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Hagure Yuusha no Estetica – 10

「ボクの居場所」 (Boku no Ibasho)
“Where I Belong”

To say the least, this was one of those episodes that could’ve been really special. I mean, everything was just set up perfectly before hand—the battle we got this episode and the character development involving Miu and Akatsuki… they’re all things that were slowly being built up for quite a few episodes. But now that we’re actually here, I gotta say that the culmination of all that build-up didn’t work out well at all. And you know what made it worse? The fact that the episode actually possessed the scenes and lines necessary to deliver that grand climax, but wasn’t able to deliver it properly because they tried to mash it all into twenty or so odd minutes.

And really, words elude me as to how the people in charge could think that forcing an epic fight, a bunch of character development, AND the return of the villain for round two in one episode could be anywhere near a good idea. I get there’s episode limits to work with, considering there’s only two more episodes to go, but come on, there were definitely other scenes that could’ve (and should’ve) been cut to ensure this part got the proper time it needed. But nope. Instead, we get a fight that’s not only anticlimatic for the most part, but full of Phil Bennet cementing his place as one of the more one-dimensional (and disliked) villains of the year. We get the amazing kamehameha that Akatsuki pulls out, but that’s not much to make up for him holding back when he said he was going to kill the guy.

Moving on, another big qualm about the episode is the fact you’d easily be able to make half (if not a whole) episode out of their fight, but not only did this barely take the first third of the episode, it then suddenly went through an abrupt mood change where Miu runs off, says a few lines, and decides to toss herself off a cliff. Akatsuki saves her as per the usual and then says some great manly lines, but I really just can’t feel any proper emotion for all of that development when you just suddenly change moods like that. There was just never that proper transition, and it felt all the more forced and overly dramatic as a result. Going back to what I said up there, what made it worse was the fact the lines and those particular interactions between Akatsuki and Miu, would’ve otherwise been a superb way to develop their characters and get some emotional investment from the viewers… if it was done right.

To top this off, the episode somehow tries to tack on EVEN more, by adding in the return of Phil Bennet for round two, which just made me facepalm to no end. I had suspected this might happen considering the speed at which events were going, but this was not one of those predictions I didn’t want to see fulfilled. And let’s not get into the fact he had another power-up on hand, and was pretty much holding back too, which just makes you wonder what the point of the first fight was for. Testing out your opponent or not, it goes against both of their personalities not to give it their all with so much at stake.

In any case, it looks like Phil Bennet’ll take us to the end of the series, which can’t come soon enough at this point. I mean, for as long as I’ve written posts here on RC and for online blogging in general, I’ve typically gone for positive spins, rather than negative slamming. But after waiting so long to see how this series would pan out and getting this rushed culmination filled with ridiculousness as a reward, there was just no positively spinning this episode.



September 8, 2012 at 10:22 am
  • September 8, 2012 at 10:30 amjrj

    well, I see your point, Zephyr, and I am sorry that you feel this way… however, all I can say is that the LN had it the same here as far as how the fight went… Phil held back with his power, and Akatsuki did not try to kill him… and there we have round 2… so I don’t think ARMS is the only one to blame here…

    Though the scene between Akatsuki and Miu was more intense in the LN than the anime for some reason (maybe the words just described it better?) It is probably the first time in LN that Akatsuki was in a kind of serious pinch…

    • September 8, 2012 at 1:54 pmSuppa Tenko

      Sword Art Online was kind of the same today. So much epicness. The most concentrated amount of epicness of the series concentrated into one episode. It would have worked perfectly if the episode was say 10 or 15 minutes longer, but there isn’t enough pauses in some areas and the viewer is just overwhelmed.

  • September 8, 2012 at 10:31 amGermanguy

    In any case, it looks like Phil Bennet’ll take us to the end of the series, which can’t come soon enough at this point. I mean, for as long as I’ve written posts here on RC and for online blogging in general, I’ve typically gone for positive spins, rather than negative slamming. But after waiting so long to see how this series would pan out and getting this rushed culmination filled with ridiculousness as a reward, there was just no positively spinning this episode.

    Welcome, into the World of “Experience” or in other words. We both are now “Old Fans” :)

    *it’s a Joke*

    • September 8, 2012 at 10:36 amGermanguy

      I mean, in my Lifetime. i saw animes based on…

      Damsel in Distress, For the Rescue!! (Bleach Huenco Mundo.. as example)
      Good Guy, beats the Shit out on the Bad Guy!! (Fist of the North Star… as example)
      War is no real Solution (Venus Wars… as example)

      and so on…

      So We saw many possible “Red Lines” of a Story in so many Animes. I wonder how they keep entertain the “new Generation”. Perhaps mixing some “red Lines” can bring a Fresh Wind (Kaze) into these “AAA+” Animes. Or go with the Flow, what present Generation wants to see. Persona as example…

      • September 8, 2012 at 10:40 amGermanguy

        How old i am? Well, as a Little Boy i saw “Future Boy Conan” with 8 Years…

  • September 8, 2012 at 10:37 amlilu

    For me it’s similar, the fight was boring and Miu’s jumping from the cliff and later things were so so (I didn’t feel any emotional impact.).

  • September 8, 2012 at 11:11 amPtolemaios00

    Erm…at least there’s boobs?

    The Phil fight was absurdly frustrating. You KNOW Akatsuki has a complete and dominating upper hand since he has smacked the prissy delusional knight around the whole fight. I’ve no idea how Phil can keep that stupid smirk on his face. Sure maybe he is holding back some super-saiyan monster transformation (calling it now), but Akatsuki has been taking it easy the entire time. I don’t think Phil ever got one hit in. The only time he had an advantage was when he took Miu hostage. Seriously delusional that idiot is.

    • September 8, 2012 at 11:29 amBeedle

      I watch this for the boobs. If I wanted boobs and engaging characters, I’d tune in to Campione!

      In any case, the next fight is going to be predictable. If of course Akatsuki just ends the fight within the first two minutes, then that’s something new and I shall eat my floating house.

    • September 8, 2012 at 11:48 amShadow74

      Akatuski should have more difficulty, also missed more wounds, signs of fatigue, broken armor, the music did little to strengthen the scene.

      • September 8, 2012 at 1:12 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        It’s why I pretty much resigned to watching it for possible fanservice; ever since it’s been established that Akatsuki was going to be a major Gary Stu in practically everything. Even his so-called “limitations” people try to justify are easily being made up for by being Gary Stu in everything else he’s strong in to cover it like, as we just saw, even being able to “imitate” magic using just energy and so on.

        Not being a typical bishi “loser” male harem lead is nice, but being the total opposite and so “perfect” can make a character just as boring by lack of any real development.

  • September 8, 2012 at 11:41 amShadow74

    I agree, the atmosphere in the episode was almost nonexistent for each scene.
    I think maybe it is the custom of battles long or very flashy techniques like naruto or bleach. But also missed signs of fatigue or injury to feel the intensity of combat, Phil should be exhausted before using your power up.
    At the scene of Akatsuki and Myuu, the music could be more emotional or different dialogue, shorter. I can not think of which else can fix the environment.

    Last but most importantly, this has been a great publication ZEPHIR, thank you very much for your work and your views. Hopefully this will get better the end.

  • September 8, 2012 at 12:14 pmAnza

    I don’t know what everyone’s surprised about, yeah this episode wasn’t anywhere near as good or interesting as the previous ones but it wasn’t really bad. Predictable? Yeah, but were people really expecting an insane amount of depth from this story?

  • September 8, 2012 at 12:15 pmBareno

    First link in post is 404′ing for me.

  • September 8, 2012 at 12:35 pmP Ko

    Well if that’s how you get warmed up when you’re cold and poisoned outdoors… sign me up!

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:51 pmMegas

    This is EXACTLY how this anime (based off such an ‘insightful’ LN) is. The author is pulling the strings here. I wouldn’t count on trying to get deep with this anime because its no masterpiece. Its like when you first start to learn to write a 5-paragraph essay. The teacher always tell you to start with 3 details about a topic – but this guy turned it into 10+ LN volumes. Its a giant run-on sentence as well.

    I can’t expect any sort of depth in anime these days. Its an added plus when I do get it every blue moon. That’s the only way I can watch anything nowadays, especially when I know the story already.

    The purpose of this is Boobs, Booty, Bras/panties, & BOSS – all B’s :) No room for a plot.

    BTW, they pretty much gave away that Phil is gonna turn into something ridiculous – & they went out of their way to say it in the previews, heck I even thought they was going to show the thing for a second.

    • September 8, 2012 at 2:58 pmlilu

      Actually you can see a Dragon’s head in the preview for several seconds.

      • September 8, 2012 at 3:32 pmMegas

        Ugh, you do. I must be getting old. There’s a shadowy figure of the thing above Kuzuha riding her golem.

      • September 9, 2012 at 3:55 amlilu

        You can see dragon above Kuzuha’s head and here you see its head

      • September 9, 2012 at 3:57 amlilu

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:26 pmewok40k

    Well, I for once welcome a villain that just doesnt roll over and die.
    But even all this is far cry from really emotional fights in SAO. There is whole world of difference…

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:52 pmasus

    there are some good things, and there are some bad things. i try to withhold judgement until the end, however

  • September 8, 2012 at 8:59 pmel BOSS akatsuki

    yep it on boss akatsuki vs phil give look more to it.

    give phil playing mind games & yet doing his own reasons include beat up people in school get info on boss akatsuki even go far smash leon’s grave cue beat up phil mode beam ball blast.

    even trying used miu as shield & drop sword yep boss many steps ahead cue rapid punch attack down goes phil.

    yet miu try to drown herself to stop all this but boss akatsuki said NO cause think of everyone also why she exist cause boss akatsuki will protect it all.

    oops seem boss is bit poison so miu try to heal go for “rub” heal but boss more fast quicker healer give get a kiss from miu would help too.

    all good but phil just now cash in his money in the bank for round 2.

    to be continued…

  • September 8, 2012 at 9:42 pmasdf

    Well, I agree that the rushing of the anime didn’t help with the lack of emotional impact, but more than anything else I think the problem is Akatsuki’s character: he’s just to pure of a Gary Stu. While I originally started watching this anime because a capable MC is somewhat of a rarity, there are plenty of other characters which take the roles of Mary Sues / Gary Stus and can still manage such a scene (even others in this particular anime season, e.g. Kirito from SAO). The difference is all of them have a threshold beyond which they falter–something which makes them human. Akatsuki, on the other hand, is apparently some sort of invincible and infinitely selfless pep-talking robot, whose wisdom and emotional stability is so vast that it’s even questionable whether or not romantic love could make him weak. This makes Miu’s emotional scene fall flat (especially when at least a small hint of romance seemed due). The scene should have been a turning point for both Miu *and* Akatsuki.

    • September 9, 2012 at 12:31 amEmD

      While I agree that Gary Stus can ruin the show, I think you chose the wrong example. Kirito is a terrible MC and a total Gary Stu. Akatsuki hass the advantage of being a Gary Stu in an anime that doesn’t take itself seriously. The same can’t be said of Kirito. He is plain, boring, overpowered and he even has that trademark loss every Gary Stu must have early on in their career to show that they weren’t always unbeatable. He’s the main reason I’m not liking SAO as much as I though I would.

      Competent male characters in harems can be people like Keima and…Toori.

  • September 8, 2012 at 10:56 pmfrubam

    “I gotta say that the “cum”ination of all that build-up didn’t work out well at all…”

    I fixed that for you.

  • September 8, 2012 at 11:22 pmtrin

    Is there really only 12 episodes for this show? That’s a shame. We still don’t know anything about the student council president, those cloaked figures behind the student council, and the King from the otherworld. :(

    • September 9, 2012 at 3:23 pmMegas

      I know what you mean. The show just ain’t getting the props it needs for a second cour. They’re at the end of volume 3 now but they are stretching the heck out of it. But volumes 4 & 5 are just plain boring. 4 is all character development with a little action in the end & 5 is the same with NO action. 6 might as well be a filler volume. They could do a second cour if they get rid of volumes 4-6 in like 4-5 episodes.

      But the main problem is its popularity. Its like the majority who watch this show have some kind of trauma with a harem MC who ISN’T a pathetic sack of keem. The story might not be the best, but it’ll be a travesty if they leave so much unanimated.

  • September 9, 2012 at 1:52 amTakuma

    dont care whaddya all say, for me this is the best episode ever!

  • September 9, 2012 at 2:05 amTingster013

    Funny how Phil insulted himself by saying people of this world cannot be trusted…

  • September 9, 2012 at 6:29 amVaan

    BANG her already! I know she wants it.

  • September 9, 2012 at 1:15 pmmike

    Even after all this time and 8 LN, I still feel Miu would have been better staying as his younger sister than a lover, she just so much more adorable that way.