「花畑の合格者」 (Hanahata no Goukakusha)
“Successful Candidate in the Flower Garden”
What Kyoukaisen does perhaps better than everything else, is build. That’s not to say that it starts out small by any means, but early on it relentlessly lays the groundwork, plants the seeds which it will reap to devastating effect at the end of the season. So it was with Season 1, so it is here. Last week’s offering was amazing, stellar even. This one was as well! It’s a rare show that can keep the tension so high for so long without it feeling cheap, and while delivering satisfying conclusions the entire time. But then again, Kyoukaisen cheats – it has enough plot for 4+ shows, so it can keep closing down plot threads in the most epic of fashions, confident in the fact that they have three more queued up for the next episode. It’s… *takes a deep breath* it’s truly amazing, and I found myself out of breath from squeeing, laughing, and gaping open-mouthed at the awesome that coated my screen. Fuck yeah!
How did Tenzou get past Walter Raleigh?
Why did Cecil fall the more Kimi resisted her magic?
How did Malga beat Dudley?
Why didn’t Tenzou kiss Mary before?
Excalibur Caliburn and Excalibur Collbrande
Did Grace O’Malley die?
Kimi & Malga VS Dudley & Cecil
I go over the nitty gritty details (as best I’m able) in the Explanations section, so here I’m going to focus all on the feels. Of the two, it was actually Malga’s victory that I enjoyed the most. Malga has been so beat up all season, ever since Dudley herself put her through the ringer back in Episode 01, that is was great to see she who has finally stood back up reward herself (not be rewarded – she worked for this!) with a victory. After this she’ll be well on her way back to standing on equal footing with Margot once again.
Tenzou and Mary
Oh gods where do I start. I’ve watched this whole part three times so far, simply because I don’t want to leave behind the luscious feelings on display. First of all, the elephant in the room – Fairy Queen “Mary” is moe!!! *coughs* But yes, I enjoyed how Elizabeth and Mary’s little trick was so deftly thwarted by Tenzou’s perversion. Turns out I was wrong back in Episode 6 – it was her breast size that let him tell them apart! XD But perhaps my favorite part was how no one was either surprised or judgmental about Tenzou’s perverted declaration. Like with Toori, everyone knows Tenzou is a perv (or a guy, depending on how you look at such things), and they don’t care. Best of them all was Mary’s reaction – no surprise, and no fucks given. Wonderful. Watch out Asuna, you have a challenger for best waifu of the season! More on that soon.
Tenzou & Mary vs Elizabeth
I go over the details of the swords (once again, as best as I could) in the Explanations section, so I’m going to comment on something else – I told you so! Back in Episode 8 I said that “Elizabeth doesn’t want to see Mary die.” Here, once all the sword business was concluded and Mary was set to leave forever – to be exiled, in effect – Elizabeth’s pained call of “Nee-san!” said everything that needed to be said. I was right. Whatever else, whatever she will do for her country, Elizabeth never wanted to see her precious big sister die. Yet now that Mary is “dead” (historically speaking), when she has birthed a child who takes Elizabeth’s throne, “killing” her, Elizabeth can join Mary so that they may play again, in their own private Avalon…a world where they can finally be together as sisters again. Guh…please don’t look at me. *wipes away tears*
Felipe and Juana
In any sane world, an episode that contained both Kimi-nee and the epic realization of a dearly wanted romance should have hurdled inexorably downhill into mediocre second half, and through no fault of its own, but merely because of the sheer amount of awesome before it. Normally the kiss is the climax, the last thing that happens before the credits roll and the lights come up so you can find your way out of the theatre. This was not the case here. But of course, Kyoukaisen cheated – usually one kiss would be enough for a single episode, but it went ahead and threw out a second one!
Musashi vs the San Martin(s)
Once again, any episode that features not one, but two kisses should have gone downhill after they were concluded…but once again, this did not happen. The clash between Musashi and the invisible San Martin tickled the part of me that loves big (space) naval battles. Here I’d like to claim another I told you so – once the shots from the invisible San Martin started coming in from opposite directions, it was clear to me that there wasn’t only one. After all, if you’re going to build one of the things – and are able to go into debt, which means you can fund the thing, and I know for a fact Tres España is quite heavily in debt – then why not build two or three? Yet I feel like this was mentioned by some character before, so I probably shouldn’t take credit. Plus, it’s nothing next to the most awesome part of the battle – Grace O’Malley’s heroic interception of the stealthed third(!) San Martin’s attack, and the subsequent crash of the Granuaille which destroyed said San Martin. I was wondering when England was going to get off their fat asses and help, and I’m glad they finally decided to show. Now, where are the rest of them?
There is so much to look forward to. Shirojiro has stepped out onto the field, as has Noriki, who wants to take out both of the Valdez siblings. I’m also curious what Charles Howard left with Musashi that Heidi was so sure was good. Then of course there’s Futayo vs Gin (more on that in a sec!), and we may even see that Kiyonari vs Bacon fight that was glossed over amidst the awesome that was this episode (though probably not).
But if there’s anything I’m excited about, it’s that Episode 12’s title, Where the One Scarred by Swords Belongs, would seem to indicate that Mary is going to enter the fray, and probably get some use out of those new swords of hers. I. Cannot. Wait. Seriously. I can’t wait. Who’s up for crashing Sunrise HQ and stealing an advanced copy? Only rule is that nobody is allowed to see my face. I’m hoping to meet a big-busted blonde along the way…
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Kimi & Malga win the day, Tenzou makes off w/ Mary, & something extra w/ Felipe & Juana. Oh, & then there’s that GIANT BATTLE! #Kyoukaisen
- I’ve gotta tell you all, today was a near thing. Kimi-nee, Malga, Mary, Juana, Adele, Grace, Mary (yes, again), Gin, and then top it all off with Futayo? I almost died. Just way, way, way too much amazing HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG– *gets massive nosebleed* *staggers* …I’m okay.
- That scene, with the music pumping in the background. Most. Epic. Breast grope. EVARR!!!
- I continue to love their chat screens. You HAVE to pause and read them when they pop up! Especially great was when they were all being pessimistic and taking the piss out of Tenzou right after he kissed a gorgeous woman like Mary. That guy doesn’t get a break, even when he gets the girl! …love it 😀
- Ohhh Gin-san, you’re amazing as well. She can clear a large conclusion in a single bound!
- Did you notice Toori’s bento? It looks like Horizon has been cooking for him again. It’s the little details that make a story great, don’t you agree? XD
- And then there’s Futayo’s mistaken “confession”. OH FUTAYO, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!!! XD XD XD! Poor Gin-san :3 I look forward to this being another running joke!
- In all seriousness all, this. This episode was amazing. I’ve probably put in more effort blogging Kyoukaisen over this past ~4 months than I had at my paying job that whole time (I don’t try hard at work, clearly), but it was totally worth it for the chance to cover episodes like this. I know I ramble on and frankly edit myself poorly in these mammoth posts, but I want to thank you all for sticking with me, and this show, because though these are the kinds of episodes that make my storyteller’s soul sing, it was all of you that have kept me happily writing and researching and writing some more long enough to get here. I guess what I’m saying is, I, I…*sniffles* Please don’t look at me!