Shining Hearts: Xiaoase no Nyan Episode 4

Starting next week I’ll be volunteering again for eight weeks, this time at Deudraeth Cyf, which should be a fantastic opportunity! This will conveniently end the week before my birthday and graduation ceremony, which is also the first week of the Summer anime season. Here’s hoping everything goes according to plan, unlike last time… Either way, expect delays in blog posts for the next two months. 😛

This episode properly introduces Xiaomei, the catgirl antique dealer. For this reason alone, I had considered putting it in my green top 3 in last week’s episode rankings… but instead settled with not putting it in last place. I hope she’ll forgive me.

Hopefully those who read my previous post but didn’t watch the episode got the gist of things from my haiku and screencaps – probably the most important point was that glowing spot in the sea which Hank’s doll’s lasers pointed out. The light is pretty hard to miss even during the daytime, and is spotted by a couple of fishermen passing by in their boat.

In the marketplace, Neris delivers bread to these men, asking them how their trip went. The younger fisherman tells her about the glowing patch, at which point Xiaomei cuts in, her interest piqued by the possibility of treasure. The older man wants nothing to do with it, however, reminding the youngsters of the island’s tradition: “Do not take from the sea that which you will not eat”.

Rick and Neris deliver bread to the clinic later that day, where we hear Kaguya is regaining strength (thanks to the bread, of course). While there, Rick asks to borrow her pendant. At the same time, in Hank’s workshop, the mechanical doll has come to life again, but complains of errors and missing parts. It also claims it is seeking resurrection…

Back at the bakery, Amil has been feeling depressed since Rick picked up a sword to protect Kaguya, something which seemed natural to him. We already know he washed up with a sword and armour, so his past may likely have involved combat. He also went blank after hearing Amil scream, and recalled some fragmented, likely painful memories. She is worried that their peaceful baking days may come to an end if his memories fully return…

Rick and Neris take Kaguya’s pendant to Xiaomei, in hopes that it’ll give them some clues about where she came from. The antique dealer is more interested in probing Rick about his own forgotten past, however. When he and Neris turn to leave, Xiaomei stops them, asking them to help her investigate the treasure in the ocean. And she’s pretty sure now that it is pirate treasure, having done some research.

Neris is reluctant on account of the island’s traditions, but Xiaomei doesn’t care about any of that, and Le Coeur could certainly do with some money for oven repairs…

And so the three head out to sea, all afloat upon a boat. They stop near the shiny area, and Neris dives down to take a look. She confirms that there is indeed a box on the ocean floor, but that it’s too big for one person to lift. Which is an understatement to be honest, the thing isn’t much smaller than their boat! Regardless, they decide to try pulling it up with a rope.

Neris dives down again to attach the rope… but gets her arm trapped underneath the box! Rick and Xiaomei wait, until it becomes apparent that something is wrong, at which point Xiaomei dives down and rescues her.

On the positive side, the rope is now attached, so the pulling commences! Which actually isn’t all that positive – as I expected, the box was too much for three people to pull up with just a rope and pulley. Still, they continue until the rope finally snaps. They’re about to give up when Rick notices smoke rising from a building – Hank’s workshop. If anyone can help them retrieve the box, it’s the dwarf.

Hank lives up to his stubborn reputation at first, but when he realizes the ‘treasure’ they’re after is the same as the item his doll has been seeking, he agrees to help them. At this point we see a flashback to the night Hank first found the doll – you guessed it, she was washed up out of the sea!

The second attempt at lifting the box is successful with the help of some sort of steam engine provided by Hank, which does all the pulling for them. It was by no means easy, however – the weight of the box causes the engine to overheat (probably not helped by the fact they threw in gunpowder to ‘juice it up’ a bit), and they end up dumping it overboard, where it promptly explodes! The ship doesn’t escape unscathed either – wonder how they got back to shore without a mast? 😛

So, what’s inside the box? More boxes! You’d hope it’d be something worth the time, effort and ship repair money they put into getting it, but when Xiaomei inspects the cargo, she’s not impressed – mostly cannonball lead, with one or two rare items mixed in.

One of the boxes glows, and Hank quickly claims it for himself, certain it is the missing piece of the doll. But while his scientific/inventive side wants to see the doll completed, another part of him worries about the consequences of repairing something which has already proven its destructive capabilities by blowing up a pirate ship…

The excitement of rummaging through the treasure is cut short when guards arrive at the scene, proclaiming that everything they’ve found is now palace property. All Xiaomei’s party get out of it is the ship repair money. 😦 It may seem a little harsh, but I suppose if you constantly lived in fear of pirates armed with weapons of mass destruction, you’d be wary too! By taking away Hank’s new toy, they may have just saved the island… let’s just hope the palace has no intentions of using it themselves.

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