The Price of Smiles Episode 3 Review
After two weeks, The Price of Smiles has finally in episode 3 moved to the second character we see as central to this whole anime in the opening. Her name is Stella and she’s on the other side of the war. We don’t know a lot about Stella other than she clearly lost people either during the war or before the war broke out, but she is often seen smiling. I get the distinct impression that Stella’s smile has a very different meaning to Yuuki’s.
It is almost a shame the anime didn’t start at this episode. While some of what we have learned helped provide a bit of a context to the events this week, this episode and the characters we met were far more instantly interesting. Whereas Joshua and Yuuki and the very honourable soldiers fighting on their side were potentially interesting and were just kind of coming onto their feet at the end of episode 2 (well, one of them wasn’t rising to his feet but that couldn’t be helped), Stella and her crew, while not necessarily likeable are an interesting mix of characters and there’s some good back and forth between them.
We’re also thrown not into the ideals of the war but into a squad that is clearly expendable with a commander who isn’t above bending the rules even while he does achieve his objectives. It makes for a fun introductory episode to Stella and the others and while the orphan sub-plot this episode was laying on the emotional angle and horror of war theme a little heavily, I actually really had fun with this.
While I’m still not overly interested in the was as a whole I am interested in Stella and the squad we met here. I’m interested in what Yuuki intends to do next after episode 2. I’m very curious as to when and how (or even if) Stella and Yuuki meet and where that will take the story. So The Price of Smiles had an okay start with some potentially interesting ideas but now I’m more or less on board for the season. Hopefully it can deliver something fairly solid from this foundation.
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NENDOROID DOLL: QUEEN OF HEARTS
- Episode 1: Smile and the World Smiles With You – Maybe Not
- Episode 2: The Will To Keep a Smile Shining
- Episode 3: You Mean There’s People on the Other Side of a War?
- Episode 4: Rare Case When Naive Heroism Doesn’t Win The Day
- Episode 5: The Desperation of Both Sides in a War
- Episode 6: Where Will Yuuki Find Her Smile Now?
- Episodes 7 – 9: You Can Only Smile For So Long
- Episodes 10 – 11: Not About Who is Right, Only Who Is Left
- Episode 12: Bringing Back Smiles Through Over-Simplification
- Images from: Egao no Daika. Dir. T Suzuki. Tatsunoko Production. 2019.