「覇者たるもの」 (Hashataru Mono)
“What Makes a Ruler”
It’s big climactic battle time.
Faith in Comrades … But Not Blind Faith
Twice in this episode, characters spoke of their faith in one of their comrades, that they would come out alive, but both time it was not a blind faith. First was Kuon, about Haku. second was Haku, about Oshutoru. I really liked how they didn’t have that blind “faith in my nakama” nonsense that other anime have. Mind you, if Fairy Tail throws that out, it fits and I like it—but this ain’t Fairy Tail. Acknowledging, even with just their expressions, that their friends might not make it through circumstances beyond their control fits the tone.
What’s the duty of a ruler? To protect the state, or to protect the people? The people, obviously. A lot of times the goals coincidence, but if you do something for the system that victimizes the people, it’s quite possible that you’re doing things wrong. (Grays abound in that statement, so don’t get wrapped up in the minutiae.) After all, nations are ideas. They don’t, precisely, exist. But people do, and they should be fostered and protected by the people whose job it is to govern.
I liked that Vurai and Oshutoru had different governing philosophies, and that they were both taking their own path—and that those paths necessarily came into conflict. At least the show and its characters are finally saying something. That’s more intellectually stimulating than the aimless wandering we’ve had up to now.
Giant Angry Monster Slugfest
The actual fight, though, wasn’t too interesting. It was all light and sound, little substance. Oshutoru kept taking shots like a bitch, and he tsunami’d the people he was claiming to protect, and water attacks always seem lame even if water kills many more people than fire does in human experience (floods, tsunamis, storms, drowning at sea, drowning in the bathtub, etc). Then came the idiot ball moments—Nekone refusing to run had me frustrated, but nothing was worse than when the Kamunagi of Chains just casually mentioned that they can shut down this whole fight several minutes after they should have said as much!
Look, I know the twins aren’t exactly the most … person-like characters. They’re more dolls than people, which is worrisome on several levels. But it was clear the writers were hamstringing Oshutoru unnecessarily, so that he had to get beat up before the twins locked down Vurai. Imagine if instead Haku, Nekone, and the twins were being attacked by Vurai’s soldiers the whole time. They could know about the twins’ ability to lock down a mask much sooner, but be frustrated at not being able to do it because they’re under attack, dammit, and the twins wouldn’t leave their master even if they could break away! (Which, for the purposes of this rewrite, they can’t.) Then they finaly break free, and they rush to lock down Vurai, and everything proceeds as it does. Then the timing would have worked, and instead of it being frustrating because they just stood their like goobers, it would be frustrating (in the good way) because we have the answer but we can’t get to him, dammit!
The only downside with that is that it’s more expensive to animate. Suck it up, says I. Good art isn’t cheap.
Oshutoru Might Be Dead, & Vurai Probably Isn’t
I was surprised when Vurai, by all appearances, got killed. I thought he was going to be a factor in the next game. Then the rubble shifted on his body, and I’m sure that asshole is alive. Oh goodie. I would really prefer people stay dead when they die.
As for Oshutoru, he’s still throwing out death flags. Why the pointed look and mysterious sparkles (his devoured soul flowing out?), followed by Nekone crying? Hopefully it’s just her feeling guilty for having caused him to suffer the injury that almost killed him. (Me, I blame Yakutowaruto, the reckless bastard.) That’s probably it. I hope that’s it. Because if they try to kill him after the fact, I’ma be pissed again.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Big climactic monster fight between Vurai & Oshutoru. Also, Haku doesn’t burn when he’s on fire #utaware s2e24
- When Vurai accused Oshutoru of wanting to control Anju like a puppet, he winced like that was his plan. I don’t feel like that’s his intent, but if that’s the case, some bad animation decisions there.
- Do something, Karura and Touka! Touka is even back in her combat outfit. Do anything dammit!
- Gotta respect Raikou for wanting to kill the weakened victor. Not, like, condone it. It’s a dick move. But respect for the player who knows how to play the game.
- It’s impressive how the twins were introduced a full twelve episodes before this, yet they still didn’t adequately foreshadow why the hell they were in the story. It’s like they planned it all out, but forgot to even hint about it other than their title.
- Apparently Haku doesn’t burn when he’s on fire.
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Inside Out: What Emotion Drives You?, Superhot: Storytelling through gameplay, Deadpool: Tonal Balance Through Non-Linear Storytelling, and Through their own flaws.
Full-length images: 33.