「研がれたヤイバ」 (Togareta Yaiba)
“Sharpened Sword”

As the precursor to the finale next time, there sure were a lot of loose ends tied up in this episode. Problem is, a lot of them were concluded rather conveniently, propping up amidst everything else that was going on. The most notable was Alma’s pendant, which just so happened to be in the rubble of a storeroom where he was getting his ass kicked by Fei’s brother, Hon Yu. (How convenient.) All of a sudden, the memories of his childhood when the pendant was given to him by Ruri’s mother comes rushing back, leading us to a scene where Alma can return the stone-giving favor and kind of confess to Ruri too. The end result was kind of sweet, but it did feel cheapened by the plot device used to get there.

The same goes for Kenmi’s “shocking” revelation that he was responsible for taking away the pendant and all the Ashi attacks to try and make Alma go berserk — a means of cultivating his powers so that he can harvest it later on. This whole idea of stealing a Sacred Taker’s heart came completely out of nowhere. Even with the tie-ins to the flashbacks and the short explanation given here, it was as if the writers added it just to show that Kenmi doesn’t deserve any form of compassion. His abrupt change from calm and manipulative researcher to power-obsessed super villain suggested as much anyway. Considering how cunning he’s been up until now, it was rather uncharacteristic of him to take the initiative and try to bring down the Aiba Foundation, mostly out of fear that Ruri’s learned the truth behind the death of her parents. Last I checked, Aoi hasn’t even regained consciousness to reveal the truth, so it felt like everything was being escalated just because this is the climax of the series.

The impression I got is that the producers were scampering to get everything wrapped up and couldn’t be bothered about how jarring some of the developments came off. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were pressed for time with only two episodes remaining and just went through a checklist of things that they have to get around to. After all, this episode had “rushed” written all over it from the feverish start to the terrible artwork that was all over the place. Fei’s subplot felt a bit tacked on too, given the way we learned that she had a serum prepared and saw it fail all in the span of five minutes. There wasn’t really time for anything to sink in, including the way Kenmi didn’t hesitate to kill Hon. Hopefully, this was all in preparation for the finale next time and all the rushing won’t carry over. With Fei on the verge of losing it Alma stabilizing his powers, the only thing left should be the battle against Kenmi in his upgraded Anti-Gem Suit followed by a short epilogue where Aoi wakes up. My hunch is that Kenmi’s going to get consumed by Hon’s unstable Ashi heart after he failed to take Ruri’s. That would be a befitting end for him.

 

Preview

24 Comments

    1. This show reminds me of Gigantic Formula: same pacing, confusion, and all around wtf-ery. This kinda proves that Sunrise/Bandai really need to continue with Gundam, the only real show they can pull of well.

      All these random shows they try to push themselves away from (Giant robots, missing father/mother figures, damsel in distress, world destruction, etc) only proves that the Gundam formula they follow only really works… for Gundam.

      MaimeDaifuku
  1. Might as well finish it at this end; I came in expecting mecha + Kamen Rider shenanigans + Sunrise production values, and, well, while I’m not mad, I’m also rather underwhelmed.

    At this point, the show really has become nothing more than a transition program for Gundam AGE.

    Mieu
  2. Hopefully the end of Sacred Seven will nudge Sunrise towards making more shows in the vein of Tiger & Bunny rather than a show created by slamming a bunch of stereotypes into blender.

    For instance, Is the school and the people at the school going take any major part in the finale? Probably not, which begs the question as to why so much time as spent in that environment when it ultimately doesn’t matter in the whole spectrum of the plot (using that term lightly). There’s so much rushing at this stage which makes me annoyed because they could’ve cut the school-time rigmarole out and had much more mindless action (which was kinda done well, for the brief time that it occurred in this show).

    Feels like it’s too late to drop it now, and it was sort-of ok in the first few episodes but it’s gone past the so-bad-it’s-good margin in my view.

    Sorta’ wish that RC could’ve started to cover T&B back in spring but, I guess it’s too late now.

    Pepper
    1. Out of all the comments made here, so far this is the only one I can see that has anything approaching insight and being of value. Rather than just bash and leave it at that, you do raise a good point about the arguable pointlessness of the school cast. Really this show didn’t need the school setting at all, and I’ve been saying that since the beginning. I can only see the school setting as being a limiting factor on anime going forward, and it’s really no different here since it did slow down the pace quite a bit at times. They really just needed to have stuck to the core cast, Alma, Ruri, Kagami, Kenmi, Knight and Fei and it would have made little difference overall and probably left more time for other matters to be fleshed out like Kenmi and Fei’s story arc. Can’t help but feel that the staff felt somewhat pressured into working the school aspect in because of school based stories’ continuing popularity in Japan. Judging by how little they ultimately used it it’s kind of hard not to see it as an afterthought either.

      That being said I still find plenty positives to take away from the show. The action was mostly good and it’s kind of hard for me to not like the main trio as characters, especially Ruri. I also don’t think it’s fair to point out the odd poorly drawn frame, when most of the show looks IMO pretty decent and well drawn/animated, but then again I’m not the author here. Still think it gives the wrong impression.

      I really see Sacred Seven as no better or worse than any other show Sunrise has done in this category of zany action meets cute girls like Mai Hime, iDOLM@STER Xenoglossia and Sora Kake Girl…shows that primarily put the action sequences ahead of the plot. However that doesn’t mean I think it’s by any stretch the path Sunrise ought to be taking all that much anymore since again there doesn’t seem to be a way to improve on the formula. I have to agree that shows like Tiger & Bunny are the way to go.

      Kaioshin Sama
  3. Yeah, Sacred 7-11 indeed. Rushed, badly written, cheap. I guess in the end, they just ran out of time and out of budget for this show. Though I was hoping they would not mess this up completely, I can’t say that I was not at least half expecting things to go this way after the last few episodes. Sometimes it makes one wonder if the studio has money and/or management issues, did they really want to make this show or not?

    x
  4. Marathoned last week.. I’m a bit disappointed, the animation didn’t seem Sunrise-ish. Alma even changes size proportion noticeably (he didn’t seem that big on episode 1, I marathoned). Plot wise, it seems they just throw plot devices around. Like that stupid pendant which I thought would have more significance that it did.. Like what others say, Sunrise really need two seasons to make a great show. :\

    MrRei
  5. The beginning of this ep had me Rolling!! Dark Stone monsters, homicidal transgressors, None of which can stop the good guys…..but what is it that puts the nail in their coffin???
    TAX EVASION! don’t fuck with the governments money, man! or you end up like ruri. on a slab about to get your heart cut out. HILARIOUS!!!! art truly mimics life sometimes

    BROOKLYN otaku
  6. I agree that there was too much easy resolution without the appropriate foreshadowing to pull things together.

    Kenmi claims to have been responsible for everything that happened. That would require an extensive control over dark stones in general and an understanding of how to create, activate, and use them, abilities that he never really demonstrated (he has enough trouble with Hon, much less the ‘inhuman’ types that keep on appearing).

    There was insufficient foreshadowing for the sacrificing, the school sequences were fairly useless outside of character/society establishment, and that could probably have been compressed a fair amount.

    Alma finding and using his pendant was just… I don’t even know what to say. That had deus ex machina written all over it. It might have made more sense if Kenmi had actually I don’t know, stolen the pendant, but that’s not what appeared to have happened.

    I’m suffering from some serious whiplash between this an Ao no Exorcist. They are simply moving too fast, and didn’t drop the appropriate hints for the plot threads ahead of time that would help with suspension of disbelief.

    Delwack
      1. I have them in my hard drive, but somehow while I’m watching Itsuka Tenma or Memo-chou (up to the episode before the gang-war-thing is still good though) I always fall asleep in the middle of it. Try to watch them next day, and I fall asleep again. Sorry for my bad english.

        mugi
  7. So is this series really worth picking up? I’m a huge Sunrise fan (love Gundam, Code Geass, etc.), but I’ve heard the series is mediocre at best. I enjoyed Tiger & Bunny, so I have high hopes for this as well, since it’s a 2011 Sunrise series. I don’t want to waste my time waiting for the last episode(s) to come out though if it isn’t worth it, so a heads up would be great 😀 Thanks! Also, the only other good series (in my opinion) this year is Blue Exorcist :3 love that Anime!

    1. It could have been better. If you feel you want to watch it because it’s Sunrise, then you might feel a bit disappointed. It’s a short show… If you have the time, then why not. What taste good depends on the person’s tongue anyway.

      MrRei

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