「魔眼蒐集列車5/6 残像とオークション」 (Magan Shuushuu Ressha 5/6 Zanzou to Oukushon)
“Rail Zeppelin 5/6: The Residual Image and Auctions”
This is no true case. It’s the afterimage of what was once a case. What does that mean? There was a lot to unpack this week. So I’ll go through the premises one by one.
Hephaestion and the Ionian Hetaroi
A theory I’d like to posit about Hephaestion is that rather than being an imposter, she fundamentally disagreed with what Iskandar strived towards, as seen during Gray’s dreams. Choosing to split away rather than follow him till the bitter end could very well have relegated her from the Ionian Hetaroi, hence why Waver never saw her within Iskandar’s Noble Phantasm. Which could help explain why she holds so much resentment and hatred towards Waver. She sees him as having usurped her rightful place by Iskandar’s side, as well as following him through in a way which she couldn’t. I’m quite certain this is explanation behind Hephaestion, and can’t wait to see how it plays out. Namely the way in which her difference in belief clashes with Waver, and whether they can be ultimately reconciled or not. Because at the end of the day, their feelings of loyalty towards Iskandar are certainly unquestionable and that’s a common ground I can see them uniting over.
Waver and Olga Marie
My one point of contention is that I didn’t feel compelled by Waver’s interactions with Olga Marie. Not that I have an issue with either of their characters on an individual basis. Just the chemistry seems so off. It reminded me of the way in which Harry Potter extracted the secrets of a lost horcrux from the ghost of Rowina Ravenclaw’s daughter – a thoroughly unconvincing dialogue that was only included because it was required to solve the mystery at hand. A poorly substantiated plot device born out of necessity. I guess she’s still a kid, so it makes sense that as an adult and respected teacher, he can influence her so easily. It was nice that he opened up to her about his personal experiences. Nevertheless, their whole conversation felt so brief and forced and I hope any future interactions between them will be minimised for the most part, or significantly altered for the better to make it seem more natural or organic.
Miscellaneous Characters and the Auction
Conversely, Svin and Flat are always great additions to the series, full of energy and charm, so it was great to see them again. I’m rather disappointed that they didn’t feature much in the run of this series, and wish that they had more time to shine. But I’m glad they’ve gotten something of an important role from Kairi to help resolve the mystery at hand, and I look forwards to seeing the role that they play. I’ll admit, going into this series, I was quite disdainful of Luvia. But these mini-investigation scenes with Kairi have slowly been winning me over. I can empathise with Tohsaka on this one, because Luvia’s propensity to ‘Oh ho ho‘ still annoys me to no end. Yet that bath tub scene finally tipped over the scales for me. Yes, she is absolutely glorious with a fantastic mix of smug and elegance. I have now seen the light. And I also look forwards to seeing how Waver has enlisted her to help wrap up the mystery too. Perhaps mages have too much pride. But if his issue with the auction was money, and knowing that Luvia is quite literally Ms Moneybags, I think it could have been worthwhile asking her for a loan. Though I suppose Melvin ultimately chooses to bail him out, which didn’t really resolve the issue considering that Yvette proceeded to utterly outbid him anyway.
In terms of the actual auction itself, Yvette and Adashino both gave Waver a hard run for his money. But I suppose it was a lose-lose situation from the get go. It seems extremely underhanded to me that Policies, by virtue of possessing the mystic eyes through a highly questionable confiscation, are entitled to its bidding proceeds as opposed to the Holy Church. Yet it doesn’t really surprise me. Adashino has always seemed to be a loose gun, enforcing justice in a way that suits Policies’ agenda, which typically entails incarcerating an individual that allows for Policies to make a gain, as opposed to pursuing proper justice where the true perpetrator is definitively caught. And I reckon Adashin is only symptomatic of a wider issue over at Policies. It’s not just a case of one bad apple. I’m starting to think the whole bunch is rotten.
Pursuit – Cornered
Now, for the elephant in the room. In one of my previous posts, I speculated that Adashino was a red herring and that I wasn’t going to fall for such an obvious ploy. Now, I eat humble pie. Because it’s quite hard to justify why she shouldn’t be guilty at this point. And Policies is beginning to look like a corrupt and colluding department to me. But in that case, I’d be somewhat let down. As a villain and mastermind, her calculations fell short because she lied in such a way that forced her into a dead end. I like to think that there’s more to it. Surely the investigations and clue-gathering done by Luvia and Kairi can’t have amounted to nothing? In which case it’s typical for the actual figure in question to remain in the shadows until the major reveal is made, because that’s how it’s been for the majority of this series. In smaller arcs comprising of one or two episodes, that kind of story-telling works fine. But in extended arcs like these consisting of six episodes, it seems cheap to have all the information scattered around like that, while not having any kind of chance to piece them together and figure things out. So I suppose we can only wait to see how it plays out, given that we only have one episode left to go. Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. There’s much I want to say, which I’ll be leaving for my series conclusion. As always, thanks for reading my post and see you next week for what I anticipate to be a thrilling finale!
NOTE: I know people who’ve read the novel or read the spoilers are really excited to gush about what they know. Great, you’ve got it all figured out. But please, for the love of God, can you curb your enthusiasm for a second and let other viewers enjoy the build up to the conclusion of this arc. Yes, people might be wrong in their deductions. But that doesn’t give you a right to directly or indirectly spoil stuff. – Signed by an annoyed writer who got completely spoiled.