- Genre : Fantasy, Adventure, action, political
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
I have to admit it, I did not see this one coming. I have been watching anime for many years now and this particular show for 15 episodes (there was a 11.5, remember!) and this is pretty much the last thing I expected. Brace yourself, guys: The events of the last episode are still relevant! I KNOW!
Not only are we still in Sistina with our same ragtag little group of rando entourage members but we are also still fighting the Rossini family. All this continuity is going to my head, I’m not quite sure how to handle it. The tones and presentation did switch back to standard fantasy faux feudal, with the only remnants of that mafia story experimentation being an out of place looking trench coat in the early scenes.
Otherwise, we’re back to the battlefield. Apparently, we’ve given up pretense of a stealth attack and Theo has gathered up a legit army…somewhere… (I’m sure there was some type of explanation for where said army came from but I’m just gonna go with wizard did it) to supplement his band of underfed villagers.
It seems however that the Rossinis were not quite the one dimensional villains everything we knew about them so far had made them out to be, and they have earned the loyalty and dedication of the people who serve them.
Most of the episode was dedicated to breaking down the battle into small isolated bits to give a tangible role to each of the named characters. The werewolf twin maids (now in pirate outfits for some reason) were given a chance to avenge their fallen mother by confronting the witch that killed her. Yeah apparently she’s a witch and not a vampire and also witches aren’t the same thing as mages…
Honestly this was basically filler, with the twins’ big plan boiling down to jumping really high… Anyways, they won. woohoo. A lot of pagan imagery here with pentagrams and a demon in the tradition devil goatman shape. Not that it really matters but it was sort of odd to see.
Irvin also finally had a chance to do something. I mean it was still pretty irrelevant since it was just fighting and killing yet another arbitrary character barely introduced last episode with no apparent impact on the larger plot. But at least we got to see him for more than a minute.
More importantly though, he got mortally wounded, of course, which allowed Priscilla (pink hair cleric lady) to apparate and heal him. Morer importantlier, he had to take his jacket off and seems to be taking up the vital role of man candy, now that Villar is gone.
For the very first time, the episode seemed to feature an eyecatch. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a show that adds an eyecatch out of the blue at episode 15. Way to keep us on our toes Grancrest.. When just randomly changing up the narrative isn’t quite enough.
This may be all in my head, but Theo’s big dashing hero act seems to be slipping more and more. He’s starting to be quite brutal on the battle ground, mowing down opponents mercilessly, going all neck stabby on people and horses! It seems he was even using a battalion of small children in this particular skirmish, which seems rather uncalled for, considering how one sided the fight seemed to be.
I’m running out of ways to say out of the blue, random, unexplained… Towards the latter half of the episode, someone remembered that Siluca is a powerful and talented battle mage and was not killed off in episode 4, so she should probably be given something to do. That something in question turned out to be fending off Not A Vampire lady’s final attack. We never really got a chance to see what it was but they were presenting it like some huge deal.
In any case, the events themselves aren’t really what’s important here. In fact, I suspect then entire confrontation, and indeed the whole of Sistina itself, will quickly sink back into irrelevancy, possibly only making a brief reappearance at a very opportune last minute to lend their strength and help turn the tide of some future confrontation.
For now what we care about is the animation. For a few brief scenes, maybe 2 or 3 minutes, almost every visual aspect changed. The art style took on a different more exaggerated look. Perspective was toyed with to created artistically distorted proportions. Movement became intentionally jagged lending extra urgency and depth to the action. For a second there I was reminded of a Trigger animation. It was wonderful. I certainly hope they use this effect again. I personally would have preferred the entire show in this style, but even the contrast with the rest of the animation was interesting. And there we go again. Just as I’m getting exasperated with the show, I get a tidbit thrown my way.
In the final moments, it almost seemed as if a hardened Theo was finally going to abandon his goody two shoes persona and impose harsh judgement on the Rossini family (after having personally slaughtered half of them) but they talked at each other in the middle of a crowd again and everyone lived happily ever after.
The ending is making me suspect that we have seen the last of Sistina and this was a somewhat extended filler but if it means more jacktless Irvin in the future, I’m calling it a win.
There’s actually a lot of great pics to be had because this show has ADHD…