This week’s episode is an interesting one. In it, Ryza and Bos find their roles completely reversed. Up until this point in her young life, Ryza has been the troublemaker—the one who, blinded by her ego, foolishly charges into danger. Meanwhile, Bos has spent his adolescence becoming the heir apparent to the town, getting ready to take the reins of leadership from his father.
Throughout the series, Bos has looked down on Ryza for her immaturity—naturally elevating himself above her in his mind. His ego tells him that he is better than Ryza—that he must be. Therefore, he can’t believe a screw-up like Ryza could do something he could not—i.e., fight the dragon and escape unharmed. He has to prove to himself that the world is as he has believed it to be regardless of any supposed danger. Because, if not, then what excuse does he have for looking down on Ryza for so many years?
However, what Bos can’t see is, that even if Ryza did grow up later than Bos, she’s still grown up. Through numerous tough lessons, Ryza has become much more understanding about the dangers they face—both those outside the island and those stemming from her reckless attitude. She knows it is the height of foolishness to confront the dragon; she knows that Bos is heading directly towards his demise.
Yet, there is one more layer to Ryza’s dilemma in this episode—one even she may not fully realize. With Empel and Lila away, Ryza is technically the strongest person on the island. Her alchemy gives her power far beyond the city guard or even Lent’s warrior father; she can vaporize stone. And she knows that even she has no sure means of stopping the dragon.
So, here we have Ryza, for the first time, not wanting to head out on an adventure. She knows the risks—knows it is a bad idea for her and her friends to fight the dragon. But after Bos and the others leave on their useless suicide mission, she is plagued by the fact that she and her alchemy alone have even the slightest chance of killing the dragon. And so she and her friends head out: not for selfish, foolhardy adventure, but to save those who will otherwise die.
Ryza has great power and now she’s taking responsibility.
• Did Empel not tell anyone his quest would likely stop the dragon? Waiting for him to come back seems to be the obvious choice here.
• Both Bos’ and Klaudia’s fathers reluctantly let their children go on this dangerous mission—though for drastically different reasons.
• Lent’s relationship with his father is a troubled one but when he acts like an adult and not a petulant child, he is treated like one.
• I just realized what the black bits of Lila’s hair are—or rather that they’re not hair at all. They’re the tips of her ears. To go with her beastly arms and claws, she has giant furry lop ears that blend in with her hair! (And the gold rings in her “hair” are earrings!)
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.