Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 5 Review

She Smells Like You

Somali and Golem are finally crossing the desert and it is a tearful parting for Somali’s friend. It is kind of a standard of these kinds of stories where characters move from one location to the other is that characters come and go from their lives and by default the audience only sees them for a brief time and then they depart. Alternatively, you have the shows where they end up travelling with half a community because people just keep randomly deciding to drop whatever they were doing and join the protagonists on their wandering, but that isn’t the type of story Somali is.

After a hot wagon ride they arrive at a town built in the caldera of an extinct volcano which is apparently in order to protect it from the sandstorms in the desert. I’ll point out that this location was so far the least interesting visually. While the overhead shot was nice, seeing the town inside the volcano, the community itself didn’t seem to have any distinctive characteristics visually and it more seemed just more of what we had already seen in previous communities. This is the first location where I haven’t felt instantly like it was a distinct place.

But the location isn’t the focus. Instead, we see Somali and Golem meet two other travellers, one of which is a harpy and the other is quite clearly wearing a mask. The reveal of the mask wearer’s identity is pretty obvious and yet it does lead to some interesting questions about what next for Somali and Golem in their journey. Provided they survive the current leg.

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Turns out the desert really is quite dangerous with random sand storms, tornadoes and even leaping sand sharks. Can we just stop the review a moment and ask why this is an ongoing thing in movies? Huge desert animals that just leap out of the sand and then instantly burrow themselves. It seems so impractical and yet this is something that I’ve been watching appear in anime and movies for a fair while including going back to Vampire Hunter D.

The travellers that Somali and Golem join up with reveal their hand at the end of the episode but I’m going to leave that discovery for you to watch. This is possibly the most plot significant episode outside of learning that the Golem is near the end of his life so far and I definitely enjoyed it and it left me wondering what the outcome will be next week.


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Karandi James



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Images from: Somali and the Forest Spirit. Dir. Kenji Yasuda. Satelight. 2020.

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