Revealing the Magic of The Apothecary Diaries: Episodes 1-3

A Perfect Blend of Apothecary and Harem Life!

The Apocathy Diaries has officially graced our screens with its first 3 episodes. And Boy Oh Boy! It’s stunning! Since the announcement of its anime adaptation, Kusuriya no Hitorigoto has been eagerly anticipated by fans of light novels.

Now that it has made its global anime debut, we are here to go through the magic it has to offer. In this blog, we will be going through the 3 episodes of The Apocathy Diaries to ascertain whether the show lives up to the hopes and expectations of its manga fans.

But before we get into this anime, read our recent article on Dr. Stone’s Season 3. Now without any further delay, let’s jump straight into the magical universe of Apocathecary!

Table of contents

  • Main Plot of The Apothecary Diaries
  • Breakdown of Episodes 1-3
  • Episode 1: MaoMao
  • Episode 2: Chilly Apothecary
  • Episode 3: The Unsettling Matter of the Spirit
  • Our Verdict

Main Plot of The Apothecary Diaries

Kusuriya no Hitorigoto | Anime Sweet

The story is set in China, where a 17-year-old Maomao lives at a brothel. But since she is 17 and has no aspirations to become an escort, she spends her time practicing medicine. One day Maomao gets kidnapped and forced to work as a low-level servant at the grand palace.

Working with the hopes of leaving the palace in two years and meeting her father, Maomao tries to adjust to life in the palace. Her curiosity is piqued when the royal infants fall ill. This prompts her to decide to help the palace anonymously.

But Jinshi, an influential and handsome eunuch, recognizes Maomao’s talent and promotes her to the inner court. There, she gains experience in handling poisons and transforms the palace with her knowledge of apothecary.

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Breakdown of Episodes 1-3

The Apothecary Diaries |

Episode 1: MaoMao

This apothecary tale starts with the introduction of the talented protagonist Maomao. At the request of her father, she visits the beautiful Verdigris House to deliver medicines. Upon her arrival, she encounters Princess Pairin and her grandmother.

Without wasting a single second, her grandmother proposes that she become an escort. In response, Maomao leaves the room to pursue her one and only love in the world, picking herbs! But her happiness comes to an end when she gets kidnapped and sold to the great palace.

Jinshi & MaoMao |

MaoMao strives to adapt to the life of the new harem and being a royal slave. Her sole aspiration for this is to get released from there after 2 years and meet her father. However, she gets to know about a curse of illness from Xiaolan. On the other hand, one of the ladies of the palace, Lady Lihua loses her son to a mysterious disease.

Jinshi, the in-charge eunuch discovers a lead about a poisonous plant. He suspects Maomao’s involvement and summons her. This meeting leads to the revelation that Maomao can read, as she explains the poisonous traits of the plant. This discovery impresses Lady Gyokuyou, and she appoints Maomao as her new lady-in-waiting.

Episode 2: Chilly Apothecary

Jinshi Scaring Maomao | AnimeNewsNetwork

The second episode unfolds with soldiers being poisoned through their food. In addition to this dire situation, Maomao struggles to create a balance between the two ladies of the harem. Jinshi keeps a strict watch on Maomao to protect her from the enemies of the palace.

In order to put her immunity to the test, Maomao tastes the palace’s meals. Jinshi challenges Maomao to create an aphrodisiac and she willingly accepts his challenge. But this all leads her to suspect the palace’s doctor and his possible involvement.

Episode 3: The Unsettling Matter of the Spirit

MaoMao | AnimeClick

In the third episode, the palace gets haunted by a rumored spirit but in parallel Jinshi questions Maomao about a sleepwalking curse. Maomao discovers that a concubine named Fuyou is involved in a one-sided love affair with a military officer.

The feeling of unrequited love leads Fuyou to sleepwalk, as her emotions are considered nothing but a trade. Maomao deduces that helping Fuyou could heal her sleepwalking. The episode comes to its end with the reunion of Fuyou with the officer, leaving Maomao wondering about medicines for broken hearts.

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Our Verdict

Kusuriya no Hitorigoto | Anime Click

When it comes to rating this show, we have to take a look at its origin first. It was originally a Chinese Manhua, and such manhua/manhwas have their own reputation. Japan is known to have the best animation and is certainly the pioneer of anime, But China has also made significant strides.

In previous years, Chinese manhwa and their animated versions have delivered some of the best shows for the audience. We have to say that The Apothecary Diaries is one heck of a treat for the eyes when it comes to animation, CGI, and depicting the historic palace culture of the ancient Chinese dynasties.

To conclude this, we give The Apothecary Diaries a whopping 8.5 out of 10 for its amazing creativity and the agency it displayed for the female lead Maomao. Before, you leave, make sure to read our take on MAPPA’s underdog Alice and Therese’s Illusion Factory and uncover the stunningly animated universe of the legendary Mari Okada!


Zrish Khan

Zrish is a passionate critic in the world of anime, manga/manhwa, and KPop. She offers in-depth insights that illuminate the nuances of these genres with deep analysis. With a keen eye for detail, her reviews take readers on an enlightening journey through both classic and contemporary series.