The main reason why I wasn’t too happy with Rio during the past number of episodes is the lack of attention she got. I mean, from out of nowhere she suddenly turned out to be a princess and started angsting. It sounded so cliched. However now that she got an episode properly dedicated to it, my opinion of her turned to the complete opposite. This was an excellent episode that did several things at once, and surprisingly succeeded in all of them.
With this episode I very much understood why Rio was feeling down for the past number of episodes, since she has basically been running away from her duties as royalty (taking that owl along with her, for some reason). My guess is that she didn’t want to be forced into everything, especially because of Iliya’s death.
I as also surprised at how such a major plot-related episode also stuffed in the story of that old woman in it, and made it surprisingly good as well. It wold also have been perfectly fine to include that story a bit earlier, but this way it had an interesting effect on Rio. With the small character-development from Rio and Kanata, it turned out quite heart-warming.
Now, with only three episodes left, the climax has finally begun, though not exactly in the way that I expected, now that Rio is gone. I really wonder whether the final three episodes are going to her, over Kanata who’s supposed to be the main character. To be honest, I’d much rather that the focus would stay on Kanata and the town that we’ve been in. It’s too late at this point to suddenly introduce politics.
Rating: ** (Excellent)