It’s been quite a week! Things are fine for me but that seems selfish considering everything that is going on right now. These are some tough times and I hope you’re all doing o.k. If you can find some sympathy and understanding in yourself for those around you, we need it now more than ever. I understand it’s trying. I hope that didn’t come off too preachy. Crow I hope that you are doing well today.
Trying to find words to say what you’re saying. I’m glad some other ani-bloggers have posted guides of how to contribute, help, or be generally supportive. I was really proud of my daughter the other day — she’s a teacher, and she posted a guide from some educators.
Well, it won’t help by not doing our thing here, so here we go!
Oh, I’m in plain text and there will be spoilers. Whew! That was close… That last bit will make more sense a little later.
Let’s talk about My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! We are at episode 10, and it seems like we’ve rejoined the main storyline. The episode starts off with the teaser from last week. Essentially it’s the doom scenario from the game or Catarina’s trial. Sadly, Catarina did not get the chance to save herself and instead everyone else came to her rescue… by calling her too stupid to be evil? For awhile I thought that was a dream sequence. Everyone was kinda mean…
Turns out it wasn’t, and all of Catarina’s friends really do consider her an idiot. Yet she’s the most highly desirable one. My friends were right, studying really is a waste of time! (It’s not, it’s great and useful!)
I think Alan was probably the most blunt when he said, “She’s so dumb, all she could do would be to fight her head-on!” But Mary wasn’t far behind — calling Catarina “simple-minded” did seem a bit harsh. Come to think of it, Keith’s “My simple-minded sister isn’t even capable of such elaborate harassment” might have been the worst.
Sure, we joke about Bakarina, but I kinda feel like they went too far.
Geraldo quite a bit less, I noticed! And he still stood up for her. Good for him! He’s completely turned around my opinion of him.
Geordo did pull some extra effort though and found out that the event was magical in nature and the girls involved had no memory of it. He went on to describe dark magic, it’s powers and origins. Is it just me or does the way that Geordo was describing how dark magic can make people do things they wouldn’t have thought of otherwise and how it gets into their heads, a little reminiscent of exactly the type of influence a player would have on game characters. It’s not what they are going for, at least not on a text level, but I did find the parallel rather interesting.
Dark magic does sound like an unfathomable external influence, doesn’t it? Now I almost feel guilty playing video games — like I’m taking away some poor character’s free will! Or what if it’s like Log Horizon, where the NPCs are actually sentient! I’m getting off track again…
Geordo also mentioned that dark magic manipulates “negative” emotions like jealousy, doubt and fear. This is a very tired trope in my opinion. Good things can come from these emotions. Jealousy is very bound to ambition and doubt and fear are there to protect us. It’s all about how you use these emotions, you know?
But it turns out that Catarina is too simple to have any of these so that’s why she wasn’t affected. I’m beginning to wonder if the show is being super mean to Catarina on purpose or is it fridge insults.
I really couldn’t tell if Catarina not having negative emotions was a slam or not. Remembering Geraldo was nicer to her than the others during the earlier confrontation, I almost felt like he was affectionately saying she wasn’t affected by those emotions. I’ve never really heard him say anything unkind to her, even when she summoned the harem and he wanted to be alone with her. Though, maybe I’m not being overly optimistic here. This episode did take a dark turn.
As soon as Geordo mentioned dark magic it was obvious that oh wait SPOILERS SPOILERS, watch episode 10 first if you don’t want to be spoiled. You only need to watch a bit of it, things get spelled out very quickly.
Don’t worry! I’ll add a note earlier in the text! There, done.
Never hurts to be extra careful.
Like I was saying, it becomes pretty obvious that Sirius has dark magic. In case his name wasn’t enough of a clue. The episode spells it out in detail later on when Catarina remembers what Achan told her about the secret route, but by that time everyone already knows and the scene becomes redundant.
At that point, even Catarina called herself an idiot for not remembering. But honestly, I thought she was being too harsh on herself (as usual!). I mean, she had died, right? She’s trying to remember a previous lifetime, merge its information into a new life in this world, and make good runtime decisions. I think she’s been doing great being able to keep things even almost straight!
It also seems that Maria, as a light magic user can “see” Sirius’ dark energy or something and she goes off to confront him but gets disappeared in the process.
Everyone is searching for Maria and Catarina feels particularly guilty at leaving her alone, which may explain the anxiety dream she has where all her friends are dead(?) asleep (?)… It’s the bad end of the secret route it seems.
Did you see how Acchan described that path? She called it “a super bad ending.” So I guess there were clues all along, but damn — this got dark fast.
Eventually, Catarina and Sirius find themselves in the courtyard alone by chance. Even though Geordo specifically told Catarina not to wander the school alone. And after a cheesy bad guy reveal, Sirius put Catarina in a magical coma. I understand that there are only two episodes to go, but I feel like they really rushed this part. They could have skipped one of the filler episodes and stretched out the suspense a little more.
What did you think of this turn of events Crow? Bit much? Not enough?
I’ll preface this by saying I still really like the show, and it’s because I like the show and its characters that I found this episode a little upsetting. First, Maria abducted? Not cool! Not only is she such a sweet young woman, but Catarina investested a lot in keeping her safe and happy. Her abduction is bad all around.
Second, we got some hints in earlier episodes that Sirius was probably up to no good, but this turn is so dramatic that I have a sense the narrative didn’t adequately prepare us. At the very least, I wasn’t prepared. Catarina’s so warm-hearted that she even tried kindness on Sirius — right before he put her under! This episode almost felt cruel.
All I can say is this: If Mary finds out what Sirius did, unless his dark magic is super powerful, he’s in for a world of hurt.