Junketsu no Maria – 07


Junketsu no Maria-7-02

Maria: This battle is intense!

Welcome back to the Hundred Years War, and a pretty darn uneven episode as far as animation and pacing go. But, lucky for us, the overall story didn’t suffer, and we’ve seen quite a few plot and character developments occur.

Bellum Se Ipsum Alet 

The War Feeds Itself

Junketsu no Maria-war

It does get worse for the English forces…

We pick up were we left off last episode, with the French ambush of the retreating English forces. Le Comte has made it clear that he will only be satisfied with a complete routing of the enemy, with no countenance towards letting more soldiers join any coming reinforcements.  It is a bloody awful battle from the beginning, in both terms of it’s general viciousness, and in terms of animation quality and pacing. Now I’m not a bloodthirsty person, I don’t really need it going all gory to sell a scene, and they did it quite well, but there were far to many cuts to flags and banners. That’s all eleven, with the average onscreen time about three of four seconds each, talking bits and other bits going on besides… I don’t have to tell you that it was more than a little jarring to see the scenes transition that way.

In addition to the battle on the ground, we rejoin Maria as she races to the action. As it was, she was expecting to to protect both Josef and Ann’s father, but as she surveys the scene she realizes it’s the English in retreat. In acting a bit against according to her full character, she decides to issue a warning to all the combined forces, basically let the retreat occur without further bloodshed, and in her mind the war ends that much quicker. But those on the ground have different ideas; aggression and a strong need for coin. So with that, Maria brings the smackdown, which in that moment, she shouldn’t be doing at all.

Junketsu no Maria-7-01

The HanaKana LOLi spear technique

Now, very little in the lead in suggests that this action would prove fatal. Ezekiel has already softened up to a point, that her holding back was a foregone conclusion. This combined with Viv’s warning gave us ample time to predict how it would play out. But then, this collection of scenes had to play out in a certain way given much of the foreshadowing of previous episodes. People go to war, and nothing can stop that. Maria’s sudden entrance and departure did little to deter the opposing forces from fulfilling that.  You have to wonder what was going through that English soldiers head, the time for revenge could have been put off…This also doesn’t deter, in the middle of battle, other solider’s from finding Maria and well, not looking at all friendly too her. Luckily…

Junketsu no Maria-Flash

Viv know Big Damn Hero moments call for a Flash Kick

So with Maria given safety, we go back to the battle at large. Galfa’s motivations weren’t at all surprising, he’s been living the mercenary life for quite some time. That did have a large influence on the battle’s outcome, however, as he convinced Yvain to look for better spoils, pulling them away from their duty as one of Le Comte’s defensive lines. Yvain, didn’t agree with that, and was quite pointed with his reprimand. Now, at this point, with Galfa being an anime original character, we do get a surprise. I think there must have been some resentment building between the two, as his commander called out Galfa’s heritage, but that isn’t something the man would let slide. But even that betrayal was short-lived, as he would soon have much larger worries.

Junketsu no Maria-7-04Junketsu no Maria-7-05

But with things going on in the large background, more on that later, we focus on one other character that is having issues. Ezekiel’s development here is a tough nut to crack because I feel it betrays everything Micheal has been saying, and I thing that has been the purpose. He strictly points out that she is his spear, should have no worries, and do her job. Well, she does rather have some free will, and it seems that a shoddy angel is blaming his tool for a botched job. Is Micheal fully aware of what heaven has in mind? It’s very sure that Ezekiel doesn’t and she has to carry this regret of twice the failure with her.

Junketsu no Maria-7-07

Edwina is like 500x the awesome

I have to say, I rather like Edwina’s very understated character. She stands out in full contrast to both the witches in her guild and to Maria; having no other desire but to help as much as she can behind the scenes and not be bothered. It’s neat how her home was chosen as both a place to heal, and for Maria to finally meet the rest of her peers. It’s comfy, and no on will feel like there is an advantage against them, as as Viv points out, it actually is quite good for Maria to hear other opinions. She’s proven to be a loose cannon, and perhaps seeing she has support will make her use her powers a bit smarter in future to get what she wants.

Junketsu no Maria-7-06

I have to admit, I had a few tears in my eyes…

 I love how Maria was able to forgive Ezekiel. Is it deserved? It could very much be argued that it isn’t at all. After all, one point of view is that she failed this time and given that Micheal is still looking to complete the job, Ez isn’t off the hook just yet. But, Ez does need to be forgiven, and perhaps that’s the whole of the lesson right there…Josef himself is still filled with doubts about how much he and the surrounding communities have been dependent on Maria. So maybe there can be a better path forward. Or at least a strong defense against what both Bernard and Galfa have in mind? So even though the French did lose this exchange, the outcome that Maria was looking for came to fruition as Ann’s father made it home safe.

Junketsu no Maria-7-010

And this is the loneliest open door I’ve seen…

Wow, quite a bit has happened. The odd pacing of the first half gave way to something much better by the opening of the second act. The chaos of war gave way to the chaos of some potential friendships and stronger bonds (I like that kind of chaos). Now, sad as it is, and as I predicted last episode, there is probably going to be some hearth-ache soon. Did Ezekiel make a mistake with Grandmother’s medicine? And will she have to pay the price? Will Maria? And what will that portend for the community that has come to depend on her? How will that fold into both Bernard’s and Galfa’s plans? I don’t think the confessor would mind a a bit of martyrdom he was in control of….

Next Time

Junketsu no Maria-7-011

Well we’ve had gay vampires, so I guess we can have gay werewolves…What’s that? A man looks like what to who now?


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

19 Responses to “Junketsu no Maria – 07”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Maria gets points for idealism but the kinds she wants don’t last forever. Her naïveté and stubbornness will eventually cause her downfall. The difference between her and the other witches, especially Edwina is that they see the world for what it is, not for what they want to be. No matter what, violence begets violence. It happens when Maria is there and will continue to be there when she’s gone. The aftermath of her intervention served as more than enough evidence to the fact. Viv’s idea of exposing her to the opinions of others is definitely right.

    Ezekiel’s reluctance is what earns her forgiveness. If her actions of attacking Maria was of her own free will, then she’d be worthy of contempt.

    • skylion says:

      I think they all see the world they way they want to, Edwina could even be accused of not seeing it much.

      And, it hardly matters that the violence will be there with or without her, she expresses the will to stop it. That is what makes the difference.

      • BlackBriar says:

        And, it hardly matters that the violence will be there with or without her, she expresses the will to stop it. That is what makes the difference.

        Here lies the problem: She’s one, they are many. Plus, it’s no secret most are against her, in various ways.

    • Highway says:

      As I’ve argued before, Maria’s idealism is far more genuine than everyone else’s pragmatism. What makes pragmatism ‘right’? Why should one accept the world as it is, when it is so obviously flawed that people are killing each other? And even if you make the weak-tea argument that “well, people will fight later even if they’re stopped now”, the point is that they’re stopped now. Things change, and the reasons for fighting now might not continue. And even if fighting and killing happens later, it is severely discounting the extended lives that those people who would have died today will have.

      I still see no reason for Maria to just accept the bloodthirsty ‘pragmatism’ that the rest of the world attempts to push on her, whether they be opportunistic witches, hypocritical clergymen, or morally bankrupt angels.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Why should one accept the world as it is, when it is so obviously flawed that people are killing each other?

        The kind of answer I’d expect most people to give to that question is either “It’s human nature” or “History has shown that Man has been in greater pursuit of war than he ever did of peace”. Some of what we’ve seen already reflects that. Like Hartgen from Hitsugi no Chaika or currently Hendricksen of Nanatsu no Taizai who wanted to start a war for the sake of it. As an excuse of saying peace robs people of their natural instincts and defeats the purpose of needing warriors and those who are warriors.

        • Highway says:

          That’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Besides, the people who say “I need to be a warrior” kind of lose their vote with me, because they’re basically saying “I want to be able to go kill people.” Usually because it gives them a rush. No, I don’t think so. There’s nothing noble about giving in to base instincts of tribalism and acquisition. And there’s especially no call for it so someone can go get their jollies.

          • skylion says:

            …especially since great pains have been shown that both the English and the French are basically on the same side of that tribe. Damn shiny hats…

          • BlackBriar says:

            There’s nothing noble about giving in to base instincts of tribalism and acquisition.

            You do realize some don’t even care to register nobility in their minds, right? They do it simply because they want to do it. They’re hedonistic.

            “Because he thought it was good sport. Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to Watch the world burn”
            Alfred Pennyworth (The Dark Knight)

  2. HannoX says:

    A random thought–I get the feeling that the narrator at the beginning of the episodes is Ann as an old woman looking back.

  3. Arthur says:

    Michael made quite a mess with him interrupting Marias interruption. France was winning and whould still have won with Maria forcing a safe retreat. But thanks to Michael stopping her summon france lost its position and the war drags on.
    It’s kinda funny how the angels don’t like the supernatural messing with human affairs but even if they stop them they don’t fix the damage that was caused (in this case the tide of battle turning).

    • skylion says:

      Welcome to Metanorn, Arthur. Good to have you…

      In my thinking, these scenes may be illustrating that perhaps the heavenly ideal of perfection or order is something that should be called into question…

Leave a Reply