Katt: Uh oh. I have something to confess… I think my sudden intrigue in the Erin/Ial pairing from a few episodes back has grown into a genuine love for it. Thanks to that, I’m going to have to use this Erin/Ial-centred episode as an opportunity to do a bit of fangirling. Sorry– I have to, or else I’ll explode from containing my inner fangirl-squeals. It’s a bad way to go. Aside from that, I just have to say: only four episodes left?! I’m getting depressed just thinking about this series ending!
So on to releasing my inner fangirl… Oh, and this means adapting a Minnie style of blogging just for this one time. Once this is out of my system, I promise that I won’t dedicate any more entire posts to Erin/Ial again…maybe…
Wounded and poisoned, Ial gathers up all of the energy that he has left and goes to the beastlords’ stable where he knows Erin will be. He has lost his ‘mother’ figure and has been betrayed by the people who gave him a new life when he was forced to leave his old one–Erin is the only person in the world that he has left. The poor guy!
Thankfully Erin can help: she’s a doctor! Well, a beastlord vet…but I guess that stitches come down to the same procedure for humans and beasts. Except humans have to be stripped to get stitches. I bet Erin doesn’t mind.
If Damiya were watching someone sleep, it would be creepy, but it’s okay because Erin is the one doing it so it just seems sweet. Ial is very vulnerable in his sleep, showing emotional reactions to his dreams that he’d never show if he were conscious.
Erin apparently finds this vulnerablility endearing, so she holds his hand to comfort him in his sleep. Big awwww~ In these two who have lost almost everyone dear to them, they only have each other to find comfort in. If Ial will only accept comfort in his sleep, then so be it! When he wakes up though, the frail part of him still shows when he tears up upon remembering Erin’s words from the last time that they met one-on-one. As someone who has been trained as a shield and not as a human being, Ial really needs Erin to bring back that human part of him.
Pretty much everything that Erin and Ial say to each other is incredibly endearing–albeit very typical. Which is fine by me because 1) romance is really just an aside in this series, and 2) being typical doesn’t stop it from making me go AWWW THEY LOVE EACH OTHER. Case and point: this “I will leave you to protect you!”/”No no, don’t leave scene!”
Kilik is a voyeeeeeur. He walks up, peeks into the stable with the intention of ambushing Ial, but then he sees them together and thinks that they are a damn fine couple and thus leaves them be. Makes perfect sense in my head. (Although I’d like the point out that he stands there for quite a long time, so maybe he was hoping to see a little something more. …yeah, I’m abusing the winking smilie a bit in this entry.)
“I have a favour to ask. Can you play the lyre for me? I want to hear the pure melodies that you create.”
The harp was the thing that brought this two together–what, seven or eight years ago? Back then it was Ial playing for Erin, but now it is her playing that has become a soothing factor for him. And she still has that same old (altered, mind you) harp that he left for her all those years back then.
Mandatory moment of ’awwww, they fell asleep on each other’s shoulers~~’ fangirling. I think I found it cuter when Ial fell asleep on Erin than when she fell asleep on him…is that weird?
But their sweet little moment can’t last, of course, because…..
CREEPER ALERT. Damiya follows the trail of Ial’s blood to the beastlord stables and finds Erin there. When he encounters her, he exposes a big secret about himself. Do you know what that is? It’s that he’s a closet Erin/Ial shipper! That’s why he asks Erin if she likes him (and in my head it’s asked in a, “Ooh, do you liiiike~ that man?” tone). He wants fodder for his canon pairing.
Yeesh, I knew that Erin would hide Ial in with the beastlords, but I didn’t know that she would hide him under Lilan! That is not a place that I would like to be.
Erin and Ial have an exchange of innermost thoughts. Erin admits that her biggest dream is to have the beastlords live free as they are meant to, and that she would willingly sacrifice herself in order to attain that. Unlike Kilik who freaks out when he finds that Erin might have the intention of killing herself, Ial processes it in a composed manner. Even if there is some kind of love developing between these two, Erin’s main passion is life is the freedom of the beastlords and Ial respects that.
And finally, we get the chance to hear Ial’s backstory straight from his mouth. None of these sporadic flashbacks or Damiya-gossip. He runs it all by Erin in the same manner that she did when she told him about where she grew up, her mother’s death, and all of those other secrets of her past that she kept quiet about. I loved the parallel between that past scene and this one.
“When I heard you play the lyre, Ial-san, I felt something warm. It felt like I was with my late mother.”
The jury’s still out on whether this is cute or creepy, though my bias is leaning towards cute. Erin likens the warmth and comfort that she felt hearing Ial’s harp-playing so many years ago to the presence of her mother. It’s kind of like Kilik looking at Erin and seeing his sister in her, and yet giving off hmm-I-might-like-her vibes. I don’t think that it’s meant to be taken as creepy, though, but instead as Erin finding the comfort of family in someone else. And really, when people become a couple or even very close friends, their bond is as close as that of family, right? It’s a wonderful thing that Erin could find that in someone else–and it would do Ial good, too, since he doesn’t have any family to speak of, either.
Ah, the stained solider… Once he’s seen death, been the cause of it, he can never return wholeheartedly to the ‘normal’ world. He clearly needs the affections of a fair maiden to help him settle down into the family life that he’s always dreamed of~
“Your life is like that of the tohdas. As eggs, they’re taken away from the mother. They were just bred to fight. They are such lonely beasts.”
This comparison between Ial and the tohdas is so very Erin that I can’t help but love it. Even though it’s a situation that we’ve seen a squillion times before–the soldier forced to abandon emotion, the woman who wants to break that cold barrier–Erin doesn’t reach into clichés to explain it. She reaches into her own experiences and compares Ial to her experiences in the field she’s passionate about. This is why Erin is my hero.
Mind you, Ial doesn’t seem to get it. I guess he isn’t as up on his tohda-raising knowledge as Erin is. He still sees fighting as the only way to go, the only way to help Erin reach Semiya and crush Damiya’s plans to raise a beastlord army. His words make it seem like he should be coming off as the knight in shining armour, but…
“I will keep fighting with these hands that you protected. For the late Queen also. I will fight until the end!”
“That’s how you’ve lived your life. For the Majesty Shin-Oh. You’re really a person that cares for your family, but…the silent whistle that binds you is no longer there. Why? Why don’t you want to grab a hold of happiness with this? Your right hand?!”
Erin JUST SAID that he didn’t have to fight anymore. Damnit, Ial, LISTEN! Now you’ve made her use more veterenary metaphors.
At least he realizes that he didn’t say the right words and hugs it out instead of talking anymore. It’s the right course of action to comfort Erin and, more importantly, it gets a big AWWWWWWW and many <3s from me: <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Katt’s rating for Kemono no Souja episode 46: 9.5/10 (-0.5 because of a failure to react to the poison that is still kind of Ial’s body…antitode, please? Also Ial’s failure to notice Erin’s missing fingers. You two still have ways to go together.)
Katt’s anticipation for Kemono no Souja Erin episode 47: 9/10