Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 12

Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 12

Bonded Father and Child

I have to say, I really liked the final episode of Somali and the Forest Spirit. It wasn’t the best episode of the series, but it did include one of the best individual performances by a voice actor — potentially of all time.

Inori Minase has been one of my favorite voice actors for years at this point. She’s in a lot of anime, and does an amazing job every time (just like Kana Hanazawa, who unfortunately is not in Somali). And while I’m sure many people would say that Rem was her best character, I think she did even better with Somali.

Also, I loved Inori as Mei in Endro~! which is an anime more people should watch.

The performance by Inori when Somali is begging Golem not to leave her and telling him that he does have emotions was probably the best scene of the entire series specifically because of her voice acting.

And voice acting aside, I just think Somali is a really well written character with some well written lines. For example, when the old men in the town in this episode explain the wind-rider flower’s connection to the festival, Somali immediately asks Golem if he knew that already.

That line may not seem that important, but it’s exactly what a kid her age would do. They learn a new piece of information, and immediately want to know if their parent — who they believe knows everything — already knew it.

Harvest Festival

Unfortunately, we never actually get the name of the town visited in this episode. We can see that it’s loosely based on Chinese culture, with the dragon statues and lanterns, but other than that, this town doesn’t really seem to have any defining characteristics that we’re told of.

It’s not like Anthole City which is the gateway to the desert, Winecup Village which is an important rest stop in the desert, whatever the witch’s city was called which is the center of learning on the continent, or even Bygone City which marks the edge of civilization and the start of the frontier.

However, thanks to Bygone City, we can actually infer that this new town our characters venture to is disconnected from everywhere else they’ve been before.

Somali & the gang heading to the next town from the anime Somali and the Forest Spirit
Somali & the gang heading to the next town

This new town still has recognizable customs such as harvest festivals, the townspeople are still Grotesques, and the villagers even know what golems are. But we have to remember that this town is located beyond the frontier which Bygone City marks.

We didn’t actually get to see Somali and Golem traverse the mountains in the series like we did in the opening sequence, but we can assume this town lies beyond them. That also may be why the town is loosely based on China — a similar, yet very separate culture from Japan.

And one last thing I found interesting about this town is how they connect their harvest festival to their ancestors. Another option would have been to connect it to some sort of harvest god, but I think ancestors works better here for two main reasons.

First, collectivistic cultures (which Asian cultures generally fall into) place a lot more focus on the extended family, including ancestors. Second, this sets up the idea that Golem is going to die one day (potentially soon), but that he’ll still be watching over Somali after that.

Unlimited Golem Works

I don’t really have too much to say for this section, but I did want to touch on Golem’s berserk mode one more time after last episode.

We know he lost his left arm, and I believe he mentioned that 23% of his “skin” was also removed as well — along with internal fluids and whatnot. This isn’t that bad considering I thought this berserk mode was activated in exchange for his life. It almost seemed like a self destruct mode.

Golem going berserk from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Golem going berserk

Golem was also able to use some sort of fire technique, before which he said, “internal heat and spirit limit conversion initiated.” This furthered my idea that Golem wasn’t going to survive long after this fight — he’s literally turning his own spirit into energy for these attacks.

That has to do some lasting damage to his body.

It actually reminded me of when battle shounen protagonists do things that are said to reduce their remaining life force. I remember I watched a video where all the damage Luffy had taken over the course of One Piece was added up to calculate his remaining life, and he didn’t have all that long.

A New Journey Begins

Alright, so of course I was excited to see the new town in this episode. And of course I loved Inori’s performance in this episode as well. But I think the part of the episode which got me the most excited was the very end when we got to see Somali and Golem in their new outfits.

Golem’s new look is pretty decent, but I think I preferred his original design more. Somali, on the other hand, is powerful.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Somali’s original design too with the black minotaur cape. But this new design is pretty amazing as well — especially since the horns are now a different color from her hood.

Somali and Golem wearing new outfits from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Somali and Golem wearing new outfits

When Golem disappeared during the harvest festival I really thought that was going to be it for him. It wouldn’t have been the worst anime-original end. After all, Somali would have continued to travel with Shizuno and Yabashira, and it was just set up that Golem would be watching over her from the afterlife.

But now that we got to see these two continuing their journey, possibly in a different land connected to this final village we saw, I’m hopeful for a second season. And if we do get a second season, I hope we get to see Somali in a bunch of different outfits.

Conclusion

What did you think of Somali and the Forest Spirit episode 12? Were you impressed by Inori Minase’s performance? Do you think the season should have ended with Golem’s disappearance? And what are your thoughts on Somali’s new threads? Let me know in the comments.

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