Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 3

Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 3

The Sea at the Bottom of the Cave

In case I haven’t mentioned it in one of the previous two episode reviews (I definitely have), the thing I look forward to the most from this series is world building. Yes, Somali’s smile is another thing to look forward to, but the world building of this series is really what intrigues me.

And guess what major world building item we got in today’s episode? That’s right, a map!

The unfortunate part about this, however, is that although we get to see a map of the continent, we have no idea where anything is. And by that I mean we don’t exactly know where Golem and Somali are currently, and we don’t know where their journey began.

Golem holding a map of the continent from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Golem holding a map of the continent

So what do we know, and what can it tell us about the journey they have ahead of them? Well, we know their journey began in a forested region, presumably marked on the map in green. My guess is that the medium-sized forest we see depicted in the northeastern quadrant of the map is where this series started.

We know that most of what they’ve traveled through thus far has been forest and grasslands, so the green area should be large enough to be depicted on this map.

There’s also the fact that they’ve now entered a more arid region of the continent, and are heading in the direction of a large desert. And, off to the west of that forest we can see a dry region with what appears to be a desert on the other side.

It’s also important to keep in mind that it was stated that they will need to cross the desert to get to the west end, meaning they’ve come from the east — where the forest is.

Anthole City

For anyone who’s played Breath of the Wild, the entrance to Anthole City looks like it could fit right into that version of Hyrule. I can almost picture it being located somewhere between the Gerudo Desert and the canyon which takes you there from central Hyrule.

As with the other city we saw in the first episode of the series, Anthole City is home to monsters of all sorts. However, I didn’t spot any Oni within the city. Maybe I just didn’t notice them, but I’m still convinced that the Oni have their own village set up somewhere away from everyone else.

Anthole City is also a bustling center of trade, probably because it lies right on the edge of a vast desert. This is the trading post for all goods coming and going from across the shifting sands. It’s also a fairly large city, built in layers with a large hole down the middle — much like the city from Made in Abyss.

There’s even a cavernous world below ground where dangerous creatures lurk.

Anthole City from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Anthole City

But, one of the more interesting aspects of Anthole City is what you get when you combine its position as a major trade hub, the labyrinth-like layout of the city, and some of the people we meet within it. It seems pretty clear that Anthole City is probably one of the major stops in the human trafficking business at the core of this series.

Now, I’m not going to say the wolf guy with an eye patch who’s been following Somali around is a human trafficker, but he could be. However, I actually think he’s on Somali’s side. My guess is that he’s someone who fights against human trafficking in the region, and recognizes that Somali is a human due to her scent.

Journey Across the Desert

While Golem is working at Kokilila’s restaurant, there are two important pieces of information we receive. One comes from Kikila in the form of a song about the first meeting between humans and monsters, and the other is the possible location of humans according to some patrons.

Kikila’s song doesn’t really give us any new information on the surface, but it does show us another view of the relationship between humans and monsters. It’s not a good relationship, but it’s one that’s important enough to have been passed down as part of an oral history.

The fact that there may be humans on the west end of the Osuna Desert is a much more tangible piece of information. Golem and Somali are searching for humans, and now they’ve been presented with an account of a human sighting — albeit not a firsthand account.

But, even if there are humans on the west end of the desert, will Golem and Somali find what they’re looking for? I doubt it.

All the information we received was that there was a sighting of humans there. There’s no reason to believe that these were free humans. Considering the relationship between humans and monsters on this continent, I find it hard to believe that there’s a group of humans living freely anywhere.

What’s more likely is that the traveler who spotted the humans actually saw a human trafficking caravan which was about to start the trek across the desert towards Anthole City. After all, I’m pretty sure that large island off to the west of the map is where the humans are currently located, so geographically this all checks out.

These are likely humans being transported from the shores of the continent into the interior — and from there they’ll be sold all over.

Life Underground

After Somali reveals that she believes she and Golem are on a journey so that Golem can dump her off somewhere, Kikila suggests the pair go in search of a particular flower in the cavern under the city. This flower is said to grant whoever finds it one wish — which should have been the first red flag.

The second red flag should have come when they entered the cavern and Kikila mentioned that children aren’t supposed to be down there unsupervised. And the third, major red flag should have come when Kikila and Somali had to hide from that giant bug which was roaming around.

Somali and Kikila watching walking mushrooms from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Somali and Kikila watching walking mushrooms

Down here, life is a bit different than on the surface. There doesn’t necessarily appear to be intelligent life, but it’s adapted in ways which might make you think otherwise. For example, there are mushrooms which are able to walk around on two legs in formation and attract insects to eat with their bioluminescence

There are also more dangerous creatures, such as the large plant(?) which almost ate Somali towards the end of the episode. It’s capable of traveling via floating through the air, so it seems that it’s positioning right next to the largest yozame flower was no coincidence.

This creature is clearly smart enough to set up an ambush — which is something you never want to say about a plant that’s larger than you are.

The only thing that was really missing from this foray into the underground is the “sea” mentioned in the title. There was a lake down there which Somali and Kikila sat next to for a bit, but I wouldn’t call it a sea, and I definitely wouldn’t say it was title-worthy. Perhaps it’s referring to the “sea of life” found underground.

Conclusion

Did you like episode 3 of Somali and the Forest Spirit? I’ll admit that Golem working at the restaurant wasn’t the most exciting part of the episode considering I want to explore the world more. But aside from that I thought it was good.

Also, where do you think Somali and Golem began their journey on the map? And what do you think is the deal with the eye patch wolf? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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