A taste for the finer things in life.
What They Say:
Episode #9: “Naughty Child”
Arte starts her lessons with Katarina, but she needs to get Katarina to open up to her before she can do her job.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Arte had her work cut out for her when meeting and dealing with Katarina. The girl is spoiled, willful, and has no manners. She shovels food into her mouth with her hand and it would appear that at first glance we have a Pygmalion case about to happen. Instead of going down the ‘teacher molds young unruly mind’ route, Katarina reveals that she is completely well versed in etiquette, she just chooses not to exercise what she knows!
Yup, the little brat isn’t behaving just because she doesn’t want to. She won’t explain her reasoning, and Arte spends the rest of the episode trying to get to the bottom of Katarina’s motive. That means asking the maids and even gleaning some of her family history from the mother. It turns out Katarina was raised for most of her young life away from her mother and father. Her father saw a daughter as a burden and only took an interest in her when it was time for her to begin to learn how to be a young woman.
Before we get back into the burden of being a woman in Renaissance Italy, we get to see some classical Venetian dishes! The dish that Katarina is eating at the beginning of the episode is bigoli in salsa, a fresh pasta dish with an onion and fish sauce. It’s the signature Venetian dish… (and speaking as someone who has more inland Italian heritage… ew.) The three-pronged fork became commonplace in upper-middle-class life in Italy because of pasta! Then it took centuries to spread through the rest of Europe.
It turns out food plays a relatively important part of the story in this episode. Katarina’s passion is cooking, a hobby that is inappropriate for a woman of high social class. Katarina’s uncle knew about her hobby and even encouraged it by giving Katarina access to his kitchen. It’s that unusual interest that resulted in Yuri choosing Arte as his niece’s etiquette teacher.
In the course of trying to learn what is going on with Katarina, Arte pushes a little too hard and ends up undoing some of the goodwill earned by getting down on a kids level and acting like, well, children. That trust is returned when Arte doesn’t betray Katarina’s unladylike cooking secret to her parents.
Arte is able to gain Katarina’s trust, but the girl still doesn’t explain to her or the audience why she refuses to act the part of a well-bred young lady in front of her parents. The real reason for her refusal to play along with her society’s norms will have to wait for the next episode.
Arte has her work cut out for her when she learns that Katarina doesn’t need training, she needs an attitude adjustment! Uncle Yuri isn’t such a bad guy after all, taking an interest and liking to the young women in his life who want to be seen as more than just an accessory. Now that the show has delved into food I wish it would go deeper, and hopefully, we’ll get some more cooking lessons in the next episode. Anime is always at it’s best when it goes off on food tangents. I do worry about how Katarina’s father might respond to his daughter’s interests.
Episode Grade: B
Streamed by: Funimation