This week’s episode is all about Maria and Catarina’s attempts to bridge the gap between them. That’s all fine and dandy, but I wish these relationships had some depth to them.
— Case in point, when we see Catarina hang out with Maria, they either just study or talk about banal topics like tea. Maria bakes sweets, and Catarina likes sweets. Sure, that’s something that they have in common, but it’s just so boring.
— Our heroine realizes that Maria keeps her distance outside of the student council room, so she asks Keith for tips. Well, leave it up to the siscon to give a stalkerish solution.
— To nobody’s surprise, Maria is being bullied again. So far, there are only two types of girls in this story: either they are literally in love with Catarina, or they’re just mean and nasty. There’s no inbetween and I hate this kind of binary characterization. Obviously, the “inbetweeners” exist. They’re just invisible to the heroine because they are deemed unimportant. But I dunno, I suppose it makes me uncomfortable when people are either the protagonist’s fans or their enemies. It comes across as slightly narcissistic even if it’s unintentional.
— After all these years of studying magic, this small bump of earth is the best that Catarina can manage. Ah well, some people just have it and some people don’t. Then again, she’s attending a magic academy, right? Is she even qualified to be here?
— Maria’s real impressed with Catarina’s heroics, so she wants to get reeeeeal personal. Calling someone by their first name? And without honorifics? You might as well just propose to them!
— Speaking of girls being literally in love with Catarina, the rest of her haremettes aren’t too shy to express their feelings either. But of course, our heroine is too dense to realize that they’re being honest. After all, most people tend to assume that everyone around them is straight. It’s the same way with Keith. He’s only overprotective when it comes to Geordo or any of the other boys. He shows no concern about Catarina drawing ever so closer to Maria. I guess it’s a loose form of erasure.
— Our heroine eventually learns that Maria’s home is nearby, so she decides to show up unannounced. I personally hate that sort of thing. If someone rings the doorbell and I’m not expecting company, I literally won’t answer the door. But Catarina won’t have to worry about that. After all, Maria is literally in love with her already.
— At Maria’s home, we get to meet her depressed-looking mother. Oh boy, here comes the super sad backstory.
— When Catarina asks the townsfolk for Maria’s address, she learns that her new friend is rather infamous. Would it surprise you to learn that even the girls in her hometown will spread rumors about her? Oh man, I guess I just find it kinda cynical.
— Basically, no one can believe that a commoner would be able to wield rare light magic. As a result, people assume that Maria must have been the result of her mother’s affair with a nobleman. That explains the depressed-looking mother, I suppose.
— When Catarina gets to Maria’s home, her stomach starts growling. After all, she’s spent all day out in the fields. Maria quickly offers to whip up some cookies. Man, if I’m hungry, I want something substantial. I want a goddamn meal. Sweets aren’t exactly filling.
— In any case, Maria’s backstory is revealed to us. She had a happy family, but it all fell apart once the rumors started. I’m not sure what happened to her father. I assume he just bailed because he thought his wife had cheated on him. Either way, the mother became so wrapped up in her own sadness that she started to neglect Maria. And of course, all of Maria’s classmates either hated or avoided her. Kinda pathetic, huh?
— Well, thanks to Catarina’s earnestness, Maria’s mother finally snaps out of her stupor. She realizes that Maria has found a friend whom she can share her passion (baking) with. More importantly, her daughter has found a friend who can look past the whole light magic dealio. The mother is thus forced to reflect upon her own shortcomings.
— Nevertheless, I find it kinda silly that a broken relationship can fix itself in an instant, but it is what it is. When our heroine departs, we see the mother squeeze Maria’s shoulder as if to say that everything’s gonna be okay now. Alright, sure.
— Speaking of bad moms, Catarina gets an earful when she gets back. Her mother is not too happy to hear that her daughter is still up to her farming antics at the academy. Of course, I don’t see what the big deal is, but I’m no hoity-toity noble.
— We also have to remember that most people aren’t born evil. The original Catarina didn’t come out of the womb as a brat from the get-go. She was raised to be a brat, and I guess the story wants to blame this solely on her mother. Nevertheless, it’s kinda sad that she also falls victim to the binary characterization of female characters that plagues this story.