This week’s episode 4 of Shadows House brings us a closer look at the life of the dolls in the mansion. Albeit slow at times, it explored some of the questions posed in the earlier episodes and introduced some new characters.
We get to meet the Star Bearer, a doll named Barbie, who oversees the cleaning work in the mansion. As such, it is her job to investigate the phantom incident, that occurred in the previous episode. However, Barbie is kind of a bully – cruel to her fellow dolls, angry and violent. We see her attacking others while trying to find the person responsible for “phantom mayhem”. The only person to stand up to her is, of course, Emilico along with a male doll named Shaun. Their resistance lands them in trouble, and they end up doing night watch duty.
This entire interaction offers a great insight into doll hierarchy – most do nothing, not wanting to get on Barbie’s bad side, few actively suck up. “Fret not over trivial matters” seems the be the motto most of them live by while putting their masters first. Unlike Emilico, most dolls seem to have no compassion for others.
Night watch duty ends up being tedious and boring, but Emilico, Shaun, and the quiet girl named Rum make the best of it. They bond over joint troubles and even manage to solve the mystery of the phantom. Two majors things that stand out here: first is that it seems like someone doesn’t want the dolls to leave the mansion. The second is that most dolls seem to be struggling with some sort of anxiety. This is possibly brought on by high expectations from their masters and the looming threat of the Debut. Emilico’s close relationship with Kate seems to be an exception, rather than a rule.
Speaking of Kate, she seems quite disappointed that Emilico is doing more things outside of her room. Whether she feels lonely or is worried about being abandoned is still unclear. Emilico’s explanation about the night watch duty makes Kate emit soot, signaling that she is upset or anxious – which certainly makes for an interesting plot point for the upcoming episodes.
You can watch Shadows House episode 4 on Funimation, and also vote for it on our weekly poll. The next episode airs on May 8th and is titled “The Debut” – which is certainly a promising title. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more about the veiled dolls (we did get a small hint this week) and finally find out more about the Debut itself.
All images via Funimation