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 18 Commentary

Festival! Waffo!

Collage of A Little Snow Fairy Sugar screenshots.

What can be more fun than a festival episode? A fictional festival, of course! No predictability, no commonly scene outfits, events, and traditions. Real-life festivals appearing in animation lose their interest if the characters dress the same and play the same games and see the same sights as in every other animation out there. A made-up festival is a unique festival.

Being in a German town, it is predictable for the characters to wear traditional European style outfits. There’s so much variety in the style that it keeps fresh compared with another European-style festivals (such as seen in an early episode of Princess Tutu). Too bad Phil, Alan, and Jan didn’t dress up (unless you count manning a robot as dressing up).

The hat with Anne’s outfit suits her. Surprisingly, she’s the one of her trio with the short sleeves, something I’d expect from Norma. Nonetheless, it makes for a good look for Anne. Norma’s dress has a nice “candy apple” feel to it, with its green with red colors. She’s wearing matching red ribbons in her hair, although the usual green might have been okay. For Saga, though, the “buttons” she wears in her hair are out of place alongside her purple dress.

Greta’s dress is extravagant, naturally. It actually looks very nice on her. It’s learned she moved to town within the last year, so there’s no way she could have known Saga before choosing her as her rival. This also means Greta can exaggerate about past victories. Simply saying no one beat her at ping-pong ball blowing, saying she never lost playing it in kindergarten, isn’t actually saying she’s won. She did say she’s played, but that doesn’t mean she’s played against anyone. I don’t mean to sell her short, though. She looked quite fit playing basket ball. I’m going based on her suprise at winning after competing with Saga.

Begin a newcomer to town, Greta is trying hard to impress everyone. She probably determined Saga to be the top student in her class. If you’re better than the top student, then everyone will look up to you and want to be your friend, right? She has high expectations of the festival, although she lacks understanding of how things work. Rather than waiting for someone to come up to her for cookies, she could have looked around for friends and gave them out, as Saga did. If Greta made the cookies herself, then she put a lot of time and effort into it. Saga, on the other hand, not only put effort into making cookies, but made them specifically with the receiver in mind. Yet, Greta did have a big bag of cookies ready for Saga, probably to outdo whatever Saga may give her.

Not just Phil and the boys, but everyone else Saga gave cookies to (save for her other friends) wore their normal outfits. It would have been nice to see more people dressed up. I can understand Paul and the manager being dressed in their work uniforms. The manager didn’t seem to know what to think of getting cookies. He may have been frowning, but that’s just his usual look. Maybe he’s not as bad a guy as he’s made out to be.

At the end, Norma and Anne are completely oblivious to the snowflake-shaped cookie floating in the air beside them. I’ve chosen to assume whatever prevents them from seeing Sugar also prevents them from seeing the cookie Sugar’s holding.

It’s good to see Basil and Cinnamon get some more screen time. Pepper didn’t get much, though, while Salt was able to appear with Turmeric. No complaints, of course. It’s worse trying to give everyone completely equal time. I wonder if Basil and Cinnamon snatched their cookies from somewhere, or if Saga gave them as a gift. Saga doesn’t really know the two very well, so maybe that’s unlikely.

There were texts in various languages again this time around. The waffle seller’s sign looked to be in German (“Fanneken”). The text on a building near Lucino read “one two three”, I think in French. Elder’s cookie was in English, probably one he snatched up from a human selling cookies in the marketplace. After all, even if Elder had the means to make a cookie, and one that size, why would he use the human English language on it?

Scene reuse: If you take a screenshot of the scene with Lucino holding the cookies, then one of Paul and the manager holding the cookies, both from the side view, you’ll find Sugar and Saga are in the same position on the screen, with the same animation cells used.

It’s difficult trying to select a favorite character in this series. Pepper’s overtaking Salt as my favorite between those two. I still like Phil, but I’m liking Greta more as I see more of her true personality. So far, these moments are few, including when Greta realized she won’d in ping-pong ball blowing, and again when Saga gave her a bag of cookies. I’m referring to the innocent reactions, before she covers up by trying to act cool.

Greta seems to be the only main character who hasn’t had a large part in an episode yet, unless you count Anne and Norma as main characters. Norma did have her moments regarding Cheryl, so maybe Anne will have a larger bit part coming up. Because of Greta’s challenges, her role is at least a little larger than that of Norma and Anne. She did have her part in the play, but I imagine there are big things for her coming up soon. There also needs to be an episode with a spot for the music store manager. We need to know why he’s aways so stern around Saga. Sure, he doesn’t want her playing the piano in the shop, but why? I’m sure Paul and Henry can easily get by without anything more said about them. Likewise Regina, Jan, and Alan.

With six episodes left to go, the series can really take any direction. Sugar has to improve her magic, and her Magic Flowers have yet to open. I feel Saga will have something related to piano playing, and her mother in some way. Sugar’s mother will probably be introduced in relation to this. Saga’s ability to see Season Fairies has yet to be explained. I wouldn’t imagine it to be anything special, except for when Elder expressed interest in how Saga could be able to see Season Fairies. I’ll be disappointed if Phil and Greta don’t get some manner of good part in an episode each (or even a shared episode). If the play troupe returns, it’ll probably be almost at the last episode, so maybe they won’t make it in time for the end of the series. I do feel Vincent’s saga wrapped up nicely, especially with the little hint that maybe he was able to see the fairies all along (although I have my doubts by now, but he is an actor after all.)

Combining an easy going storyline and light episode content, I can see myself re-watching this series over the span of a weekend within a year or so. The tough question will be: Japanese or English? Yes, the English dubbing is that good. There is hope outside of ADV Films. Too bad the companies that edit, censor, rewrite, and butcher a series outnumber the ADV’s and Pioneer’s out there.

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