「逃亡の地下水道」 (Tōbō no Chikasuidō)
“Underground Waterway for Escape”
Finally! Finally! It’s here! We all knew it was going to happen, but ohhh yes it was still awesome to see. Tiffa’s familiar is here, and as expected, it’s Saito! Good to see, good to see. The crying Tiffa, the late-game confession in that awesome Noto Mamiko voice, and of course, the kiss…all were truly a treat to behold. It’s still pretty much set that Louise is going to win in the end, as her and Saito’s mutual longing for one another in the teleportation scene shows, but I’m glad that Tiffa at least got to tell Saito her feelings. This way, at least she won’t have any regrets. Plus, Mamiko Noto confession HNNNNNNG!
On the topic of the teleportation magic: I did not expect that to be what got them out of there. I noticed the slow pan to that book an episode or two ago, so when it turned out to be a chekhov’s gun I wasn’t surprised. However, throughout the whole chase scene I was expecting it to be Saito’s new Tiffania-based familiar powers that would get them out of it, rather than just being a convenient pick me up for Louise. The whole thing felt a little bit too much like a deus ex machina for my taste, but then again I don’t think I would have wanted this plot line to be dragged on for another episode, so I guess it’s okay.
Probably my favorite part of this episode, and this is even above and beyond my previously stated gushing affection for the Tiffa x Saito kiss, would be Vitartial. Yes, I enjoyed what the conflicted former-antagonist was doing more than the big breasted elf chick. I’m just weird like that. But here, hear me out…fear. As far as reasons to do much of anything go, fear is a pretty bad one. If you’re afraid of something, you should find out why you’re afraid and fix it, or learn to deal with it. Fear is not necessarily bad – it drives us to excel, keeps us from danger, and prevents us from getting lax – but when people start dying because of your fear, you’ve done something wrong, buddy.
All that said, fear is also a very understandable motivation. What we’ve got here is some prophecy that has been floating around for 6,000 years that says when the four void users come together, the elves’ land is going to go the way of Atlantis…and now three of the four void users have been in a room together, and all four of them have been within a few kilometers of one another. If you’re one that gives any credence to prophecies – I’m not, but then again I don’t live in a world with magic and dragons, so maybe they’re entitled to a little superstition – then being afraid of what’s going on is understandable. It’s also a very human motivation – or in this case, a bipedal sentient mortal emotion. More than Joseph’s “I want to watch the world burn,” Vitartial’s fear is a lot easier to relate to.
But more than that, what I supremely enjoyed was his realization about the nature of power (warning: semi-philosophical rant ahead). Many people think that power is evil. It is not. What is evil is people. In my opinion, it is not that power corrupts, but that those who are susceptible to corruption seek out power. Vitartial learned this when he realized that just because Tiffania, Louise and the others had the “devil’s power,” that didn’t necessarily mean they were devils themselves. Joseph was evil because Joseph was evil, not because he was a void mage. Louise and Tiffania – and perhaps the Pope, though the jury is still out on him – did not seek out their void power; they were born with it. They can’t even be faulted for seeking power since they didn’t! Thus, they must be judged by their actions, as people, not because of how they were born. That’s no more fair than humans killing elves because they’re elves, or vice versa.
Great balls of fire, I really went off on a thing there. I’d better wrap this up. With Saito and co safely back on the Ostland, and a few semi-reluctant elves joining the crew, it looks like we’re going to get some royal fun next episode with Tabitha’s coronation. I was wondering when they were going to stop putting that off. I’ll be very interested to see how this changes the dynamic of Saito’s harem. Will she be largely absent, but occasionally blow in and make everything go crazy, Henrietta-style? Or will she rule from Ornières? I’m assuming the former, because it’s damn silly for a reagent to rule from another country, but I’ll be interested to see how it works out either way. Oh, and also there’s this. Droooooooool.
- The second Vitartial was called “sensei”, a thought popped into my head – he’s the elf version of Colbert-sensei! Powerful, wise, hangs out with a bunch of plucky teenagers, has done a few terrible things in his time, etc. Vitartial just needs an elf version of Kirche and he’s set.
- The elves’ capital is clearly Dubai. It looks rich, it’s on the water, and the land all around it is desert. Fits perfectly.
- Saito’s new familiar powers fit Tiffania very well. Whether it’s a heal or some kind of energy regen / endurance booster, it’s a very gentle magic, just like Tiffa. Also, it should let Saito “go all night”, if you know what I mean. Just the thing a harem king needs!
- Maricorn was finally useful! Could not be more surprised. He also looked like he was trying to do the Titanic move without a Kate Winslet. Poor Maricorn. FOREVER ALONE.