Episode 19: “Chagum’s Escape”
Summary: After having some sort of panic attack after learning about what’s going to happen to him, Chagum has calmed down and is asleep. The Toumi village elder is offering protection for Chagum while Nimka is apologetic for telling them the harsh truth about the egg eater and the fate of the guardian. Balsa says they knew a bit about it but chose not to tell Chagum because they’d like to know first if there’s a way to defeat the egg eater instead of making Chagum worry. Balsa asks Nimka if she knows anything else, perhaps a way to defeat the egg eater in one of her grandma’s stories. Nimka sadly shakes her head “no.” They brainstorm for a bit to try to think of ways to avoid chagums death and save the egg at the same time. Tanda says since they haven’t experienced drought so far, it meant that the egg safely hatched 100 years ago. Nimka remembers the rice planting song wherein there’s a line about the egg eater and the guardian.
Meanwhile, Shuga and company (court people) are camping near the village. They are following Balsa and Chagum to retrieve the prince and take him back to court, now that they know that they made a mistake interpreting the story of the water spirit (they weren’t supposed to kill the guardian but instead have to protect him). Back in the village elder’s place, Balsa is worried and says that she won’t let Chagum die and insists that they need to find a way to save Chagum and deliver the egg safely. Tanda and Torogai-shi agree. Tanda suggests they relocate soon since the court people are after them. Torogai suggests hiding for a bit at hunter’s cave. Balsa agrees. Nimka goes to visit Chagum and talks to him. Chagum tells her that he wants to run away and go back to the palace and see his mother. Nimka offers to help him run away in order to escape his fate. Chagum is bitter since Balsa didn’t tell him about his fate. On the way to Chagum’s tent, Balsa runs into Nimka’s mom who asks if Nimka is still with them. Balsa says Nimka went home earlier, but her Nimka’s mom is worried since she checked Nimka’s bed and it seemed like it hasn’t been slept in. Balsa smells something fishy about this, checks Chagum’s tent and finds out that he’s missing. Balsa informs Tanda and Torogai-shi then goes after Chagum.
Balsa catches up to Chagum and they get into a confrontation. She explains to Chagum that she didn’t want him to worry that’s why they didn’t tell him immediately about his fate. Chagum bitterly insists that Balsa only cares about the egg. Balsa denies this and says both Chagum and the egg are important and must be protected. Chagum tells her to stop worrying about him and that she’s not his mom. He says he wants to go home and adds that Balsa can’t understand his pain. Balsa throws him her spear and tells him that if he defeats her, she’ll let him go to back to the palace but if not then he’ll stay with them and continue their journey. Chagum is taken aback by this and cries for a bit but picks up the spear and aims at Balsa. He tells her that no matter how strong she is, she can’t protect him from the egg eater. As he charges Balsa with the spear.
Balsa deflects this easily, takes the spear away and slaps Chagum saying, “How dare you turn against your parent with a weapon?” Chagum breaks down and cries. Balsa tells him “How can you run off on our own when everyone is trying to protect you?” She tells him that she will protect him no matter what, telling him that he is the guardian and even if he’s scared he must fight to the end to protect the egg. Balsa kneels down and embraces Chagum, assuring him that she won’t let him die, even if it costs her own life. Chagum cries in her arms in despair.
Back in the village, Shuga and company arrive and asks for the elder telling them that they’ve come to take the prince back to the palace. The elder faces them and tells them they’d protect the guardian and it’s the responsibility of the Yakue people ever since so they won’t give Chagum to them. Shuga says he knows that and that they will protect him. The soldier leader, Mon, inisists they give them Chagum or they will resort to violence. He yells for Balsa to hear that they will defeat her and that her job as a bodyguard is over. Torogai-shi and Tanda face the court people and tells them that Balsa and Chagum are no longer there. Torogai-shi tells them that she will hear them out if they have something to say.
~ end of episode
My Impression: Poor Chagum is having a hard time facing the truth about his fate as a guardian, that there’s an egg eater after water spirit’s egg that is hidden inside him. I’m glad that the court people finally realized that they were supposed to protect the guardian instead of killing him, and it’s thanks to Shuga’s hardwork that he was able to find out this truth.
The confrontation between Chagum and Balsa is quite intense. Chagum is at the end of his wits and is at odds with his tragic fate. He just wants to live a normal life and questions why this had to happen to him as Balsa comforts him and assures him that she will do everything to protect him.
I thought this was a pretty good episode, and as usual, the animation is very well done. What I love about Seirei is that the story is character-driven and all the previous episodes built up this story helping the audience connect with the characters to get a better grasp of it. Everything seems to be falling into place gearing up for the last few episodes that will wrap up this series.
Next episode: Confrontation between Torogai-shi and Shuga as they come to a resolution about Chagum. Balsa and company continue their journey to hunter’s cave.
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