This is a episode commentary. It is intended for someone who has seen this episode, and will contain episode spoilers.

A Little Snow Fairy Sugar: Episode 4 Commentary

Where are the "Twinkles"?

Collage of A Little Snow Fairy Sugar screenshots.

So birds and other animals can see the fairies, after all. Of course one of the fairies has to have the ability to speak with animals, and Pepper’s the most suited candidate. Pretty amazing for a nine-year old. Sugar’s too childish to spend the time to learn to speak with animals, and Salt might lack the patience necessary.

Greta looks to be a fairly even match to Saga. Or, at least she might if we ever get the chance to see the two actually compete. It’s been all talk thus far, as we don’t know how their grades differ, we haven’t seen either of them play sports, and we have yet to hear Greta play the piano. You actually have to feel bad for Greta, with all the bad things happening to her in her quest to best Saga.

At one point, Pepper mentioned seeing Sugar’s cavity. Does this mean a fairy dentist visit for a filling in Sugar’s near future? The level of technology had by the humans is still far from known, let alone that of the fairies. Maybe Sugar needs a few less waffles in her diet, but that’s sure to be impossible now that “Waffo!” is her catch phrase.

Jon Lemon, whoever that may be, is top of his class at math. Too bad it doesn’t show who scored the 20. Just as it has yet to be shown how Greta and Saga compare in grades, there’s also nothing known about how their friends do. I would imagine Phil and Anne to earn higher grades, with Norma a little lower.

I’ll have to see if Saga’s music class has the same students as her class from a prior episode. The number of students looks higher, but maybe there was a closer view of the students, or it might be a smaller classroom. Not only Anne and Norma, but Saga’s self-proclaimed rival, Greta, and the inventor who seems interested in Saga share the recorder class. I’m not sure how Phil views, Saga, though. When I say interested, I’m referring to a combination of his offering to allow her the chance to help with his projects, as well as his interest in her ability to predict the rain. Also, let’s not forget his choice to finish off the waffle she was eating.

Seeing Saga’s class playing a piece on recorders reminds me of when one of my elementary classes (fourth grade?) taught us how to play the recorder. I’m using the word “taught” lightly, though, as we never went anywhere with it, and there was no training on how not to sound really, really bad… Saga’s class is definitely above and beyond anything my class went into, which makes sense as Saga would be out of elementary (7th grade?), putting her music learning into a daily class.

Hearing Saga’s piano playing, Ginger, the rain fairy, at first looks unhappy, but then smiles. Did the piano playing interfere with her violin playing (whereas the flute class did not)? Or did the piano playing cause Ginger’s rain clouds to move away? I’ll be watching to see if there’s any relation between Saga’s recorder playing, and Sugar’s flute playing.

Looking at the rainbow, I’m starting to wonder if the Twinkle will be a tangible object, or a feeling, perhaps experiences one goes through, and grows because of.

I’m glad Greta’s laugh is tolerable. A lot of characters in a position similair to hers have a rather annoying laugh, which seems to be popular in anime (and perhaps Japanese live-action television, something I have little experience with). If you’ve heard it, you know the laugh, when a character thinks she’s all high and mighty, holding the back or palm of her hand by her mouth, and laughing almost a screech of a laugh.

Pepper’s dialogue is super-polite; this is nice for someone learning Japanese, as it allows hearing formal language spoken, whereas most characters speak more casually. The book she was reading in the library looked to be English. Can she read English? How about other human languages? And why was she turning the pages backwards for an English book? The English in the book looks to be on the same level, or worse off, as the German seen in the book in Saga’s room. Never mind that it appears hand-written, the spelling and grammar are off. It looks to talk about dreams and hopes, and the losses of going after a dream. Maybe. The real concern should be that after turning the page, the previous pages have the same words on them. Couple that with all the books on the shelves whose names are “Abcd”, etc., and you really have to wonder about this school’s library budget. It looks like there might be a French book (something “Deux”) behind Salt, as well.

During the scene where Salt is behind a glass in the science lab, with Pepper and Sugar laughing, then Sugar went behind the glass with Salt and Pepper laughing, I notice the exact same art for Pepper is used both times. It’s not a criticism, as I wouldn’t have noticed without making a screenshot of both, merely an observation.

Do some fairies suffer from sleepflying? Might be a problem for Sugar if she flies into Saga’s bed, then Saga rolls over during the night. Mistakes are for learning, after all. At least she doesn’t hold a grudge after another shampoo session.

I’ve noticed more and more divergences between the Japanese and English lines, and it’s starting to become a little unsettling at parts. At least the subtitles are accurate. When Norma says Saga may be psychic for predicting the rain, the dub gives her the following line, “you could be a weather girl on TV.” There has been nothing yet to suggest televisions exist, from what I’ve seen, although they may appear in a later episode.

Another divergence is when Saga suggests a bug-eaten leaf on a plant needs to be pruned, in the Japanese. The English has to suggesting the plant needs sunlight.

Add to this Pepper’s speaking in meows to the cat. The English sounds flat, just “meow meow meow” all in one tone. Was the voice actress not presented with the scene in Japanese beforehand, as ADV’s voice actors are? Even if you don’t know any Japanese, you can hear the differing tone in her Japanese meows. Also, Pepper’s Japanese voice has a lot more character in it when reciting what the cat was saying about being woken from his nap, as she’s speaking it as if using the cat’s gruff voice.

On top of that, Ginger was given some giggles after flying away from Saga’s finished piano performance, which sounded out of place to me. Upon checking in Japanese, there were no giggles there, unless they’re too quiet for me to hear.

Finally, when a sleeping Sugar is floating toward Saga’s bed, she mumbles something in Japanese, with no subtitles. The English gives her clear dialogue, but I can’t make out the Japanese to compare the two. Just so this doesn’t sound too negative, I do like the old fairy’s elderly laugh in the dub. Very much like the Japanese.

I skipped over adding a screenshot of the old fairy as he’ll have a part in the next episode, and because it’s hard enough trying to limit it to eight. At the same time, I haven’t yet been satisfied with any of my collages for this series so far. A difficult decision was between using a screenshot from the basketball game, showing the competition between Greta and Saga, and a close-up of Greta from when she’s with the soccer ball. I prefer close-ups when possible, and Greta looks good with her hair up, so she deserved another close-up shot. In the end, I decided to use both, dropping a close-up of Sugar and Salt, scared as they’re cornered by the cat. After all, I couldn’t let Pepper feel left out.

My favorite scene this time around has to be when Norma, Anne, and Greta look up at the clear sky after Saga says it’s going to rain soon. Other nice scenes were Pepper’s “Mr. Cat doesn’t seem to listen. What should I do?”, and of course Saga’s continued efforts to keep Sugar’s hair clean.

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