「北の大地」 (Kita no daichi)
“The Land to the North”
You know, this episode might have been all over the place, but damn did I like nonetheless. As if proving that speed is actually useful in plot development, Zestiria has abandoned the early season crawl for an all-out sprint to the conclusion of this story. In between the expected armatizations and the big bad boss finally revealing himself this week, the show also showcased its efficiency by featuring orgasmic cooking and development for probably the least used character of the series—hard packing more into 24 minutes if you tried. While Lunarre’s appearance for me was especially out of the blue, at least it was hilarious in a “what the hell am I watching” way, particularly when he pulls a Yamcha by not only accomplishing little, but dying in the ever ubiquitous pose. Well, at least he looks dead.
The armatizations here, however, were probably the most anticipated event (particularly Alisha’s), a developmental piece necessary to even give Sorey a chance against an enemy we have been repeatedly told he stands no chance against. The Lord of Calamity development especially gave me a kick this week just for how it was continually interrupted. Just as we discover the Lord of Calamity lies overtop of the source of world creation and the earthpulse hub, Laliah butts in like a helicopter mom and shuts down debate. As soon as Dezel starts getting answers from Symonne, she trololo teleports off before getting to the good bits. Why is the Lord of Calamity in the north, why does he want the Shepherd with him? Well here’s Symonne going full dragon (never go full dragon) and leaping through half a season’s development in five minutes, that should answer the question. Normally I’d be irritated, but whether because it was all accompanied by action or the imminent nature of next week’s big boss showdown, I thought it was all amusing fun. Plus with Sorey and squires now both one hit purifying dragons like mad, if I were to criticize that much I’d have to dig into everything else as well and that takes time. I never have enough time.
With all the pieces now arranged for Zestiria to wrap this story up in the next two episodes, the only question is how things will end. I think it’s a given there’s some remaining power Sorey and friends must yet acquire to beat the Lord of Calamity considering he cannot be purified, but the option always remains for the power of friendship to carry them through. Given the earlier dragon purifications were accomplished via this, it’s a reasonable idea. Furthermore is the final meshing of Berseria with Zestiria, which I assume will happen given the previous spoilers, and the likelihood of the Lord of Calamity himself finally explaining all before duking it out with the Shepherd. The end might be rushed and a little confusing, but considering the whole Zestiria’s finale should at least be entertaining.