memories. When the girl wakes up the following day, she forgets everything. She even forgets ever meeting Luke. I dunno, I guess I find her kinda charming, so it’s too bad she’s just a one-off character.
Oh yeah, Luke also tells Stella that she shouldn’t join his side, i.e. the Makai Order. This makes me wonder how anyone ever goes down that path to begin with if Makai Alchemists like Luke are just erasing people’s memories left and right. If Stella is truly dedicated to the cause, couldn’t she be useful in some form or fashion? As they say, when there’s a will, there’s a way. The girl could’ve found a niche for herself. And don’t tell me it’d be dangerous. It seems to me that the Makai Order could use all the help they can get. But again, I suppose I can only assume that the girl has no true aptitude for this sort of thing, and Luke is a good judge of that. In any case, I really, really hope we’ve come to the end of these filler episodes. While I enjoyed this one for its silliness, the story is really dragging its feet as of late. Next week’s preview seems to suggest that we’ll go raving. Oh boy.