Getting lost in your own head is a dangerous pastime.
What They Say:
Episode #8: “A New Chapter”
Arte sets off for Venice with Yuri, but what Leo says at their parting makes her feel uneasy about her decision to leave Florence.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Arte is off on a new adventure. After bidding farewell to her friends and mentor, she boards a carriage for her new job with her new employer. Yet her mentor’s parting words and gift do not fill Arte with confidence. Instead she misconstrues Leo’s stilted message of encouragement as him kicking her to the curb. She spends most of this episode lost in contemplation that she basically forced herself on Leo and that this was his opportunity to get rid of her.
That self-doubt has started as a mild nuisance and becomes an obsessive trait in Arte. Her biggest character flaw is her tendency to get caught up in distracting trains of thought about what Leo and others think of her. In an age where instant communication was impossible there was no way for her to set the record straight with her master. Although you would think that after being his apprentice for over a year she would have begun to understand him and the way he talks.
Yuri remains lurking, ever-present, an attractive older man who is taking a girl under his wing. I was waiting for him to make a move on Arte but when the perfect opportunity arises he does nothing of the sort. Arte’s distraction causes her to ignore her dehydration, which causes her to go over the rail and into the sea. Nearly drowning to death finally causes Yuri to clarify for her that Leo wasn’t trying to get rid of her. In fact, Leo told Yuri to watch over her and make sure she didn’t come to harm. Of course he would. That seems to be the panacea that Arte needed to get out of her funk.
There are a lot of historical references that I wish would be elaborated on. The strangely arranged ship they set sail on appears to be some sort of cargo Venetian galley, which was outfitted with oars usually. Hence the strange open deck and massive width. Arte arriving at her new job dressed up is a nice touch. It would have been interesting to get an explanation of the headpiece she was wearing, it seemed like overcompensation for her short cut hair.
With so much of this episode caught up in Arte’s innermost thoughts we’re only given a snippet of what is in store for her at her new employment. Katarina, the girl who is her new student, is a far cry from Darcia. She’s a snippy, stuck-up brat who quickly berates Arte and tries to throw her minuscule weight around. A rich little bitch in training, if I do say so. Arte has her work cut out for her.
I don’t really think we needed a whole episode of travel, but here we are. I wonder exactly what the endpoint for this adaptation is, or if there can even be an endpoint in a very casual slice-of-life tale like this. Yuri was apparently playing it straight when he said he wanted Arte as a tutor for his niece. Arte had no idea what she was getting herself into on that front, but we get a good preview of it before the end of the episode. I’m getting a bit tired of the formula of Arte panicking about what her master and everyone else around her thinks. I want to see how she does away from her encouraging support system against a bratty little girl.
Episode Grade: B –
Streamed by: Funimation