「いつか夢見た世界」 (Itsuka yumemita sekai)
“The Ideal World”
Gentlemen, it’s finally here, Zestiria’s endgame. Having brought Alisha and Rose together with Sorey, the gears have now switched from prolonged character development towards dealing with the end boss. This episode was textbook “calm before the storm”, as the party was finalized, copious back story revealed, and the story’s game ending power ups brought to light.
As far as end bosses go, the Lord of Calamity fleshed out this week certainly breaks no molds. The guy is the root of all calamity, he plans on ending the world with one brobdingagian explosion—insert customary Megumin joke here—and also finds solace in doing everything in the cold, northern wastelands. It’s your paint by numbers approach to villains, although his aide/adjutant keeps things interesting with her repeated appearances and refusal to specify why she’s telling the party everything. These breadcrumbs all but guaranteed the girl will factor into the Lord of Calamity’s defeat—doubt there will be a cliff hanger at this point—but I’m not sure she is a turncoat just yet. Also intriguing is the further Berseria spoilers brought up, particularly the Velvet Crowe history and how it relates to the calamities. Given Zestiria is eager to relate the two series in regards Malevolence, I’m guessing the final fight will involve Velvet in some fashion, although in what manner remains to be seen.
On the side of good of course we now have a complete party, with Sorey, the squires, and all assorted Seraphim joined by some Hyland logistical support, Rolance
cavalry knightly escorts, and Atakk and pals for a little Lailah flirtation. In this regard it’s the typical buildup episode, however I did enjoy how Zestiria at least attempts showing how difficult the upcoming battle will be. A large number of eager recruits were turned away, and several occasions were used to showcase the Lord of Calamity’s power compared to that of a lowly dragon. Especially interesting was the difficulty for both Rose and Alisha to armatize with their paired Seraphim. From a narrative standpoint it’s nice having the squires unable to instantly master this new power, as it retains the suspense for the boss fight and shows how far the characters have yet to go. Compared to previous episodes—particularly the comparative ease of the dragon purifications—it’s a small, but nice touch that builds some anticipation towards the upcoming events. Need look no further than the Edna-Alisha pairing for example and the likelihood of an armatized Alisha in the not too distant future.
With only three episodes left this season, I’m hoping hard Zestiria will go out a bang. Final power acquisition will probably happen next week before we get down and dirty dealing with the Lord of Calamity and the mid-fight twist certainly to come out. It’s taken a long time to get here, but Zestiria has enough cards remaining for a good final act. Might not make up for all the slow development, but I’m not one to turn down a good boss fight. God knows we deserve one.