Louise is a very interesting archetype I think. She’s the type who is bound to get underestimated a lot and is using that very fact to her advantage. But she’s written not only so that the other characters don’t see her coming, but I think they’re trying to trick us, the audience into underestimating her as well.

You’re not fooling me! I’m onto your little tricks!

I have been saying for the past few weeks, that I’m surprised about how careless Shadows seem to be with their dolls. But maybe I had that wrong or maybe it’s only certain Shadows. This week, we saw several Shadows lecturing Louise about taking good care of her face and essentially treating Lou like a person.

However, I think there’s a communication breakdown here. They hear Louise saying things like “she’s just a face” and assume she might be one of those Shadows who never learned to properly cherish their doll, maybe even mistreats them. But for Louise, that face is the greatest thing you can be. It’s her most treasured asset, she means it as a compliment!

This said I found Lou and Louise’s little moment on the bridge honestly touching. For the first time, they seemed to really connect. Like sisters or something!

In the first season, we got to really explore Kate’s relationship with Emilico and a tiny bit of Shaun and John’s dynamic but for the most part, we didn’t really know how the dolls and Shadows got along when no one else is around. The difference in how they all treat each other is actually quite interesting to me. And it’s a fantastic vehicle for character development!

If Louise is more interesting and fun than I first gave her credit for. The relationship between Patrick and Ricky is probably the most interesting among the four leading Shadows. Everyone else has some variation of friendship where the Shadow still holds the upper hand. However, Ricky is clearly the dominant one in his couple and right now, it’s unclear to me how much the two like each other. Patrick certainly seems to respect Ricky but he also is a little apprehensive about him. On the other hand, Ricky seems to consider Patrick more like a necessary element to succeed in Shadows House and not much more.

This leads me to think that if anything is going to cause problems for our main group, it’s going to be some type of friction or dissolution between Ricky and Patrick. Their relationship is much more transactional and utilitarian than that of the others. And I’m pretty sure Ricky would have a meltdown if he found out about the Emilico thing… Does it count as a love triangle if one person is in love with the Shadow and the other is in love with their face?

I thought about it and I have decided I find this revelation cute. It makes sense and I liked the foreshadowing. For instance, the fact that Patrick likes flowers and visits the greenhouse often. And how that interest started because Emilico gave him a Flower when he was trapped in a box during season 1. Cute! Earlier in the episode, when talking to Sarah, Patrick asks Ricky if living dolls experience romantic feelings. And that works perfectly with the conversation. You get to see that Ricky lies to him readily but we don’t know if he does so out of a sense of duty or for his own ends. However, by the end of the episode, you realize that Patrick was actually asking because he was thinking of Emilico. Awww, poor boy has it bad.

Maybe it’s just because John is so passionate about Kate. (His getting told off about it was pretty funny! But I always got the feeling that Emilico might be interested in Shaun. By now, he’s probably her closest friend in the house so it might just be platonic mind you. The thing is, in many ways, Patrick s a lot more like Shaun than he is like Ricky right now.

Maybe I just drank the Shadows House coffee. Look at me getting all into a sudden romantic subplot. That’s not my style…

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6 thoughts

  1. I can’t help chuckling whenever the living dolls call the robed figure “Robe-sama”. Yes, we’re talking about a rascal who keeps threatening our world’s order & safety, but it’s still a shadow! And we can’t very well lack respect towards a shadow, can we — scorch-terrorist or not!

    Maryrose with a curious bit. Not allowing people into her dirty room, wearing a white shirt covered in soot… Must be tough living a couple days without your maid, innit. “Faces should be treated with great care.” Words to live by, indeed. How unfortunate that Rosemary seems to spend half her time recovering from scorch sickness, across all seasons. Such terrible luck!

    Moving on to the other senpai from Luluco’s cleaning team… Man, is Mia’s shadow unbearable. Her words are venomous, her expressions contemptuous… And her cameos hilarious. I’m not sure if I want the story to slap her down, or to let her be this gloriously haughty bitch! In seriousness, the show owes us a closer look at her headspace. Sooner rather than later, I hope.

    Regarding marriages, invitations, etc. Not much to add here. But I remain in awe at the show’s ability to maintain its mysterious atmosphere. Even now, Shadows House plants seeds for arcs yet to come. It seems that for each riddle you solve, another suddenly pops up — forming an interlocking chain, the extremity of which runs well into the horizon. Information is power, and the story constantly dangles our own ignorance at our confused faces. I gotta say, I find it fun.

    Please, we need a season three. Hopefully, not too long after this one!

    1. I did ove how Mia’s facial expression completely changes when she’s with her Shadow. She really is a face.
      I hope they don’t just leave us hanging with this story.

  2. What I found most interesting this episode was the focus on what it means to be in the children’s wing. We still don’t really know, but it relativises the star bearers. It feels like some might be intentionally held back, either to serve as examples, or to maintain control, or…? It’s rather interesting. Especially, since soot seems to be very valuable, I’d have expected Barbara to be invited by now… why not?

    The second thing is the sub-focus on “marriage”. Only grown-ups can marry, but you can petition; if you do, though, you get “linked”… What does a shadow-marriage involve? By now, I’m fairly sure that shadows are mimics; and their natural shape is most likely something like the tiny creature we saw in last season’s finale (which I still think might have been Shirly – do they revert? I always had the – unreflected – intuition that the mimicry is some sort of “locking-in”? I should rewatch season 1. I’ve forgotten too much.) So what does it mean to “marry”? Does it have anything to do with reproduction? Or do we get persona-style mergings: two shadows merge to create a new one? (Unlikely, but who knows?)

    I see Louise as extremely curious, but not very situationally aware. Being taught what she’s doing to Lou is interesting, too. She’s being told the same thing twice, doesn’t seem to take it on board, but it’s there in the background radiation of her mind. Meanwhile, Lou is just eager to be useful, and not very expressive on her own. I agree their scene on the bridge was great (and it might just have been my fave moment of the episode).

    Ricky’s definitely ambitious, but I can’t yet get a read on his motivation. I agree that the Ricky-Patrick relationship is being set-up for a collision course, but I don’t yet know what that means for Ricky. I find it interesting that they introduced another shadow. Curious about her role.

    Really, Shadows House is one of the shows that saves this rather weak season.

    1. I also got very interested in the idea of getting invited and tested to become an adult. Don’t the faces grow up with time? There do seem to be older teens in the children ward but no actual adults. And they have been setting up an us vs them dynamic all season.

      I also think the fairy is Shirley I

      The shadow’s shape is clearly a copy of the dolls but not the personality and it seems the Shadows themselves don’t know that. At least not yet

  3. Hi Irina – long time listenah heah, first time callah…

    One of the things that I find most interesting about Shadows House is that there are a LOT of “layers of information” and even in-world the characters vary a lot as far as what they know and whether the things they “know” are true. I’m caught up on the manga and a lot of the back stories are filled out more but there are still a lot of mysteries.

    I’d highly recommend continuing on in the manga after this season of the anime is over – it might be a little confusing if you start now because some of the timeline was shifted slightly in the anime/ (Try to find the color version – it’s so, so pretty…) (And you’ll find yourself crying for someone you probably wouldn’t expect right now. )

    1. I tried the manga after last season but somehow didn’t get into it. I might try it again though
      I really liked Kuro from the same author

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