Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 10

Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 10

The Infant Child and the Green Fortress

The first half of Somali and the Forest Spirit episode 10 focuses on the time between Somali and Golem’s first meeting and when they left the forest. Unfortunately we’re never given an exact location for this forest, but I suppose it doesn’t really matter all that much at the end of the day.

What does matter is that we get a little more information about Somali’s background and why she is how she is.

We already knew Somali was a slave of some sort — whether she was going to be used to perform manual labor or simply be eaten is up for debate. But we didn’t really know how she ended up in the middle of the forest.

However, we now know that the human trafficking caravan she was a part of was attacked while traveling through the forest. All of the slave traders died in the attack, as did the rest of the captive humans they were transporting — only Somali survived.

And although I’d like to know who or what attacked the caravan, I don’t think we’ll ever get an answer. That information isn’t necessary to understand the story or the characters in the same way the information about the attack happening at all is.

Somali in Chains

Something which has been stated, and implied, before in the series is the idea that golem are only found within forests. We’ve had characters mention that it’s strange to see a golem outside of their forest, and even the title of the series refers to Golem as a “forest spirit.”

But over the course of the series I began to think that golem weren’t restricted to forests. Why would they only protect forests? Why couldn’t there be a golem overseeing the protection of Osuna Desert? After all, there was even a golem overseeing Haraiso Village, which isn’t a forest.

Our Golem, however, seems to confirm that yes, golem are supposedly restricted to forests. The forest he finds Somali in is his forest, and as far as he’s concerned, anything that doesn’t belong in that forest doesn’t fall under his protection — including Somali.

Somali being hungry from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Somali being hungry

Golem tells Somali to stop following him and to leave the forest. He also mentions that she’ll likely starve soon (or get eaten by a creature in the forest), but that it’s not his problem. And, while Somali is following him around, he doesn’t even release her from the chains around her arms and legs for days.

Something else which we learn from Golem during this first half of the episode which I think is interesting is his explanation of why Somali immediately referred to him as her dad. This is something Somali has done for the entire series, but not something I ever gave much thought.

Apparently, Golem believes that she began referring to him in that way as a defense mechanism. Either this was Somali’s way of trying to distance herself from the horrors she previously witnessed, or she was attempting to make Golem view her as someone he should take care of.

The Start of an Adventure

If you’re like me, you probably wondered where Somali’s name came from. Did she already have this name when she met Golem? Or did Golem name her this? And regardless of which it was, what does Somali even mean?

Luckily, this was all explained (sort of) in this episode.

When Golem and the unnamed human child now known as Somali were about to head out of the forest on their search for other humans, Somali received her name. The creature which initially led Golem to Somali returned to bid Somali farewell, and it’s this creature Somali is named after.

Somali and the Komidori-Somali from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Somali and the Komidori-Somali

The Komidori-Somali is a cat-like animal — though not a cat according to Golem — which inhabits the forest. Its fur is green, with a lighter patch on its face and darker stripes on its underside. On each side of its face are two, branch-like whiskers. And it has four tails.

So, what does Komidori-Somali mean? According to the subtitles on Crunchyroll, it means “Steeped-in-Viridian.” That’s a fine translation, but it doesn’t really explain what the creature is. Komidori is dark green, which is where the viridian comes from. Somali, on the other hand, is a breed of cat — so the name really means it’s a dark green Somali cat.

And yes, that means Somali was actually just named after a type of cat. However, the fact that she was named after this green cat is also probably why her hair has a green tint in the anime. In the manga, her hair has a purple tint instead.

Never Trust an Axolotl

From the very first time we laid eyes on Auntie Rosa, the wife of the inn keeper, I knew she was trouble. As I always say, “never trust a human-sized axolotl with four arms.”

After watching the episode I took a look at what some other people had to say about Auntie Rosa, and surprisingly a lot of them didn’t expect that she was going to turn out bad. Like I said, right from the start I had a bad feeling about her, and it wasn’t just because she’s a fleshy, pink creature.

I still forget the dwarf oni’s name, but when he(she?) opened the door and was picked up by Auntie Rosa, that was the first red flag. The second and third red flags both came when Auntie Rosa immediately asked about a small child in the house.

Auntie Rosa from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Auntie Rosa

That question may have seemed innocent enough, but it felt a bit out of place. Maybe there simply aren’t many children around since this is a frontier town, and Auntie Rosa just wanted to see Somali’s smile. Or, Auntie Rosa is interested in children for the slave trade.

She lives in Bygone Town; we can’t trust her completely even from the start.

So, once Auntie Rosa smells that Somali is a human and tells some ruffians in town about her, it’s obvious that she’s not a good person. However, I still think the result would have been the same even if Somali wasn’t a human. I do think Auntie Rosa is part of a slave trade ring, and the fact that Somali is human just means she’ll be worth more.

Conclusion

As one last point before I conclude for today, remember how we saw that Somali was the sole survivor of an attack on a slave trader caravan at the start of the episode? And remember how Golem thinks she calls him her father as a coping mechanism? I think that’s all going to become relevant once Auntie Rosa attempts to kidnap Somali.

Somali will probably suddenly remember what happened to her before she met Golem. And, it could be these memories which remind her that Golem isn’t her real father, which in turn could motivate her to reach the end of their journey.

But what are your thoughts on this episode of Somali and the Forest Spirit? What would Golem have done if Somali was eaten by a creature of the forest? And did you see the twist with Auntie Rosa coming from the start like I did? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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