- Genre : Fantasy, Adventure, action, political
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
You know, it’s a really good thing that the Winter Games are over and I no longer have to try to predict where this show is going because I,m at a loss. I certainly wouldn’t have predicted the events of this episode and if you had told them to me, well I would never ever have predicted that I would enjoy it this much. Was this show catfishing me all along.
Right off the bat, episode 16 shows us something we had never seen before in this series. A strategic retreat! For a show that presents itself as a fantasy theater of war epic, all the fights we had seen so far were depressingly simplistic head to head confrontations which ended when one side was annihilated. No actually strategy involved, all luck and brute force. But this time, we were using terrain for military advantage and you had commanders order rationally order troops to fall back rather than patiently wait to be slaughtered. Do you know how different this entire show would be if people had figured out earlier on that their horses can actually go back on their steps…
So already I was impressed. The battles weren’t necessarily visually impressive but there was some some actual logic to them. It was worth paying attention to the tide of battle because for once, there was a direction. Even MiLza acted like an actual army leader rather than a simple minded lunatic.
And then…magic cell phones. How is this the FIRST time the mages are using their cell phones? First, can we all take a minute to acknowledge how hilarious it was to watch adults talking into toys r us, light up wands. But pleasantly goofy visuals aside, this ability is a game changer. I remember when watching Drifters, Nobunaga went nuts for this ability. The man was a military genius, but of all the exciting war time innovations, saltpeter, firearms, dragons – it was the mages ability to instantly relay messages over long distances that truly captured his imagination.
For the moment, the mages seem to be using this incredible gift to gossip about palace intrigue, but I hope to see it integrate into future battleground strategy. I also couldn’t help imagining Lassic bugging his mage every five minutes to find out whether Theo had called for him and then pretending not to care…
Magic is always a little tricky to integrate into stories. Make it too weak and it seems useless and laughable, leaving your audience wondering why you bothered to introduce the element at all. On the other hand, unchecked power risks trivializing your story since every obstacle can be instantly brushed aside. I think this may be the reason we hadn’t seen the Grancrest mages give each other live updates during skirmishes and instantly materialize as needed.
By the way, Irvin was nowhere to be seen (with or without coat). You don’t suppose the magic didn’t take and he’s dead for realisies now? I would be sad, he’s my last (half) blonde bishie left.
At this point though, my attention was beginning to wane. I always enjoy seeing Marrine and her starkly pragmatic approach to the events around her. But the redheaded pirate girl, whose relationship to the plot I keep forgetting ,is of no interest to me. She was going to fight wanton not vampire lady, whatever…. and then, other blonde mage comes up with the most ridiculous fanservice excuse of all time. I couldn’t help smirking. I mean how obvious can you be?
So how exactly did they make this scene work? And not just a little. Somehow the entire scheme not only afforded some (surprisingly tame) refreshingly respectful fanservice but it also worked perfectly within the context of the narrative. Sure it was silly bordering on batsh*t but I 100% believe that, that is exactly how it would have played out. And it was really fun to watch.
Instead of depressing speeches about honor and duty, we got the extremely relatable premise that guys are generally willing to do pretty much anything a very attractive naked woman asks for nicely. And having the soldiers strip as well, made the entire thing seem so much less vulnerable. Something that could easily have been uncomfortable or creepy on the face of it, was infused with so much joyfulness that it became genuinely fun to watch.
And the outcome was just as good. I found myself rooting hard for the nudist army. Of course it would be at least distracting to any attackers. And then they managed to work in all that slave rebellion foreshadowing in the last episode, for a logical and truly satisfying payoff that even gave Avilio an important role to play, with an actual bearing on the plot.
Don’t get me wrong, with this show, the events of this episode can easily get completely undone before the start of the next one but all in all this was paced well, events followed logically and both humor and intrigued were mixed in such a way as to make the episode both easy to understand and enjoyable.
I really have no complaints and if future episodes manage to keep up this momentum I will be very happy. I do have one request though. Can we find Irvin and teach him this new naked fighting technique, please? And also Aishela. I feel like she would be a natural at it. Thank you!
I somehow didn’t gt as many fanservicy pics as I thought I would but there’s a couple in there…