「それぞれの哲学」 (Sorezore no tetsugaku)
Well apparently I’m dumb. Last week’s malevolent calamity was all Dezel’s handiwork, brought about by that commitment to eliminate Rose’s enemies in Lastonbell. Hard figuring out how I messed that one up, but at least the fight sequence proved its worth, with Lailah throwing around hefty fireballs and city walls satisfyingly crumbling. Beyond these first few minutes, however, Zestiria apparently is still in buildup mode, as a largely transitory episode fills in some blanks and establishes the next sequence of events.
The important expositions this week fleshed out the running theme of moral ambiguity, where Sorey, Rose, and Alisha—who finally appears—each come to terms with a world of hazy greys. Sorey was the surprise for me, what with his talk concerning the true role of the Shepherd and properly understanding Malevolence. I honestly wasn’t expecting Sorey to actively think about this, I was rather anticipating him coming to the dilemma through personal loss and/or shock. For me having Sorey already contemplate the meaning of Michael’s tainted heart comment certainly extinguishes a good degree of the naivety Sorey possessed in the first season. Might also help that Sorey’s introspection has seriously impressed Lailah.
While Sorey is uncommitted to a moral path, it’s pretty clear where Rose stands—wholly committed to her form of justice, supported by an ever reliable Dezel. At least we finally know how Rose and Dezel are related, and how Rose ended up leading a band of assassins. Although I also wound up wrong on Rose being able to see Dezel—she can at best feel his presence currently—the girl is quickly attuning to the presence of Seraphim, detecting Sorey’s Seraphim companions for the first time. Probably won’t be long until Rose can also properly perceive Dezel and the rest. What also likely isn’t far away is Sorey learning of Rose’s moonlighting job. Given the curiosity instilled in Sorey by Dezel’s attempted sanctuary destruction, Rose will have an increasingly hard time keeping her most important secret hidden.
Not to be left out of the fun is Alisha, who also has her own moral conflicts to deal with. Seeing your own people die twice certainly has the tendency to do that, especially when your greatest hater successfully manages to ostracize you. This is an intriguing development for Alisha, for like Sorey she now finds herself in a position where there is no clear answer and adhering to ideals may invite further suffering. I’m really curious seeing how this side of the story plays out, especially given Alisha’s desire to strong arm success by acquiring power. In a way Alisha’s temperament makes her more similar to Rose than Sorey, which in part may explain why Sorey cannot hear Alisha’s voice. I’m betting that simply becoming “more” of a Shepherd isn’t enough to turn just anyone into a good Squire.
With even more discussion out of the way, next week looks like the first real plot shift in Zestiria. Sorey finally leaves Lastonbell for Rolance’s capital, while Alisha heads back home to retake control of Hyland’s official residence. Hopefully we get something tangible beyond dialogue this time, because for all that I like the background information here, even I want some proper battles and climactic events soon. Will Zestiria answer the call? Just have to wait and see.