Atelier Escha & Logy

November 28, 2014

It’s time to go on another fantasy adventure. But this time no dragon slaying or dungeon exploring for hidden and rare treasures. Imagine in a world where land has become scarce. Make that fertile land. Because the soil and earth somehow just couldn’t be used to grow food or crops anymore and thus the ‘creeping’ deserts and wastelands that would eventually spell mankind’s doom. Therefore in order to survive the “Dusk End”, mankind must use their known technologies as well as infuse it with the ancient and lost technology of alchemy to stop the advance of “Dusk End”. Sounds pretty similar and scary in real life too, huh? But unlike in Atelier Escha & Logy, we don’t really have the power of alchemy in reality.

As I found out, this anime is based on the Japanese RPG of the Atelier series for the Playstation. I never knew it had so many sequels spanning way back to 1997! So far there have been 16 instalments already and can be further broken down into 6 sub-series. Confused? Well, this is not counting the side games and other remakes as stated in Wikipedia. Scary, huh? Yeah. Sequels. Fear them. This anime is based on the fifth sub-series and the second of Dusk sub-series which is sequel number 15. I have never heard of this prior to the anime what more even played them. But I guess for a series to span this long and have so many sequels, I guess it is not that bad, huh?

Episode 1
Escha Malier is excited because today will be her first day working in the R&D department of Corseit as an alchemist. She meets Marion Quin the R&D chief, Solle the accounting and provisions manager and Colland Grumman the branch general manager of Corseit. Marion introduces Escha to her other new alchemist colleague, Logix Ficsario AKA Logy from Central City. Escha gets a little startled when she accidentally bumps into his sword. He is carrying it as defence since he has to explore the countryside from time to time. Marion brings them to a cauldron where they can put to use their alchemy skills. Escha tests it out and makes a great apple pie. Marion then has them go on their first job, which is to fix the windmill at the apple orchard. Wait a minute. R&D does this kind of job? But Escha is surprised for another reason. This is where she lives. As they make their way through, Logy notices everyone in town knows Escha. She explains this area used to be a desert. A large portion of it still is and as Central calls it, Land of Dusk. A land where no crops will grow and this uninhabitable area is spreading throughout the world and could spell the end of humanity. Escha is positive because they’re still living. Just like how her ancestors did. Adding on, there are 2 reasons why Corseit was built. First is for its apple orchard although it took them hundreds of years to cultivate the soil. It’s their specialty product. Escha lives in one as she introduces Logy to Clone, her automaton maid (she quips Escha got fired because she got back early!). After giving Logy a tour of the place, Clone explains that Escha’s mothers and her mothers before her help cultivate the land and she helped tended to them. Thus the windmill is important to this little village as it pumps up water from underground springs. Logy takes a look and finds the axel broken. Escha suggests letting her cousin, Awin Sidelet have a look at it since he is in the mechanic and maintenance department. Awin in turn suggests the parts he can get for this rare cog. After getting all the parts, Escha uses her alchemy to create a new one. While waiting, Escha tells Logy that she learnt alchemy from her young but was only taught the basics as she died when she was young. She learnt the rest from Clone. Logy also studied alchemy at Central which has a university that only allows the best alchemists to work. His goal is to uncover ancient technology and invent new machines. The axel is repaired and fitting it back in the windmill works like a charm, as though it is brand new. Escha now mentions the second reason Corseit was built. There is this unexplored floating ruins in the sky that nobody has set foot upon. Not even any vehicles could get close to it. Corseit’s balloon docks were built because of the ruins. Escha’s dream is to go to those ruins one day.

Episode 2
Escha is glad that fellow R&D colleague, Linca is back from an expedition. She is the swordswoman of the division. But she gets reprimanded by Marion for eating her rations now instead of during the expedition. After Marion shows Logy a forge, an equipment that brings out latent powers in weapon, she has a job for them. A northern town has its source of water deteriorated and they need to go bring water to them. They go see Awin for a blimp but it’s broken. It needs more time to repair since they have limited budget and Solle is such a miser. They then go request a wagon from Solle but it is no go either since he has given the budget to repair the blimp so wait for it. Since Escha cannot wait, she does her research to help out the villagers. Maybe a teleport door will open somewhere? They’re alchemists, right? I don’t remember alchemists being magicians. They see a store manned by Katla and Escha finds a book containing a purification bottle. But they need a bitter leaf among the other ingredients to purify the water. Duke, the owner of the pub knows where to find it since he was once in Corseit’s military. It can be found in some ruins in the desert but it is dangerous as there are monsters and bandits. The duo make their journey there by foot and once they reach there, Escha’s enthusiasm to find the bitter leaf has them separated. She spots a strange flower and touches it. Nio calls out to her too late. When Logy finds Escha, he thinks Nio is doing something funny and tries to attack but was smacked by Wilbell. Nio gives Escha drink some liquid that allows her to move again after touching that poisonous flower. Nio introduces herself as a travelling doctor while Wilbell Voll Erslied is her bodyguard and Great Witch. Escha tells them about their mission so Nio knows where they can find it and leads them underground. They find the bitter leaves but it is high up. Can anybody fly? Don’t witches fly? Anyway Logy as the only guy starts climbing. He reaches it but falls off. Wilbell uses her wind power to save him. She isn’t supposed to show off her magic and hopes they can keep it a secret. Escha is grateful but also very emotional since Logy is safe. The duo head to the northern village and begin their purification process. It works like a charm and the villagers are very grateful that they have a clean drinking water source now.

Episode 3
Although the water is pure, the source from upstream is still muddy. This means in no time the lake will still be ruined. The muddy source stems from the ruins ahead but the villagers dare not investigate it. As the quartet make their way there, Nio explains she could hear a voice in her head telling her to stay away from time to time. Inside the ruins, they see archaeologist, Threia Hazelgrimm reprimanding a couple of grave robbers to stay out till she finishes her investigation. Actually they call themselves treasure hunter. This cowboy dude is Reyfer Luckberry while Harry Olsen and adventurer and mayor of Vierzberg who is a rare item collector. Logy requests their identification but they make excuse that they leave it back at their inn and leave. This leaves Nio sad because she remembers about her sister who was attacked in Central. Actually she is a grave robber although she never stole anything and just wanted to enter a large ruin as part of an investigation. Her curiosity got the better of her when she entered an old and off limits ruins. It caved in and the place was destroyed. They meet Threia and explain their mission. In turn, she tells them there was an ancient civilization that possesses alchemy far more potent than theirs. These machines made their cities which are still in working condition. Escha gives a lithograph she found at the bitter leaves ruin to her.

When they enter a room, Nio could hear that voice again. This time it tells her not to wake her. But the door locks and a giant golem awakes to attack them. Normal weapons cannot harm it. Wilbell is confident that her pumpkin bomb can do the trick but it only serves to aggravate the situation. Now the golem is going for an all out attack. Logy gets smacked around. Then Linca and Awin busts in to help (the treasure hunters led them here). Everyone cooperates to take it down. Wilbell wants Linca to distract it for 10 seconds as she needs to recite her spell. Who the heck wrote this long ass spells?! I could finish reading a volume of Harry Potter by the time Wilbell finishes. And after those long winded words, what does she summon? Something that looks like Pokemon?! But will it do the trick?! Nope! What a waste. Escha remembers she created some self defence bomb and throws it. A-bomb explosion?! WTF?! Not a speck of golem is left. Way more f*cking effective. All you need is just a durian bomb. They manage to find the source, something was blocking the water flow and causing the water to be muddy. Once removed, the water flows freely and pure again. Once more, the villagers are grateful and happy but as Threia points out, the ruins is not producing as much water as before (there is a visible water mark) and in no time it will run out of water again. But not to dampen things, everyone rides the fixed blimp back to Corseit. Nio and Wilbell also tag along since Nio wanted to go there and hope to find the reason of hearing those voices. Finally, this girl, Flameu awakens from her slumber and wonders who did it.

Episode 4
Escha sucks at writing her report. Not as bad as Linca, though… Marion shows Wilbell and Nio where they can live. Marion pays them a visit shortly and is not pleased they are here. But she’ll close an eye on this. Nio wants to know if she has any information on her sister. She says even if she has, she won’t tell her. But she hints she is looking for her in her own way. The duo plan to make this place their clinic too and with Escha and Logy’s help, they clean up the place. Wilbell notices Escha’s tail accessory so the latter explains it was her late mom who made it. Nio has them go out to get a big table. Along the way, they met Katla who mentions she can even sell them that. Really? All w see are knick-knacks and groceries. When a girl keeps pestering her mom that she wants a tail just like Escha, money faced Katla wants to sell her tail! Once Wilbell realizes how much cut she could get, she tries to persuade her to sell it! Escha blows her top since it is the only memento left by her mother. Logy suggests they could use alchemy to make one but Escha isn’t happy because alchemy isn’t for profit but to make people happy. Oh, they agree alchemy makes ‘everyone’ happy. Anyway they head off to go find the table. The craftsman can finish their custom order table in 3 days. Escha tries to find ways to make the tail. She couldn’t remember much except that her mom made it for her when she was sick. Asking Clone about it, she believes there is a small chance her mom, Miria might have left some notes behind. After going through an old fairytale, Escha suddenly remembers everything and what is needed to make it. But it’s not moving. Katla is so disappointed… Where’s the money in that? Wilbell infuses some spell in it. I think she just overloaded it because now it has a mind of its own and possessing the other girls and turn them into some temporary animal! See Linca howling like a wolf on the roof? Or Marion licking her face like a cat? Wilbell is not spared either. She becomes a rabbit. Katla a squirrel, Clone a deer and Nio the dog. Yeah, the guys are not spared too as the tail goes on a possessing spree. Solle, Colland and Duke got ‘infected’. In the aftermath, it stops after Wilbell’s magic runs out and Marion gives them a good scolding. Now Escha has to write an apology letter… Escha laments she still can’t remember her mom but Logy believes she still has her love. Because she made the tail when she was sick so she won’t feel lonely.

Episode 5
Escha and Logy will be getting a new colleague, Lucille Ernella. The duo are tasked with showing her around and Escha loves being her senior. Lucille learns fast and is a hard worker. Could even surpass you, Escha. Lucille’s dream is to eradicate all sorts of illness in this world. They pass by town and see Reyfer trying to sell Katla some toy. He claims it is rare. Lucille knows about it and wants it. How much? 10,000 Cole! Freaking expensive! But Lucille doesn’t mind paying for it! Oh sh*t! Another loss opportunity for Katla… Lucille sees several fox homunculi seeking payment from Solle but he will pay them later. Solle explains about their special ability to replicate stuffs and usually pays them candies he made in his spare time as compensation. When Lucille is outside and sees them, the sound of her candies attracts them. They become friends. Colland announces that Central has announced an illness is spreading and is looking for a vaccine they can mass produce effectively. Lucille wants to take up this assignment but wants to do it herself. As the days pass, Lucille burns the midnight oil and it has become apparent that she has bags over her eyes. Still don’t need help? Then one day when she didn’t turn up, they look at her research and realize her work isn’t anywhere close to a vaccine and can’t meet the deadline. Escha and Logy rush to her house and find her sick. Lucille explains she overworked to prove that she could do it herself. Although she is the only daughter of the Ernella Pharmaceutical Corporation (which means this rich girl doesn’t have to lift a finger and work), she wants to work hard and help everyone. She regrets she couldn’t make the vaccine in time. Logy tells her she has failed because she didn’t rely on others. They can’t give up yet but first she needs rest. While Lucille is doing so, Escha and Logy go get a medicine book from Nio and has Threia translate the ancient text. Logy and Linca go to get the ingredients and once Lucille is well, she puts them all together for her vaccine. In the end, Central decides to use her vaccine and there is a letter of thanks from her father to her. Lucille is overwhelmed with emotion and couldn’t have done it without their help. Escha brings her to Nio’s place where they celebrate while the rest have their drinks at Duke’s place. Marion getting drunk and complaining she worked so hard and has no boyfriend… When Solle is going to give his payment to the foxes, they remember Lucille and go find her. He is confused and was sure that his sweets were the best.

Episode 6
Escha’s father, Faul has a request of her. He wonders if she can come up with a way to increase their apple production. With Logy and Lucille helping out, they watch Faul and Clone cull some young apples to help harvest more apples next season and to prevent next year’s harvest from decreasing. They pick up those apples but their bitter and sour taste makes it inedible. It is suggested they should come up with some new recipe using them. So they go look at cookbooks by Katla but she is selling them for 10,000 Cole. There has got to be a cheaper way. Duke thinks it is a good idea since most of his customers are man. Besides, the annual eating contest he has only attracts men. So he suggests a dessert making contest in addition to that and the winner will get free meals. The girls are up for it. Duke makes Logy enter the eating contest and has him recruit other participants. Escha notices explosions coming from Nio’s house. Wilbell trying to infuse her magic again. The day of the contest is here. While the ladies (Solle is also participating) are making the desserts, the eating contest starts first. We have Logy, Awin, Reyfer and Linca (because Marion prohibits her from making sweets – she sucks big time!). Linca puts the guys to shame when she finishes large servings. Still got room for more? She is also made the judge for the dessert contest. This is proof why women have another stomach for desserts. She picks Wilbell’s dessert as the best due to its unique flavour. I hope she didn’t cheat or something. Escha gets inspired and soon comes back with soil as fertilizers that would help increase their apple production. She got the idea during the dessert contest. Although Wilbell won, everyone made wonderful and unique desserts. It made her think from her own unique perspective and to be open minded. Clone takes Escha to a hill. The grounds are of different colours because each portion was created by a different alchemist. Some flourished, some failed. She shows her the tree Miria created. Since she passed away young, she couldn’t experiment with many trees and hope Escha could help contribute and use her individuality to make the orchard flourish. Escha, Lucille, Nio and Wilbell have a dessert party after that with Wilbell refusing to sell her recipe to Katla or Duke for mass production. Because she put her magic in it to taste different, she can’t make enough for mass production. Lastly, Flameu keeps murmuring she hates humans.

Episode 7
Everyone is cleaning up since the inspector from Central is coming to inspect. Escha and Linca are cleaning when Reyfer apologizes for trying to hit on her yesterday. However she doesn’t remember meeting him then. When Escha takes a break, she brings Linca to Nio’s place. She is reluctant because Wilbell is mad about her. She thinks she is trying to pick a fight. Seems last night, Wilbell fought Linca at an alley and boy, does she look like some bloodthirsty killer. The R&D department lines up before the inspector, Micie Sun Mussemberg. He hints that Linca should behave better or she’ll hurt her co-workers. The rest wonder if she has done something wrong and Linca is as blur as them. Shortly, Escha and Logy see Linca getting drunk at the bar. Also that night, Wilbell has her rematch with Linca. Next day, Micie summons the R&D staffs and there are complaints that Linca is destroying public property. Katla was a witness and is sure she saw Linca using her sword. Marion could vouch that Linca was with her then. When Logy notes that they saw Linca drunk at the bar, Marion quickly understood. Seems there are other Lincas that look like her but have very different personalities. There are other 8 Lincas and could be wandering around this town. Long ago, the Lincas did horrible things and were caught by authorities. Marion saved her and as a result made it harder for herself to get promotion. She fears if the rest finds out, they’ll hate her. They go around looking for other Lincas. Logy and Lucille find the drunken one at the bar. She is Linca #3. The one we all know is Linca #9 and the violent troublemaker is Linca #1. Speaking of her, she almost attacks Nio but Escha and Wilbell was there in time. When the 3 Lincas converge outside the bar, they start fighting each other. Linca #9 wants them to get out but Linca #1 tells her she is part of her and will take everything she holds dear. She then leaves. Linca #3 also leaves since she has no intentions of helping anyone from Central. She continues her mission to find their mother. Our Linca wonders if the rest hates her since they know about the other evil Lincas. It makes her wonder why they are fighting and so different since they look the same. They don’t hate her because Linca is Linca. Each of them is distinct individuals despite looking the same. Marion is about to treat them but Duke shows her the bill for the alcohol… Oh God!

Episode 8
Surprise! They have finished their assignment for this season! This means they can have a break till the next period. Marion is going to sleep ever day (what the heck is this imitation of SHAFT’s head tilt?!) when Wilbell announces a hotspring trip. Marion doesn’t want to go till she hears how it will rejuvenate her youth. How old is she? Oops! With Awin’s blimp, they head to the hotsprings located at the volcanic crater. While the guys make camp, the girls soak in first because Marion can’t wait and the long trek is already making her feel old. I didn’t expect this little fanservice but that is to be expected when you have a hotspring episode, right? Escha gets the wrong idea that Lucille wants to know how to grow her boobs big when she was asking about her height. Duh… Linca thought it was her muscles… Suddenly the water gets hotter and Wilbell realizes it is time. The Fire Lord returns and is upset they are using her sacred grounds without permission. Wilbell’s goal is to make a contract with the Fire Lord. Thus all this is a ploy to bring them here to help her defeat her. No wonder Escha was carrying a heavy bag of bombs… Well, her great grandma called her recently and was worried she has not submitted her reports recently when she got this idea. Can you not blame the rest for being mad at her? But look out. The Fire Lord is even madder. She hates humans. She accuses humans of stealing her sacred fire from the altar. They visit the altar to see it in a messy state. The sacred jewel that humans once offered to her is believed to be stolen by grave robbers. Escha wants to help out by making the jewel again. Awin and Logy send her back and gather the materials needed for her alchemy to recreate it while the rest stay back to rebuild the altar. Once done, they return only to see Wilbell entertaining the Fire Lord with her magic lights show! WTF?! It’s over… And Escha really wanted to see it. After Escha inserts the jewel, the Fire Lord could feel her fire power returning. As gratitude, Escha may call upon her strength if needed. As for Wilbell, she won’t make a contract with her yet. She vows to become strong enough to come here alone to defeat her. Now they have her permission to use the hotspring. The girls didn’t expect it to be a mixed hotspring… If they kick the guys out, where are they going to dip in?

Episode 9
Escha and Logy help Threia explore a ruin. Reyfer is also here but accidentally sets off a trap. Though they survive, they find themselves in a room with a mural and a notebook left behind by Keithgrif. He is Threia’s uncle and was an alchemist-cum-researcher and researched many ruins. However he always destroys them and this has Central put a bounty on his head. She believes the notebook details his exploration and it could help them understand why humans before fell into ruin. He thinks war and destruction of nature led to man’s downfall. Even with the super powers and advanced alchemy combined with everyone’s cooperation, the civilization still failed. Man must have gone wrong somewhere. She thinks the need of more information and the only place to explore is the unexplored ruins. She has collected pieces of a lithograph although it is not complete, it shows a girl floating above the ruins. Threia wants the duo to hand in her request to investigate the unexplored ruins. But when they get back, Colland has everyone in an emergency meeting. It seems Central has decided to investigate the ruins in the next term. They are not to disturb the ruins in any matter and must find a way to get there. Escha is so shocked that her dream is dashed that she falls into depression. She’s walking in the rain like she doesn’t feel anything. Till she catches a fever. Logy talks to Clone about Escha’s obsession to go there. When she was young she thought her mom lived there. That ruins must seem like heaven to her. Logy is going to persuade Marion about Threia’s request but she already read it and says no. They already have their orders. Instead, she has already written a request how they can go explore the ruins. As Central wants the ruins not to be disturbed, they need to go inside and discover what needs to be preserved, right? So in that sense they can explore it before Central does. Neat, huh?

The trick is now to convince Colland since they can’t fool him with a simple letter. Instead of thinking some beat-around-the-bush way, Logy just takes the request and asks him upfront. Although he agrees to send it to Central, he still won’t allow them to go even if it gets approved. Logy is bent on fulfilling Escha’s dream but Colland warns doing so might disband Corseit’s R&D team. Till Duke gives his piece of mind to him that everyone who came here has a dream to explore the ruins. That is why this town is built in the first place. He talks about their youthful days whereby they took any challenge head on and even mentions about their moments of getting naked in the morning and taking girls every night (do we really want to hear this?!). So the guys end up in a big brawl. Everyone is scared to stop them. How do you stop ‘monsters’ from fighting anyway? Escha feels much better and goes to work. But since nobody is in the office, she heads to the bar right in the midst of the fighting. Thank goodness they stop right in time before her head gets squashed like a melon! I guess this is the guys’ way of making up. In addition to sending this proposal to Central, he allows Marion and her team to investigate the ruins. He will take responsibility for everything. Now that Escha gets to fulfil her dream, her face is light up and so grateful she is to everyone that she gets emotional. Nio could hear that voice again saying the world doesn’t need humans because they are untrustworthy, deceiving, indecisive betrayers, broken promises… I think the list can go longer…

Episode 10
Everyone brainstorms on how to get there and it seems the best way is to build a strong airship that could weather the thunder clouds and debris. Awin shows them that they have been building an airship secretly because it is his dream to go see the ends of the world (plus, Solle is a b*tch and won’t approve such budget to build something). It is about 70% complete but as Logy inspects it, he believes there is not enough buoyancy and the engine is not powerful enough. Also, they have to mix alchemy with advanced technology to make it work. Something which is of very high calibre. Logy seems pessimistic and would rather find another way because building an airship is very dangerous and it could lead to failure. Katla heard they are going to explore the ruins and wants to sell them a book that shows them a way to make lighter gas. I don’t know how much she is selling but they can’t afford it as usual. Luckily Harry passes by. He found that book in the ruins and had no time to decipher the ancient language. Learning about their situation, he gives the book to them for free. See, this is what happens when you are greedy. Yet another lost opportunity… Next challenge is to request for additional materials but Solle mentions they are low on rare metals. Some metal eating dragon has built its nest there and they have to wait after its mating season which could take several months.

Escha learns about Logy’s past when Micie talks to them. Logy was part of Central’s R&D division and built an airship. However it ended in disaster when the airship crashed in flames. Back then he was in charge of making an airship with alchemy and worked hard. He didn’t believe the warnings of the maintenance department and this led to the accident. Although his best friend survived, he could never fly again. That is why he ran away to Corseit and couldn’t dare face him. He feels he doesn’t deserve to manage an R&D division or fly through the sky. Ironically it is Escha who is the one getting very emotional, denying he is such a person. Because he is a great person. Because he worked so hard. Because it’s his dream. So don’t give up easily. She can’t do this alone. He agrees to give it another shot. Linca and Reyfer go hunt for the dragon. Reyfer thinks putting some incense that will make the dragon sleep but it was wide awake and chased after him. At least the nest is clear for Linca to retrieve the rare metals. Logy works with Awin to create the airship. Since they need a powerful fire source, Wilbell seeks Fire Lord’s help. Then leave it to Escha to mix everything and make whatever that glowing balls are. The airship is completed and they test fly it. It works! Big success. Next stop, the unexplored floating ruins. Micie hands Logy a letter from his friend. It is a reminder for him never to give up. This time Logy gets emotional. Better than always Escha, right?

Episode 11
The airship braves through the stormy weather. How long more can it take? Thankfully they breakthrough and reach the ruins. It’s a dream come true! As they venture inside, they see it resembles like a lab and the containment units are trying to grow plants. Flameu appears before them and mentions about her promise to make everyone’s dreams come true. She will make spring bloom and thus won’t let humans interfere or have this facility. She orders her pet, Kuu as it transforms into a ferocious dragon to purge them. Tactical retreat! Once they return to Corseit, they report back to Colland and Marion. They have received word from Central that they are cancelling their investigation so they are free to explore it at their leisure. Chicken out? Escha feels she has seen Flameu somewhere but can’t put her finger on it. The lithograph, remember? Timely entrance by Threia to show the complete lithograph. At the bottom there is a figure that resembles Clone. They go ask her and it seems she knows. Heck! It was right under their nose and they could have asked everything in the first place. The unexplored ruins are actually an experimental lab called Geosys. Flameu was an alchemist born in the same era Clone was created. As the environment was destroyed back then, Flameu and her friends conducted research to revitalize the land. As the facility cannot be maintained by the most powerful alchemy, Flameu chose to remain behind. As she conducted her research over the centuries, she concluded humans were the main problem. She opposed to what they were doing and decided to float Geosys into the sky. As long as she lived among humans, her research will not succeed. As for why Nio could hear her voice, it is because the descendants of original researchers should be able to. Nio relates she was taken to a research facility years ago but her sister rescued her. As for whether they can free Flameu, Clone believes it is impossible as she is imprisoned by her own powerful emotions. Nothing can free her unless she wills it herself. She has been up there for so long that her body has transcended that of a human.

Escha remembers that fairytale, The Hummingbird Princess that also makes her recognize this. Clone affirms the story is related. She reads the story about a girl who was crying because the land wouldn’t grow. Then came this Hummingbird Princess who gave a mysterious watering can to fertile the field again. But not before long, the crops couldn’t grow again so Flameu went on a journey to find ways and when she returned, the land is worse than before. She gave all the tools she found on her adventure to the villagers but the land still didn’t grow. She realized the land is tired of drinking of the same water and wanted the villagers to leave the fields empty and uncultivated but they don’t believe her and continued. This left her in tears. End of story. Escha remembers there is an end to it and not a tragic one. They go to the attic and find the remaining book. A girl noticed Hummingbird Princess crying and helped her out. They make a new watering can and soon things start growing again and everyone is happy. End of story. It is confirmed that Miria wrote this story (because of her handwriting) as Clone’s tragic ending would make Escha cry. The gang wants to give Flameu the ending she deserves and hopes Clone can come too. She disagrees since she doesn’t think she would be of much use. Besides, Flameu may have forgotten her. After being reminded she is just as important, Clone remembers when Flameu left. The Malier family didn’t want her to leave so Clone grew the first apple tree for the family. She watched the descendants grow, tend and pluck the fruits and realizes the time she spent with so many people. She agrees to come along to save her. As everyone packs their bags for the big trip, Logy hands Escha a piece of paper that is the key to save Flameu.

Episode 12
Everyone is onboard for the second trip to the floating ruins. When they reach there, the machines for the labs are being activated. Clone believes Flameu is trying to activate Geosys as the machines aren’t working as they should because time has taken toll on them. This time the gang is ready and expects Flameu to attack. Of course they try diplomacy first. Flameu is still stubborn about keeping her promise and doesn’t want them to interfere despite they offer to help her. Here comes Kuu’s attack. Their coordinated attacks help stave Kuu off. But Flameu unleashes her other set of weapons. Laser beams! Clone gets hit. Don’t worry. Nothing seriously damage. Another round of talks. This time Logy tries to drill it to her that she is useless alone just like everyone else. Yeah. She doesn’t understand. How could she? Then she attacks again. Logy’s special weapon destroys her shield and Wilbell calls forth the wind and Fire Lord to do her bidding. Moments before Flameu is defeated, Escha saves her. She wants to be her friend. You almost got killed just to be friends? Now she can have a heart to heart talk with Clone. At first she doesn’t remember but the memories slowly come back. She thought Clone abandoned her to live with the humans but it is the other way round. She abandoned everyone and left on her own journey. I don’t know what Nio did to speak to her in her heart but it made her more remember a little more. Clone reminds her Geosys cannot revitalize this planet and they must work together with humans. She also explains about the apple tree sapling she left behind and how many raised it. Flameu remembers she wanted to learn why the world was dying and left for her journey. However at that same time she lost faith in humanity and flew into the sky and never came back. Flameu’s promise is to eat delicious apples with her again. So now that they have remembered, reconciled, missed each other, etc, Flameu is now at peace and disappears. Erm… What does this leave the floating ruins? It’s going to crumble!!! Holy cow! They never thought of this?!

Everyone scrambles to the airship. Of course Escha had to trip and fall so that we can watch this magnificent stunt. Once everyone is in the airship and it hovers closely to the collapsing ruins, Logy stands at the very edge and has Escha jump off into his arms. It looks so perfect… Don’t ever try this. Everyone manages to get away safely. As for Flameu, Clone explains she has merged herself with Geosys and probably teleported herself to another similar ruin. Nio has seen such a ruin before so she believes Flameu is somewhere out there. After the ruins crash to the ground, Threia concludes her research that although plants are growing around the ruins and the soil revitalized, Flameu’s research still did not work as the desertification has in fact worsened everywhere else. Everyone returns for apple harvesting. Escha and Logy are surprised to see Clone and Flameu talking by the first apple tree. Clone’s best quip: They’ve been talking so long that they got tired. They don’t look the part… Flameu feels odd that she and humans never see eye to eye and yet so much has grown. Sure, they fought and misunderstood a lot but in the process they help and did their best to revitalize the world. She gives Escha new seeds. I don’t know what is happening now because it’s like she can rewrite the storybook. Once Escha gives her an apple, the scene rewinds to when Flameu began to leave. The girl called out to Flameu to come back and work together. She listened and turned back. She wasn’t alone anymore. In the end, everyone made a new watering can and lived happily ever after. Flameu disappears, making Escha slightly emotional. She is then awarded a medal while Logy has been invited to join the R&D team at Central. Of course he is going to take this chance and go back there. Oh my. Another emotional round for Escha. So as he leaves, she promises to be the best alchemist in the world and hopes he works hard too. Clone tells Escha that her story is not over yet. She is going to write a story that never ends and a fun one that everyone will love. She will call it “The Alchemist of the Sky”.

Dusk Maiden Of Alchemy
Well, the adventure was rather okay. Just that a few things that boggled my mind and made me think it was for convenience especially the final episode’s ‘fight to bring back Flameu’. Like how it was rather convenient for her to get her memories back when she has been living for ages. The risk of forgetting them is so much higher than remembering them. So is she some sort of robot like Clone? I don’t think so. And then her ability to teleport to other ruins. What the?! It suddenly made me go, “She can do that?”. It’s like she could have done it in the first place but of course since she hates humans who live on the ground, she’s not going anywhere to touch her feet on that soil.

Despite these minor things, I would still rate this anime as passable. Nothing grand but nothing too mediocre too. My guess is that if you want to fully understand and appreciate this series as a whole and not only this particular one, it is best to play the entire series. Me? 16 sequels are a lot… So I’ll pass… Besides, the final episode shows Escha and Logy ‘passing the baton’ over to a couple of new characters whom I have found out are the new heroines for the sixteenth and latest instalment of the Dusk series. So definitely this story isn’t over by a long shot. Mostly the episodes in this season feel episodic in nature in the sense that the episodes can serve as a standalone until the last handful of episodes which turns into a final mini arc. What prevents it from being completely a standalone is that in each episode they throw you a bit of something that adds or advances the plot so you’ll still have to watch it in chronological order. I think that’s a no brainer since we all would naturally watch it that way. As far as this season is concerned, the overall story is easy to follow and understand instead of complicated twists and turns. Although there are a few side stories which serves like distraction. More on this later.

One of the good aspects of having quite a number of characters is that you don’t get spammed by everything done by the hero and heroine. Here, everybody plays a part in achieving their goals because simply, no man is an island. Of course there is this downside in short animes with so many characters is that some aren’t fleshed out properly especially a handful that are introduced much later into the series. Like I have said, perhaps you need to play the game to understand a lot of things. From the characters to the world’s setting and even the mechanics of how things work (equipment, spells, etc). Overall, most of the characters have a pretty adequate screen time. Of course Escha and Logy would take the lion’s share. Otherwise why would their names appear in the title? It just feels bittersweet that they have to part in the end but I guess now that part of their dream has been fulfilled, it is time to move on to the next. Yeah, they try to squeeze in what seemingly looked like potential romance between Escha and Logy in the final parting scenes (that long stare into each other’s eyes…) but don’t get your hopes up with that false alarm. I think everyone will end up being single like Marion… Haha! Just kidding.

Character development feels weak since given the dozen number of episodes and the multitude of characters. Escha for one is your typical caring and kind heroine from start till finish. She’s good at alchemy but you don’t feel she has gotten better in the end because from what we can see, whatever she mixes into the cauldron, it comes out fine and working. So it is hard to tell whether she has undergone any major improvement and since she always says she wants to become the world’s best alchemist, maybe that is just herself being modest and understating own abilities. She could already be one. Because the way they show her throwing everything into the cauldron makes it looks like child’s play and then voila! You get whatever solution is needed. Oh, and I find it a little annoying that she goes a bit emo from time to time especially after she hears someone’s story. I mean, everybody has a story to tell, right? The sadder it is (by Escha’s standards), the higher the chance she will get emotional. I mean, it is good that it shows she is a human and a girl after all unlike automaton Clone whose trademark “Ara, ara” feels both monotonous and funny. I suppose with Escha being a little emo, it tries to give us some drama and pull some heart strings in otherwise what would have been a rather bland adventure.

Speaking of Clone, sometimes I thought her revelation in possessing the answers to the past felt like a slap in the face. It could have been easier for everyone if she has just told them from the start but hey, nobody asked, right? I mean, she’s been there for so long, generations after generations so she must have got a lot to remember and record. Notice how she takes a few seconds to access very old data? I wonder how much memory space she has because it feels like she knows a lot. A lot. She could be the world’s walking library and encyclopaedia for all we know.

Almost the opposite of Escha is Logy who is more reserved and mature. Well, he still is one at the end. Sometimes it is hard to feel the chemistry between Escha and Logy working as a pair. Forget in the sense of romance as I have said. Because with their other friends chipping in to help (because the universal theme of this anime seems to be cooperation and you can’t get anywhere by doing things yourself), it somewhat feels like it has diluted their chemistry as a partner so the things they do together feels lacking of any great impact to put them up there in the list of greatest partners, say, Starsky and Hutch?

The rest of the other supporting characters are rather okay and although some are given insights about their past, it is left more to be desired. For example, Nio and her search for her sister. It feels like a side distraction to everything since we won’t get to know more about it except her sister is missing, Nio is looking for her and there is something about their past which feels like it has a connection to something. Also, Linca and her other clones. It is intriguing that there are 9 of them each with different personalities. It would have been interesting to know all of them or how they will be related to the story but given only a single episode dedicated to this, that is why it feels like a distraction and my initial reasoning why the episodes are episodic in nature. Some characters like Lucille have their single episode of focus while other characters just feel under-utilized like Threia who is an archaeologist whose presence is, erm, I don’t know, what is her role in the anime for again besides pointing out that important hint in the lithograph? Also, the discovery of her uncle’s handbook felt convenient and although it sounds like it holds a lot of potential of uncovering what went wrong in the past, again this makes it feel like a distraction because there is nothing more to it. Even if they skip this part out, I believe that the story will still go on, at least suffice for this season.

Wilbell, what can I say about her. She’s a little spunky because even though she says she can’t be flashy using her magic and thus exposing her identity as a witch, from the way I look at it, she’s like having a blast and in certain ways do like she could attract attention. I mean, she is already dressed like a witch so normally ordinary people would already have that perception, right? And I don’t think cosplay exists in this world. I don’t know if there is a bounty on her head or Central is after a person like her since Marion did tell her to keep a low profile. But it feels she didn’t really abide by it especially with that tail possessing episode. She says she is travelling with Nio as her bodyguard but that even feels suspicious. Something more than meets the eye? Rounding up the other varied side characters include Marion who is always swamped with paper work and it feels like she needs to have a break (or work will break her) but when it comes down to it she is a good superior and dedicated worker. Solle who looks like a b*tch at first thanks to his miser attitude and expressionless face but has a softer side once you know he makes candies for those cute homunculi. Colland and Duke, the big tough daddies of the series. Enough said. Reyfer… What is he here for again? Same case with Harry. Well, I suppose they do play a very minor and important role but so minor that they could have put a nameless extra and do it instead. Lastly, Micie’s introduction was late and his presence felt so brief that it doesn’t matter. Heck, nothing major would have happened even if he was not introduced.

Probably the most amusing character for comic relief purpose is Katla. She is a funny girl although her character doesn’t actually feel related to the overall storyline. Making money is only on her mind. But how she goes about it is another story. For a handful of times we have already seen her greedy side get the better of her but this only ends her up as the biggest loser. I mean, she has been selling merchandise in this town for so long and I am sure she would have known that many of the locals cannot afford at such a high price no matter how valuable or rare. She could have made a few bucks instead of trying to be greedy and selling it at a high price that nobody could afford. In the end, it might seem like a lose-lose situation but as seen only Katla is the one who loses as she doesn’t get anything in return because an alternate solution would have dropped on the lap for the rest. So people, a gentle reminder never to be greedy. Unless you want to end up like a running joke like her here.

The action sequences here don’t feel much. The first big team fighting scene with the golem feels forced and somewhat mediocre. The golem smacks everyone around and makes it look like it is the most invincible thing in the world. Then they try to make a joke out of Wilbell’s arsenal because her bombs don’t work and her magic chanting lines are so long and even when she’s done, the spell doesn’t work. It makes you go WTF. Then when it feels like it is time to end it, they use Escha’s durian bomb to blast everything to bits. It’s like they’re plucking this solution out of thin air. Is this part of alchemy too? Oh yeah. Durians are a real golem killer. Funny, only the golem gets destroyed but not the ruins. In the first place, I don’t even know how they activated the golem. Unless you tell me stepping into the room which is forbidden activates it. Which mean to say that nobody has entered here for a bloody long time, right? For the other characters who can fight, they too don’t feel much and lack any sort of variety. Because all Linca does is swing her big sword around, Awin on occasion uses his hammer, Reyfer firing his rifle and Logy uses his sword or whatever weapon he forged but it feels nothing extraordinary since we usually skip watching his forging like how everything is fast forward during Escha’s alchemy mixing.

The art and drawing are pretty decent. It follows closely to the original game but without that 3D CGI effect of course. The character designs are also good but I feel that some of the monsters or beasts (though they do not appear much in this anime) look more cute than menacing. Sometimes I thought they were an alternate version of Pokemon. But I suppose that some Japanese RPGs have creatures looking cuter than threatening as part of their selling points. The sceneries are also okay but since it is mostly the desert or ruins (or Escha’s apple orchard), don’t expect to see any extravagant backdrops. Even the unexplored floating ruin feels a little bland. This anime was produced by Studio Gokumi who did other animes such as A Channel, Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouto Ga Iru, Dansai Bunri No Crime Edge and Kin-iro Mosaic. There is artwork at the end of each episode as well as during the mid-intermission. For the latter, there are a handful of statistics information for the characters (including minor ones) in the series albeit it isn’t much and only confined to age, height and blood type. My hopes were dashed when I was wishing to know how old Clone and Flameu are. I guess nobody knows how old they are since it is listed as “???”.

For the voice acting part, I only recognized Kana Ueda as Marion (Rin in Fate/Stay Night). Maybe my memories are getting old so I was having a hard time trying to figure out the voice behind Linca. Sounds so familiar but cannot put my finger on it. Believe it or not, for some unknown reasons I was daydreaming about Dog Days when it hit me that instant. I finally realized. Ami Koshimizu is the voice behind Linca! Took me long enough. (She is the voice of Leo in Dog Days). Hibiku Yamamura as Clone (Kikuri in Arata Kangatari) sounds befitting of her role as an automaton. She sounds funny sometimes when she talks like a robot. I know Clone is supposed to be an automaton but it’s the way she sounds overall. I thought Yukari Tamura or even Aya Hirano was behind Flameu’s voice. But instead it turned out to be Kana Akutsu (Mine in Amnesia).

Other casts include Rie Murakawa as Escha (Hotaru in Non Non Biyori), Kaito ishikawa as Logy (Tsumugu in Nagi No Asukara), Mariko Honda as Lucille (Z-chan in Robot Girls Z), Asami Seto as Wilbell (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Mariya Ise as Nio (Levi in Fairy Tail), Kenji Akabane as Awin (Takashi in Star Driver), Chiharu Kitaoka as Threia (Taketo in R-15), Chihiro Uno as Katla (Eir in Ozma), Tsuyoshi Koyama as Duke (Kurou in Utawarerumono), Yasunori Masutani as Reyfer (Gazelleman in Kinnikuman Nisei), Tomo Muranaka as Micie (Iwata in Kuromajo-san Ga Tooru), Kento Fujinuma as Colland and Daisuke Matsubara as Solle (Mutsu in Sekirei). The opening theme is Asuiro by Rie Murakawa. Sounds like a generic lively anime pop. The ending theme is Fuyudori by Haruka Shimotsuki, which is a slow and calming piece. Personally I think it is quite soothing on your soul like those themes you hear in Aria The Animation. There are a variety of other background music too ranging from slow pieces to fast paced action to light hearted ones. Sounds rather okay but nothing that memorable or make me want to go get them.

Overall, this may not be the best anime to recommend as there are other better fantasy animes out there. But this isn’t exactly the worst of its genre either. It is still a decent watch if you want to watch something along the lines of fantasy and not get too deep although the other ‘side distractions’ as mentioned may tantalize you to further explore the world or turn you away. I am not sure if fans of the game would appreciate the anime but like I said, if you truly want to love this series, better to play its original game form. Oddly, watching this anime made me hungry to go eat some apples. With the setting of this anime, it gives a new meaning to an apple a day. Hope you don’t get tired and sick of it…

%d bloggers like this: