「囲師には必ず闕く」 (Ishi ni wa Kanarazu Hiraku)
“When You Surround an Army, Leave an Outlet Free”

In the usual Genjitsu fashion we got it all this time. Quick conclusion of war; relatively tame peace; Aisha showing why Liscia needs to get on those seduction lessons already – oh yes, there was something for everyone. I may have my issues with this series, but I cannot deny it’s a show which knows how to entertain.

Building off the events of last week, I think no one will be shocked that Kazuya effectively wound up winning the war with Amidonia, but I think it’s reasonable to lift an eyebrow at how quickly it transpired. Patented adaptation rushing or not (and best believe we had lots of that), quickly overpowering Amidonia with barely a peep of noticeable resistance is a little irksome when such a thing could’ve been fleshed out a bit more. You know, some additional struggle, a little added frustration spice, maybe some scheming over the inevitable postwar world. Such ruminations aren’t the fault of Genjitsu itself of course (I suspect the source material goes into more detail on them) but simply something where the anime is hard-pressed to do justice to what arguably fits the definition of an epic. So much is only possible when you’re shilling for written stories.

Such things, however, don’t hide where I did find issues this episode: the postwar Elfrieden. Although it may just be me, suddenly presenting a defeated enemy with song and dance isn’t what I’d call the ideal strategy for wooing them over. Can you win them over? Without a doubt – but for such well-engrained mutual animosity more than words are needed to have any lasting effect. Rivalry and hatred after all are quintessential aspects of humanity, we are jealous and often detest the other because they are not us, we distrust them because of what they could do to us (not necessarily what they will do). When combined with past conflicts and collective history such thinking often leads to irrational behaviour, the sort which plagues international diplomacy even to this day as figurative standing and principles of pride wind up dominating. All lasting societal changes are always years in the making.

This is why I thought Kazuya would take a more conservative approach, sticking to that limited thrust into Amidonia and letting a restrained occupation do the service required instead of a cultural approach which realistically would take decades under such a scenario. It may make sense for such a story and fit with Kazuya’s overall mindset (quite a nice touch emphasizing his lack of military expertise for example), but it really irks me knowing how it wouldn’t work realistically, at least on this timescale. Oh well, I can be satisfied having Aisha serve as hostess for the whole thing because did I mention how adorable she was? Yeah, you know damn well who’s best girl on this court.

Although if we’re being fair, Aisha may not claim the title for long, because Amidonia still has a princess on the loose, and something tells me her personality will fit right in with the Kazuya party.

10 Comments

  1. Ok, this episode was just silly. Even for this shows standardsand even when I consider that they had to cut stuff from the source material

    The only thing that seemed reasonable was when they evacuated the border region with a ruse. Normally I would say this would be a pretty big gamble , even with the pretext of a monster-outbreak, but with they enemy intelligence level being what it is, it flows naturally with the narrative.

    Alex
  2. It’s true the battle between Amidonia and Elfrieden was very short. There was no context on how Gaius Amidonia realized that he had lost the battle to regain control of Van. Instead Giaus goes and tells Julius Amidonia to flee for your life because Kazuya Souma is after Giaus’s head.

    Then there was that incident inside the military tent with Kazuya Souma with Carla Vargas present. Kazuya mentions he feared dying and seeing loved ones die in battle and war. There was no context here either, this incident just happened and Carla is surprised.

    I am also still trying to figure out Roroa Amidonia place in this episode when she heard news about her father Gaius Amidonia had died in battle. Roroa crying for her fallen father without context makes the scene kind of…meaningless…

    Why I am saying this is because Roroa had always operated as a separate character with her own story in Genjitsu Shugi Yuusha no Oukoku Saikenki. While the actions of Kazuya had indirectly affected Roroa, she hasn’t really associated with any of the MC or supporting characters directly.

    I kind of wish that since this episode began with Kazuya and Carla Vargas it would end with Carla––I like Carla Vargas.

    I’ll settle for Aisha Udgard in a dress.

    RenaSayers
    1. > There was no context on how Gaius Amidonia realized that he lost the battle

      Gaius stated it outright: he realized he made a mistake in ordering his exhausted soldiers to fight the well-rested Elfrieden troops. Think of it like fighting a boxing match after running a marathon. Gaius was too impulsive and gave the order without thinking it through.

      > Roroa crying for her fallen father without context makes the scene kind of…meaningless…

      It’s been shown in the earlier episodes that she didn’t like Gaius as a leader (for being a warmonger). Crying for his death shows that despite that, she still loves him as a father.

      Magnus Tancred
      1. I agree with RenaSayers in part regarding Roroa. Up to this point her actual position hasn’t been well described and we’ve only had a shot or two of playing merchant with her butler. Such scenes are fine for relaying her personality, but it’s hard to find much impact watching her receive the news of her father’s death when that’s all we have to go off of.

        Do agree with Gaius though, that was actually voiced by him and follows from how the prior episode ended.

        1. Sooo…I may have discredited the scene in episode 11 where Gaius and his men were mowed down at night by Juna with her crew. I say discredited because I didn’t consider the barrage of arrows as any reason to be exhausted.

          “Hey it’s a bunch of sticks with a metal point to it, no reason to be tired.” (º.º )

          RenaSayers
  3. Well, first things first.
    The title drop quote from Sun Tzu is actually hotly debated among miniltary theorists:
    Greatest tactical victories like Stalingrad or Cannae were won by actually doing opposite: capturing and eliminating entire enemy army.
    On the other side it is important thing in grand strategy of state to try and not make defeated enemy even more danger in the future with thirst for revenge
    Soft power of cultural influence might go a long way towards this result, but it is not guaranteed.
    Much depends on internal dynamics of defeated enemy state in question, arguably WW2 defeat was much harsher on Germany than Versailles treaty, yet it ended up growing to be peaceful contry towards all neighbors unlike after WW1
    Kazuya might have to find a partner on the opposite side, and that princess with finance minister in tow looks like the person he needs to meet.
    She was opposed to the whole war from the start and understood that true power of state lies not in territorial conquest but in economic prosperity, best served by peaceful relations and trade with neighbours.

    .

    ewok40k
    1. IMO you have to be careful with how you’re applying the Kesselschlacht strategy. Total encirclement is more a strategic doctrine – you want to eliminate the opposing forces to either force a political conclusion or generate the conditions to force such a conclusion.

      On a tactical level, however, leaving a path for retreat is typically prudent as it leverages the fight or flight response: soldiers are more likely to attempt running if provided the opportunity to do so (and all it takes is one running to get everyone to run), cut off their retreat and they’re fight to the death given lack of options. Eliminating the enemy army is the objective, but a routed army is just as ruined as the one which fought to the death, especially if you run it down with mobile forces afterwards.

      1. Escaping, retreating army can still rally and make a counterattack
        e.g. Falaise and how escaping Germans managed to stop Allies for half year at Rhine, inflict dramatic defeat of Market-Garden, and even come up with dramatic counterattack in Ardennes… Hell, 2nd SS panzer corps that ruined British Paras picnic at Arnhem bridge was exactly among units that escaped Falaise encirclement!
        It is at Grand Strategy level , when you consider making peace with defeated enemey, that it pays off to leave someone to make negotiations with, and rebuild destroyed country.

        ewok40k

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