Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou – 07
「伝説の勇者現る！」 (Densetsu no Yuusha Arawaru!)
“The Legendary Hero Appears!”
While my hunch about Hiroshi proved to be correct, I would have never expected how things unfolded subsequently. In comparison to the more recent episodes that felt somewhat jarring, this one was all over the place both in terms of script and animation style. With the sudden recovery and departure of Korone, introduction of Hiroshi’s younger sister Yukiko (Yahgi Sayuri), appearance of the psychotic pervert Mr. X (Satou Haruo) from CIMO8, borderline hentai rape that should look great in the uncensored version, Ultra Super Saiyajin ripped muscle form of Akuto, comic book-style animation with thick character outlines, and a super hero Hiroshi battling a gigantic sea cucumber to top it all off, I had to stop and question what the hell I was watching at the end. It certainly wasn’t Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou of weeks prior, that’s for sure. Given the genre, I normally approach each episode with my expectations accordingly, but even that didn’t prepare me for what I was in store for here.
The most glaring change was how this turned into an over-the-top shounen series during Akuto’s fight with Mr. X. For the longest time, I was wondering if this was intended to be a parody episode of sorts because of how that played out. When it turned out it wasn’t, I felt compelled to take note of who was in charge of this episode and it turned out to be the same group as usual, except for the inclusion of Numata Seiya as the animation director. Seeing as he was in charge of the screenplay in episode thirteen of NEEDLESS, I just had to go back and check what he put together then. Lo and behold, it featured overemphasized comic book style even by NEEDLESS standards, which probably explains what was seen here in Daimou. Still, it didn’t change how ridiculously out of place all this felt even in comparison to recent weeks and how it left a somewhat sour taste in my mouth with the lack of believable continuity both in terms of story and the passage of time.
In the first case, it honestly felt like the producers simply went through a checklist of things they decided were going to be covered this episode and just slapped them all together regardless if there was any sort of natural progression. In the latter, I’d seriously like to know how long Hiroshi spent underwater as dusk became a pitch black night with a clearly visible full moon and all. As for the whole Brave super hero bit itself, I really question if having Hiroshi in that get-up really adds anything to the story more than it takes away from any potential respect the series may have built up. To top it off, they had to have him obtain his powers with the whole pulling Excalibur from its stone bit, which made it even harder to take seriously.
In light of that, I did appreciate Korone’s solemn departure and the way she came back in style to save the day, which was pretty predictable but well inline with what I expect to see in this series. I also like how the story’s working towards CIMO8 as the bad guys so that we have some clear antagonists, but I’m still wary on how much more of Brave we’ll see later on since I find his appearance disrupts the flow. In any case, his outfit reminds me of something other than Mega Man, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
* It was Dio from Casshern Sins who I was thinking of. Thanks Cecelia for the reminder.