「他人任せで勝てると思った？」 (Taninmakase de Kateru to Omotta?)
“I Thought We Could Win by Delegating to Others?”
The setup for the finale was clunky at places, funny and heartwarming at others. All in all, the real question is how the series will finish out.
Mercenary Betrayal For The Lulz
It’s no surprise that buying the help of Wallenstein ended in a dissatisfying victory. The entire first half of the episode was dissatisfying and anti-climactic, though wasn’t that the point? Yet I didn’t enjoy it as much the account hack drama, because the reason for Wallenstein’s betrayal had so much less punch. Not that doing things for the lulz isn’t believable; certain segments of the internet run entirely on lulz. It just felt too . . . premeditated on Wallenstein’s part, maybe?
I’m having trouble putting my thoughts together on this one because I’m not entirely sure what rubbed me wrong. Maybe it’s the fact that the “buying victory will be shallow” aesop was so expected, or the fact that the Alley Cats didn’t react when they were betrayed, though that was the right move in the face of an asshole who was doing it for the reaction. Dunno. What I do know is that it set up a better second half and hopefully a great finale.
Maids, Blushing, and the Art of Asking
The second half was filled with more of the good comedy that I so love. Kyou asking Rusian to call her Kyou, and then blushing when he does it? Check, and hah! Maids? We’ve got three. (Let’s dwell on that a little more. Maaaaaids. *drools* *nosebleeds* *Stilts dies from dehydration and blood loss*) But what I most liked, from a plot/nerdery point of view, was Rusian’s solution to their predicament.
There’s a book I’ve been meaning to read: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. (That’s Amanda Fucking Palmer to her friends. There’s also a TED talk.) But my knowledge of the details aside, I’ve read and/or listened to her speak enough to know the thesis: that most people are deathly afraid to ask for help, even though those around them would gladly give it. Not even as a favor. People like to help people! We can take the Alley Cats’ quest to retake the castle as a small object lesson of this fact. Nekohime’s Elite Guard is certainly in it mostly for their own reasons, but what of TMW? They’re willing to be a deterrent even though they could get egg on their face if someone calls Rusian’s bluff and TMW doesn’t come to the rescue (despite what the Kuro no Majutsu-shi said, there is a potential demerit). Yet he decided to be their shield anyway. Because it could be fun, he said, but I dunno. Kuro no Majutsu-shi has a history of helping without any good ulterior reason. He just likes to help.
It’s clear that all of this is setting up to a finale that will have some punch, and one in which Ako finally wants to act instead of defaulting to inaction (which is a decision as well, remember). Though the antagonists are lacking, at least that feeling has the potential to lead to a nice climax. Besides, the art of asking is a lesson the Alley Cats would do well to learn, and learning it from net games still counts.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A strange betrayal sets up a spurt of training, asking for help, & also blushing and meidos. Those are extra #netoge 11
- I realized this episode that I have no idea what kind of class Nekohime plays. A healer of some kind, I guess? Since she mentioned not helping Ako with the healing. Which makes me wonder why she logged on at all, other than the meta reason of compelling her elite guard to act since she got killed. The scriptwriters probably should have just let her be willing to fight, even though she never got the chance.
- Compare these handshakes. It’s obvious which one is going to work out better.
- I loved the post-preview clips, where it was all oppai, oppai, oppai, oppai, frustration! Poor Akane. Just remember, a flat chest is a status symbol! A rarity! There’s demand, right? You’re valuable!
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: I love sales jobs, Good realism is character realism, Dying idols, and Frictionless routines.