Elf has a lot to say…
|Sometimes, with a cold open, you have to skip a bit ahead, get to the bikini.Then, after the OP, you set the story up good and proper, and handle your character development. So what do we think of Elf now?|
Little Sister and Faerie Island
I freakin’ love Elf’s smirk…”I have not yet BEGUN to mess with you!”
I’ve made it no secret that I’m clearly in Camp Elf, and have been since the second episode; for the given value of what a camp can accomplish for this show, but more on that later. She’s a dynamic character that just keeps on giving us more development, and story, with nearly every appearance, and this episode is the pièce de résistance in her steady progression. When you think about it, that’s a long long way from her incredibly thick debut, as the poster child for self-obsession and spoiled brattiness. She makes an impact, no matter what she does, that is for sure. So, this time around we get some insight into how all that came about, and why the reversal fit into her narrative.
Elf is the master (oh goodness, no!) of the moment, she’s channeling her inner writer here….
But first, I’ll get some general episode things out of the way. Of course her family owns an island, right? And of course she would use this whole training camp business as an excuse to show her friends of to her older brother. In all of that, I have to admit that some of the plot was fairly…weak. I felt that Sagiri should have been far less accepting of being left on her own, but she has been showing a small independent streak, however slight is has been. I feel she needs to get out (and the future book titles suggest that) and see the world, to become a more even and dependable character. But for now, she’s happy her brother get’s to report back so she can exploit the experience for her art. Then there is Muramasa, who has sunk deeper and deeper into the “beta” girl territory – it’s beyond awkward. Oh, and the one dude from last episode went along to, and he furthered the “gay joke”…yeah, that’s what he did….
Well that just seems strange….
So with that out of the way, let’s get on with the meat of the story. Elf has some very complex and some painful beginnings. In her immediate surroundings, she has Chris, who silently guides her along, and it looks like he feels guilty for leaving home to early. She then brings up her parents and the complicated way they met and got married. But since both are unseen, the writing basically treats them as extensions of Elf’s own character; which is a fascinating way to use the supporting character mechanism. The father had all the trappings of wealth – it was his island they were on after all -, but it took him awhile to gain influence, if I read between the lines…and then he exited the stage of life early.
Putting a fine point on it…
This gave Elf a playground island world to set her stories in, isolated but happy; and I’m willing to bet that in addition to all the sexy LN romping in her writing, there is something of her father in the non-rompy parts of those same LNs. She’s working things out. By this point we know an absent parent is a signal of a character’s unresolved issues. All of this ties into my favorite part of her character, and that is she is used to trying and failing, which was the first thing we learned about her in episode one, But despite that, she is totally prepared to go after a goal, no matter what. In that she stands against Sagiri and Muramasa i the most important way. She has agency – even if the writing deflates the other two in simplistic fashions. In short, Elf pursues what she wants. It’s then, when she is most vulnerable, and really on a good path, that she reveals her real name, Emily; and good on the show for using that as a device to hide character motivation until it’s ready, the rest had weak alt-names, she doesn’t. She has a real one.
A Whole Lot of Very Extra Elf!
So, has she really taken over the show?
So in my final thoughts I wanted to bring up our male main character. I won’t surprise anyone by saying that Masamune is whole and complete idiot. But it’s the way that he’s an idiot that is shaping the story. He really doesn’t know what he wants above and beyond just succeeding. But, like Elf, he has his own unresolved issues. The difference is probably as easy as having Chris as a supporting character. In short, Elf has support for all her goals, and some guidance, Masamune is his own support and is his own guide, for whatever circumstances that have yet to be shown. In that,a lot of his position as support for both himself and his sister is clouding his judgment. He holds Sagiri as a “pure girl” a goal he want to reach just by waiting for her to grow; that’s what the anime really means. Fruition, success, acceptance. But just last episode he admitted that Muramasa was his second choice if not for Sagiri. This episode, she’s shot down to number three, maybe, in the face of Elf’s total charm offensive and brunt honesty. He’s overwhelmed for sure. And to keep this short, I’ll say just one thing. Good. That makes for good drama, and potential for a good set of characters, and no matter how utterly ridiculous these characters are, there is something very genuine about them, under all the schmaltz…