There is no possible way this isn’t Pure Win!
|Well this show has gone from a somewhat rushed and un-even first episode to….well, more of the same….but it had a great second half, and some brillaint e so fumble recovered!|
“I won’t condemn your quest for revenge…”
…nothing but neck…
We begin the episode with Kusunati and Ootori squaring off in mock combat. This is a callback scene to last episode but it provides us with a fairly nice book-end for the end of the episode. At this point it’s all on Kusunagi’s shoulders as he still can’t believe what he actually went and made the bold declaration he made the end of last epiosde “I won’t give up on trying ot be your comrade” Later, this meeting will come to Ootori’s mind, and the tone will have shifted greatly.
Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas…
This is followed by our reintroduction to the witch Mari, and our first time seeing who I have to describe as a total punch-clock villain du jour. But he gets the job done. It’s pretty easy to see he has a great deal of leverage over Mari, and that she is very disgusted with his necromantic practices. She’s trading her skills for what she wants, aiding Haunted in his summoning of the Einherjar, appropriating the style of King Arthur.
She’s not happy with this arrangement, but she believes he’s the best bet in reaching her goals. Which is something we will see in both Ootori and Kusunagi later. But here, Haunted wishes to free the witches from tyranny and prejudice; a nice wrinkle in both the world building and character building aspects. Sad to see she got left holding the bag….for such high hopes…
Who could be in contempt of Usagi?
We pick back up in the Anti-Magic academy where the headmaster/director is trying to encourage Ootori to fit in with her new platoon. She isn’t hearing any of this. They are beneath even her contempt, and upon hearing that one of their members is a Relic Eater, she’s even more dismissive. Then it’s one quick entrance by the mysterious LOLi, and then Ootori is back with the Small Fries. She’s still on the grumpy side, even when hearing they know of her past, and assosiated nick-name, The Calamity; leaving dead criminals and trails of blood behind her.
Smile. File Under: Disturbing stuff to be talked about later…
Later, in a pivotal graveyard scene she confesses to Kusunagi that this is of little concern to her, and nothing will stop her revenge. She will become the most vile human she needs to be; but still human, which will become important during the big fight scene. Something to keep in mind in that flashback. She lost her parents and little sister in the past. I counted a mother, a father, a little sister, and a younger Ootori. Who wielded the knife and why?
Is this order an Einherjar??
It’s not soon after this scene that the crap hits the fan. Haunted summons up his monster and the Anti-Magic Institute, specifically the gaol his fellows are kept in, is the goal of it’s oncoming rampage. Freedom for Valhalla! He’s smart enough to get some grunts on the streets in the form of ghouls to keep the Spriggan assault forces busy. But this causes the headmaster to call all arms to bear, as they will need everything to stop the Einherjar. Not that that does any good, but hey, you have to have your heroes answer the call, right? Or maybe a big chess battle between two dickheads?
Ootori is the first on the scene, leaving Kusunagi to have a chance encounter with they mystery LOLi. As she gets to her target with only a standard issue pistol she’s woefully outmatched. Time to bring on the big guns by way of Devil May Cry! So now we see the first instance of the Anti-Magic forces use of magic. As a Relic Eater she’s able to enter into contracts with a magical force. But, this is where the real bullet hits the bone. Vlad, the enchanted pistols, and her look to be in a long standing argument of full and provisional contracts. There is probably a price to pay for going full contract, and we can gather that is a big price for most; but here is the line Ootori specifically won’t cross no matter what. Some blood to level up the weapons? Yes, but she won’t budge any further. The point is moot, however, as mid-fight the director cuts the mojo to Vlad; looks like he has bigger fish to fry as well.
This is right when Kusunagi gets to play Big Damn Hero. He busts on to the scene, but he too is woefully outmatched, even with Suragi and Usagi providing back up. This is where we come into the first episodes cold open. He’s blitzed by the rail-gun blast, looking to be well and truly ripped in half. But never fear, the LOLi is here! Looks like they had Kusunagi lined up to be a contractor all along. She makes it short and simple. Answer the questions. 1) Is it your will to become and Inquisitor? Yep. 2) Are you prepared to annihilate witches? Oh, yeah. 3) Are you prepared to abandon what is precious to you in order to achieve your goals? Hell, no! Final) Can you abandon your humanity to defeat your enemy? That brings a flashback to Ootori wanting to do just the same to get revenge. So he can’t say no can he?
What follows is basically a big old mop up. All he really has to do is listen to his on-board LOLi navigator and he cleans up with ease. After that is was a simple matter to rejoin Ootori and count coup. He feels at ease, and has a better understanding of what she may have gone through in the past, and she is finally able to catch up with him to his earlier flashback about their first meeting, maybe even realizing that first impressions aren’t the most important. Of course he has to lay it on thick about helping her with revenge; trading one cliche for another.
Who Killed Cock Robin?
I did, said the sparrow, with my bow and arrow, I killed Cock Robin
Well, there was quite a bit of derp going on, but this one delivered on some things I much wanted to see. Namely some crispy-crunchy magic bits. They have a pretty tight set of terms going down, if I’m any initial judge. First we have the Valhalla side. Along with that name, and the mention of Valkyries, we have the Einherjar, meaning the warrior that fights the one battle, waiting for Ragnarok, the chaos that ends the world. Please keep chaos, appropriation, and Thor versus the Midgard Serpent in mind. Also, looks like Haunted grooves more on the works of Type-Moon, than say Le Morte de Artur or the Poetic or Prose Eddas. Freakin’ Moon-tards are everywhere…
On the Anti-Magic side we have the already mentioned contracts, but we also have the term hallmark magic. If you can put the greeting card company out of your mind, a hallmark is just a stamp of authority. Since this is used by the “good guys” (and appropriated by Haunted with the King Arthur clone) we can probably assume that this is the accepted form of magic outside of whatever darkness the witches get up to. I mean, contrast that with trashbins full of dead folk.
Finally we have Cock Robin. Well, besides being a curious little chant to chant, one of the meanings of the poem has to do with the accidental death by hunting arrow of William II of England. We have a crafty Lapis that can change that to lance and sword to kill this one rouge clone-King. But that pales next to Kusunagi’s final blow, Yamata-no-Orochii. This is a big hero vs. monster/battle of order vs. chaos, bringing back that aspect of Thor I asked you to keep in mind. Heroes fighting chaos, man.
A Couple of Extra Rounds
“Let me share half your burden….”
Let’s just chill…
OK, I went on for quite some time there, but there was quite a bit to pack in. Yeah, there was a ton of derp going on, and really even if Kusunagi gave up on one cliche, he just traded it for another. Our two leads are still getting high, smoking tropes, but it’ll work. If I have any other complaints it that the combat seemed rushed, both in setting it up, and in getting to the various locations. Also, it felt a bit to much over before it was done with the Armor/LOLi combo bringing way to much OP to the table. But it was entertaining, and in the wash, that’s what I look for. What I liked most was the crunchy bits (which grooved on my love of myths and speculative fantasy pretty darn nice!), and the parallels between both Kusunagi and Ootori, and how that will dovetail into Mari’s story coming up next episode. It’s all about what you have to trade away to get what you want.
Woot! More lovely Kanae Itou voice!