OP: 「LET iT END」 by SiM
What’s the chivalrous response when someone’s murdering murderers?
One of the disadvantages of aging is that questions like the one I pose above, and which this episode posed to us, are ones I’ve thought about before. (Also, being a massive nerd in several ways helps too.) This is something I’ve actually considered. So what is the chivalrous—or as we might put it, the moral—act? Kaiser is right, vengeance will only breed more hatred, though it’s understandable why Azazel (Morita Masakazu) would balk at being the one who forgives the other side when it’s him and his people who have been on the short end of the stick most recently—it’s far more palatable to let the grudge die after you’ve at least bloodied the nose of your enemy. As for the central question, the moral thing would be to punish both the murderer and the other murderers—though, since Azazel already killed them, the ship has sailed on one of those. Going further, if injustice is met with injustice, the just thing is to punish both perpetrators, and then fix the underlying injustice that spawned the sad state of affairs, preventing it from arising again. That, though, is far easier said than done, since Kaiser lacks the clout to change the system—and stands to lose what he has, now that his association with the rag demon has been discovered/assumed.
Moral quandaries aside, the part of this episode I most enjoyed was probably the dragon village. I feel like there are many ways the writers could have taken Nina, and having her be oblivious about the dragon shifting is one of them, but it would have been a dumb decision. A village full of shapeshifting dragons, though, is cool. It opens up the world, and it makes me want to go there! Or at least, if it gets imperiled I’m going to be emotionally behind the protagonists saving it, because it looks idyllic, Nina is from there, and also cute shapeshifting dragon children. Awww!
Next would probably be the holy child, Mugaro. An alliance between a demon and an angel is surprising, but also not, given how turned upside down the world has become. It’s the kind of surprising where, after a moment’s consideration, you nod your head and say yes, that’s natural given everything I’ve seen. It also represented a good way to reveal that aspect of Mugaro’s character while bailing Azazel out of the corner he/Kaiser had gotten him into. I approve.
I also really liked the OP and ED, though the OP has a worrying lack of Favaro, and Nina spends enough of the sequence naked for it to seem strange. Let her wear some damn clothes, jeez. The ED is my favorite of the two, it’s both cute and charming in a way that makes me like Nina and her little animal-ish pals all the more.
My main qualms are the continued lack of Favaro, and by extension, the relative lack of charisma of the leads we’re making due with. I know Nina isn’t hitting the mark with some people, but I like her a lot more than screamy Azazel. Kaiser is pretty good in my book, he’s just not as joyful as Favaro was and Nina is sometimes / could be. Fortunately we still have Rita (Sawashiro Miyuki), who is always a treat and always very much herself. So far, that’s the biggest flaw, along with a lack of clear narrative direction—that’s a risk when the point of view characters are split up so much early on. None of these are irredeemable flaws, just areas of wonk which need improving.
I’ll probably blog one more episode of this, and then I’ll decide if I want to cover it. More next week.
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ED: 「拝啓グッバイさようなら」 (Haikei Goodbye Sayounara) by DAOKO