「巨大迷宮(ラビリンス)と魔銃起動(マジックガンナー)」 (Kyodai Meikyuu (Rabirinsu) to ma Juu Kidou (Majikkugan’naa))
“Labyrinth and Magic Gunner”
Arata wins over the girl and saves the day, but not before he spends the rest of the episode getting lectured and being useless.
One of the first things I noticed this week was the dip in animation quality. Now, I’m pretty forgiving about these things. I blog Log Horizon, which has never had a huge budget and has to cut corners on occasion, but I never gripe about it because it uses its budget in good faith. The staff always gives the appearance of trying to make each episode as good as they possibly can, and any animation hiccups feel like constraints from the suits more than anything else.
But with Trinity Seven this week, it just looked lazy. Small things were done badly, with character designs going all wonky being the main culprit. I would forgive that if all else were going well, but combined with frankly amateur pacing, you better make it pretty or Stilts is going to get pissed. That didn’t happen.
I Thought You Were In a Hurry?
Exposition is tricky. Take it from me—this is one of the things I’ve struggled with the most in my own fantasy book (expect more news soon!). Exposition can be vital to making a rich, complex, and living world that differs markedly from our own, but it has the severe handicap of being flow-breaking and boring. Mahouka choked on it, and many others have blundered mightily. Add this forth episode to that list. They started out saying they were in a hurry, and then proceeded to take their sweet ass time while they gave Arata time to screw up his magic, play with shadow gropers (at least they were equal opportunity), and lose their clothes again (you need more than one joke, guys).
And I get it. It’s hard. Exposition is boring, so mixing it in with the occasional antic or having it happen alongside action seems like a good idea. But it’s not! Not when they’re supposed to be in a hurry. And who gives a lecture while they’re fighting? Who are you, Spiderman? Lecturing Arata while fighting the dragon was fine, they needed his power and the others were holding the enemy back. But on the stairs earlier, they info dumped while shooting and stabbing. It was utterly unrealistic, and sapped any urgency from their actions.
Winning Over All the Girls
If anything was done well, it was revealing that Arata could become a boss-level demon if he lets his magic run out of control, and that a magus’ thema is usually the thing that’s farthest from them. Those added real stakes and introduced an interesting wrinkle to their world. (Isn’t Lilith-sensei’s thema from the Lust archive? It all makes sense!) But the main purpose of the episode seemed to be for him to make further inroads with the girls. Of the three, I’d have to say only one was done well.
From Mira, we got a glimpse of her otome-like personality. That wasn’t really done badly or well, because while I did laugh—and appreciated that it wasn’t Arata’s fault that some girl got embarrassed for once—my suspicion that she’s going to fall for him more starting with a panty shot just … well, I’m making assumptions now. And Yui immediately glommed onto Arata for saving her, despite the fact that everyone else was there helping too, and granted he was the one who pulled the trigger, but do their efforts not matter too?
Levi was the interesting one, though. Her Thema, expectation, comes about because she never expects anything of anybody, but Arata managed to fulfill her expectations by taking down the demon dragon. Those hints that she might be truly interested in this boy were nicely done, which is to say, understated. So that’s one thing at least.
Looking Ahead – Last Girl Get-o!
Next episode, the last haremett—I mean, member of the trinity seven will appear. I’m really just hoping the plot starts making something of itself, because a decent harem lead can only take me so far.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Arata saves the day, but only after being mostly useless. But three more girls are interested in him, so there’s that #trinity7 04
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Win conditions, Flawed genius, Steal like an artist, and Between novels. For book updates, please sign up for my mailing list.
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