WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Fena: Pirate Princess Episode 9, "Vice Versa," now streaming on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim.
It took nine episodes, but the crew is finally one step closer to figuring out where the elusive Eden is. The problem is that the process of deciphering the coordinates to Eden is confusing and complicated. Fena: Pirate Princess has taken to splitting its most recent episodes into two parts. The first half of the episode this week focused on Abel and the second half on Fena and Yukimaru's epiphany, resulting in some pacing issues. Eden has always felt like the stuff of legends, and here, the location is pulled seemingly out of thin air.
Yukimaru's injuries have slowly started to heal, but he still experiences pain when training. Fena visits him with some of her homemade onigiri and the two sit in companionable silence. Yukimaru gets up to leave first but freezes when he hears Fena start singing. It's the same melody she was singing when she was sitting on the balcony in Episode 1.
Yukimaru's voice joins Fena's but with lyrics about "dark blue water, white storm clouds." Back when they were children and aboard the Hope, Fena had been singing this song nonstop as she danced around, calling it a "secret song." She might have forgotten the lyrics, but the melody has always stuck with her. Suddenly struck with an idea, Fena asks Yukimaru to recite the lyrics.
The song is about the land of the gods, a shrine maiden dancing on a stage, a slumbering maid, dark blue water and storm clouds, and a stone that shows the journey's way to the end. The last few lines speak of an ark and that now is the time to run. All of these words don't really make sense, but they sound familiar to Fena, and she realizes she has heard of these words before.
Everything starts fitting into place. These are all of the things that Fena and her friends have encountered so far. It makes sense that these lyrics are indicating Eden's location. Fena really did know where Eden was -- her father had told her when she was a little girl. Yukimaru remembers the pedestal where they first found the coordinates where Karin deduced that it resembles a clock.
However, this provides only time, not coordinates, so they try to match up the time to the directions south and east, already provided in the lyrics. Somehow, somewhere, Yukimaru figures out that the first set of Roman numerals means the past while the second indicates the future, meaning 61 degrees south latitude and 34 degrees east longitude.
Nonetheless, instinct tells Fena that this isn't the way to look at it. She muses that the places they visited were in reverse order of the lyrics. Suddenly, Fena remembers the title of the song: Vice Versa. While not the most original of names, it does the job for the two of them, and they realize they need to think of everything in reverse. The directions aren't south and east -- it's 61 degrees north and 34 degrees west.
To make things even more complicated, that's not totally correct either. It's actually 61 degrees west longitude and 34 degrees north latitude because they have to flip it again vertically. But wait, that's also incorrect. The Roman numerals are likewise reversed and should be read in Arabic numbers, meaning it should actually be 63 degrees north latitude and 14 degrees west longitude.
It's understandable if that was too quick for viewers to immediately take in, yet strangely, Fena and Yukimaru figured all this out in the span of a minute. Yukimaru doesn't think these coordinates are confirmation of Eden's location, and Fena agrees. She thinks that even that concept is reversed: she isn't looking for Eden -- Eden is making her look for it. And when she has made the right choice, someone will tell her. It's unclear who that someone is, but it may be connected to Cody, who has been keeping a close eye on Fena and has already spoken about things being "vice versa" as early as Episode 3.
It's a unique concept, and it's clear that Franz has made every single effort to bury Eden's location in the most elaborate way possible. However, it's a shame that the execution of the discovery is done in such a way that it feels almost like a deus ex machina. Fena suddenly manages to figure out where Eden is by pure virtue of her memory coming back, and no one except Fena and Yukimaru could've likely gotten it, making viewers feel like they're left behind on the journey.