The Apothecary Diaries episode 14 is already out. This episode seems innocuous at first with many light-hearted scenes and comic relief going on, but as usual for this series, the episode serves to set up a lot of things in place. Now that we’ve passed the middle point of the anime’s runtime, it will be interesting to see how these threads will unravel in the future.
The New Pure Consort
The Apothecary Diaries episode 14 starts with the new Pure Consort making her way into the rear palace. The scene of her introduction is quite heavy, with the background music adding to the anticipation. The choice of color scheme is also interesting, with the colors toned down everywhere in the scene, except for the red and yellow colors of Loulan’s clothes, jewelry, and eyes. It almost looks like a dangerous-looking mushroom attracting your attention in the middle of a cold forest.
In the scene that follows, the visual aspect is still strong, with Loulan nonchalantly throwing her jewelry to the servants and then sitting on her “throne” looking bored. She acts like she owns the place, which is very different from the other concubines. She is clearly being set up to act as a villain.
“You Can Ask the Emperor Later if He Liked It or Not”
After the ominous intro, we move on to the first half of the episode about Maomao becoming a sex-ed teacher for concubines. Jinshi relays this request from Lihua and Gyokuyou but doesn’t seem to completely understand what they are asking from Maomao. On the other hand, Maomao remembers her discussion with Lihua about some “special techniques” in earlier episodes and immediately understands the request. She uses this opportunity to make some money by selling her materials to the rear palace but keeps Jinshi in the dark about what is going on. The scenes of Maomao protecting her stash of “educational material” from Jinshi and then booting him out of the lecture hall, were hilariously animated.
The whole scene is very funny and shows off the personalities of the different concubines. Gyokuyou is overall happy to see Maomao (her favorite toy) and is very enthusiastic to learn new things. Meanwhile, Lihua takes things very seriously. Lishu who is likely learning most of it for the first time, is understandably very shy about it. Loulan on the other hand, is not interested at all and keeps her haughty act throughout. A bit that stood out for me during this scene is Maomao’s comment about her outfit being flashy and out of place. While it’s hard to tell where that will lead, The Apothecary Diaries episodes usually have a lot of foreshadowing, so it’s hard to think that this comment was innocent.
When Maomao Tells You to Run, Just Do It
The second half of The Apothecary Diaries episode 14 was mostly about Maomao getting herself involved in yet another mystery. Her curiosity brought her to the investigation of an unexplained explosion that happened near the military buildings in the outer palace, where she found Lihaku trying to wrap his head around things. As usual, she came up with a theory, but instead of explaining it, she chose to make a demonstration. In this case, it would become quite explosive and because Lihaku did not take Maomao’s warning very seriously, he ended up getting a very direct explanation of how flour in a closed space can become dangerous.
Two bits in particular stood out for me in this part of the episode. First, there’s Lakan’s visit to the hangar just after the explosion, as though he’s come to his own conclusions but chose not to inform the others. Second, Maomao’s comment about learning how to make things due to growing up poor, besides giving more insight into her character, is sure to be relatable. That said, the mystery is afoot and is surely going to come up later, as is usual for The Apothecary Diaries.
Images via Crunchyroll
© Natsu Hyuga/Imagika Foss/”The Apothecary Diaries” Production Committee