OP: 「RE-ILLUSION」by Yuka Iguchi
「試着と購入」 (Shichaku to Kounyuu)
“Fittings and Purchases”
There was substantial focus on Lefiya’s concern for Ais’ wellbeing alongside her subsequent interactions with Ais. Even though we can’t describe Lefiya as being powerful, she earnestly attempts to provide emotional support for Ais – cheering her up when she’s feeling down or spoiling her with gifts from time to time. Thanking Lefiya in turn at the end of the episode is testimony to the fact that Ais truly appreciates her efforts. My cynical thoughts imply Ais particularly appreciates Lefiya’s use as a meatshield against Loki’s lustful advances. Hightailing and abandoning Lefiya definitely makes my provisional list for the Top 10 Anime Betrayals Spring 2017. You can see the guilt etched into Ais’ eyes.
Though some people might have warmed up to Lefiya this episode considering she was nothing but kind-hearted and caring, I can imagine that the vast majority of viewers are probably annoyed at having such a wishy washy character take the spotlight from Ais. We did get some moments though. For example seeing Ais’ stats being evaluated allowed us to discover Ais’ worries about hitting her perceived skill ceiling. It’s frightening to work your guts off at something and slowly see less and less progress as time goes on.
To wrap off my impressions, Tione’s hardcore bartering was fun to watch, but the highlight was when the girls go to shop for clothes. Seeing Ais try on various outfits including the boob ribbon was satisfying to say the least. Incidentally, I was especially pleased about Hestia’s cameo appearance.
I felt that the Bete’s lines were poorly written when he was taunting Ais during the Loki Familia’s celebrations. In my opinion, the conflict he created through his abrasiveness felt forced and only served to outline how Ais’ feelings of obligation towards Bell are relatively unsubstantiated.
This connects with another point I would like to make, that not being able to hear Ais voice her own thoughts severely diminishes her role in Sword Oratoria’s anime adaptation. Ais might not be talkative, but that does not mean we should not be privy to any of her internal thought processes or monologues. Her personal actions and reactions don’t tell us enough. Instead, all of Ais’ problems are reviewed through Lefiya’s perspective which JC Staff are relying on far too much. For a series that is supposed to be about developing Ais’ character, Sword Oratoria’s anime adaptation is doing quite a poor job in attempting to find a balance in portraying the characterisation of Ais.
The Sword Oratoria anime adaptation lacks the charm of the original Danmachi, which really should not be the case considering the quality of the source material. But it is not too late, as the potential to succeed is still there. At this point, I’m overwhelmingly concerned by the abnormal focus on Lefiya. Not to blame the poor girl herself because she is a very nice character who has done nothing wrong. This strange obsession with Lefiya should start to subside and a payoff is probably going to happen next episode. If not, then any remaining hope I had for a decent adaption of Sword Oratoria will pretty much be gone.