‘The Seventh is…’:
Okay. That has to be one of the best/worst cliffhangers in all of anime. Best, because I want to watch the next episode right now. Worst, because I want to watch it RIGHT. NOW. I love me a good cliffhanger – I love reading them, writing them, watching them. Some people feel betrayed by them and get filled with anger of what’s yet to come, but I rarely feel that way. Until just now. I can’t think of a cliffhanger that’s had me that hooked to the point where when the episode cut off, I just screamed. Ugh, so good, yet so bad. But mainly good. In fact, this was the best episode of the series by a long shot. But I have a suspicion that the finale may surpass it.
The Showdown – Adlet & Fremy vs Nashetania, Goldov, Mora:
Prior to that that terribly fantastic cliffhanger, the episode picked up exactly where it left off: Nashetania showed up on the scene with a maniacal grin and the promise to murder Adlet. Admittedly, the action scenes here were flimsy and not very well put together. However, Passione are a relatively new studio, so I didn’t expect the most fluid or mind blowing animation – so whilst this episode was pretty ugly, it didn’t ruin it at all. It was sort of endearing in a weird way.
If anything, I have to give Passion credit for adapting a story so detailed and ambitious, yet so very focused on the character moments. And the pacing – which I know some people aren’t too keen on – is something of a fresh breath in anime, especially light novel adaptations. We’re getting a detailed yet slow, near perfect adaptation of the entire first book, and it shows in this episode especially. After so many build-up episodes, we’ve reached the breaking point. All the characters are pitted against one another, alliances and made and broken, with new ones formed. After spending so much time with Adlet and Fremy, it’s easy to forget that it was Adlet and Nashetania in the first few episodes.
Before the mystery kicked in, I thoroughly enjoyed their travels. Nashetania seemed relatively normal back then, and there were some real cute moments that had me rooting for them as a couple. Of course, things haven’t turned out that way. So many people were convinced the fake had to be Nashetania after the ending of last week (and the week before), but I was adamant that it shouldn’t be her. After this episode, I would be content with it being her, but I now think it won’t be – if only for that brief moment where she is about to kill Adlet, claiming him as the seventh. She seemed to genuinely believe what she was saying; in that moment, Adlet seemed like the evil liar who’d betrayed her earlier trust. If she were the fake, that could have been her moment to show her true colours, especially when her emotional state is so volatile. I never know what’s going to come out of her mouth next, but her face when she saw Hans unharmed was enough to satisfy me. I don’t think it’s Nashetania, though it still may be the case. If it is, it does make sense, and aligns with the majority’s expectations. That’s why I’d find that result boring, at least prior to this episode. At least now I could be satisfied with that result, even if I still hope it isn’t so.
Science vs Saints:
The action-packed first half was followed by a drawn-out, though much needed explanation of just what the heck is going on. After running for his life for at least six episode, Adlet can finally sit back with his deadly wound and tell everyone just how wrong they all are. It’s an amusing situation, but it was essential to building up the (eventual) big reveal. I particularly enjoyed Adlet comparing science and saints – one is based on logic and understanding, the other is a powerful gift from the Gods. Saints are stronger, but science shouldn’t be underestimated. I don’t know if Adlet truly is the strongest man in the world, but he’s proving to be one of the smartest. We’ve watched him try and figure out the seventh’s plan for the past few episodes, though he hadn’t quite hit the nail on the head. Until now.
Riura, the Sun Saint:
Riura has been named dropped a few times since her first mention, so I knew she had to playaome role in all of this. But I never suspected what Adlet figured out. If this is all the case, as it appears to be, then the seventh went out of their way to capture the aged Sun Saint and use her powers to increase the temperature, so they could kill her when Adlet got near, and then have the fog activate as a result in order to begin framing him. This also must mean that Lauren is part of this mystery as well, as Adlet suspects the barrier activation process is not as they were told. Maybe it’s something a lot simpler that we, as the audience, will be able to spot a mile off if we re-watched the earlier episodes once we know the answer, but right now I’m stumped. This also means that Nashetania’s earlier freakout with the sword may not have been what activated it.
All of this was a solid explanation on Adlet’s part, who has proven himself as a memorable, unique protagonist. In the beginning, I, like many, thought he was just another arrogant yet powerful lead with a decent amount of charm and wit, but he’s proven to be so much more since they’ve been trapped in this forest. His catchphrase isn’t even annoying any more – it hasn’t been since his emotional talk with Fremy – but instead it’s now something that I look forward to him saying.
Suspect of the Week – I don’t know?:
And now we get to the ‘Suspect of the Week’. I’ll be perfectly honest: I don’t know anymore. If you were to put a gun to my head, I’d say Mora, but I simply can’t say one way or another. After trying to figure out who was been the most suspicious for the past eleven episodes, I’m ready to know the answer and hopefully be shocked at the result. Mora wouldn’t be a shocking one after her recent lies and obsessive blaming of Adlet, but I think it still makes most sense that it’s her. Nashetania, to me, is just mentally unstable and new to the world. Maybe it’s all an act, but I want to believe that she’s got a good heart behind all the madness. Goldov, I still don’t care about. We have been getting more reaction shots of him, but I don’t see how he could be the seventh unless his goal all along was to do absolutely nothing and let everyone else murder one another.
As for the others, Chamot is similar to Nashetania, expect we’ve seen less of her. It simply can’t be Fremy, and Hans… well, Hans would be a twist. From his introduction, he didn’t appear the most trustworthy. But he’s won over Adlet and many viewers; if he were the fake, along with a solid explanation, that would be pretty surprising. But I must reiterate: I don’t know. Maybe it’s Mora, Nashetania, or Hans. Maybe it was the silent Goldov all along. Perhaps Chamot just got bored and wanted to tag along on the journey, or maybe it’s Adlet, who has fooled the characters and the audience to the point where we’d never expect it.
Overview – What’s Next?:
Argh, this was a great episode. The action, as amateurish as it was, still made for a gripping first half. Adlet and Nashetania have an interesting back and forth (though I’m sure people will mainly remember the kick to the face), and Nashetania coming to her senses had me relieved, since I want to believe it’s not her. Adlet seems confident in who the seventh is, and I’m eagerly awaiting the revelation. The next seven days are going to be painful.