Galilei Donna is one of those shows that does quite a few things well, but does enough disconnected, minor things wrong that it piles up and outweighs the good. What I’m saying is this is a post about those minor things, and so (somehow) has even less cohesion than usual. Also, Hazuki needs to be used more, because Hozuki just can’t carry a show by herself. I don’t expect much of Kazuki, so she gets a pass to sulk in a corner while the interesting people do interesting stuff.
Hazuki, and by extension the audience, just keeps getting shafted by the show. It feels like she’s only been onscreen in the last few episodes to get sick, or get shot at by someone who views the underclass as equivalent to tapeworms. Maybe she’s just been sober the past few episodes, so her ability to do cool shit is weakened. I mean there really isn’t much for a law student to do when the very same law wants her dead or imprisoned, but I’m sure it could do more than have her yap like a Chihuahua at pan-national corporations. And yet she’s still the second best character, right behind Grand Rosso.
Anna also falls victim to Hazuki’s curse of arbitrary, plot-designated importance. It gives me the uncomfortable feeling that they designed the character of Anna, realized that her existence is really pointless, and contrived a flimsy reason for her to hang around and gush about the girls’ genes for the remainder of the show. Maybe the character designer was just really enamored with her hair swirls and demanded that they get more screen time, since that’s the only reason I can think of for her to even be here.
Same goes for the goldfish hourglass; the girls lose their shit when it’s gone, despite not even realizing its importance until last episode. We’ve seen it glow ominously before, but the main goal of their travels was the scavenger hunt for Galileo’s inheritance. Suddenly placing importance on the glowy goldfish hourglass is sloppy as shit, and makes it being taken from them an ineffective means of creating tension. Unless the scrolls have directions leading back to their house (and that would actually be fucking great), it’s one hell of an inconsequential loss. I mean yeah, it has the power to blow up walls, but so do their ship’s cannons. It’s a neat discovery, sure, but it’s not made essential for their journey. They know it and the audience knows it.
The thing that bugs me with Galilei Donna at this point, especially with this episode, is that none of this really needs to happen. There’s no urgency, no real character growth, or any agency on the characters’ parts. Without these, it’s just three girls traipsing across the world in search of mildewy 400 year old scrolls. Galilei Donna can blow up stuff and wantonly kill orphans with the best of them, but it still can’t find a way to get the sisters to interact in a way that’s more interesting than seeing damp rocks get smacked together, or make their search feel like the high-stakes life or death struggle that it’s made out to be. We’re only four episodes from the end, but it feels nowhere near close to ending. Maybe the rest just needs to be Grand Rosso narrating the plot in Kansai-ben. Now that would be worthy of the noitaminA slot.
On a less serious note, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, the next episode sees the girls going to Japan! Because the first thing I think of whenever I hear “clue that leads to a mysterious artifact created by Galileo” is a country on the opposite side of the globe that was either of interest only to Portugal and Spain, or closed off during Galileo’s lifetime. Then again, I can’t say that an American show wouldn’t attribute similar tangential importance to a location in the US, just for the sake of a character monologuing about how great bald eagles, the Second Amendment, and doughnut burgers are. It’s not like Japan is an altogether bad choice to hide a treasure in (fairly isolated, was difficult to get to around Galileo’s time) but there are ways that it could end there without coming across as goofy pandering. I’m not bothered by it, but it’s hilarious how much Hozuki’s completely arbitrary interests dictate the direction of the plot at this point, and equally sad how this is the series’ closest brush with good writing.