Much like the one before it, this episode is on the lighthearted side of the tonal spectrum. Furthermore, we see the return of another supporting character with the returnee being Saya this time around. That we have two fun adventurers are the two downers has me worried that Wandering Witch is following a pattern here. Here’s hoping Episode 7 isn’t a blatant return to the depressing side of the tonal spectrum (curiously, it is going to be divided into two vignettes like with Episode 3). Also, surely there’s going to be an episode where Elaina has fun and the other two recurring characters aren’t present. It’s a bit coincidental right now.
The location of this episode is a country that’s recently been named “The Land of the Truth Tellers”. Encompassing the territory is a magical barrier that prevents anyone from lying and forces them to tell the truth. Elaina and Saya (who is apparently now an official witch) meet the royal witch, Eihemia, who explains that the king requested her to create the barrier after being constantly lied to by his subjects. The three thus infiltrate the royal palace to destroy the magic sword that keeps the barrier up.
It’s a decent enough scenario. The best part is seeing the different loopholes people use to get around the barrier such as using body language to writing a lie down in disjointed statements so that they’re neither true nor false by technicality. Also fun is the dialogue as everyone including the extras are forced to bluntly state what they think of things and of each other. This is especially the case with Saya who all but confirms her attraction to Elaina, causing things between the two of them to be a bit awkward.
There are a few details that leave a bit to be desired. For starters, it’s established the the king needs to hold the sword in order for the spell to work which sounds super impractical and kind of an excuse to conveniently bring the sword to our heroines. The episode briefly establishes that Eihemia (that name isn’t too close to Elaina at all) is attracted to the king but it goes nowhere (though I suppose it’d be more contrived if it did). Finally, you don’t really see what lies actually pushed the king into using magic. Were his subjects simply lying about his haircut or were they deceiving him in a grander and more political manner? Not really knowing that kind of deflates the king learning from his mistake and Elaina’s big speech about how lying is sometimes necessary.
I can’t help but feel this episode’s one off stuff is yet another missed opportunity for the overarching narrative. You have moments where Elaina tries to lie about herself to gauge what she can get away with it. One moment in particular has her trying to write down that she’s a bad person only to then write that she has a pure heart. That feels rather conflicting given how she’s acted in past episodes and frankly, it doesn’t speak well of her. It would’ve been far more shocking and intriguing if Elaina instead tries to write that she’s a good person only to find out that she deep down doesn’t think that about herself. Have her feel disturbed at this revelation. Maybe get Saya to cheer her up and bring up their history as a counterpoint. It’s frankly a shame that these episodes seem to largely exist in a bubble. There’s an increasing number of ways they could’ve played into each other.
Thanks for reading!