Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review

The Alchemist

Episode 1 of Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout begins with our protagonist Reisalin Stout (Ryza), sharing info about her island (Kurken), village (Rasenboden), and goal to break free from her ordinary life. After gazing at the ocean, Ryza is shown being distasteful about harvesting Kurken Fruit for her father. Her father assures her it’ll become second nature for Ryza in four or five years. Ryza’s mother scolds her for slacking off and tasks her with giving her father water.

Ryza hands her father the water, and he explains why he never grows bored of farming. Ryza attempts to leave, but her mother catches her. Ryza tells her mother she has a business in the Fairystone Forest, but her mother thinks she’s making an excuse to go on a silly adventure. Therefore, she tasks Ryza with handling an important task.

Ryza leaves to handle her mother’s task. She meets her buddy Tao and asks him why he’s tired. Tao says he found a book with diagrams that intrigued him to read it. Ryza says it’s weird for him to be interested in texts since Tao can’t read them. Even though his great-grandfather never taught his grandfather how to read, Tao’s certain he’ll find a way to read it.

Ryza’s other friend Lent arrives, and the two ask him if he’s completed his daily sword training. Lent says he has and is simply exploring the town. Lent accompanies Ryza and Tao. The trio belittles each other for their weird habits and overhears a man complaining to a merchant named Mr. Fressher about people following Moritz and breaking Rasenboden’s traditions. After the man leaves, Ryza and her friends approach Mr. Fressher. Mr. Fressher informs them that elders have been going around telling people not to get excited about the people arriving at Rasenboden tomorrow.

Tao tells Ryza that a famous outsider merchant plans to open a shop at Rasenboden, and Mr. Fressher says this person has strong support from Moritz. Mr. Fressher hands Ryza and Tao their supplies while sharing more intel about this famed merchant. When Tao brings up the merchant who owns a shop in the capital (Ashra-am Baird) to Ryza, it makes Ryza wonder what life’s like off Rasenboden.

At Ryza’s place, she tells Lent and Tao she wants to go on an adventure off the island. Ryza tells Tao and Lent they’ll meet with the merchant tomorrow and then explore the opposite Rasenboden’s opposite shore. She argues that Rasenboden’s tradition holds them back.

Ryza says they’ll visit the port, borrow a boat, and make the Pixie Forest their first destination since it sounds like a harmless location. Tao’s concerned because the place could harbor monsters, but Ryza argues Lent can handle them. Despite their concerns, Lent and Tao go along with Ryza’s plans. We cut to two different prestigious groups discussing Rasenboden and their hopes for it. Meanwhile, Lent spends time with Ryza as she collects unis material for their trip. Tao arrives late, and Lent questions him about his hammer weapon. Tao said he wanted to bring something that he could swing around.

They leave to enact their plan but spot a woman named Agatha chatting with two people. Ryza’s concerned about borrowing a boat since Agatha will be there. Tao questions if other Guardians like Agatha will be at the port. Lent says it’s expected since they’re assigned to greeting guests. We cut to a girl named Romy acting upset because she can’t go on her trip. Agatha butts into their conversation and knows Romy wants to meet the merchant to get on his good side. Agatha promises Romy they’ll talk about her poor behavior later since she has urgent business to attend to on the island’s other shore.

Meanwhile, Ryza leads Lent and Tao to a new location with a random fishing boat. Tao argues the boat doesn’t have a sail and would go against tradition if they used one without it. Ryza reminds Tao they’re breaking tradition by leaving the island and should focus on going on an adventure. Ryza goes on a speak of her goals for this quest. She entices Lent to go along with it by mentioning the North Tower, as Lent believes exploring it can make him stronger. Although Tao’s concerned, he says he’ll go along with them. Ryza and friends set sail.

Meanwhile, Agatha attends to the guest’s requests. Suddenly, someone informs Lady Klaudia’s father that she’s gone missing. Agatha’s concerned, but her father says it’s common for Kladia to flee from the caravan. At the same time, a man accompanying a pristine female named Lila tells her to get the merchant, Klaudia’s father’s, attention. At the same time, Ryza and her friends arrive somewhere and take a break to plan their adventure. Ryza takes a map out, but Tao says it’s useless. Ryza argues why it’s good that the map’s not complete and says it would be better to draw their own map.

Ryza spots a trail and tells Tao and Lent to follow her. Tao’s worried about the potential monsters they’ll encounter, but Lent speculates the monsters in this area aren’t strong since they’re near the port. The crew travels through the forest and indulges in some fun outdoor activities. During their expedition, Ryza spots large mushrooms, and Lent warns her not to get close to them. Suddenly, Klaudia rushes out of the bushes and accidentally bumps into Ryza. Klaudia apologizes and tells our heroes monsters are after her.

Ryza and her friends attempt to fight the monsters, but they fail. They retreat and properly introduce themselves to each other. Ryza tells Klaudia she and her friends are on an adventure to find something impressive. Klaudia explains how she got separated from her peers and reveals her father the merchant they heard about. Tao thinks they won’t get scolded for breaking tradition since they saved the merchant’s daughter. Ryza contemplates all they accomplished today and says it’s best for them to head home. On their way home, the crew runs into a trio of pixie monsters. They have trouble defeating them, but Lila and her companion arrive to save them.

Ryza and her friends follow Lila and her companion to a forest guard cabin. Lila’s companion explains it was built on a ruin from the Klint Kingdom, and he reads some text written on the house. Tao realizes it’s the same language in his book. Lila’s companion sprinkles a concoction on Lent’s wounds, and everyone’s shocked it healed his arm. They continue following Lila and her companion.

Lila’s companion has Lent hold an exorcism brooch that’ll repel any monster from attacking them. Lent can’t believe how powerful Lila is Ryza approaches Lila’s friend and asks him if he’s a wizard. Her friend confirms that he’s an alchemist and that all the items he saw them use were through alchemy. Agatha scolds Lent, Ryza, and Tao for their rule-breaking shenanigans. Klaudia tries standing up for them, but it doesn’t work.

The merchant asks Agatha to take him, Klaudia, and his men to the island. Agatha asks Lila and her friend if they have a business on the island. Lila and her friend tell Agatha they plan to research the Klint Kingdom’s ruins. Lila’s friend offers to make them various items if Agatha allows him and Lila to stay here. Agatha accepts their request since they saved Ryza’s group and Klaudia. Lila’s friend introduces himself as Empel and thanks Agatha for accepting his offer.

The crew travels to Rasenboden, and the merchant thanks Ryza for saving his daughter in private because he didn’t want to say it in front of Agatha. When they return to Rasenboden, Moritz introduces himself to the merchant, and we learn his name is Lubart. Ryza and Lent tell Klaudia Moritz serves as the face of Rasenboden and likes sticking his nose into everything. He’s rich and has control of the village’s water supply, making him powerful. Thereafter, Ryza asks Tao and Lent if they enjoyed the small adventure. Tao and Lent said they had fun despite the troubling scenario.

Suddenly, two residents named Bos and Lumbar scold Ryza and her friends for their actions. They inform the trio that the Guardians were furious about their adventure, and Bos confirms it caused a hassle for their work. Ryza contemplates Bos and Lumbar’s words before bed. Despite their horrible remarks, she’s happy she took her first step into the adventuring world. Ryza and her friends visit Empel and Lila and request they help them strengthen and teach them different things. Empel and Lila refuse their offer because they don’t have free time, but Tao’s book catches Empel’s eye. Tao explains he found the book in an underground library at his house.

Empel interests Lila and hears the group out. Lila agrees to help Lent learn the basics of fighting if he and his friends can show them around the area. Ryza asks Empel if he can teach her alchemy, but Empel says she doesn’t have an innate aptitude for it. Ryza asks Empel to test her for it, so Empel tasks her with a fetch quest since being capable of identifying materials is the basic foundation of alchemy. He gives Ryza a herb and asks her to find more things like it.

Klaudia notices Ryza and explains she and Lubart rented a house in the village. Klaudia says Ryza can visit whenever she wants, and Ryza promises to show her around. After naming a few places she’d like to show Klaudia, Ryza visits the Fairystone Forest and finds the herbs Empel told her about.

She returns to Empel’s place, and he’s impressed she found the herbs. Empel leads her through the “synthesis” or alchemy item crafting portion of her training. He tosses the herb and vial into a pot and uses his mind to create an object of his desire. He asks Ryza to try, and Ryza successfully makes a supplement on her first attempt. Empel informs Ryza’s she’s passed her alchemist test. However, she has a long way to go before she becomes a master alchemist.

The episode closes with Ryza and her friends celebrating Ryza’s achievement.


The Episode Review

Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout aimed to make an interesting splash at the Summer 2023 anime season’s start by giving long-time fans and newcomers a 48-minute premiere. While the episode could’ve benefitted from a shorter runtime or had been split into two separate pieces to get more people on board, it gave everyone an enjoyable introduction to Ryza, her goals, and her world.

Ryza’s already shaping to be an entertaining protagonist with her likable personality and passion for exploration. Many people who like to travel to new environments and discover life’s secrets and hidden terrain will resonate with Ryza and her dissatisfaction with modern-day scenarios.

Ryza’s companions Lent and Tao are interesting fellows with room to grow in their respective fields. For instance, it’ll be interesting to see how strong Lent will become after receiving training from Lila. Although the monsters Lila defeats in episode one aren’t menacing in appearance or ability, she feels like someone who’s been in many difficult fights.

Viewers will be curious to see what Tao’s role and goalpost will be in the series since they don’t get into much depth about it here. Besides his yearning to know more about the mysterious book, he doesn’t have a clear long-term goal in mind. Based on what occurred in this chapter, we can expect this series to be a relaxing gem with tidbits of action sprinkled in for good measure. However, it’d be great if the anime took its liberties to give us more deep dives into Ryza’s universe and its characters in ways the game series couldn’t.

 

Next Episode

You can read our full season 1 review of Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout here!

 

  • Episode Rating -
    (3.5)
3.5

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