「惨禍ノ地」 (Sanka no Chi)
“Land of Calamity”
Less than a month later, we have the Blu-ray release of the fourth of six movies. Surprisingly, there were some lighthearted moments, which I attribute to Rygart speaking his mind and making Sigyn snap just as much as Narvi (enough to make her point her unloaded gun at him anyway). The two of them had some really cute scenes together too, though they made me feel sorry for Sigyn at the same time since Rygart came off as a bit of a tease. He doesn’t seem unaware that she still loves him, or at least can’t fathom the possibility after she married Hodr, when we know for a fact that she does now. I have all the respect in the world for Hodr who seems more than aware of Sigyn’s feelings for Rygart, but still feel that those two blondies should be together. A farmer can afford to buy her a book every now and then and take her to the library! *sniff*
It doesn’t seem like it at first glance with all the “bedroom play” going on, but Cleo is turning out to be a key character in my eyes. I can understand why Sigyn’s been so easy on her and has given her the benefit of the doubt, seeing as Cleo disarmed her enemies without trying to kill them. Sigyn also happens to believe that she’s a 12-year-old who’s been dragged into war, which I and much of the rest of the world have a hard time buying. Regardless of what I think about her age, Cleo’s aware that Zess’ friendship with her and Rygart, and I imagine she’ll find out about Hodr later on, setting the stage for her possible release at some point that will allow her to bring news of the surrender terms back to her beloved commander. If there’s one thing about the story that drew in almost immediately, it’s how friends are pitting against one another without fully understanding the circumstances of the other side. It worked in Gundam SEED and has me hooked here, hoping that Cleo will be the one to clear things up.
On the battlefield side of things, I can’t say True’s death came as much of a shock, since the transition to that scene heavily suggested that his platoon wasn’t going to survive Athens’ ambush. The actual shock will probably be to Narvi when she finds out, which I can’t see being pretty. What his death did do is propel Nike (Shiraishi Ryouko) to a monster-level status as the “25-year-old that looks twelve” little girl who will kill you in a heartbeat if you poke fun at her. I don’t know what was scarier though, the way she won’t hesitate to chop a guy’s balls off or how she longs for Io’s affection and regresses to a seemingly innocent girl when she gets it. It’s probably a combination of both. Leto (Kitamura Eri) evidently wasn’t amused, so there appears to be a bit of a love rivalry going on there as well.
It felt like the casualties came pretty quick afterward with Borcuse and his elite confidants killing Captain Elza (Yanagisawa Mayumi) in a very convincing manner and Nike waving her corpse around to spread fear among Baldr’s men. While gruesome, it was pretty cool seeing the psychological aspect of war come into play, which Baldr responded well to by rallying his troops’ shaken morale. I still think it was pretty suicidal for him to lead them in a charge straight down the middle with Athens’ forces waiting on both sides, but I suspect there were more of his golems coming from the rear than depicted, given that their numbers were pretty even after the loss of Elza’s group. Granted, it never once looked that way when they were hemmed in from three sides until Rygart came charging in and single-handedly destroyed one side with Delphine.
As a natural follow-up to that, I expected the newly-formed Millennium Corps under Narvi’s command to run away with all the glory this time around, except they turned out to be more comic relief than anything else outside of Rygart’s drastic improvement in piloting skills. Girge (Toriumi Kousuke) did remain the one constant throughout though, namely as the big question mark on where his loyalties lie and the risk of him turning on his own forces for no reason whatsoever. I’m admittedly unsure whether he was genuinely afraid of heading to the front lines or if he wanted to cut off the enemy’s retreat all along, since he’s a prodigy with a few screws loose. He’s a far cry from his highly-regarded father Baldr, aside from how adept he is at manipulating quartz. I’d say he’s a true genius in that area, not only because he learned to pilot Cleo’s modified Artemis really quickly and has pinpoint accuracy, but also because he seems to be able to make quartz denser. His shots have a lot more weight to them and his swords cut cleaner, the latter of which Rygart took notice to.
Pitting him against Athen’s sadistic general was a match made in
heaven hell, even though Girge seemed a lot more “stable” than Borcuse during their exchange. That calm, cool, and composed shot at the very end felt a bit out of place, considering how psychotic he looked just prior when he embarrassed Nike and took a lot of enjoyment in doing so. In any case, I can’t foresee Girge taking out Borcuse, despite how the he appeared to have the upper hand as the more powerful magician. I did dwell on the possibility that they’d take one another out, but I get the feeling that honor will be reserved for Rygart after he witnesses Borcuse’s atrocities. Anyway, I probably don’t say this enough, but I love this movie series. The story, characters, and setting are awesome and the visuals are just amazing. I’ll be eagerly looking forward to the fifth movie’s BD release on May 27th.