「 嵐の後に燻る火」 (Arashi no Nochi ni Kusuburu Hi)
“The Chaos After the Storm”
The seventh episode of this anime continues to add to the disparity between its cozy, small-town atmosphere and its heavy, violent subject matter. In the aftermath of an ax attack that left Al and his family rattled, the town of Zoltan and its bordering cities are left in disarray as they are left questioning whether they can still keep the peace they’ve cultivated up to this point.
In this episode, the drug war in Zoltan gets messier and messier after Al and his family are attacked with an ax. Al claims that Ademi charged at him and his family, leading Red to speculate whether it was his Blessing or the Potion Drug that might’ve caused him to go berserk. But because it is all too convenient for the son of a Captain to go missing after a violent attack, everyone is in the mood to speculate how everything went awry.
It’s a situation that could be easily re-interpreted to fit many differing ideologies. Some see it as a case of government corruption where Captain Moren would let his son off scot-free while he lets his guards kidnap Tanta for questioning. Others see it as a situation that had to be manipulated as a means of sowing the seeds of distrust among the townspeople living there. The latter point is one Moren believes, but with Big Hawk’s presence in town, there is reason to believe that the attack would be a good opportunity to oust the current leaders of Zoltan.
It doesn’t help that Red’s peace of mind is expected to be fully disturbed by the chaos that’s been bumping throughout his inner circle. Red and Rit’s efforts to teach Al how to control his Blessing with his parents in recovery are made all the more difficult when Al ends up being very curious about fighting after Big Hawk gave him a very suspicious weapon.
Rit ends up tangled in his issues as well as she encountered Danan during a fight with drug runners. Her fear of losing her beloved is amplified with Danan acting suspiciously after he tells her he’d like to stick around town before confronting Red about leaving. Not only are the current happenings putting Red’s slow life with Rit at risk, but they also threaten to rock the boat in Zoltan and thrust it into the same light as surrounding cities that are embattled enough to require the Hero’s assistance.
NO, RIKU. OUR SHIP IS NOT GONNA BE NAMED “THE HIGHWIND”
Speaking of which, we are granted another episode where Ares is made an absolute fool of. Despite claiming to have the capabilities to be more competent than Gideon, he cowers before a mid-boss demon while Ruti and the others make quick work of him. To add insult to injury, she tells him to protect himself because she and the others won’t have his back like Gideon once did.
It’s kinda odd because, for all the ego he had about being a better magician with more drive and better capabilities, they really go out of their way to make him look like a complete dolt. The story continues its long-form version of revenge on him by throwing one egg after another in his face every step of the way. It’s funny to watch karma in action when he’s constantly being made a fool of, but I expected him to be at least a little more competent if he was able to travel with Ruti’s party for as long as he did.
There’s also a bittersweet feeling when Ruti’s party finds that a demon was protecting the brand spanking new airship they get to travel around with. But while Cid or Setzer would’ve made great use out of flying from place to place in luxury, Ruti’s party has no clue how they’ll make use of the ship.
Sure, Ruti could use it for places she needs to be in, but she has no destination she WANTS to be in. So a loaded question like “Where would you like to go next?” is only going to twist the knife for Ruti and remind her that a Hero has no ability to seek out their personal desires. The airship’s travel capabilities are wasted if she can’t go where she wants to be as long as she’s the Hero.
This isn’t a good show and I have low expectations for it but this episode was just dreadful. Offhand, the worst of the season for me, and maybe of the whole year.
I somewhat agree with the comment above. The pacing of the show before this episode has been inconsistent to say the least, but this episode had so much new information and characters that half the time I couldn’t really tell what is going on. All I know is that there is some kind of drug going around that is making the people act with criminal and/or violent ways, seemingly against their own will.
I’m going to stick with it to the end, but I’m not expecting anything great. I am, however, going to pick up the LN in the future.
On a more positive note, I just love how straightforward and cute Rit is! At this point, Rit and Red are basically a married couple but are too embarrassed to make it official.