Rating: 3 (of 5)
With this episode, the series wraps up the Amidonian subplot (at least for now) by having King Gaius die gloriously in battle – so much so that even Kazuya has to acknowledge it. However, while the battles in the first half form the episode’s action content, the more interesting parts – and the ones with the longer-term consequences come after.
Honestly, the battle portion was not all that impressive. The animation chops just aren’t there to make for truly dynamic fight scenes. Gaius’s duel with Carla at least tried, and did succeed in portraying Gaius as a formidable warrior, but even then the artistry seemed a little off, an impression that persisted throughout the episode; everyonea looked a little more cartoonish than normal, I guess? The battle tactics seemed standard, but I was less than impressed how – once again! – one of this setting’s major powers just admits ultimate defeat before Kazuya’s greatness but goes through the motions of resisting anyway. Granted, Gaius’s case is a more extreme one; unlike with his rebellious dukes, Kazuya has no practical “out” for leaving Gaius alive, and Gaius seems to understand that even if Kazuya does not himself. Even so, I cannot shake the feeling that the story is going easy on Kazuya
And speaking of Carla, why she his bodyguard now, instead of Aisha? Yes, she does have a reason now to be loyal to Kazuya (for Liscia’s benefit, if nothing else) and is wearing a slave collar, but having a recent enemy suddenly be a bodyguard does not seem like it has the best optics.
In any case, the second half plays out with Kazuya wisely being cautious about the fate of Amidonia; taking over its capital, even in retaliation for being invaded, was a big move, and I’m sure he’s right to be leery of how the Empire is going to react. His plan to use cultural programming to influence the people of Amidonia is an interesting one, especially mixing in the Amidonian officer to sing Amidonia’s (rather bloody) national anthem. That could be considered a bit anachronistic, as the formal adoption of national anthems is a product of the 19th century (there were some more informal cases dating back as far as the 17th century), but I can excuse that. More importantly, it stands as a clear symbol to the people of Amidonia that Kazuya does not intend to subsume Amidonia’s identity into Elfrieden. Despite this, I cannot shake the feeling that the series just wanted to have another opportunity to conduct a variety show. . .
Overall, I can see the ideas that the episode is trying to move forward with, but the execution is too lackluster for me to give the episode a higher rating.
Other Series That I Am Following (or at least checking out):
Fena: Pirate Princess episode 7 – Daaaaamn. The havoc wreaked by that uber-cannon is one hell of an eye-popping scene. Also have a bit more respect for Makabe after his speech earlier in the episode.
Ganbare Douki-chan – This 6 minute OVA is a bit fan servicey and features a young office lady who may be trying to seduce a coworker, but he’s too decent a guy to pick up on the signals.
I’m Standing on 1,000,000 Lives episode 23 – Yes, Yuka, you really are into hot older guys. Don’t try to deny it; just run with it.
Tawawa On Monday – This is apparently a series of 6-minute-long ONA shorts, and it is nearly 100% about large, bouncing bosoms – specifically, a well-endowed teenage girl who helps a salaryman to “recharge” on the train on Monday mornings. Really
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime episode 47 – Yep, Milim was faking it after all, and clearly Rimiru was not the only Demon Lord who couldn’t tell. Very pleased that Raphael is thoroughly disgusted with him at this point; he deserves it. The offhand revelation about how Milim is related to Veldora was an eye-opener, and their “playing” was fun to watch. With Clayman also getting the crap kicked out of him and the revelation of who was pulling his strings, this may be my favorite episode yet this season for this series.
The aquatope on white sand episode 11 – Maybe the best episode yet of the series. Still not sure if I totally buy an actual romantic connection between Kukuru and Fuuka, but I love the way the episode both reflected and summarized the central struggles for Kukuru. But where can the series go next?