「償いの聖騎士長」 (Tsugunai no Seikishi-chou)
“The Atonement of the Great Holy Knight”

The tale of Dreyfus’ and Hendrickson’s fall is revealed this week, and I hate to trample over all the good feelings, but Dreyfus probably shoulda killed Hendrickson. Woulda saved everyone a lot of trouble. Also would have prevented this story from happening, which wouldn’t have been ideal, but still. Whether he intended it or not, he chose his friend over his brother, and sentenced a lot of other people to die in the process. Not smart.

Honestly not much else to say about that one. The demon played them good.

Back with the rest of the Sins, they were indeed saved by deus ex Gowther, as expected. I’ve no problems with that, though I’m not sure how I feel about the Peace Amulet. Does Gowther prefer it this way, where he’s in control (controlled)? But then again, he’s dangerous the other way, and they wouldn’t let him run around mind-wiping people for his own alien reasons. The Peace Amulet is better than jail or death, right? I don’t know, but probably we’re not supposed to dig into the morality of this one, even if it does bug me.

Looks like my quip about the Hyperbolic Time Chamber was prescient, though I’m not bragging. Simple math gets you there, or remembering the no-holds beat down they suffered last episode. I hope they manage to make a power up arc interesting, because as is I’m much more interested in them finding the last Seven Deadly Sin, the Lion’s Sin of Pride, Escanor. Not that they aren’t all still gonna have to power up like their lives depend on it (they do), but one more on board helps! Also maybe someone should go find Ban.

I do have to quibble with Merlin’s logic about why modern Britannians are weak. It’s a fallacy to say that peace makes a civilization weak. It might make the layperson less combat ready, but we can overcome this with systems—with civilization. That’s why only a fraction of Americans take part in the armed forces, but they’re trained to such a degree (and equipped to such a degree) that they’re the most powerful fighting force the world has ever seen. Compare that to the European powers near the end of WWI and WWII (and the Asian powers in the latter), and you’ll see brittle, broken countries on the verge of utter collapse. Fighting did not make them stronger, it brought them to the edge of ruination. Acting like they’re weak because they haven’t been slaughtering each other is a pernicious mistake that will only empower barbarians who would rather rape, steal, and slaughter than build, connect, and nurture. Fuck that.

Plus, in this case, none of that is necessary as an explanation. We already learned that the magic that used to be just sloshing around, and was the center issue of the previous war, is all tied up in people/plants now. That is reason enough to explain the power discrepancy without denigrating peace.

As for the episode ending stinger, AHH DAMN I’M SO PISSED! I hate amnesia as a plot device, and using it to reinstate the status quo on a nascent relationship is friggin’ annoying! This falls under the heading of “jerking our chains,” and while teasing the audience can be done well, this ain’t that. Also, isn’t Gowther a master of manipulating memories? He did it last episode! Have him fix her scrambled noggin and get this train back on the rails! We all know the ship is going to sail eventually, so stop jerking us around. Bastards.

Random thoughts:

  • I mean, I guess groping is part of their relationship at this point? At least he only does it to her. Every couple has their own ways of flirting. (Also, become a couple already dammit.)
  • This is the first episode where I found Arthur interesting, because of the contrast between his reaction to the idea of fighting and Elizabeth’s. She’s putting him to shame, and going to be the catalyst for his power up—and most crucially, his character development.
  • But seriously though, fuck amnesia.

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  1. I took it that Merlin was talking about individual fighters more than countries. For example I’d imagine that Samurai Warriors were much higher tier than people that fight in sports tournaments nowadays. Having to hone your skills & surviving endless real battles will forge tougher warriors than people living comfy lives in peacetime that only fight for fun.

    1. That’s not the best example, because people who fight in sports tournaments aren’t warriors. Better to compare soldiers to soldiers (or kendo competitors to kendo competitors), and in that it’s hard to compare too directly because of tech. My point was two fold: 1) better training that civilization affords can make up for experience, and 2) what doesn’t kill you may not make you stronger. It might just weaken you until you’re easy to beat.

      Yes, experience is certainly valuable, so lay individuals are liable to be less hardened. But they’re also liable to be better educated, better fed, and in possession of better weapons/technology, so they can be trained to become more powerful by a civilization with enough extra money and excess capacity to maintain a professional army. If the Seven Deadly Sins and the Holy Knights are less powerful, that’s a societal failure—or it would be, if not for the magic issue.

  2. 1. the USA army is not the storngest by a long shot, its kind of basic rule of size, it’s way to big to compare for raw milltary power, not to say that it is weak. it’s just a lot if it sheer power comes from plain numbers (back then). and number plus tech (which comes from money) in our days.

    2. while i am not denying what you are saying about civilization making stronger, you need to understand that what was said, within the context, is right, while civilization makes for stronger fighting forces and army, they weaken the individual, more so when you assume a middle ages world for which fighting strength, is actual fighting, and just aiming a gun. marshal arts are not learned in a day, or a year, sword play is a martial art.

    3. with you on that, saw it coming (they made us see it coming for three episodes now), and still super anoying.

    1. 1) Sure it is. (The US armed forces as a whole, that is—the army alone is only part of it). I don’t say that out of jingoistic pride, it’s because of institutional knowledge, sophisticated training, and yes, technology. Which was my point. Peace does not necessarily make a civilization weak. It can! But invention can obviate the problem, as can enough money to support and train a professional military.

      2) Once again, sending your warriors out onto a killing field won’t necessarily make them stronger. It may cripple or kill them instead, and if the supply of potential soldiers is whittled down enough, even a relatively green enemy could win. (And yes, it takes longer to train an ancient warrior than it does a modern soldier, but it’s still better to train them in peace rather than send them to the meat grinder and hope enough good ones survive.) What I still don’t get is why they brought this up at all. The Holy Knights and the Seven Deadly Sins fight! They’re super good at it! There just isn’t as much ambient magic. The show bringing any of this up is mystifying.

  3. Wait, was Hendrickson still being controlled by Fraudrin when he took control of Dreyfus’s body for good, as in he left a part of himself in Hendrickson so he could still retain control?

    1. Yeah. That’s why Hendrickson’s eyes were still glazed over, and why he did everything he did after that day. Up until he summoned the Ten Commandments—after that, he was set free (which is why he’s acting differently now).

  4. That’s why only a fraction of Americans take part in the armed forces, but they’re trained to such a degree (and equipped to such a degree) that they’re the most powerful fighting force the world has ever seen

    This doesn’t really work in this setting because there seems to be no technological advancement in the NnT-world. It seems more likely that as the war concluded a technological recession happend, because most clans were nearly wiped out.

    I hate amnesia as a plot device, and using it to reinstate the status quo on a nascent relationship is friggin’ annoying! This falls under the heading of “jerking our chains,” and while teasing the audience can be done well, this ain’t that.

    Amen. Was really hoping to see them both together and not this shit AGAIN.


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