「水楓(すいふう)の乙女たち」 (Mizu Kaede (Sui Fuu) no Otome-tachi)
“The Maidens of Watermaple”
Akatsuki comes out of her shell as the twenty-six maidens of Watermaple prepare to face down the raid boss in their city.
A Raid Boss in Akihabara
Flavor text coming to life has already had farther reaching implications than I expected, if it’s turning a regular NPC into a raid boss. Freeze effect, boosted stats for every adventurer within fifty meters, and a seriously buffed HP bar are not things that should be handed out freely! Though I’m still not entirely sure how that worked—would Akatsuki have turned into a raid-level monster if she got the sword, or is it only an NPC thing? And why could Nelreth buy a raid drop anyway? Even in late 90’s / early 2000’s MMORPGs, I’m pretty sure raid drops were bind on pick up! Though perhaps that’s another sign that the rules of the game are breaking down in favor of the rules of reality. It’s a pretty damn important one if so.
I do like their plan though. Fan out, cover the city, stall him when he appears, and then converge and pounce. It’s simple, but simple plans are often the most effective. The curfew won’t be popular, but the price might be worth it if they can take down the murderer without delay. It all hinges on Lenessia playing ball so he can’t teleport away. I hope the Kunie boy was lying about it taking decades to reboot the magic circle, because any deaths that happen from monsters later on would be on Lenessia’s shoulders (or so I bet she would feel), and I can imagine especially dickish players (from Minami, perhaps) using that to train raid-level mobs into the city. They’ve got a raid boss in Akiba, and he needs to be stopped, but they could be opening up the door for many more.
Akatsuki’s Out of her Shell
Akatsuki is really coming alive as a character. I didn’t realize how much she existed in Shiroe’s shadow until now, she she’s coming out of it. I’m not even talking about her blushing, and blushing, and blushing around her friends (bonus blush!), but the way she so directly and optimistically answer Lenessia when she was confiding in Akatsuki about her worries. Akatsuki has stopped being a wallflower, and really taken on more personality of her own. Though she’s still essentially Akatsuki—she’s still shy, not great at communicating, and a bit awkward. But she smiles more, and that’s lovely to see.
Looking Ahead – Lenessia’s Decision, & Akatsuki’s Overskill
Take it from me, writing sales copy for creative works is hard. You need to give away enough to draw people in, but not so much that the experience is diminished for those who decide to give it a shot. Episode previews are a form of this, but I’ll never understand why, seven episode into the second season, they are persisting in spoiling so much. You’ve already got us! We’re going to watch! There’s no reason to make it so obvious what Lenessia will decide, who the twenty-seventh maiden is, or that Akatsuki will show off her Overskill. Leave something for next week, gah! Though I am excited about next week, so they got me there. It’s time to see Akatsuki shine even more!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The flavor text becoming true has created a raid boss in Akiba, but Akatsuki is so much more vibrant than every before #loghorizon s2e7
- Rieze’s characterization seemed to jump out of nowhere, but she’s there now. From crying over Krusty’s disappearance to taking charge in front of the Round Table, she’s no one-dimensional character to be sure.
- This episode confirms that Nelreth isn’t a willing murderer. The last time we saw Byakumaru in the shop was episode two, and he wasn’t a monster yet. And how he called himself a proud Defender while he was Gollum-ing … yup, we’re going the tragic route. Probably. Maybe it’s half and half, though he’s definitely mad now. Poor guy. Good thing Souji backed out, or he’d be as good as dead.
- “There are things you can only learn by accepting your weakness. Being weak, losing … these aren’t pointless things.” That’s true. If you’re not failing often, it means you’re not doing enough interesting, difficult, or uncertain things. Failing is how we learn how to succeed.
- Bonus points for Akatsuki finally realizing that her height isn’t a weakness. I used to have a short friend who said she wasn’t short, she was travel-sized … and any time I drag my 6’7″ frame onto a plane, I’m reminded that great height isn’t always an advantage. It’s all about how you approach and use your weaknesses (and strengths).
- Put on some armor, Marie. Take this seriously, jeez.
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Impostor syndrome, Save it for your daydreams, Storytelling is subjective, and Delusions of importance. For book updates, sign up for my mailing list.