Hakushaku to Yousei (Earl and Fairy) Episode One – He’s a Refined Villain
October 29, 2008
Hakushaku to Yousei is the first anime that landed on my Fall season list, but October came and flooded everyone with new shows – fairies had to wait. However, I am excited to go back to Earl and Fairy again, and present Kitsune’s Thoughts first collaborative work:) Sakura, a prolific writer for Calamitous Intents, generously provided her extensive commentary, while I conjured some magical screenshots ;)
Genres: adventure, magic, romance
Plot Summary: The story is set in 19th century England and centers on a “fairy doctor” named Lydia. Her life takes a 180-degrees turn when she meets a legendary blue knight count named Edgar and his crew. He hires her as an adviser during his quest to obtain a treasured sword that was supposed to be handed down to him by his family. (ANN)
So I had really wanted to check this anime out for many reasons. The blonde hair bishie of course was an obvious one ;) but also because the setting had me really excited.
I’m British born and raised, I moved to the United States a year after marrying my husband since he’s American. It’s odd the things that make you think of home, and I have to admit I seem to get particularly nostalgic about England in the fall season.
It took me three listens, but I’ve finally decided that I do like the opening theme (Feeling – by AciD Flavour) to this. It starts out with some lively violins and stays pretty lively throughout, getting quite catchy as it goes on.
When the first episode started and I heard the chimes of Big Ben I actually let out a squee of happiness. Along with Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge, Big Ben is truly one of those landmarks, which is quintessentially British.
As is, it appears the blonde haired bishie we mentioned earlier. Although as this episode opens he appears to be more sinister than charming, considering he has some poor, frightened man tied to a chair. He’s after information regarding the whereabouts of some ‘Noble Sword of the Merrow’ and tosses a scalpel at the wall near the man to try and get him to talk.
The man is terrified and tells him that he really doesn’t know.
But, once our blond interrogator points a gun at him, the imprisoned man tells him that a fairy doctor might be able to give him the information he needs and so he gives our pretty boy the name of a Fairy Doctor in Scotland.
We don’t see anyone actually killed but we do hear a gun go off so we are left to assume the man in the chair is now dead…
Ooooh Scotland its been so long since I’ve walked along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond (my grandfather is Scottish XD )
So our heroine is a Fairy Doctor living in Scotland, near Edinburgh to be exact. Well according to the information provided by the man, she seems to be a cheerful and lively girl.
She has a Fairy cat called Nico for a companion. Talking Cat = WIN!
As her title suggests she can see fairies, although Nico says the age where people seek the wisdom of Fairy doctors is now past. Indeed Lydia has a hard time convincing people they exist and is probably regarded as a bit crazy. Which is probably why a mother drags her son away from Lydia and the postman who is besieged by ‘brownies’ as Lydia calls them, can’t get away from her fast enough, since she’s blathering on about fairies and fairy cats and of course he can’t see anything!
The letter it turns out is from her father inviting her to London and so the story begins!
Lydia’s father narrates a tale to us about a mysterious Lord Ibrazel, Earl of the Fairy Nation, also known as the Blue Knight Earl. The King of England bestowed the title of a peerage upon him as well as land in the fairy nation.
Lydia’s father tells us that he tends to believe in things such as these and fairy doctors who act as liaisons between fairies and humans. This is because his daughter Lydia inherited these powers from his wife. It was because of that she chose to become the Fairy doctor to the Earl of the Fairy nation.
Kitty reading the newspaper is win sauce! Lydia is worried that Nico might get seen by a Mr. Huskley if he should return to their room on the ship they are currently on. Nico however, is tired of acting like a normal cat and isn’t too fond of Mr. Huskley anyways since he was rude to Lydia in his mind. Since the man said, he recognized Lydia by her rust colored hair. She tells Nico its fine however since that is the color of her hair.
It also appears that our pretty blond with ash mauve eyes has made the paper. It calls him a German larcenist, who is accused not only of stealing a great deal of money but also of murdering one hundred people and serial larceny in America!
Lydia is shown to another room, more expensive than her previous one, which stuns her a bit. Normally her father would throw his money into research, so the pricey digs are a bit of an oddity.
Stopped in their tracks by a sudden sound Lydia checks the wardrobe only to find it empty and so thinks that maybe they were just hearing things.
Always trust your judgment people! Lydia and Nico did hear something and that something grabs Lydia and covers her mouth!
Just when she thinks she is going to be killed, the man who grabbed Lydia asks for her help. He tells her that Mr. Huskley is the underling of a villain and that if she stays as she is bad things will happen to her.
The man releases her and Lydia notes the beautiful ashy mauve eyes of the brown haired man before her.
He tells her that he was captured and held captive. Lydia notices how beaten up the guy looks and asks what will happen to him if he is captured again.
She is shocked when he says that they will kill him.
He tells her that he can’t leave without passing their room, it’s the perfect set up to keep her confined. Lydia checks the door as he tells her to and finds that there is string stretched across the door. She turns back to ask him how they can escape and he thanks her for believing in him.
He turns on the charm calling her a pretty lady with caramel colored hair as he takes it into his hand and kisses it!
The plan swings into action! Lydia makes the ‘kidnappers’ believe that the man the are searching for is in the closet in her room and while they are checking it out, she and the mysterious man make a run for it.
And what an escape it is, our mauve-eyed man proves to be quite witty and charming so Lydia finds herself staring at him with all the pretty sparkles flying around as he punches the bad guys!
They end up; well Lydia isn’t quite sure where she’s ended up as her mysterious companion lies on the floor of the room exhausted.
Nico feels that the man is very shady. While Lydia feels that they at least escaped being deceived, Nico wonders about that, since the mysterious man could very well be deceiving them. Listen to your cat people hey are very wise!
Lydia falls asleep and Nico wakes her up as our mysterious man returns.
Yes, he is actually our blonde haired bishie as I’m sure you all guessed already. He’s returned now that he’s washed the brown dye out of his hair and he tells Lydia she looks cute when she’s sleeping. She’s shocked by the change in his hair and he tells her that he stands out too much with his natural color.
Lydia watches as the man’s attendant Raven helps him to dress. The servant appears upset at his Lord’s injuries but the blonde haired guy tells him that it’s not worth killing over!
Overhearing everything that is said Lydia is of course wondering who these people are and what on earth it could mean. The blonde haired man introduces Lydia to his attendant Raven by name and she is shocked since she hadn’t told it to him. He explains that the name of the person those men had been looking for was Lydia Carlton and apologizes for having not introduced himself earlier.
Our blond haired pretty boy is Earl Edgar Ashenbert!
Lydia is shocked and says she doesn’t believe him and she’ll be taking her leave since she has business in London.
Unfortunately, she’s on a ship, which has already set sail, so she doesn’t have anywhere she can go. He’s a sneaky one that Earl!
Lydia is understandably upset as she realizes that Edgar has indeed been deceiving her, he had planned to get her onboard the ship all along.
He tells her his capture however was real, since it was the only way he knew he could get close to her.
He tells her he needs her trust and help by any means possible and then asks Raven to get Lydia’s dress ready since dinner is nearly ready…
Lydia looks quite pretty in her dress and Edgar tells her so.
Though Lydia thinks he’s just teasing, he assures her that he isn’t although says she would like prettier if she smiled. He asks her to smile for him but Lydia doesn’t think she really has any reason to smile.
Their dinner companions ask if the Earl’s pretty friend will become his partner during the trip. Edgar says that while that would be nice, Lydia refuses to allow him to call her anything other than a friend. Lydia of course knows that this is a lie and they just met and so wonders just what Edgar is up to. She thinks that maybe he is just trying to show off.
Dinner looks to be quite a grand affair with everyone dressed up very finely.
During conversation at dinner, it comes up that Edgar is a descendant of the Blue Knight Earl. The ruler of the fairy nation was known in legends as Lord Ibrazel, a man who pledged his loyalty to King Edward the First. This enabled the King of England to rule over the Fairy Nation too.
They say that they aren’t children and act as if believing in fairies is stupid which upsets Lydia. As she points out that the story of the Earl and the Fairy Nation were passed down in the same way. So she can’t understand how they can pass one off as fact and the other as fiction.
Lydia speaks up though, telling all that they are wrong and that the Blue Knight Earl was the true ruler of the Fairy Nation. She asks why they believe in the Blue Knight Earl, but shrug off the Fairy Nation as a joke.
Lydia looks downcast as one of the guests calls her bluff and asks the Earl if he indeed holds fairy lands. Edgar surprises Lydia however by saying that he does since it was passed to him from his ancestors.
He gives then some family history, saying that Ibrazel is a Gaelic term, which refers to the homeland of the fairies, which lies beyond the oceans. The lady wishes to see this land, but Edgar says due to a decree passed down over the generations that only the bride can be brought back there.
The cheeky man tells everyone that he wonders when Lydia will go there with him and he throws her a wink. She realizes he helped her and wonders if he actually believes in fairies.
While walking out on the deck Lydia comes across Nico stuffing his face and drinking scotch! Well kitties get hungry too ya know! Particularly since he had to deal with the traumatic experience of them putting milk in a saucer for him XD Nico don’t roll with milk yo he likes the hard stuff.
Lydia gives him the lowdown on what happened and dinner and Nico muses that if Edgar is indeed a Lord connected to fairies then it would make sense he would seek her aid.
Nico doesn’t think that Lydia should get involved with the man though. He isn’t too impressed with Edgar, saying that even though he acts like a lady killer he isn’t anything special.
Lydia tells Nico that she thinks Edgar is handsome, which of course means that Edgar is standing right there. Lydia quickly backtracks saying she was just stating a general opinion since all eyes were on him at dinner. So really, whether she has a favorable opinion of him or not is another matter.
I have to say I really liked the ending of this episode. Lydia gets all flustered when Edgar asks who she was talking to and if she had another drink.
So she tells him she was talking to Nico and it was he who drank the scotch. She says that Nico gets quite upset if you don’t treat him like a gentleman and then tells Edgar to go ahead and laugh at her since she’s lost her mind.
He doesn’t laugh however but says that people say a fairy doctor can see things normal people can’t and hear voices that others can’t.
Then he starts to lay on the charm, telling Lydia he feels her peridot eyes could unravel the mysteries of the world. She says he’s exaggerating, but he goes on to say the light in her eyes shines like brilliant golden fireworks, that they are beautiful and mysterious.
She asks him if he is really a descendant of the Blue Knight Earl and if he can really see fairies, otherwise he won’t be able to enter his own land. He tells her that it’s true he doesn’t have the abilities of his ancestors, which is why he needs her. The proof needed to succeed the Blue Knight Earl is the Noble Sword of The Merrow presented by Edward the First.
Lydia seems to know it since she calls it the sword of the merfolk.
As Lydia starts to back away, Edgar tells her that one of his ancestors hid it away on his land before he died, following her as she edges away from him. Each step she takes back he takes one forward. He tells her that now he has returned to England he wishes to pay his respects to the Queen but needs the sword to stake his claim as the Blue Knight Earl.
Lydia says she understands but tells him to keep his distance. Edgar says that Julius Ashenbert hid the noble sword somewhere on his lands some 300 years previously and then he passed away in another country. The location of the sword is contained in some fairy prose that Edgar cannot understand. There are also people after the star sapphire on the sword, Huskley being one of them. Those people intend to kill Edgar since they are both after the same thing and so he wants to find some way to assert his claim before it is taken away from him.
Having backed Lydia all the way to end of the ship he asks her for her assistance, catching her as she almost topples over the railing.
She asks for him to release her but he says that she’ll fall. Getting angry, she pushes him off of her and tells him she doesn’t believe he is the real Blue Knight Earl yet and she couldn’t possibly help an imposter get the sword.
Edgar tells her if that is what she believes then she should turn him down, but asks if she intends to swim back home. She asks if he is going to throw her overboard but he tells her he is not such a vile person.
He warns her however that she is currently penniless and the others will leave no stone unturned to find her. Lydia tells Edgar he’s plenty vile and then hears another ship in the distance. It looks like a battleship and so Edgar says that Huskley must be after them!
Well I have to say I’m definitely looking forward to more of this show. I enjoy the fantasy element to it, Edgar is very charming and Lydia is quite the firecracker. I’m going to enjoy the fireworks between these two, that’s for certain!