Run like the wind! There’s a
damsel in distress murderous pretty-boy demon in distress who needs saving!
It all comes down to character. That’s what I’ve long known, intellectually, but some stories reteach the lesson. (Obligitory side note: It’s not always about the characters. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei has meh characters, but some viewers vibe off the world enough to love it. World can have a personality all its own, but that’s a dicier proposition to depend on.) Why am I saying this? Because my favorite part of the episode was when Nina revealed that her teacher was none other than Favaro, and the corresponding surprise with which this news was met.
I know, I know, I sound like a broken record. It’s all about Favaro with me. But it is, actually. The fact was obscured with the first season because Favaro was always there, but now that he’s not, the lack of felt. This, even though I actually enjoyed the whole arm wrestling bit, and I find Nina’s blushing frenzies to be amusing. But then she rushed off to save Azazel, and I was left wondering why. What made her do that? And the problem, I realized, is that her character hasn’t been established well to a deeper level.
Kaisar has. He’s a conflicted goodie two-shoes in a bad system. And that’s just what’s been established this season—I could go back to the first season and pull out the reasons that animate Rita, Bacchus, and even Hamsa (though this episode actually did a better job of showing off Hamsa than most of the first season did—another element I enjoyed). But why is Nina rushing off to save Azazel? Because he’s pretty? Because she was oblivious to all those other demons’ suffering, but this one she knows? (Though that’d be a very human reaction.) It’s not clear—and passive/malleable is poison to the audience.
Which shows why Favaro is necessary. It was always clear what animated him, and without making that clear with Nina, it gets all wobbly. She’s the only main character with any damn charisma—Azazel is yelly, Kaisar is an idiot, and we’ve got to go down to Rita, Bacchus, or Hamsa to find anyone else with an iota of magnetism—which means she’s gotta be the draw. But I don’t understand why she’s saving Azazel. I can guess, but I don’t know, not in the same way that I know what motivated Kaisar or Azazel.
The frustrating part is, if this season started out featuring Nina AND Favaro, I think it would be awesome. I think there could be some good chemistry between them, with Favaro duping and exploiting Nina as his muscle during their bounty hunting adventures, only to get his comeuppance when her natural Nina-ness backfires on him (see Kaisar’s concussion, but deserved). Which is probably what will happen eventually, but in the meantime, ugh! Slogging through. That’s why it took me until today to blog this, even though I went full Office Space yesterday (I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be).
Which is all a long-winded way to say that I’m not going to be blogging this. Which is going to annoy me if Favaro shows back up and it gets awesome, but I’m not down for the slog in the meantime. I will be watching it though, and you can probably expect a finale post at least. Thanks for reading, and what’s that thing? Baha Baha Baha Soul? You get the idea.
- Why are those guys more confused by the strong girl than they are the talking duck? o.O
- Why is it ironic that Bacchus and Hamsa are the last two gods living among men? Are you sure you don’t just not know what irony means? Is it like rain on your wedding day? *drops mic*
- Oh sure, show yourself like an idiot, instead of taking out the air support first, then using your teleporting powers to flit around the edges, taking out vulnerable troops and sowing panic. No wonder Azazel needs to be rescued.
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for exclusive content. At stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Guardians of the Galaxy, Glee, & Firesign; That’s not supposed to go there . . .; The Carcer Principle; and Fire, further.