Seirei Gensouki - Spirit Chronicles ‒ Episode 4

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Apparently age eight or so is the moment when people regain their memories of their former lives. That seems to be the general rule for isekai – I can think of at least two others where that's the age, at any rate. It's doubly so for Seirei Gensouki, because not only did Rio learn about Haruto around then, but it looks like that's when Latifa regained her memories of Suzune as well. Not that she looks a whole lot older than that right now, so it may be less a question of age and more one of trauma. Rio, you may recall, was fighting for his life when he suddenly knew that he had once been Haruto, and for Latifa, the moment comes when she's apparently just been bought as a slave by Stewart's family. Since this means that she's now got a control collar on (which Stewart has zero compunctions about using), it could reasonably be said that she's in fear of her life. And even if she isn't, being sold as a slave is a traumatic enough situation that it could have triggered her memories all on its own. This theory makes even more sense (to me, at least) when you consider that the manner of both Haruto's and Suzune's deaths was in itself traumatic. No going gentle into that good night for them; they died in a horrible bus/train wreck. While we can hope that there was little to no suffering in the moment, it's clear that they did have time to realize and be afraid of what was happening.

Interestingly enough, Latifa seems to feel the loss of her previous life more keenly. Possibly this is because her current one lacks almost everything that she seemed to have before, most notably a loving family. To go from that to being a slave in what appears (to her) to be a foreign country has to be terrifying, and while Rio's memories were closely followed by the princesses and Celia taking him in and offering him a better life, that didn't happen to Latifa. Rio's the first person she can really remember being kind to her, so that plus the fact that Stewart forced her to trample all over her Suzune memories by calling him “onii-sama” just keeps it in the forefront of her mind. I wouldn't be surprised if her younger age at death also contributes somewhat.

Whatever the case, we now know for certain that which we could infer from the opening theme: at least three people have been reincarnated post-wreck. (I suppose Lotte could have died another way, but there seems to be a theme going.) Of the three, only Liselotte, AKA Lotte, seems to have lucked out; she's the ruler of a nation Rio travels through on his journey and has used her position to introduce pasta and manju to her new land. She looks to be a bit older than Rio, so it doesn't seem like everyone was reborn at the same time, unless they weren't so much reborn as had their consciousnesses implanted in already existing people all around the same time. That's definitely something to watch for going forward.

If you're wondering why I'm spending so much time on this question, it's because that's really the meat of episode four. Certainly there are a few other plot points, but they all really revolve around the idea of Rio not being the only person from Tokyo. Not much is done with his journey; there's the fight with Latifa and his decision to take her under his metaphoric wing, but this is definitely not one of those stories where the object is to enjoy the climb rather than getting to the summit. Rio is going somewhere, and the story seems to believe that it can't truly resume until he gets there. On the one hand, that's a bit of a shame, because we don't get much world-building or a real sense of what this world is like. On the other, Rio definitely needs to know what the deal is with his powers, and since no one where he started knows, that means going someplace else. I'm not clear on whether or not Latifa has similar spirit powers; we see her use magic, which Rio can't do, but at one point she also glows like he does. Are the spirit powers given to those from another world? That could be another interesting element if it's true.

But for now we'll just have to wait. There's a super buff wolf waiting to talk to Rio (who seems to have forgotten his plan to go by Haruto), and I daresay it's in his best interest to see what it has to say.

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Seirei Gensouki - Spirit Chronicles is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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