Sadly there was no nice Maryrose dancing scene for me to make a gif out of this week. But I guess Emilico and the vacuum were almost like dancing.

My autocorrect really hates the name Emilico. It auto changes it to Emilio every single time. I covered the first season, it should be used to it by now!

I clearly remember the scorches and soot sickness last season. But I remember the dolls getting “broken” when they got sick. Like nonresponsive and out of it. I didn’t remember them getting this aggressive. They were straight-up zombies in this episode. Maybe it’s because I’m currently catching up on the latest volume of ZOM 100 that I’m seeing zombies everywhere but I don’t think so!

There were a lot of interesting little tidbits throughout the episode. Whatever happened with Christopher must have had an effect on Barbie because she was a very different doll. Maybe it’s unrelated, but I have a feeling it’s not. I will also keep in mind that the twins seem to be able to take control of dolls through their soot power. That’s a glaring Chekov’s gun if I’ve ever seen one.

But of course, the most interesting part came at the coffee ceremony.

I must say it was great to have a more action-heavy episode. The balance was great. There were some funny moments, some decent tension and still enough new information to pique one’s curiosity. But I noticed that they resorted to using some stills for the action scenes. I think Shadows House is a great-looking anime in general but I guess they do have to be a bit careful about their animation budget.

I don’t need to recount the coffee ceremony debacle, do I? You’ve all watched the episode. Scorches, big vacuum, mysterious hooded figures, zombies, chaos! It was great! instead, let’s get to the clues!

Since the beginning of the season, there’s been talk of this hooded figure skulking around the children’s ward and this week, we finally got a look at it. Not that we could see much. The figure did look taller than Shaun though so we could assume it’s either an adult or older kid. Also, the figure “threw” a scorch at Shaun in defence.

Here’s my guess, scorches are not in fact naturally occurring from soot accumulation. They are created through someone’s soot power. (Alternatively, the power could just control the scorches like the twins’ controls dolls but that’s not as fun) And I’m just gonna guess that someone is Christopher. As hilarious as it would be that they keep throwing flashbacks of Christopher at us that lead nowhere, I don’t think Shadows House is that type of story. This figure was clearly trying to disrupt the coffee ceremony, something that’s very important to Shadows House, so methinks there may be an internal rift among the shadows. And if it is Christopher, it could explain why no one mentions him anymore despite his enormous popularity just a few years back.

On a different line of thought. The shadows were pretty unphased by everything that was happening. I know that if a doll loses its shadow they become a veiled doll, but what happens if a shadow’s doll is permanently broken? The dolls are taken from the town and brainwashed but the shadows are clearly theirs. I mean they even have twin shadows for Belle. It’s much more likely that the shadow is shaped to the doll than the other way around so can shadows reshape themselves? They didn’t seem too worried about the prospect of the dolls getting sick or hurt so I doubt they disappear or get locked in their rooms forever. Thee must be a replacement mechanism.

So here’s my current guess, Christopher the shadow went rogue maybe after losing his doll maybe because the house was trying to push a replacement on him. As such, he took some time to get his thoughts in order and has been working on making his scorch power stronger. That’s why they’ve been appearing occasionally for the past few years. Now he finally feels strong enough to start confronting shadows house by disturbing the coffee rituals and freeing the dolls. Ricky and Lou seem to be coming slowly to their senses.

But what about that last scene. Why did the Belles drop the coffee? It was almost like they were being controlled by the powers of their own shadows…but why would they do that. This was a great little question to end the episode on and I am looking forward to hopefully finding out more next week.

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21 thoughts

    1. They are fairies that mimic other creatures and produce soot, not the beings that are built from compressed soot. That’s why they can take a bath and drink water without falling apart.

        1. Not a spoiler. They revealed that last season, IIRC, at the same time they revealed where the dolls come from. It’s also why I think that the tiny soot creature that helped out Emilico in last season’s finale was Rum. (I might misremember.)

          1. Did they reveal they were fairies? That bums me out. It’s a pretty boring explanation maybe that’s why I blocked it out

        2. May I adress the Episode 10, where it was said by the Shadow Master from the Third Floor? XD

  1. Rosemary is another to keep an eye on. Putting aside her gentle, “ara-ara” onee-san persona for now. She was once a peer to heavyweights like Barbara & Christopher. There has to be more than meets the eye here. I think Kate’s wondered if Rosemary had soot powers, twice already. And the way she carried this army of scorches into the hall is very suspect.

    Ollie has been a brilliant addition to this cast. I feel the world isn’t ready for an Ollie – Emilico collab! Really love how they inspire each other with their gung-ho enthusiasm XD

    1. If I remember correctly there was that odd scene of Maryrose whipping Rosemary at the slightest provocation in S1. I wonder if that will go anywhere

          1. Poor Mia. Some dickhead put her in harm’s way this episode, too.

            Anyway, I remember the flogging well. It would be unlike Shadows House not to come back to that relationship eventually.

            So, early on, Mia was enjoying a bath with Luluco, when the show closed up on her scarred back. At first, I assumed her shadow was an abusive asshole with anger issues.

            But then we were shown that beating scene. Interestingly, Mia was the one who asked Sara to beat her. And Sarah obliged, mercilessly whipping Mia as she berated her for losing sight of their common goal — becoming a Star Bearer, and getting acknowledged by Holy Grandpa. In between blows, Sara actually complimented Mia. The word she used was “yuushuu”. I typically hear it in an academic context, to refer to a brilliant student with superior talent. Well, to be fair, I only get exposed through Japanese in anime — and most anime is set in school. Regardless, that’s the association my brain made. I’ll come to this in a bit.

            Then, I remembered Mia feeling great pride for knowing how to read at “birth”. She told Emilico (paraphrasing) I’m not like you Emilico, I’m not like other living dolls, I’m smart & special because I can read! And this also brought me back to school. There were a few kids I knew, whose sense of self-worth was tightly tied to getting good grades, or getting acknowledged by peers & professors. And the most driven among them could be so tough on themselves. Any minor error, and their mental state would vacillate from “I’m so amazing” to “I’m such a worthless idiot.” And then they’d go through this intense process of self-flagellation, to get that small misstep out of their system. Rinse & repeat.

            That’s kind of what that scene looked like, to me. Or how I recall it, at least! As these S2 comment sections have shown, my memory isn’t as reliable as it used to be. I too forgot the fairy thing. And I now notice, it’s what you titled your Ep. 10 review…

  2. You know, it just occurred to me. Many visuals from the First season opening are more relevant to the Second season (Starbearers, for example) and vice versa. But opening for the Second season spoils a practicly nothing of futture events, so there is good in that.

    As for theorycrafting – yours are good for the start, but rest assured – there would be plenty of red herrings and actual evidence in the future Episodes, so get fun with them!

    1. My secondary theory is that the twins were trying to double cross each other, by controlling the other person’s doll, and they just happened to have the same idea

  3. Yeah, this episode really had everything. Some cool intrigue, Kate being cool, Emilico being an action girl, cool mad scientist stuff, and just shadow stuff. This show just continues to be so good

  4. I loved mad scientist shadow being the power source of his own invention. I didn’t see that coming.

    And the ending was really fun, too. We’ve had them controlling Emilico earlier, and they’re controlled themselves. I do wonder if that’s all Christopher terrorism, as you speculate. It’d make lots of sense.

    A well-paced, fun episode.

    1. Oh maybe each twin was trying to double cross the other and they just think a like! Because twins

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