OP2: 「雨が降るから虹が出る」 (Ame ga Furu kara Niji ga Deru) by Sky Peace
「さらば愛しき盗賊」 (Saraba Itoshiki Touzoku)
“Farewell, My Beloved Thief”
This was an odd episode, and plagued with some of that shifty plotting that is only partially absolved because Zhivago was involved. I really like how Elaine was handled, both in how Jericho was able to yell her out of her rage, how Ban never gave in to despair, and how the spell seems to be keeping her alive, but for how long is uncertain. I really liked that she hasn’t expired yet, because it allows for the chance that Ban can somehow stabilize her and keep her alive, but it’s uncertain. That makes it thrilling! Hope is still alive, but nothing is certain. If she had just been resurrected and that was that, it would have been too easy, and if she was resurrected only to die again within an episode, that would have been a waste of our time. Suzuki-sensei walked a fine line with that one.
Plus, Ban and Elaine being all lovey dovey was sweet, though Jericho wins the award for the episode, both for snapping Elaine back to her senses, and because she carries them both out on her back. Jericho must have legs of iron, and I can’t even imagine how strong her back must be. It makes my back hurt just thinking about it. Go Jericho!
I’m more uncertain how to feel about Zhivago’s deus ex sacrifice. It was a nice moment which really showed Zhivago’s love for his adopted son (even if it meant he wouldn’t get to see his other son in the afterlife), but it came so out of nowhere that it felt like a cheap way out of Ban’s predicament. It also means that Ban doesn’t have a defense against the soul attack, which is both good (because it puts him in danger) and bad (because it’s such a cheap move that could just happen again, and if it was this effective, should).
What I know for sure is that I’m far less fond of how much the demons were getting dunked on in this episode. Unfortunately it would be fine if it weren’t for those blasted power levels. They’re supposed to be so far above everyone else that it doesn’t seem like powers like Deldry’s (Katou Emiri) Love Drive should be able to affect them, but here we are. Really it just shows how difficult it can be to write a story with all these disparate magical powers, because you can get these edge cases where a relatively weak character has the potential to absolute destroy a more powerful one. It just feels like the good guys would be foolish not to use Deldry’s powers to completely decimate the Ten Commandments with ease, though maybe Fraudrin is only vulnerable to it because he’s in Dreyfus’ body. Still, it feels like they should have some kind of magic resistance that would prevent this. Or maybe they do, and it’s just not active while they’re low on mana.
Ban also kicks some demon ass, but I’m more okay with that due to how his power stealing ability works. Though, still… they’re supposed to be so much stronger than the protagonists, Ban included. Those power levels really did screw things up. I wish the anime had just carved those out.
I’m unbelievably excited about next episode, because it appears that Escanor is going to make his official entrance. The OP has already given up pretending like we haven’t realized who the nebbish bartender is, so might as well get to it. I can’t wait to learn what he’s like.
- Ban really should learn to dodge more, though. He’s down for a long time when he gets hit, albeit significantly less time than anyone else.
- Hendrickson is working the bar now? Well, dude looks dapper as hell. Can’t complain.
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 updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: Book 3 Progress Report.
ED2: 「誓い」 (Chikai) by Amamiya Sora