「決戦、始まります!」 (Kessen, Hajimarimasu!)
“The Showdown Begins!”
This is the kind of battle I love. A good old one-on-one fight can be fun, but large-scale battles between groups bring out so many more possibilities, so much more tactical depth that it makes them really a treat to behold. There are just so many more options with a big battle like this. It is in a way a bunch of battles within a battle – you can find your enjoyment in the individual clashes (Koneko-chan vs the enemy rook, Issei vs the enemy pawns), or you can find it in the overall conflict. Or you can enjoy it all!
First, the individual fights. Koneko-chan’s fight was mostly off-screen, but it was still subtly awesome. Instead of standing around talking in mid-fight like so many characters do (including her opponent), Koneko calmly barreled forward and kicked some ass. And this was versus an enemy who was noted as having Queen-level strength, and who ended up asking what the hell Koneko-chan was after she was thoroughly beaten. This, of course, means that Koneko-chan has even greater strength than your standard Queen, in addition to looking quite good wearing fighting gloves (and nothing else). Then there was Issei. Two words: strip magic. It was awesome how he evaded the one who so decisively beat him two episodes ago and dodged the pair of chainsaw wielding lolis, but all this paled in comparison to the masterful use of his perverted magic. And how he practiced with Asia? Shamelessly delicious! I knew you were my hero for a reason, Issei-sama!
But on a larger scale, this episode tickled my fancy because of the tactics involved. With fewer pieces to work with (even if they all are pretty badass), Rias-sempai had to figure out how to best beat Raizer while also defending against infiltration by the enemy pawns. After all, as soon as a pawn gets into their headquarters, they could instantly Promote themselves up to Knights, Rooks or even Queens – and with more pawns at Raizer’s disposal, this could be potentially catastrophic for Team Gremory. Fortunately Rias-sempai’s tactics have been solid so far, with Issei and Koneko-chan already neutralizing – and Akeno-sempai obliterating – three pawns and a rook. Kiba-kun has also cornered three more pawns with a clever combination of low-level traps and high level illusions, which was quite well done. When you’re the new kids on the block, it’s wise to let your opponents underestimate you, and only educate them on their folly when you can do so decisively. I’m going to go ahead and write those three pawns off, meaning that Raizer will only have two pawns left once Kiba-kun is finished with them. That will greatly lessen the necessity for Team Gremory to stay on the defensive, perhaps even opening them up for a full-on assault! Which would be extremely entertaining to behold.
The problem? Koneko-chan. With fewer pieces to work with, Team Gremory really cannot afford to lose anyone, so Koneko-chan’s defeat at the hands of Raizer’s favorite grope toy could be potentially disastrous. Chances are it’s going to fall on Issei to get her back to Asia so that she can do her Twilight Healing thing. After all, it looks like the plan is to give Akeno-sempai enough time to charge up another, even more powerful attack (she can do better than that? *drooool*), and for that they’re going to need the tank.
- Raizer may be a bastard, but he has impeccable taste in how he dresses his servants. Maids, gym uniforms, a china dress, a short japanese ensemble, and a skimpy dancer outfit? Yesplz. I would patronize Raizer’s clothing store, if you know what I mean. And I mean exactly that.
- Silly Rias-sempai…your epic lap pillow is worth crying for. Or possibly killing Issei for. Don’t worry Asia-chan, you don’t have to be jealous. I’ll take care of the problem. *grabs a pitchfork* Oh Issei…
- I don’t think I could survive being punished by Akeno-sempai, but I dearly want to try. When I’m gone, remember me fondly!