Posted by psgels on 5 July 2006 with categories: Popolocrois Story 1998



This episode was totally unique. It takes another break from the usual storyline to develop each of the characters a bit more. Each of the characters encounters a travelling circus, and a juggling clown, balancing on top of a big balloon points each of the characters towards a strange-looking forest. The thing they’re looking for is supposed to be there. Well, it isn’t. Instead, they get confronted by their unconcious thoughts and worries, and some of them get healed.

Each of the characters get transported to their own setting. In Hyuu’s case is this a flashback from when she was still with the other wind-kind. Her case was the simplest of the five which were shown. But it also gave some info regarding the nature of the wind-kind, and what Hyuu was like when she was young. It seems that she continued to struggle forward on her own powers, instead of letting her be guided by others. A past case illustrates this: Hyuu wanted to prove herself, so she attempted to fly from a very high point, only to end up being blown away by the strong wind which rages on at the high places. She was trying to force herself through the air, instead of letting the wind carry her. We also see a couple of shots of her father, probably the one who appeared at the previous episode. The wind-kind appeared to be travellers. They were always in search of something, but they never knew what it was.

Shirokishi also surprisingly took part in this play. He got a little test, to see if he really was determined to obtain the King Knight Sword. In the end, he really proved he was, after getting motivation from a single growing flower. It really seems like this guy has a goal, and he won’t stop living till he obtained that goal. He also didn’t get angry when he found out that a fake sword had been used in order to test him, he was rather content that he managed to succeed in the test. This really gets interesting when you compare it to the wind-kind. Both the wind-kind and Shirokishi are travellers, and both are searching for something. In fact, the only difference between them is that Shirokishi knows what he’s looking for. The Wind-kind don’t. Does that automatically make the Wind-kind’s search fruitless? Does the reason they died out in the current world have something to do with it?

Gamigami Maou gets some heavy smacks in the face when he gets confronted with the fact that he’s leading a country without any people. He gets transported to a setting which plays in about thirty years into the future. He’s still king, though he still hasn’t got any citizens who support him. And then he openly yells that he doesn’t want to be leading a country without any citizens to worship him. He finally realizes that he’s been doing the wrong things. I’d love to see his attempts into getting the people obey him. ^_^

The shy Narcia gets confronted by the outspoken Kai. As we’ve seen, Narcia has huge troubles telling her feelings to others. Especially when these involve important decisions. This way, she mostly ends up at the shorter end of the rope, she always ends up in a miserable state afterwards. She knows that she has this problem, but she’s too scared to do something about it. But now, she really has to say something, otherwise Kai will leave her, forever. Kai’s had enough of Narcia, and decides to go her own way. In the end, Narcia managed to throw away her fears, and she’s able to beg Kai to stay. I think she’s gotten a little stronger out of this. ^_^

Pietoro’s case is rather unique among these five. He doesn’t really learn anything himself, but he does manage to teach his seventy-year-old self a couple of things about not giving up. It seems that the seventy year-old Pietoro has traveled for his entire life, without finding anything. Eventually, he gave up, and came to live inside a castle made out of candy. The young Pietoro, however, has yet to have these feelings. Still, it this really is how Pietoro will end up to be, with a broken anemoritos, things can become quite interesting in the last part of the anime. :)

I’m still having trouble finding out what really happened and what didn’t. After all, Hyuu had been taken away by the Wind-kind. If she was, then why would she end up at that circus? The clown also appeared to be a straw doll in the end. Were these just visions? Were they real? Do each of the characters remember what happened?

Overall, this episode achieved a very rare effect. While I watched the episode, it seemed like a decent episode. It had some nice character development, but it was nothing special. But now that I look back at it, I’m really beginning to see its brilliance. In fact, the more I look back at it, the more brilliant it becomes. Everything seems to fit. Everything seems so perfect now. There’s a good chance that I’ll be remembering this episode as one of the best of the series. This really was an episode which makes you think. And I’m loving it more and more!

One Response

  1. aquagon says:

    Indeed, a very unique episode (and the first one that I watched of Popolocrois a long time ago). BTW, for your theories, the episode´s title was dubbed as the ¨Forest of Illusion¨ in the spanish dub in Latin America, so I think that could explain some things, though is still a mystery how Hyuu ended there…

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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