Minato-sensei reveals to Houtarou that he is a teacher at the Alchemist Academy and Rinne is a student. Houtarou says he wants to learn more about the Chemys, so Minato-sensei suggests he become an alchemist.
They head to the academy through the secret door Houtarou saw Rinne use last time. Houtarou is excited when they bring him to an amazing alchemy classroom. But Minato-sensei says Houtarou will have to pass a test to be accepted into the academy.
Before that though, Rinne wants to know where and from whom Houtarou got the Gotchardriver from. He explains that he met an old man in a strange place who gave it to him, but did not get the man’s name. Rinne says Houtarou does not have to know because that old man is a traitor.
Rinne explains that he is a traitor because ten years ago, the man took the 101 Chemys that the academy was protecting and disappeared.
Rinne leaves and flashes back to being told a story about a legendary hero alchemist who protected the world from demons. Turns out the old man is Rinne’s father whom she looked up to so much as her hero. But that is in the past now.
Back inside the classroom, Minato-sensei explains to Houtarou that every Chemy has different weights and uses the Kamantis and Odorippa Chemy cards as examples. Houtarou’s test is to change their weights in order to have them balanced. If he passes, he’s in.
Houtarou goes home for the evening and immediately helps Mama Ichinose at the restaurant until they close. While washing dishes, Houtarou asks if she thinks Papa Ichinose is doing well. She says he’s probably enjoying traveling the world right now.
Houtarou says this restaurant was Papa Ichinose’s dream, but then he just left it to her and walked out. So why hasn’t he ever seen her angry at him. Mama Ichinose says she can’t hate someone who chases a dream. She says she knows Houtarou has found his dream too and he promises to give it his all.
Next day, Houtarou’s friend Ryo is at the park when Skebows Chemy possesses a skateboard and has fun with the local kids. But when Skebows sees a pair of criminals having stolen some money, it chases after them.
On the other side of the park, Rinne finds Houtarou still trying to figure out how to balance the Chemys. He first asks if she’s okay after she stormed out yesterday, but she says she’s fine and instead asks how he’s doing with the test.
Houtarou says it’s pretty tough. She explains that alchemists who have a ring like her can use a technique to freely exchange the mass of Chemys. But that is of course too advanced for Houtarou at the moment. He still has to find a way though.
Which reminds him. Houtarou actually doesn’t know what alchemy is and asks Rinne. She explains that it is being able to create something from nothing or creating life from death. Like being able to make things float in the sky, which she demonstrates to him. This is not magic, as Houtarou thinks, but a temporary use of science. In the off chance that the techniques last, inanimate objects could give birth to living creatures which are the Chemy.
Rinne says the mere existence of Chemys goes against the natural order. And when they fuse with human malice, they become monsters called Malgam. Then there’s the The Meikoku Sisters too.
That’s why alchemy societies like the academy have decided to seal Chemys into cards to protect the natural order. Houtarou feels kind of bad about having them sealed up. But just then, Hopper1 drags Houtarou over to the scene of a disturbance.
One of the criminals had thrown his partner in crime over a bridge. Skebows has fused with this criminal’s malice to become Skebows Malgam. And the Malgam has been going around gobbling up cash. The police are no match for the Malgam, of course.
When they arrive, Rinne activates her ring and is prepared to stop the Malgam. She tosses manhole covers at the Malgam, trying to free Skebows. But it does not work. The Malgam skates toward them and Houtarou yanks Rinne out of the way. He tells her to leave this to him.
Houtarou refuses to allow the Malgam to trample on Skebows’s wish to just play and have fun. He henshins and they battle.
Kamantis and Odorippa want to join in on the fun so Houtarou locks them in and is able to use OdoriMantis power to knock the Malgam down and force it to run.
Just then, Minato-sensei arrives on the GoldDash motorbike. He allows Houtarou to borrow it and he speeds after the Malgam. The Chemys are able to help Houtarou counter everything the Malgam throws at him. And together, Houtarou is able to deliver a SteamHopper Fever finisher.
That releases Skebows from the Malgam and back into its card. Houtarou is excited to meet it.
Back at the academy, Houtarou demonstrates that he has been able to balance Kamantis and Odorippa’s weight. Rinne asks how and he says he just asked them. Houtarou asked Odorippa to go on a diet and Kamantis to eat more.
Minato-sensei says that’s not how you do it. But Houtarou still passes. Minato-sensei gives Houtarou his own ring. Houtarou asks Minato-sensei to write down “big shot alchemist” on his career sheet. Houtarou is looking forward to classes tomorrow, but for now he excitedly has to hurry home and help out his Mama at the restaurant.
Next day, Rinne catches up with Houtarou and says he should’ve failed the test, alchemy-wise. But he says he was able to do it his own way. So it’s not impossible. He wants to be able to befriend all the Chemys and live freely with them after he becomes an alchemist.
Rinne is amused by Houtarou’s resolve, but she will continue to follow the rules as that’s her own way too.
As the walk to school, a mysterious man with an academy jacket watches them.
Another nice episode. Houtarou’s positivity and youthfulness is really endearing and that really goes a long way for me to get into the show at this early stage.
This episode was more of a Rinne-focus, in a way, as she gives us all the exposition we need to lay the basic foundation for the season’s story while also getting to learn about her past a bit with the reveal about her father.
It’s interesting how there hasn’t been much “world building,” per se, but you already get a good sense of the world and environment the season will be playing around in. Even with the secret doors and secret academy, it still feels very much grounded in the “real” world. Rather than feeling like the alchemy world is some alternate world or something.
As we meet the other students and people of the academy, it will be interesting to see them outside of the academy setting and in the “normal” world. And vice versa. Of course, part of the fun will be seeing Houtarou having to learn a lot about alchemy when he didn’t even know what it was today yet.
Houtarou and his Mama also provide a nice, cozy slice of life-ish aspect to the story. And again, helps with endearing out title hero a lot more and a lot faster than maybe others. I hope the mystery surrounding his father will have a satisfying climax.
In one way, the show feels a bit more traditional than the most recent seasons. But it’s still early. Only episode 2, after all. lol
But so far, another enjoyable episode.
Also! Wonderful reading the news that the amazing Beverly Caimen sings an insert song for this season! Sounds great already from the short snippet they’ve included in the episode. Can’t wait to hear the whole song!