I decided to cover this in a double post, mostly because these two episodes kind of sit back to back in terms of their themes. I must say, I’m very glad I did wait.
So here we go, the female rival arrives. The former fiancée and all that fancy junk that you can expect from a royal family. This one here is the Sea princess, who has a ‘much higher social standard’ and was raised as an ‘actual princess’ rather than a commoner, like Nike was. While Nike learned the magical ways of water bending, Miss Wave Princess Luna learned all of the social graces that were required of her, and thus, she is considered, of course, to be a more ‘fitting’ match for Livius.
And of course, she dances way better than Nike;
After she spends some time alone, we get the back story. Luna was enamoured with Livius and wanted to get married. And then his mother was killed which prompted a change in our shota king;
But things come full circle, and Luna realises that the one who put the light back in Livi’s eyes, so to speak, has been Nike. And this caption really does resonate the strongest of the whole episode;
The episode ends on a positive note; Nike begins to take her princess training more seriously, and gets a kiss from her shota king;
And yay, another happy episode.
But frankly, I found this episode totally cliché. Which brings us to episode 7, which admittedly, I enjoyed a lot more.
This time around, Nike gets a love interest in the form of the previous prime minister of the country, serving under Livi himself. Nike has not changed much as far as personality goes at all, but her poise and manor have gotten more ‘regal’, we can safely say.
But as it always is with learning a new art?
It tends to be pretty draining.
But Livi to the rescue to bring his lady flowers and off to the market… but of course, the king has to wear a disguise, right?
The episode begins with some happiness, with meeting the old villians from episode one (and up to no good once again) to having a fun dance in the village square.
But with all things, they start to become complicated when Nike’s love interest comes into picture:
Just like the previous episode, just as Luna was Livi’s ideal match, Bard is the ideal one for Nike. At first, just as in the previous episode, Bard proves his worth in archery, and the same people from before comment on how perfect it is. There is also an undercurrent of backstory, as apparently before now, the relationship between the two males was actually a good one:
But just as Nike and Bard ‘mysteriously dissapear’ at a party, our shota king quickly starts to show the ugly side of his personality that we’ve glimpsed at in flashbacks (see previous episode) and whatnot, and once again it rears its ugly head in a way that even I can say I didn’t foresee.
As Bard tries to have his way with Nike, Nike calmly tells him “no ur not in love with me get off” and everything is fine between the two without a thing happening.
The contrast between Livi’s reaction compared to the previous one where the girls settled their differences peacefully, and Luna left the kingdom to leave the happy couple alone, goes to show the differences, to me, in which gender is portrayed in industry. For the girls, it was a verbal catfight and a battle of wits, in which eventually Nike won through her sheer tenacity and good will. But in the case of Livi and Bard, Bard is arrested, with Livi threatening to kill him via torture instead of a simple arrest, and Nike is put under house arrest with the threat of having her country destroyed for ‘adultery’.
Honestly, I was impressed. Impressed because I was hoping that there would be an episode like this that shows the sheer contrast in the difference of Nike’s personality and willingness to grow and forgive Luna for trying to take her husband away from her, and also finally realising that she needed to really buckle down and learn what she needed to do to do her job as princess properly.
Whereas Livi over-reacted when it was pretty obvious that nothing had happened between Bard and Nike, as both were fully clothed and not rumpled at all, and it shows the very ugly side of Livius’ personality remains within him at this stage.
He has a lot of growing and changing to do, and a lot of maturing to do, from his issues and in learning to trust Nike’s decisions around the people he doesn’t trust, because it’s important to remember what she gave up, and her loyalty having been proven time and again to him.
This episode certainly made up for the lackluster ones in previous weeks, and I’m interested to see the backstory between Bard, Livi, and the outcome.