A brief respite before another battle.
Episode 4 focused more on character interactions once again while continuing Rishia’s subplot. Unlike episode 3, the action takes a backseat here, though we get some revelations that slowly unveils the mystery behind the Spirit Tortoise.
The episode begins with a brief montage of Rishia’s backstory, and we finally understand, to some degree, her infatuation with Itsuki. Coincidentally, her experiences somewhat mirrored that of Raphtalia; that is, a Hero saved the girl from captivity. But that’s where the similarities end as Rishia was born in a poor and loving family, and she was not treated harshly. This is in stark contrast to Raphtalia’s horrible life as a slave, and her family being killed by the Waves.
Nevertheless, Rishia’s story is still sad, especially if we consider that she was really just trying her best to help Itsuki, only for him to exile her due to her weakness. It goes to show how much Naofumi is a better leader despite his rough and sometimes cold-hearted attitude.
Two Unlikely Friends
Only briefly tackled in the previous episode, Rishia and Ost’s growing friendship takes a spotlight here. While both characters are awkward and has their endearing cute side, Ost serves as an elder sister figure to Rishia, who is an only child. Their chemistry and interactions are really fun to watch, and in a way, they somewhat mirror Filo and Raphtalia’s relationship.
Ost is a vital part in Rishia’s development, probably even more so than Naofumi. We can see it in the way she treats the girl, and how she encourages her to be more confident in herself. And it is not one-sided either as Rishia also helps Ost to develop.
Inside The Spirit Tortoise
Who would think that the back of a giant monster is home to an entire town? And a dead one at that. This is the sight that greeted Naofumi and his party as they ventured into the body of the monster in search of clues. Interestingly enough, it is similar to the real myth of a giant turtle carrying the world on its back, which is the inspiration for the Spirit Tortoise in the series.
There’s quite a few interesting revelations that are presented during the latter half of the episode, and all of them involved the mission. The most important hint is the fact that some of the writings in the Spirit Tortoise temple are written in Japanese, and it is a very well-known language in the world. Obviously, the scriptures are left by a former hero, though for what purpose remains unknown.
Unfortunately, as the episode draws to a close, there might not be enough time to decipher the writings as Naofumi reunites with some old enemies…
While there are no notable fight scenes again, episode 4 is interesting in it own right. Rishia continues to develop here, and so does Ost in some capacity. But more than that, the mystery behind the Spirit Tortoise is beginning to be unveiled, while the cliffhanger is simply icing to the cake.
Episode score: 7.5/10.