「自由か 束縛か/」 (Jiyū ka sokubaku ka)
“Freedom or Restraint”

Just like last week, the focus on developing the main cast is much appreciated, but still leaves a lot to be desired.

Today’s Luck and Logic followed last week’s model and took some time developing one its main characters. Chloe took the spotlight this week, as the series explored her fiery temperament and its effect on the team dynamic. While her character arc doesn’t suffer from the disorganized focus of Yurine’s, it’s instead mired by a perhaps shallow level of development.

The episode opened up strongly enough, implying some greater bond between Chloe and Yurine, in contrast to the apparently strained bond they share today. Chloe is hotheaded and unpredictable—often ignoring orders and inspecting crime scenes at her own will. This completely clashes with the kind of order and lawfulness which Yurine means to uphold. As a result, the Yurine lashes out at her teammate for her reckless abandon, establishing some noteworthy strife between the two—one which the episode will obviously look to resolve by the episode’s end, where the two eventually make up in the heat of battle.

And that’s really all there is to it. All that’s really addressed here is Chloe’s stubborn inability to follow orders—the episode doesn’t go deeper than that into her psyche. We aren’t offered a poignant explanation for the source of her recklessness—not an insecurity or a past demon which haunts her and keeps her from working well in a team. She’s just apparently like that, and it annoys Yurine. While I did like how the writers attributed her personality to her fierce independence and repulsion from robotically taking orders, I still barely feel like I know Chloe any better.

Furthermore, the arc could have benefited from some previous groundwork. We always got the impression that Chloe was a little hotheaded, sure, but never to the extent that we witness here. She literally at one point condemns the notion of teamwork—now whether that statement was born from petty argument or sincere belief is up in the air, but the fact that her character represents that sentiment is a stark departure from the fun, ditzy loose cannon we’ve seen in episodes past.

The way the episode resolves the issue leaves a lot to be desired. Yurine struggles in a fight with the foreigner for a tiny bit, Chloe bolts in to save the day, and all the quarreling is suddenly done for good—for no conceivable reason. Now one could make the case Chloe’s close regard for Yurine as a friend overshadowed any notions of independence on the battlefield, and their conflict in personal philosophies—but this is hardly conveyed.

We learn at the beginning of this episode that their relationship is deeper than previously assumed, yes, but we never really get a feel for their friendship that makes it especially profound—not this episode or one’s before. All we really got this week was a few still shots of their past—the briefest of glimpses. Much more should have been done to establish the strength of this bond, especially since such a crucial part of the narrative relied on it.

As result, the finale does not carry any emotional weight—I don’t feel like Chloe really learned anything at all as a character. Yurine’s character arc was unfocused, sure, but at least she came out the other end somewhat changed and wiser, at least in the way she interacts with Tsurugi. In Chloe’s case, I got little to no sense of growth.

Despite all this, though, I really do appreciate that Chloe was at least given some attention. We saw sides of her this week—mostly, the depth of her stubbornness and tenacious independence—that we previously hadn’t, and that’s at least gotta count for something. Perhaps she’ll be further developed as the series moves onto a larger plot, as Athena alludes to at the end of the episode. Furthermore, the series still looks and runs great on all levels of production. Even the CG this week wasn’t grating on the eyes.

Given the pattern of recent episodes, it seems that the reticent Asuha will take center stage next time, and hopefully to more effective results than this week or the last.

Also, Chloe can ride her bicycle up the sides of buses, apparently. Cool.


  1. Before this I saw Chloe is a hot-blooded but caring team player. Apparently that was completely wrong. Wheee…

    Thanks for mentioning the complete lack of resolution between the girls, Jig, cause that was awful. Should’ve spent time on Tsurugi asking Athena what was wrong instead of ignoring her, but instead they set Chloe up as my least-favorite personality: the one that thinks they’re a genius and everyone else is an idiot when it’s the exact opposite. Too bad nothing before this hinted that she was like that. Are the writers just making all this up as they go?

    Bad episode.

  2. Yeah, while I thought last episode felt was missing something kind of crucial, I at least came out somewhat satisfied with Tamaki having an improved opinion of Yoshichika.

    Here, while I previously never really liked Chloe that much, but here, not only did I feel like something crucial was missing (though probably not the same thing as before), I actually came out of this episode having a lower opinion than before.

    Honestly, I don’t know what this episode was trying to tell me. I kept getting mixed messages.

  3. And still continues to be a so bad it’s good series…it was so funny my tummy hurts. I can’t tell which one’s the most hilarious, perhaps it’s folks brawling with balloons, or Chloe being as bratty as possible, her banter with Yurine, or Yoshichika telling Yurine to get Athena out of the fight (why can’t they both?). But the highlight of the episode is when Yoshichika getting crushed by truck, since he literally just stood there, unfazed.

  4. My interpretation is that this episode wasn’t character development for Chloe. It was development for Yurine.

    As you said, Chloe didn’t change, but I don’t think that’s a writing issue. I think it was deliberate. To begin with, Chloe’s point wasn’t that she should be allowed to do whatever she wants. It was that a real team is not about following orders without thinking. When Chloe disobeyed, for instance, she did so because she saw a bunch of kids crossing the street, so she probably decided to stay in that location to protect them. Mind you, she didn’t tell Yurine this, but that’s probably because of their personal issues.

    When Tsurugi orders Yurine to run away with Athena, Yurine refuses. I think that’s when she understands that Chloe’s right and you can’t just follow every order blindly. There are orders you can follow, and others you can’t. It depends on the situation.

    When Chloe and Yurine team up at the end, they’re not following orders. It’s just the sum of their individual efforts. That’s the kind of team Chloe was talking about. A team of freedom, not a team of restrictions (there’s a reason the episode was titled “freedom or restrain”).

    That one who changed at the end, was Yurine.

    1. They needed to put a lot more effort in, then, cause it’s too easy to see Chloe as suddenly having turned into a cocky brat. Why even have a leader if no one is going to listen whenever they feel like it? Yurine made more sense since Tsurugi was just acting out of desperation, but Chloe never even tried to justify herself beyond “I thought I knew better than you.” If she had reported and acted as part of the team it’d be different, but she didn’t even try. Like Yurine said, all that does is show she doesn’t care about what happens to her teammates while she’s getting her own self-satisfaction. They counted on her, she didn’t care, people got hurt.

      Tsurugi isn’t a tyrant, but Chloe didn’t even try. That’s not who we’ve seen the past 3 episodes.

      1. Chloe had proper justification for disobeying orders, but when Valkyrie tries to explain this to Yurine, Chloe stops her. I think Chloe didn’t want to explain the situation because of her persona issues with Yurine. That’s why she comes as a cocky bastard to Yurine. We, the audience know better though. We know there was proper justification for her actions. This is a “show, don’t tell” kind of storytelling.

        In any case, at the end Yurine’s the one who learned a lesson here. She understood there are orders you just can’t follow, and the value of individual effort. Note that when she and Chloe team up at the end, they’re not following orders. It’s just the sum of their individual efforts. This is pretty much how Chloe thinks a team should be. Not a bunch of people following orders blindly, but everyone’s individual efforts coming together as a team.

      2. The point isn’t if she had justification or not, the point is that it would’ve taken her all of two seconds to report the situation she was seeing, but she chose not to because she couldn’t be bothered. This left the rest of the group with no idea what she was doing, and as a result people got hurt. All she needed to do was communicate, they have comms in their earpieces for a reason, but she didn’t because she couldn’t believe someone knew better than her. Given what we’ve seen of her, how we know she’s worked with Yurine and others for years and how she’s followed orders before when she didn’t like it, that scene was ridiculous. Last episode she accepted Tsurugi as their leader, but now she’s all about her own personal freedom and can’t give him the time of day. Sure.

        People not talking to each other and doing whatever they want isn’t a team, it’s just a bunch of people that might have the same goal. There’s no coordination, just like there wasn’t any here. They called Chloe out on her actions and she chose to pout instead of sharing information, information they would’ve gotten anyway if she had cooperated and they probably could’ve wrapped things up in the first fight. Instead we were shown that she suddenly doesn’t feel the need to respect any of them. Her help would’ve made the second encounter a lot easier, but instead Olga was right and they just got lucky via plot armor.

      3. Well, I’m not saying the episode didn’t have issues. I think there are better ways to get the same massage across. My point is just that this episode wasn’t about Chloe. She might like to do things on her own sometimes, but the series and even her superiors are mostly fine with that. This episode was about Yurine. She had to learn to be a little more open-minded. And she learns her lesson by the end.

    1. Apparently deities die a lot more often than humans? Or they get tired of the fighting and break their promises? Whatever it is, it could’ve used some explanation. You’d think they could bond over having both lost partners.

  5. Someone pretty much summed up this episode the way I thought “Its like I was asleep for parts of it because this episode was everywhere”. There was like….no-pacing at all. The main thing that irked me was how fast that scene was with Chloe talking to that one girl at the cafe about Lucifer. Anyways, I’m still sticking around for the buildup they’re setting up. Because they’re foreshadowing something bigger and I hope it doesn’t fall flat.

    At the very least though there was less usage of CGI this episode during the fights, which is a plus. So now that the starter-deck cash-cows are out of the way, hopefully we’ll get more concrete development and a developed story.

  6. And I also have to tell that Athena doesn’t look like a very suitable partner for Yoshichika. He obviously has all the potential to be the greatest attacker there is (much better than Chloe, for one), the flashback in episode 1 already showed that, but because she specializes in defense, he can’t do much, to the point where he almost becomes a burden.

    Whoever was his partner he did overtrance with in that flashback in ep.1 was much more suitable to him, it seems. Not to mention, cooler – that Asura-like gear looked very cool, and I wish it was back.

    Why are the girls so freaking unlikeable in this show? These last 2 episodes both Chloe and Yurine have been incredibly obnoxious there is nothing redeeming about them at all.
    The more I get to know them, the less I like either of them. And it also looks to me that no one in the show gives a shit about the chain of command and actually following their leader’s orders, all they’ve been doing is violating said orders left and right. To me it reeks of unprofessionalism, and I can’t say I like it, because heck, they’re constantly leaving their own comrades’ backs wide-open because of that.
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  7. I’m surprised you didn’t just call it rushed and end it there.

    They had an idea they wanted to do. Doing it in just one episode was asking too much though so they fumbled on it.


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