Shadows House is a fantasy anime with horror and mystery elements. For all its adorable designs, though, the show takes its gothic side seriously, showing us some genuinely disturbing moments. Rum's fate, in particular, is quite a mystery, and a sad one. So, what exactly happened to Rum in Shadows House, and will she be in Shadows House Season 2?
Like the main character Emilyko, Rum is a young girl working in the titular Shadows House. Rum is a Living Doll, serving her Shadow Mistress, Shirley, but unlike the cheerful and adaptable Emilyko, she is genuinely struggling.
Rum is a very shy and timid person who barely speaks when she's first introduced. While she craves friendship and connection she turns this wish inwards, by speaking to an imaginary friend instead of socializing with Shirley.
Rum and Emilyko are often seen as either parallel or foil characters, as they are amongst the few Living Dolls whose names are markedly different from their Shadow Masters.
Most Shadow-Doll pairings have mirroring or similar names (e.g. Partich/Ricky, Rosemary/Maryrose, John/Shaun). Rum and Emilyko break these norms for completely opposite reasons: Emilyko because Kate wanted a unique name for her, as part of her plan to let Emilyko freely develop her own personality, and Rum because she had to name herself.
What Happened to Rum in Shadows House?
Following the debut, in which Shadows and Dolls are called to complete a set of tasks to prove that they are compatible, Rum and her mistress Shirley were seemingly discarded as a defective pair.
More specifically, Shirley dissolved into soot, having failed to develop a personality, while Rum was taken away to become a "Faceless Doll." These Dolls are servants who are not allowed to show their faces and have their memories wiped off regularly to keep them compliant.
As we find out what the Shadows are, one can surmise that the reason why Shirley never developed a personality was that a Shadow has no personality of their own. Instead, they're supposed to form one through interaction with their Living Dolls. In her case, this was impossible because Rum was too afraid to talk to her.
In that sense, Rum's shyness was her downfall - though she never should have been put in that position in the first place.
Thankfully, not everything is bleak for Rum and Shirley though. Due to Emilyko's encouragement, Rum finally succeeded in connecting with Shirley during the debut, and they almost made it to the finish line before Shirley dissolved.
It's clear that the two were actually compatible and Shirley was content with Rum's company. Before the end, she was able to comprehend Rum's love for her.
When Rum had her memories wiped out and became a Faceless Doll all seemed lost for her, but the case turns out to be more complicated. The ending of Shadows House shows a Morph - a Shadow who has not yet mimicked a human through interaction - helping Emilyko.
This Morph wears a ribbon that looks like Shirley's own. Later on, the morph is seen bonding with a Faceless Doll. It's easy to assume that this Doll is Rum which makes us think this wasn't the last we've seen of them.
The ongoing Shadows House manga confirms that the two still have a role to play, and this will likely be the case with the second season of the anime as well!