- Genre : Fantasy, Adventure, action, political
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
If you’ve been following my Winter Games posts, you may have noticed a certain pattern. I don’t tend to remember character names all that well. To be perfectly straight, it’s not so much that I forget them as that I don’t bother to learn them in the first place, but I can usually recognize those names when I see them. Usually…
You may remember that the last episode ended on a decided unsexy sex scene but it seems our friends have been busy in the inbetween episodes. After everyone got the dirt and ants out of their underwear, Koochies went home, officially defected, murdered his father and half his own army (that type of patience and leadership skills are going to prove super useful now that he’s king), then decided to dodge the imminent revolution by gathering up the other half of the army to immediately attack Villar by sea. That was a really long sentence.
Bear in mind dear friends, that the episode has not in fact started yet. I’m not saying we got all that in the opening tag, it hasn’t started at ALL. In the opening tag we see Koochie’s fleet approaching Villar’s castle. Villar’s not playing though and he suspects something right away, probably because he’s spoken to Kootchie for more than a minute, and gets his guard up.
Margaret returns for about 5 seconds to confirm that Milza has betrayed him and I’m all Hold up girlfriend…,Who the heck is MiLza? Wait is his name MiLza? I’ve been calling him MiRza all this time…oh could MiLza be another character… Why would she even know about the betrayal? If she was there he wouldn’t have left her alive…maybe Milza is some other dude. They shouldn’t name characters so similarly… This is Kogami – Kagari all over again!
I was in the situation where I either could not recognize the name of a major character and only antagonist at episode 10 OR they had just introduced another new and plot impacting character with a super confusing name out of the blue at episode 10. The fact that both these options were entirely plausible should tell you all you need to know about this show. For the record they were talking about Kootchie. Apparently I got his name wrong all this time.
after the opening credits (we finally made it) the witches and werewolves both made completely impotent split second cameos. And in true Grancrest tradition, we started getting introduced to a whole bunch of new characters. They could just save everyone time and just reuse old footage and rename all the characters. Who would know? First up, it seems Villar has some brothers. I would complain about introducing what are obviously going to be yet more important characters this late in the game but:
After which we got another apparently random useless scene. My actual note on it is: was the naked lady the vampire? Now we have a new king with an entire army ready to help Villar. They were all drinking in a ritual to prepare for the battle I guess and I was honestly expecting everyone to drop dead from poison right then and there. They didn’t, but the king did get a crest of his face. For some reason, I have decided to call him crest face. Crest face and his army survived (offscreen) for another 5 scenes before being wiped out! Well I’m glad I was paying attention to who’s who.
The bulk of the episode was essentially watching MiLza slaughter his way through Villar’s naval defense. I’m ambivalent about this.
On the one hand, they’ve reduced Kootchie to a completely one note bad guy with zero complexity or nuance. He just goes around swinging a saber and hack and slashing everything in his path with apparently super human stamina. It lacks in depth and is very repetitive. I don’t know how many times I can see more or less the same scene before I completely disconnect (and there’s a bit of a negative stereotype going on there as well).
And on the technical side, the CG in these scenes was horrendous. If you somehow, most likely through hard drugs, manage to suspend your disbelief and need for coherent narrative long enough to get lost in the story, those “waves” will crash you right back to reality.
On the other hand though, at least for me, these were effectively suspenseful. Villar being the one character that seems to have shown some potential for an actual personality, I have grown quite attached to him and was very worried by the prospect of continuing this show without him. Moreover, stripping down MiLza’s character to just plain evil suits the show quite well. They obviously don’t do subtle, intricate characterization so why not stick to their wheelhouse. You know…once they find it…
And finally, the actual animation during the fight was decent. Very similar to what we’ve seen from this character before but fast paced and consistently detailed. So here we are. Once again, this episode revealed all the cracks in the plot and patchworks in the production but I kinda want to see how it plays out… I’m not sure this show has ever made me think that before. We didn’t see Theo or Siluca at all this episode.
Plot: We will learn more about Villar’s complicated family situation
Character: We will find out what Siluca and Theo were doing during this time
You know this episode review ended up almost as long as one of my full series reviews. I realize now that this is because I really wanted this show to be good. There are elements that resemble a decent fantasy anime, but just on the surface. The castles are made out of cheap cardboard. I wonder if Astral, Leap and TPAB share my frustration. They seem to have similar ups and downs but I’m not sure they ever had any expectations to begin with.
Once again, here are some extra pics! I really like the foot…