「4TH DAY – 変容の水曜日II」 (Henko no Suiyobi II)
“4TH DAY – Wednesday’s Changes 2”
That gap in the ending feels ridiculously huge, and I can scarcely imagine what it’s gonna be like in a few more weeks. Having three “significant” characters killed off in one move was going to be an unexpected turn, whatever the circumstance; but I think by nature of the game’s storyline, this episode was much more shocking to us players of the game than the average anime-only watcher. Killing off Ronaldo and most of the “Nagoya team” here basically means cutting the entire insurgent faction out of the narrative. It’s not something I was expecting considering the significant position they held in the storyline, and it’s not a plot divergence that I am particularly happy about either. I’ve said before that I was liking the portrayal of Ronaldo and his faction much more than what was ever done in the game; at this point, it seems a complete waste for them to cut the entirety of what would’ve been a potentially interesting counter-perspective to Yamato’s overbearing JP’s.
I’m guessing that Kishi’s intended role for them in the anime was already fulfilled for this to happen. Over the course of the last few episodes, the incapability of Ronaldo’s faction had shown why JP’s -or more specifically, Yamato- is a necessary evil if humanity is to survive the apocalypse. Killing off Ronaldo and most of the Nagoya team cements this point in; not to mention the fact that Yamato was overpowering the very same enemy all by himself. Looking at it positively, there’s a chance for a sharper focus on the main conflict between Alcor and Yamato, which has been heavily foreshadowed for some time now. With three Septentriones and 5 remaining episodes to go, trying to stuff anything more with the insurgent faction seems like a near impossible task without severely watering down the remainder of the narrative.
I’m also somewhat surprised by the number of revelations this episode managed to shoot off- certainly not what I was expecting given the way the previous septentrione attack episodes went down. There’s almost no rest from the huge losses incurred from taking down Megraz; the characters learn –and JP’s being JP’s knew all along- that the world wasn’t just facing the Septentriones, but was also slowly being eroded into “The Void”. It’s bad news after bad news as Alcor reveals that the god Polaris is the perpetuator behind this entire ordeal –hence “Purge of Polaris”. Alco even reveals his identity as a septentrione acting as a mechanism for Polaris, albeit one that has somehow attained self-consciousness and wants to see humanity survive. The revelation explains his ambigious nature; helping the Septentriones along as Polaris’s mechanism while giving humanity Nicaea and the summoning app, to hopefully survive the 7 days of judgement and stand before Polaris for arbitration.
But putting all that aside, this has been my favourite of the Septentrione fights thus far, and kudos to the team for somehow making that giant rolling ball of death seem like a properly formidable foe(s). It was impressive to see it bulldoze its way across the cities towards the barrier towers, with the characters –especially team Nagoya– barely making a scratch on it, and was the first fight that didn’t (completely) seem arbitrarily won by incomprehensible demon powers.
-The stronger your willpower, the stronger your demons? Of all the clichés…