Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 2

Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 2

Edible Herbs and the Oni’s Dwelling

Somali and the Forest Spirit episode 2 wasn’t the most exciting thing I’ve ever watched, but it’s not like I expected this series to have action or anything. The problem with this episode was that it didn’t really explore that many new things, and instead doubled down on things we already know about.

For example, there was the “reveal” about Golem taking Somali to find her family before he dies. We already knew this from the first episode, it just wasn’t explicitly stated back then. It’s like how in the previous episode we got that information dump about humans after it was already heavily implied.

Another example of this is Golem telling Somali that he can talk to animals. It seems strange that Somali would just be learning this considering her fascination with both animals and her dad. And that leads me to believe this conversation took place solely for the benefit of the viewers.

Somali holding a horned rabbit from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Somali holding a horned rabbit

The problem with that, though, is that we already knew Golem could talk to animals from episode 1. He talks to animals in order to find where Somali ran off to when they were in town. And I think we saw him talking to animals even before that — so this explanation seemed unnecessary.

In fact, some of the only new information we received about the world in this episode had to do with the various creatures (and plants) that live within it.

At the beginning of the episode we’re given the name of the horned rabbits by Golem, and later on we meet Shizuno and Yabashira, a Dwarf Oni and Oni respectively. Shizuno then tells us the name of two plants used to make medicine, Hypericum erectum and Pueraria.

The Oni Clan

Now, it’s probably fair to say that the names of the horned rabbits, Hypericum erectum, and Pueraria don’t actually matter. However, the Oni do matter because they can teach us a bit more about the inhabitants of this continent.

We know that this continent is home to monsters, but until now they were all grouped together. Obviously the Golems are in a separate category, but aside from them it appeared like all the various monsters were part of one, cohesive group. That is, until we meet members of the Oni clan.

The existence of the Oni clan tells us one of two things. Either the Oni are somehow special and different enough to receive their own distinction, or all of the monsters are actually broken into various groups. My bet is on the former, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Shizuno seems to understand that Somali is actually a human, or at least not a Minotaur. And from this, I’m going to guess that the Oni also originated from a different continent — only they assimilated into life on this monster continent unlike the humans.

Also, even within the Oni clan there are distinctions between types of Oni. Yabashira appears to be your standard Oni based on his size, while Shizuno is confirmed to be a Dwarf Oni. So far it’s unclear if Oni and Dwarf Oni normally interact the way these two do, or if they’re a special case.

But that question may be answered in the next episode.

Although Shizuno and Yabashira live in the forest, they do so only because it’s closer to the herbs they need for their medicine. There’s a town nearby, and perhaps it will turn out to be an Oni town.

One Year and 112 Days

As I mentioned previously, and two weeks ago during my review of the first episode, Golem is nearing the end of his life. This week, we’re actually given an exact time frame for when he’s going to die. Golems live for exactly 1,000 years, and he has one year and 112 days remaining.

The first thing I want to mention about this stated time frame is that it puts a definitive end on the series. It’s very possible that the series could continue after Golem’s death, but that seems unlikely. Would I like for it to continue though? Of course.

But having a set number of days until Golem’s death is actually a pretty good thing for the series. It means there’s going to be a definitive end of the series, and it’s not something which can be drawn out forever. Unless, of course, Golem discovers a way to live, but that would be dumb.

Golem's cracking body from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Golem’s cracking body

The second thing I want to mention regarding Golem’s life expectancy has to do with his body. It’s clearly deteriorating, and the idea was thrown out there that he wears all his clothes in order to hold his body together. Whether or not that’s true, it’s an interesting thing to think about.

I had assumed that he wore those clothes so he wouldn’t stand out as much on his travels, but what if Shizuno’s assumption was correct? Does this mean that Golem could die before 1,000 years if his physical condition worsens?

Or, could it be that although Golems live for 1,000 years, most of them become immobile due to damage sustained over the years before they reach that point? Might you find Golems which appear dead, but are actually still alive while the forest slowly reclaims their bodies?

Conclusion

What did you think of the second episode of Somali and the Forest Spirit? Was it as good as the first? Do you think this series is going to be good overall? And, what are your thoughts on the fact that the anime continuously explains things to us that we can already infer? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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