「インターミドル・チャンピオンシップ」 (Intaamidoru Chanpionshippu)
The first prime matches of the Inter-Middle tournament take place, and everything is proceeding as expected. For better or worse.
Characterizing the Rivals
ViVid didn’t do the best job of introducing the rivals initially, but like the show overall, it’s hitting its stride. The opening scene did plenty to characterize Sieg, Victoria, Harry and Els, and to separate them from their initial tropes. Victoria is more than a haughty ojou-sama, Harry cries cutely on occasion (the baka), and Sieg … who would have expected that she’s a twintails character? I’m not sure if it doesn’t fit her or if it’s a good idea, but it makes me interested in getting to know her better, which means it’s a good idea.
Prime Match #1: Harry Tribeca vs Els Tasmin
Like both of the matches this episode, it was fairly clear who would win. Harry went in as the favorite, and she was the only one of the two fighters who was introduced prior to this episode, so she was clearly the character they were trying to build up. Overall, the match did what it was designed to do: Provide an opportunity for exposition, and entertain. The Clash Emulator (which simulates injuries) is neat, since it adds endurance, attrition, and stakes into magical battles that would otherwise have little to none. I wish they would have explained what the damage numbers (bottom left) they kept displaying was—I gather it was the damage inflicted by the previous attack, or since the last update, but that wasn’t clear. Mostly though, I wish they kept showing the life meters instead of just reporting the numbers. Visual percentages are a lot easier to keep track of in the middle of a battle than numbers are!
As for the match itself, it had some good back-and-forth. What I most liked is that both characters had surprise moves, changed the trajectory of the battle a time or two, and above all, it felt natural. It really felt like, if these two characters fought, this is how the battle would turn out, both in power, tactics, and personality. That’s not something I can say about the second prime match.
Prime Match #2: Micaiah Chevelle vs Miura Rinaldi
Going into this, I assumed Micaiah was going to get worf’d. The thing is, based on how they fought, it felt like she should have won. Not just that the first strike probably should have TKO’d Miura—I’m fine with that. It’s that, after that, she seemed to take some of Miura’s attacks because … because the plot demanded it, as near as I can tell. She out-thought Miura, out-fought her, and still lost. It didn’t feel right.
The problem enters because Miura is a tiny bruiser. Heavy hitters are, surprisingly, kind of hard to write. With clever characters, you can always have them be on the down and out until they think up some clever stratagem and pull off the come-from-behind victory. The hardest part there is thinking up the clever stratagem, but the story type is solid. With a heavy hitter, they’re dumb and powerful—all they can do is attack. If it’s a setting where they can display uncommon endurance and win through perseverance, this character type can work, but that’s not an option in a tournament where everyone has the same HP. So we’re left with Miura stupidly running at Micaiah, and winning because Micaiah didn’t hit her again on the second charge and knock her the fuck out. It felt forced.
Note to manga readers: I’m sure there’s some reason for this, likely that didn’t get adapted, or possibly that I missed. This isn’t an indictment against the battle in all forms, or even Miura. I just felt this one wasn’t done as well as it could have been. I’m sorry, if a fighter takes over 5/6th of her life in damage while her opponent remains unscathed and fully rested, that character should probably lose. The original author wrote himself into a corner, and couldn’t write himself back out.
Looking Ahead – More Batteru!
So far, everything is going as expected. I’m hoping for some upsets soon—and I don’t mean ones like Micaiah vs Miura. That might have been an in-universe upset, but from a storytelling point of view, it’s a Micaiah win that would have been the surprise. Which is a shame—I almost wish Micaiah had won, just to throw a wrench in the usual formula. But I’m sure something to that effect will happen later on, which characters face off late in the tournament and anyone really can win.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Two prime matches take place, & proceed as expected. Harry & Miura advance, Els & Micaiah are down! #nanohavivid 09
- Arai Satomi! This is the kind of show that needs some Arai Satomi. It’s such a Railgun / Saki show. Always feels good to hear her.
- She’s fighting with handcuffs. What is this, Lupin?
- Former terrorists shouldn’t be this scared by someone cutting a bus in half. Even though that is pretty ridiculous. That’s the moment I knew Micaiah was going to get worf’d for sure.
- Vivio is weird. She’s a hero for giving us cheerleader Einhart, though. A hero, I say!
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now available in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: A lifestyle designed for productivity, Practical freedom, Old to them, and Stop sending me job ideas.