The Tree of Life
Typically, Japanese anime released by ADV Films will have a translation of the opening and ending theme songs in the subtitles for every odd-numbered episode on a DVD (first episode, third, fifth if applicable), and then romanized Japanese captioning for the songs on the even-numbered episodes on the DVD (second, fourth, etc). With Michel, this isn’t the case. The second episode uses the English subtitles rather than romanized Korean. I find this disappointing, but perhaps it was chosen due to this being an “ADV Kids” release.
I must admit, this episode took the series in a turn I wasn’t expecting. I figured the series would revolve around Kim and Michel protecting the Tree of Life from Salome’s repeated attempts to steal it. Instead, the Black Hammer gang finds the fairies are a better target. This changes the premise of the series to something different, but still repeatable: Salome transforms a fairy into a monster, Michel finds the fairy’s light, and Kim’s Mirage Gun transforms into a crossbow so she can fire a light arrow at the fairy’s light to transform the fairy back. Rather than Michel having full access tot he powers of his fairies as seen in the first episode, he’ll have to start with almost nothing. He has Sitel, the fairy, to travel upon to give chase after Sitel’s flying fortress, and he has Poyo to give him wings, but the rest will have to return one at a time.
Laura’s identity has me curious. Is she a fairy? Michel’s a fairy. Michel was able to know about the Mirage Gun being related to Kim’s father when Michel touched Kim’s hand while she held it on her gun. Also, Michel could sense Sitel Island’s dangered state, prompting him to tell Kim they needed to return there. Previously, he could detect the robot containing Salome heading for the tree. Laura may have similar abilities, such as foreseeing the near future. She warned Kim not to lose the Mirage Gun, for it would be needed for the light arrows. She much have also known there was no way of preventing the kidnapping of the fairies. Still, if she knew where the Mirage Gun was located, and if she knew the gun could break apart the brothers’ three robots, then why not tell Kim about it? Other than the fact that the story wouldn’t go very far had she done so.
Michel isn’t a little child, and the fairies are probably much, much older than even he is. Many of the fairies act like children, and even Michel has child-like qualities. Actually, Michel’s a bit hard to place. He isn’t like an adult, but he isn’t childish, either. He’s like a naive, mature youth. He’s been around a lot longer than Kim, but he lacks the world experience she has. He knows only Sitel Island, the Tree of Life, the fairies, and what will happen to the world without the Tree of Life’s safety.
When Laura presents the seed of the Tree of Life, she talks about cycles it goes through. Rebirths result in things such as the ice ages, which I found to be a brilliant explanation for something I hadn’t even considered. But, does this mean there will be a world-affecting disaster? Even if the fairies were all rescued in the next episode, the Tree of Life is still going through a rebirth-from-seed cycle. Doesn’t this mean the same kind of events will occur as the last few rebirths?
Something I found interesting was Michel’s inability to recognize the snake fairy’s light. To him, it looked no different than Poyo’s light. This means when all the fairies are light, Michel can’t tell one from another, save for their colors. Maybe he’d also recognize their movements, from one fairy’s light to the next, but being trapped in a capsule doesn’t lend well to moving about. What has me curious is how he was able to see the fairy light from so far away. Likewise, later, Kim is on the ground and Salome in the air in her fortress, and Salome responds to what Kim says. Distance must have no meaning.
Being trapped is another oddity. The fairies can, by transforming into light, fly through objects. Poyo did this to fly out of Salome’s robot in the previous episode. What is it about the capsules that the fairies cannot escape from them, and how is it that the Black Hammer gang just happens to have enough capsules for each and every fairy, capsules the fairies cannot escape? And if the Sitel fairy is in a small capsule, what happens if he changes back into this non-light form? Or does being in the capsule prevent a fairy from changing back? Is there any effect on a fairy due to staying as a light for a long period of time, or for staying as not a light for a long period of time?
There are enough peculiarities that I’ll accept electric shocks as transforming the fairies into monsters and back. That I have no problem with. A fairy in the form of a snake falling for the beauty of a human, however…
I do like Kim’s Honeybee. It must have foot controls which Kim is good at using, so she can stand and use her gun with both hands while flying.
I still expect I won’t write much for future episodes, unless something worth writing comes up. This being the second episode, there were enough new things happening that it seems I had a little to say about it, after all.