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Aira’s grandmother
Obaba infobox

Japanese Name

-

Romanized Name

-

Nickname(s)/Alias(es)

Grandmother (ぉババ様 Obaba-sama)
Chief Healer (ウタの長 Uta no Osa)

Debut

Chapter 3 (light novel 3);
Episode 9

Voice actor

京田尚子
Hisako Kyouda

Status

Alive

Aira’s grandmother is a fictional character in the Book of Twilight. She’s the local Elder Shaman, a healer or witch doctor who teaches her young granddaughter and provides natural medicines to the inhabitants of the nearby town. She is present in the Book of Twilight story.

BackgroundEdit

Grandmother house

The Chief Healer's house.

She’s part of the Book of Twilight story. According to Aira, the old woman is a genuine magician who survived an era of witch-hunting. She lives in a small house in the forest with her granddaughter, who is also her apprentice in the practices of natural healing. The place is poorly constructed and presents a mysterious atmosphere as if it was a temple. There are big stones around the sacred land, resembling a barrier. It’s a one-hour walk far from the nearest town, accessed by an undulating mountain road.[1] In the anime, the dome-shaped house is topped by fancy chimneys and surrounded by megaliths, including trilithons and a large carved head. Its interior has a tribal motif.[2]

The medicines produced by the elder are sold by Aira and are popular among the townsfolk and the people from the Galeazzo Caravan. The young apprentice explores the forest in the vicinity to collect the ingredients necessary for the old woman’s concoctions. The Chief Healer knows about The Mystic Archives of Dantalian. She heard rumors about the Broken Wings’ attacks.

YakatsuEdit

The elder also knows how to produce a translucent yellow poison in liquid form known as Yakatsu (ヤカツ) or Elegans. She is reluctant to manipulate the plant used as ingredient, since her son Robert (ロベルト Roberuto) died after touching it with his bare hands. The dangerous substance comes from the boiled leaves of a vine-like plant, blooming with yellows flowers, found in the northern forest.[1] In the anime, the flowers are white.[2] Aira used two pairs of thick gloves to collect the plant, being instructed to never touch its sap. She burned the gloves after finishing the task. She was never allowed to approach the vine until then.

According to Dalian, the plant is a subspecies of Gelsemium and presents an alkaloid type of poison fatal to the touch. The Yakatsu can be applied on swords, arrow tips and projectiles of blowpipes. It’s said that the poison from three leaves is enough to kill a person. The Yakatsu was originally developed to be used against beasts who couldn’t be beaten normally. However, it’s not effective against the Broken Wings.

Aira’s grandmother produced a diluted version of the poison for Tito as a travel amulet. It comes in a low concentration, so it can’t be used against humans. The substance is contained inside a thick glass bottle with no lid. The recipient is welded closed, so the Yakatsu can’t be applied on food or blades. The gift is perfect to be throw at a monster. However, a Broken Wing covered with the poison will only stop for a moment.[1] In the adaptation, the Yakatsu produces a green flame when used against the creature.[2]

PersonalityEdit

The old woman loves her granddaughter and focus in teaching her about the shaman practices and how to deal with her emotions. She worries about Aira collecting the Gelsemium plant, since Robert was fatally poisoned during the task in the past. The elder doesn’t accept the presence of Gianni and his men next to her house because of their violent and martial background which taints the sacred land. She seems to be unrelenting, but she wants the well-being of everyone, especially of Aira.[1] In the anime, the healer is shown to enjoy cooking her medicines.[2]

AppearanceEdit

Yakatsu (2)

The mask used by the old woman during the Yakatsu production.

Aira’s grandmother is a small, hunched old woman.[1] In the anime, her appearance reflects how her granddaughter is dressed. They wear similar clothes, including a long light dress and a traditional headwear. The old woman’s grey hair reaches her waist and is combed into three braids. The skin around her small, brown eyes is also grey. A sort of silver medals hang in front of her forehead. She carries a long intricate staff which she uses to pull her cauldron and to support herself. The healer is missing most of her teeth. While making the Yakatsu, she’s seen wearing a strange mask.[2]

PlotEdit

Gianni's request

The Chief Healer listens to Gianni's request.

The elder examines the herbs collected by Aira, enough to make ointments for the entire winter. The young apprentice talks about visiting Mr. Baptista the next day, but the old woman knows she wants to see Tito. Aira becomes upset, feeling like she was being teased. They notice the presence of Gianni and his men. The healer doesn’t welcome them, feeling their hate and violence. She was reluctant about producing the Yakatsu, a poison which killed her son in the past. However, she eventually accepts to provide the substance so they could protect the town from the Broken Wings. They would be back in three days.

Grandmother gift

The Chief Healer presents Aira with a talisman.

The next day, the old woman requests Aira to collect the leaves necessary to produce the Yakatsu. She tells her to be careful while manipulating the dangerous plant. Aira sells the medicines made by her grandmother to Salute before heading to the northern forest to search the right tree. The elder uses the ingredient to make a talisman, a glass bottle filled with the poison so Aira can give it to Tito. It would serve to protect the traveling merchant against monsters such as the Broken Wings.

When the Broken Wings attacked the town, the inhabitants went to the Chief Healer’s house to ask for her help. Aira arrives and witnesses Gianni and his men forcing the old woman out of her house. Tito was trying to protect her from those who were blaming her for the casualties. Pointing his sword at the elder, Gianni affirms the tragedy could have been prevented if he had the Yakatsu sooner. Aira intervenes, explaining the poison was useless against the monsters. Her grandmother watches as Hugh reads the Book of the Sage to make the Broken Wings disappear. She’s shocked, recognizing The Mystic Archives of Dantalian.[1]

Trivia Edit

  • The Gelsemium elegans is the most toxic variety of the genus. It's known as "heartbreak grass" because its leaves trigger cardiac arrest if ingested. It grows in Asia and, in the past, it was used for pain relief. A Russian whistleblower was alleged to have been assassinated when its highly toxic compound was detected in his body in 2012.[3][4]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 3.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian anime, Episode 9.
  3. Alexander Perepilichny. (2017, July 8). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:32, July 12, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Alexander_Perepilichny&oldid=789557715
  4. Hannah Devlin. Gelsemium: the plant that can cause convulsions, paralysis and asphyxia. (2015, May 18). In The Guardian. Retrieved 17:32, July 12, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/18/gelseminum-deadly-plant-cause-convulsions-paralysis-asphyxia

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