Hey guys, welcome back. Today, we are going to be covering Ulysses – Jeanne d’Arc and the Alchemist Knight Episode 2: The Girl Named Jeanne d’Arc where we finally get to meet innocent Jeanne herself and the strong fiery red-headed mercenary La Hire. There are lots of exciting moments in this episode, but be forewarned there are some slightly ecchi moments and some not so nice name calling in this episode.
So, let’s sit back and enjoy the tale!
Our story begins with our narrator recapping what has entirely occurred during the last seven years while Montmorency was locked in the basement lab. He (the narrator) explains that after the fall of Agincourt, the French royal family escaped from a conquered Paris and fled to Chinon after they were betrayed by the Duchy of Burgundy who had signed on with the English. Our intrepid narrator then continues to explain that everything is in a state of turmoil and everyone is frightened and scared.
Meanwhile, Jeanne d’Arc (Yūko Ōno (Hiyo Yukino (Ongaku Shoujo) is having a bath in a giant fountain with fairies watching over and protecting her. Suddenly, Jeanne immediately gets up as if she senses something, garnering the fairies’ attention who asks Jeanne “What is wrong?” Turning to face the fairies from the sky, Jeanne happily smiles and replies that nothing is wrong. The fairies though are just simply confused by her answer.
A short while later, Jeanne finishes her bath, gets dressed and sets up an altar. She then begins a pagan ritual, praying for the war to end and to ensure that English army to return to their own country with the fairies helping by throwing fruit onto the fire. At the last second, Jeanne adds on that she “prays that her breasts will grow bigger,” making the fairies confused. Suddenly, the fire explodes and soot soon fill the area. Amidst the smoke, the fairies reassures Jeanne that since is an ancient Fae ritual if she justs have faith then she shall be saved. Jeanne complains that the war hasn’t ended yet and her breasts haven’t grown at all. Suddenly, Jeanne hears a voice commenting on the visitors and the Fairies run behind. Turning around, Jeanne sees a guy in a black cape and hood (Montmorency) who waves at them and tells the group not to panic because he is not going to do anything to hurt them.
Noticing the black coffin behind him, Jeanne asks if he is a black mage and the mysterious man declares that he isn’t. He then introduces himself as Montmorency, a traveling alchemist. Astaroth then appears from beneath his hat and informs Jeanne that they are going to be using her altar. A few minutes later, Astaroth sits down on the pile of fruit and starts eating it while the other fairies look and chat about in awe (Apparently having wings is a symbol of royal among the Fae). When one of the fairies ask Astaroth if she was tamed by Montmorency, Astaroth kindly informs that she was the one who tamed him and made him into her slave. At the altar, Jeanne is watching Montmorency doing his work. Interested by his hat, she grabs it and comments on its size. Montmorency doesn’t notice though, which irritates Jeanne, and causes her to ask what he is doing.
When Montmorency doesn’t respond again, Jeanne gets upset while Montmorency is contemplating how to best use the ruin to create his elixir. Out of childish innocence, Jeanne suddenly covers Montmorency’s face with his hat and cries out “Boobies” to get his attention. She then happily asks if her boobies will grow if she drinks that potion, but Montmorency yells out that it will not. Jeanne asks if it is a magical potion and readjusting his hat, declares that it is not magic but alchemy and its a very sensitive process. Jeanne still insists on helping and starts reaching for the vials while Montmorency keeps on telling her to stop getting in the way because it will be a disaster if the bottles get mixed.
Suddenly, Montmorency pours in too much powder into the vial which causes Astaroth to yell at him to run. The vial then explodes and the water hits Montmorency in the back of the neck, knocking Montmorency out. In a dream, Montmorency recalls his promise to his friends and wakes up to find himself in someone’s bedroom. Looking around, Montmorency turns around to see Astaroth who bluntly informs him that he is lucky that he didn’t die from elixir intoxication. Turning away from Astaroth, Montmorency asks if he has failed again and Astaroth informs him that he has, causing Montmorency to curse himself.
Outside the door, Jeanne is bringing a tray of food to Montmorency when she hears his shouts. Back inside the room, Astaroth claims that Montmorency is pathetic because he should have been able to make the elixir within three years with her guidance. An angry Montmorency declares that it has been seven years and Astaroth informs him that the process involves stepping into the other world, so naturally the flow of time is different. Astaroth calls him a loser again which causes Montmorency to angrily ask for his “puberty years” again. Calming down, Astaroth reminds Montmorency that the reason why she gave him her knowledge in the first place is because he is the next Ulysses who will bring about the end of wars and lead everyone to their eternal utopia, so he better get his act together.
Irritated, Montmorency rubs his head in frustration and angrily reminds Astaroth that his goal isn’t something super noble like ending wars or becoming king, it’s to save his friend who has been captured by the English. Astaroth remarks that she is disappointed by his low aspiration and suggests that he can hoard all of the beauties in the world if he becomes king. But Montmorency remarks that he is so not interested causing Astaroth to tease him about his virgin status. Montmorency sarcastically reminds Astaroth that she is partially responsible for his virgin status, but as the two are about to bicker further, the pair hear a sound from behind the door and Jeanne walks in with a tray.
From the door, Jeanne sadly apologizes for getting in his way and inadvertently hurting him. As Jeanne puts his tray down, Montmorency kindly tells her not to worry about it because it is not her that his experiment failed, but its because of his lack of talent at it. Happy, Jeanne starts crying and runs into Montmorency’s chest and hugs him. All of a sudden, the town bell rings warning the people that mercenaries have come. At the bell, the bell ringer is fired upon by a red-haired woman named La Hire who warns the town of a Burgundian army attack on the region after introducing herself. The village leader asks if she was hired by Princess Charlotte to protect them and La Hire says that she was, but demands all of their food in exchange for protection. As Jeanne, Astaroth and Montmorency run up to the townspeople, they see La Hire holding a gun at the people and scream for her to stop.
Turning around, La Hire sees Jeanne and Montmorency arriving when suddenly Jeanne launches herself at La Hire and knocks her off the small hill, begging La Hire not to hurt anyone and calling her a pretty soldier. Blushing at Jeanne’s cuteness, La Hire becomes enamored by Jeanne while Montmorency catches his breath and asks Jeanne what she was going to do if La Hire had accidentally fired on her. All of a sudden, La Hire fires on Montmorency’s hat and threateningly asks what a black mage is doing in a remote village. Montmorency picks up his hat and Astaroth corrects her that he is an alchemist. Noticing Astaroth, La Hire gushes at Astaroth’s cuteness and starts asking her a whole bunch of rhetorical questions while Astaroth and Montmorency just stare at her.
After the situation is settled everyone gathers at the church while one of La Hire’s companions scopes out the area for enemies from the top of the roof. Inside the church, La Hire soldiers gather up the food while Jeanne begs her to reconsider because if they take everything, the village won’t have any food to last the winter. Jeanne then suggests that La Hire should get a bonus from her employer, but La Hire casually informs Jeanne that its no good because since the royal family is practically broke, they are not even getting their salaries paid on time and they can’t survive without some on-site payment. Upset, Jeanne suggests that La Hire could survive for another six months by absorbing all the fat in her huge breasts (Sorry, but this is literally what she said). Angry, La Hire yells out that she is not a milk cow and gushes even further at her cuteness. Seeing this display, Montmorency frustratingly asks if she is really the notorious troublemaker La Hire, the mercenary and states that he just assumed that she was a grumpy old man.
Suddenly, in that moment, an uncontrollable amount of drool starts pouring down from Montmorency’s mouth and as Montmorency goes to wipe it, he discovers that it won’t stop. La Hire becomes grossed by it and asks Jeanne if Montmorency did something to her. Jeanne asks what she means by that and Montmorency yells at the pair. From a slight distance away, Astaroth analyzes the situation and suggests to Montmorency that when the accident happened, he absorbed an absurd amount of elixir into his body and literally turned himself into a elixir-making machine. Shocked, Montmorency asks if that is even possible and Astaroth explains that it is the only thing that makes sense. Not understanding the conversation, La Hire asks what is going on, but the two yell at her to butt out with angry expressions.
Trying to figure out the situation, Montmorency asks Astaroth if he can swallow the Philosopher’s Stone now and Astaroth confirms it. However, as Montmorency goes to devour the stone, Astaroth also cautions him that he should be careful about it because at best, he can probably only maintain Ulysses mode for three minutes and that because his body is constantly generating elixir, there is a chance that the stone’s power may go berserk as a result. Worried, Montmorency asks what will happen if the stone goes out of control and Astaroth replies that even she doesn’t know as this is an unprecedented situation even for her, but whatever the case there will only be horrible consequences. Hearing this, Montmorency curses his luck while La Hire angrily yells at him to explains the situation to them.
Suddenly, La Hire’s companion, Xaintrailles (Hidenori Takahashi) slams the church’s doors open and warns everyone that Burgundian army are attacking, causing La Hire to yell out asking how they could have arrived sooner than expected. Xaintrailles replies with a “Like hell I know” and tosses a heavy blade over to Montmorency, informing him that his tiny blade will be of no use in battle. La Hire then orders her soldiers to attack the enemy while Jeanne and Montmorency stare in disbelief.
A while later, the battle is in full swing as La Hire’s soldiers bravely fight off the English. As Xaintrailles is slaughtering the enemy, La Hire orders her troops to not let the enemy soldiers enter the town, because they will just burn it down. Inside the church, everyone is praying while Montmorency is contemplating what he should do. Suddenly, the town leader comes up to Montmorency and asks him to use black magic if he can’t use a sword, but Montmorency just again reminds him that he is an alchemist not an mage. Turning to Astaroth, Montmorency suggests passing the elixir to La Hire and letting her devour the stone, so that she can defeat the enemy. However, Astaroth strictly opposes the plan because La Hire is a bandit and things will just get worse if she obtains powers beyond her abilities. Montmorency tries to rebut, but Astaroth forbids him from following through with it. Meanwhile, Jeanne is praying to God to protect everyone.
Inside the nearby forest, all of the fairies are preparing to evacuate the area when the brunette fairy with the ribbon stops and suggests that they stay and fight to protect Jeanne. Thinking on it, the other fairies agree and head back to the burning town. Confronting the enemy soldiers, the fairies yell for them to stop, but the soldiers insult the fairies and suggest that they exterminate them on sight. Infuriated, the fairies start attacking the soldiers. Inside the church, Jeanne hears the fairies cries and sneaks out to save them, while Montmorency is preoccupied with bickering with Astaroth about what to do.
Running towards the town, Jeanne finds the fairies’ location and arrives to see that they have all been slaughtered by the soldiers in the immediate vicinity. The last surviving fairy (the fairy with the ribbon) is grabbing onto the soldier’s leg and begging him to leave Jeanne’s village alone. The soldier yells out that she should stop dressing like a human and stomps on her. Seeing this scene, Jeanne starts crying and asks the soldiers why they would kill innocent fairies, before collapsing to the ground, much to the soldier’s delight. Back at the the church, Montmorency and Astaroth have finally noticed that Jeanne is missing and chase after her. Meanwhile, Jeanne is still sobbing over the fairies when the soldiers decide that they should end it and throw a dagger straight into Jeanne’s back. Reaching out for the fairy with the ribbon, Jeanne finally faints from blood loss.
A few minutes later, Montmorency and Astaroth arrives to find that Jeanne has been attacked. Worriedly calling out to her to hang in there, Montmorency watches as Jeanne struggles to grab the fairy’s ribbon despite Montmorency’s desperate pleas for her to stop moving. As Astaroth grabs it, Jeanne explains that the ribbon belonged to her younger sister who was killed last year when the English were doing a supply raid on their village. Jeanne then has a flashback to just after that. In the flashback, Jeanne is crying in front of the altar surrounded by the fairies who are trying to console her. The brunette fairy then come up to Jeanne and declares that she will be her little sister if Jeanne will cheer up. Touched by her friendship, Jeanne wipes away her tears and smiles as she ties the ribbon into the fairy’s hair. The fairy smiles back and the two cheer up. Back in the present, a dying Jeanne grabs onto the ribbon which Astaroth gave her and tells Montmorency about her dream to become a princess knight, but she couldn’t become one because she was told that only nobles could become knights, so she was trying to end the war with rituals instead.
Meanwhile, Montmorency silently looks at Astaroth who shakes her head as if telling him that Jeanne can’t be saved. Looking up at Montmorency, Jeanne wishes for the power to change the world. Recalling Nicholas Flamel’s words to him about becoming inhuman, immortality and isolation, Montmorency tells Jeanne that he will give her the power causing a startled Astaroth to ask him if he is planning to give the stone’s power to her. Montmorency replies that he is because if she assimilates the stone’s power then her body will regenerated and she can be saved. Astaroth yells at Montmorency telling him that its too late and Montmorency argues that its not if they insert the Philosopher’s Stone directly into her wound.
Pulling out the stone, Jeanne weakly asks if that’s the power and Montmorency says that it is, but warns her that if he gives it to her then she will no longer be human and she won’t be able to live in the village anymore. Hearing this, Jeanne starts crying and asks where she should go then and if she is going to be all alone from now on. Montmorency gently reassures her that she won’t be alone because he will be by her side and protect her from now on, right until the moment of her death. Montmorency then firmly promises to never leave her alone again.
Hearing that, Jeanne consents and Montmorency breaks the stone in half; one for him to swallow and the other to go into Jeanne’s wound. From above, Astaroth insults and berates him, calling him a fool. But, Montmorency just asks if it will work, if a child can assimilate half of a Philosopher’s Stone. Astaroth angrily responds saying that she doesn’t know, because no one has ever been stupid enough to try it before. Hearing that, Montmorency sets about his work, by first pulling out the dagger from Jeanne’s back and pouring the elixir down her throat with a deep french kiss. Pulling away, Jeanne declares that Montmorency’s kiss is sweet and hot and Montmorency agrees with her. He then inserts the Philosopher’s Stone into the wound on her back which causes her to madly scream out in pain. As Jeanne keeps on screaming, Montmorency yells at her to endure it and live. Jeanne eventually starts screaming for her mother and the process soon ends.
On the other end of the battlefield, La Hire and Xaintrailles are surrounded. Turning to his partner, Xaintrailles asks for a “baiser (a kiss)” before they die. La Hire apologetically refuses. As the enemy soldiers asks them if they are ready to die now, a voice calls out to them, telling them (the soldiers) that they are the ones who should be ready to die. Looking around, the enemy soldiers spot a demonic-looking Jeanne standing on top of the bell tower underneath the moonlight. Seeing Jeanne, La Hire watches as Jeanne jumps down and rips apart the soldiers at lightning speed with the blade that she steals from one of the soldiers. As Jeanne tears apart the soldiers, she begins reveling in the Stone’s powers and becomes arrogant, making La Hire wonder what in hell happened to her. Eventually the enemy soldiers become frightened and run away labeling Jeanne, a “monster.” As Jeanne is about to pursue them, however, Montmorency cries out to her and tells her to stop.
Seeing Montmorency, La Hire grabs him by the collar and angrily demands to know what he did to Jeanne. Montmorency shouts in a fluster that is what he likes to know as well because that’s not the Jeanne that he knows. Analyzing the situation once again, Astaroth surmises that its the effect of the Philosopher’s Stone and explains that while the stone can grant power, it also intensify emotions as well. Astaroth then reassures Montmorency that the effects are only temporary because humans can’t stay as a Ulysses for long periods of time and Jeanne should be returning to normal soon. Suddenly, an irritated Jeanne calls out La Hire by the nickname “Milk Cow” and challenges her to a fight after unsheathing her sword. Brandishing her blade, Jeanne bluntly tells La Hire that she can’t get satisfied with killing small fry and wants to fight strong opponents like her.
Upset, Montmorency tries to tell Jeanne to stop, but is stopped by Xaintrailles who tells him that he will just get himself killed. Jeanne then arrogantly states her other reason for fighting La Hire which is that she can’t stand girls who have bigger busts than her (Haha). Looking down, La Hire tells Montmorency to stay back as the town villagers run up to them. Noticing Jeanne, the other villagers freak out by the changes in her and call her a devil. Staring at La Hire, Jeanne recklessly tells La Hire her weakness as a Ulysses and explains that if her brain is destroyed then she will die. As La Hire raises her gun at Jeanne, La Hire thinks to herself that she must kill Jeanne otherwise she will be killed too.
The wind then picks up and Jeanne uses it a signal to strike. La Hire fires a bullet at Jeanne, but Jeanne repels it with her sword and explains that she knew that La Hire would fire at her head after she explained her weakness to her, making it easy to block. Jeanne then instantly goes to pierce her blade through La Hire’s chest. As La Hire thinks to herself that the only consolation in this is that she is getting killed by a cute girl, Jeanne suddenly drops her sword and collapses. Heavily relieved, La Hire drops to her knees and breathes as Montmorency and Xaintrailles approaches the two. Looking at Jeanne, Montmorency observes that her time limit is up and Astaroth reminds him that Jeanne can only function as a Ulysses for three minutes and informs him that the power granted to Jeanne is “Acceleration.” She then informs Montmorency that the emotion that’s intensified for Jeanne is “arrogance.”
The next morning, Jeanne who has returned to normal is saying goodbye to the villagers. As she kindly tells the Mayor to explain what happened to her to her parents when they get back from her trip, the Mayor panics and wonders how should he explain to them that their daughter was turned into a demon. Bowing their heads, the other villagers starts praying as Jeanne looks down in shame. Looking at the situation, Astaroth remarks that their eternal utopia is getting farther and farther away now while La Hire asks Montmorency about his plans because Jeanne can’t return home and she will likely be hunted by the inquisition. Lowering his head, Montmorency declares that it will be the opposite and declares that Jeanne will become a saint starting today.
Confused, La Hire asks what he means by that, but Montmorency just smiles. As Jeanne solemnly walks up to the group, Montmorency kindly extends his hand to Jeanne and tells her that they should go while giving her a kind smile. Seeing his hand, Jeanne wipes her tears and smiles before running up to him.
First off, this episode was way better than the first one. It finally feels like the story is setting off. We got to see Montmorency and Jeanne’s meeting and how she became magically empowered. The personality differences between normal, innocent Jeanne and arrogant Ulysses Acceleration Mode Jeanne is really interesting and I find arrogant Jeanne to be a really fun character especially when she called La Hire, “Milk Cow.” I also like how Jeanne’s seiyuu nicely shows the subtle hidden depths of her personality with her voice. Her backstory was also interesting and I like the sad tragic relationship build-up between Jeanne and Montmorency. The only thing that I didn’t like about this episode was the fairy genocide at the end of the episode because they were so cute and didn’t deserve to be crushed by those horrible English soldiers.
However, I also just got to say that I love La Hire’s character! She is fiery and strong, but her pension for liking cute things especially girls adds a nice charming point to her character and really brings out some cute expressions. Although Astaroth is my real favorite character with La Hire coming second. Then there is her companion Xaintrailles (or Xain) as I will be calling him in future reviews, who seems to be an intriguing character. Its pretty apparent that he and La Hire go way back, so he’s not just a normal soldier to her and I like to see more details on how they met and their relationship. With Montmorency, I don’t really know if he is kind or just manipulative at times. I know he really wanted to save Jeanne, but I don’t know if using the Philosopher’s Stone on her was the kind thing to do. I mean he cursed Jeanne to a life of immortality and loneliness and will probably use her to save Richemont, so I don’t know.
Animation-wise, the episode was animated really nicely. The background music and especially the violin music during the Montmorency and Jeanne contract scene was so awesome. The song was so sweet, lovely and romantic, but also sad and tragic at the same time and its even more tragic when you historically know how this little girl will end up; being betrayed, dying alone and later becoming a saint. It definitely feels like the anime is setting Montmorency up to be the Gilles de Rais character in this story and that this tale will end tragically in some way. The ending theme song was really not what I was expecting. While its basically a hymn, it plays really well with the detailed ending animation which looks absolutely beautiful, especially with the women at the end. The only other thing which I felt was unneeded was that French sentence in the after credits with the prayer for growing your bust.
But, other than that, it was a pretty fantastic episode so I hope that you will all enjoy it!