「猟場の人道主義者」 (Ryouba no Jindoushugisha)
“The Hunting Ground’s Humanitarians”
England’s Plan – The Six Duels to Challenging Toori
Shakespeare-chan’s Barrier and Much Ado About Nothing
The “Illusion” of Asama & Kimi Disappearing
Adele and Suzu – Climbing Into Adele’s Armor
The Ten Brave Amago Warriors
Breaking Shakespeare-chan’s Barrier – Noriki Punch!
Francis Drake and his Wife
Drake’s Testament Arma – Brachium Justita Vetus
Though I dearly love Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, it is undeniable that it sometimes suffers from the problem of too-much-to-say, too-little-time. I was able to marathon most of the first season, and I think it was better for it. This episode shows why. While not a bad episode, it is clearly a “middle” episode. There’s a lot going on, with a ton of introductions and lots of events happening, but very little in the way of resolutions. As a part of the larger whole, I think it will hold up much better – we would, as we wonder what happened to Masazumi and whether Gin will be able to overcome Drake’s justice, be able to go “Awww screw it, I’ll watch another one!” and pop in Episode 06. As I write this today? Not so much. Still, let’s tackle what happened.
As far as fights go, Masazumi vs Christopher Hatton was one of the more amusing ones. Christopher Hatton (Ookawa Tooru) is, first of all, hilarious! His exaggerated mannerisms, surprisingly good English (trope!) and “for the crime of acting erotic–!” earned most of the laughs I gave this episode. It was also the best cliffhanger of the bunch. As the only non-combatant engaged in a duel, I’m really curious how Masazumi will weasel her way out of messy impalement…assuming she has. Though I can’t imagine Kyoukaisen pulling a Kokoro Connect, so probably she got away. But how, guuuh!!
Kiyonari vs Nicholas Bacon was by far the most unsatisfying duel. It was basically just a lot of exposition strung together without much action. I also didn’t find Nicholas Bacon (Sanpei Yuuko) particularly interesting, though his weapon was pretty cool. Plus, it wasn’t even one of the people in the duel that ended it, but someone else entirely! Though more Noriki is never a bad thing. Overall, I feel that the only thing I’ll remember from their battle is Kiyonari’s declaration that Bacon is a sinner due to his lack of an older sister. Kiyonari, you’re going to be soooo pissed when you learn who Mary really is, aren’t you?
Neito vs F. Walshingham had some good action, but I feel like we’ve only just begun to see the beginning of that battle. It did a better job at balancing exposition and action, with a definite bias towards the action. We also got to see another kickass automated doll in F. Walshingham (Kuwatani Natsuko). I felt like I was watching Kazuno all over again, woo!
Margot vs Hawkins and Cavendish was interesting, if a bit bullshitty. The floating pool notwithstanding, Margot’s victory centered around her ability to consistently find ways to keep breathing despite being under water. They were clever – using the air coming off Hawkins’ (Susumu Chiba) jets and palming some air after she got hit by that obelisk. Still, I’m having trouble figuring out why Hawkins was of the opinion that she absolutely needed air to cast spells. Sure, she needed it to live, but you can still talk without exhaling – I just tried it myself. Plus, there was the fact that Cavendish (Yuzuki Ryouka) was helping him the whole time. Not so much of a duel when it’s 2-on-1! Still, I enjoyed seeing Margot come out on top, and do so while outnumbered and fighting on their field rather than just flying out of the pool and blasting them from afar. Impressive, if maybe not the quickest way to win.
Futayo vs Walter Raleigh was probably the best in pure combat, though I must admit to heavy bias here. Futayo’s fights are almost always my favorites. She only has a few tricks – speed, bind with Tonbokiri, extend said spear, stab – but she uses them in slightly unexpected ways to gain the upper hand in fights. This was again the case when she knocked Walter’s (Ookawa Tooru, again) gravty sword off target just enough to divert the blow and, apparently, drive him off. Also, though Walter’s departure seemed somewhat abrupt, unlike with Bacon it felt like he left because he wasn’t going to beat Futayo as quickly as England’s plans required, not just…because.
Finally, there was Malga vs Drake, which was simultaneously one of the most interesting and the most irksome duels. Faced with Drake’s (Takeuchi Ryouta) Testament Arma (which is, to be frank, pretty bullshit powerful) and without Zwei Fräulein, Malga seemed to be up a creek without a paddle. That said, her plan to buff Drake until his body couldn’t take it anymore was a smart one. Too bad he was even stronger – perhaps because of the overload, perhaps despite it – than her tactic could deal with. That wasn’t the irksome part, though. The irksome part was the dues ex machina of Gin’s arrival. It was just so convenient, and if there’s anything I hate in storytelling, it’s convenient plot events that happen “just because.” That said, I still look forward to seeing how Gin will get around Drake’s justice, but I’m not fond how we arrived at that battle.
Next week I imagine we’ll finish off a few more battles before pivoting to our two couples, Horizon and Toori and Mary and Tenzou. Maybe then this episode will stand up better, when the full story of these conflicts come to light.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – This was a middle episode, full of introductions but short on resolutions. Still, some good #Kyoukaisen combat is never amiss!
- Remember that whole Joan of Arc thing that Drake talked about with Malga, in regards to Neito. I have a feeling that it’ll come up later on, perhaps in a big way. Still, if nothing else the fact that this Joan of Arc didn’t get burned at the stake is good news for Mary! You still have a chance Hocchan. Erh, I mean, Scarred-chan.
- Oh Adele, you’re such a troll. Related: I still want to know what the two of them were doing in Adele’s armored shell at the end! A “rhythm game,” perhaps? >:3
- Speaking of, MARY HNNNNG!! Though I’m confused…I thought it wasn’t okay for her to walk around without her cloak on? Though maybe that was only around Far Easterners, or when she’s tending the graves. Not sure.
- Did you see the fish and chips she got? Coulda used some more chips, but oh man, that fish…SO HUGE!! Stilts is hungry now. Need to finish this so I can go eat
- I like how Charles Howard’s way of helping is with tedious legal documents. Poor Heidi and Shirojiro. They have the worst battle of them all.
- Can anyone a remember another show that used the buff-them-until-they-overload-and-hurt-themselves tactic? I feel like I’ve seen that before, but I can’t remember where. It’s bugging me!
- Malga’s loss against Drake is going to play havoc with her self-esteem. She already wasn’t feeling good about her loss of Zwei Fräulein and needing to be saved from Dudley, and now this. Margot, talk to her. Your girlfriend is going to be really hurting, really soon.
- Gin’s arrival and saving of Malga was annoyingly convenient, but she was totally right about what England is trying to do. They want to rough Musashi up a bit (for their own benefit) without either openly defying the Testament Union or getting sucked into the war against Musashi. They’re not on either side, and their actions show it, but they aren’t being overt enough to get burned for what they’re doing. Yet. It’s a dangerous game they’re playing. I wonder how much longer they can keep it up.
Full-length images: 36.