Like my latest Call of the Night review, this one’s also coming a bit late due to my inability to do multiple things at once. I’ve finally forced myself to sit down and write this. Well, my butt is already always firmly planted on my computer chair (as exhibited by a large butt-print), so the writing part was all I had to force.
This episode sees the struggles of the new Parallel World Pharmacy (roll credits…) as they’re having trouble attracting customers. The store’s identity itself seems to be the problem as commoners are afraid to buy at a store owned and run by a noble. This is obviously a big problem since Falma specifically made the pharmacy to cater to the poor common folk. Unfortunately, said commoners are afraid that they might not know the proper ways to behave in a fancy-shmancy place like this and that their poor peasant ways might offend a nobleman.
Again, these are details that I wouldn’t have even thought of but are great additions to the story. It further emphasizes the class divide in this world. Personally, I too feel insecure whenever I’m in a fancy place. I guess I’m an out-of-place peasant too.
I’m also just happy that this show doesn’t go the route of “have a cute underaged girl outside of the store to attract creepy male customers”.
Of course, this problem pretty much gets resolved by the end of the episode—probably since we actually need the store to have customers to progress the story. Although, during the post-credits scene, the Queen does order Falma to raise the prices of his products. Apparently, this is because his rock-bottom prices might steal customers from commoner-owned pharmacies. I know nothing about economics, but I guess this makes a bit of sense. But I was surprised how easily Falma agrees to it. Wouldn’t this mean his products won’t have the reach he intended? I guess we’ll see exactly how this affects their operations in the upcoming episodes.
This does make me think that it might be better for him to teach other pharmacies how to create his special drugs, or maybe even become a manufacturer instead. His drugs are obviously going to be superior than everyone else’s, and it seems like there are certain “medical” practices here that he might want to correct.
Case in point, the subject matter of this episode: dangerous beauty fads.
Beatrice—Falma’s mother who I completely forgot existed but is a total MILF—suggests that he start creating cosmetics to attract customers. Her and Bruno then talk about the current state of cosmetics as well as some dangerous practices that people subscribe to for the sake of beauty—namely, blood-letting.
Once again, this show teaches me something new. Apparently, blood-letting is the practice of withdrawing blood to prevent or cure an illness. It’s an old practice that has mostly been abandoned and is now considered a pseudoscience. This is actually something I’ve heard of before, particularly with the use of leaches which I think might be a traditional treatment where I live. Unfortunately in this world, it’s not just being used to cure ailments, but also to obtain paler skin which is seen as beautiful.
Some westerners might not understand this obsession with getting whiter skin (as the obsession there seems to be about getting tans), but it’s extremely common here in East Asia where light skin is often seen as the standard for beauty. That topic is a whole can of worms as it often leads to discrimination and the rejection of people’s natural complexion, particularly in South-East Asia where we typically have brown skin.
I’m not gonna get into that whole thing. As a male, I fortunately don’t have to worry about it as much, but it is a big deal for many women. Thankfully, I’ve been seeing a recent trend lately of people embracing their natural skin color—at least where I’m from.
Basically, that whole tangent was just to say that this was worryingly too familiar for me.
This episode also introduces Parallel World Pharmacy’s new subsidiary cosmetics company, which was something I wasn’t really expecting to happen. I’m guessing this would make the girl whom Falma initially made the products for, and who is now in charge of this subsidiary company a recurring character. That’s another name I’ll have to remember.
This show hasn’t yet failed to teach me new things. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up learning more by the end of this season than I did in high school science. I am wondering when the big conflict is gonna arrive. We see some kind of antagonist in the OP, so obviously stuff is gonna go down this season. I imagine we’ll start seeing some of that next episode or the one after that. Hopefully, this show’s plot won’t get in the way of the comfy slice-of-life vibes unlike with certain other shows.