「夜明けが来る前に」 (Yoake ga kuru mae ni)
“Before the Coming Dawn”

You know how there’s always this one episode they obviously saved all the budget for? Yeah, this was it. Estetica giving us all sorts of action and beasts this week—including a Blue-Eyes White Dragon. The good part? We get a fairly good episode as a result. The bad part? It further exposes the flaws within the series—such as its inability to spin dramatic scenes properly. Not to mention, the fact they were able to pull off this kind of episode makes the previous one just that much worse. But more on that later.

Miu and the other part of the cast take center stage this week, joining together in an attempt to take down Dr. Phil the Magic Dragon, and if not, to at least buy the valuable 30 minutes necessary for Akatsuki to join the fray. And well, things did go surprisingly well for most of the episode—to the point where I was actually wondering what the chances were that they’d succeed. It would’ve definitely surprised me, and arguably would’ve been a great development, but alas… it’s just a bit of holding back (again!) on the part of Mr. Bennet, who is trying quite hard to rise up the super hated villains list with his whole “THERE’S NOTHING LIKE GIVING YOU HOPE THEN SHOOTING IT DOWN.” He’s doing a decent job though, I have to say. But I just can’t help but feel it’s a poorly concealed excuse for why he doesn’t just kill off half the cast right about now, as it gives Akatsuki just enough time for him to make his triumphant reappearance on zeh bike of destruction.

The episode ends with Bennet pulling his usual underhanded tactics by aiming his epic White Lightning beam of destruction elsewhere at the last second… but I really can’t see it actually doing much actual damage in terms of major deaths or anything. Akatsuki’s bound to win eventually, is the feeling I get, and it looks as though the series will end by setting up events for a possible sequel. It’s nothing too unexpected from that standpoint, but it doesn’t look as though we’ll be seeing that sequel anytime soon (if ever).

Moving back to my original point from way up there for a moment, I just have to say, it feels like Estetica’s wasted a lot of potential at this point. This episode highlighted how good of an action series it can be, but it also highlighted just how much of a waste and how poorly done last episode was, because they’re obviously capable of something better than we were treated to last week. And it’s even more apparent in the more dramatic aspects of the series, which possess lines and dialogue that wouldn’t be out of place in an epic scene, but are wasted by improper development that just doesn’t makes viewers want to care—effectively ruining what easily could be a great scene. If they could’ve melded the action properly with character development and emotional drama, this series could’ve given viewers a lot to enjoy actually, aside from just the fanservice. And it’s just sad that they didn’t seem to put that extra oomph to get that together.

Full-length images: 10, 13, 14.




    1. i take fan-service and decent quality anime over this so called “budget” you are talking about. There isn’t wrong with this anime, its how you perceive it. I personally like how it doesn’t have many anime cliche. How main character gets gradually strong over time. He’s uver strong already, so it cut to the chase! If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

  1. if I remember correctly, the dragon was far more powerful in the LN than in here… so I actually have a mixed feeling about this episode. The action was good, but then again, it felt as if when Phil pulled his upgrade as the dragon, he suddenly lost a lot of power…

    One thing I want to point out that has some importance from the episode is the fact that Miu’s thunder blade attack… see how other casts imbue magic elements to their weapons, but Miu summoned pure thunder and gives it a shape… (this has some implications for future arc, for those who might want to know)

    so it seems the anime will end on vol.3 and possibly link to beginning of vol.4 for a potential sequel…

    1. she is not demon. Her father, although called a demon lord, is in fact a human… (revealed later in the LN). But there are some power within her that is unknown to her and everyone else… I wouldn’t blame her for not using it xD

      1. I didn’t call her demon, i said demonic magic, and early in the series they showed her using that power with no problem, as she was standing above the sleeping Akatsuki thinking about what her father said to her, and should she kill him or not, she also said with her power she could easily kill him there and now.

        I think you have not been paying attention at all to the show, as well as to my comment.

      2. I am saying this because I read the LN… and her power as she knows it is just magic like all the other cast in the show… it is possible that I didn’t make it clear, but I do have source material to back me up…

  2. Much better action this week. Last week felt like a couple of old ladies fighting over
    who bakes the better cookie at a church social with all of the jaw wagging that happened.

    Zephyr, thanks for covering this. It’s a series with merit, but there are many weaknesses
    as you’ve pointed out. But I think they’ve done a good job with the tear plot device.
    You know he won’t arrive until the tear is shed, but the build up to that point is done
    well and it was exciting to watch (even though you knew that’s how it’d go down).

    I do appreciate with the writers are doing with Miu. Last episode she felt like she had
    no place to go, and the growth this week is that she’d decided to stay by his side where
    he said she belonged. She trusts him now, much more than in the past. And finally, we
    get to see some of her stuff.

    But I think part of the problem with the character development is that it’s thrown at
    us all at once. The development itself fits the character, but we’re not provided any
    hint before it happens. An excellent example I can think of Nympth in Sora no Otoshimono.
    After watching the series a few times, you can see the subtle development in each episode.
    Go read the comments here on RC and you can see the empathy develop in each episode.
    It’s an art when a series can produce that in its audience.

    Sadly, the developments in this series aren’t up to their potential and it shows.
    But I’d like to see a second season because I like the concept of the show. But, I still
    want to see Phil get the ass-whooping he deserves.

  3. so now guess better go all or nothing on it.

    shorty rep & lesbian all ok give shorty plan to do something &then boom yea phil become a DRAGON!!!

    give boss still bit recover miu doing bait time on dragon til boss get better & miu flying distract dragon then attack the yikes til vice pres & those 2 student council help then shorty rep & lesbian help too.

    til BOOM everyone down but miu then cue wrapping on miu &yet miu said she i do what i want & believe in boss cause he is real hero.

    phil-dragon still grr til boss rescue in his bike then battle phil-dragon seem going well til dragon blast aim at miu?!

    to be continued…


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