「戦う理由」 (Tatakau Riyuu)
“Reason to Fight”
If you didn’t know next week was actually Tate no Yuusha’s finale you could be forgiven for swearing this one was it. From putting Kyo into his place to getting Naofumi to do the thing and even bringing forth tearful goodbyes, everything associated with an ending was here – hell, we even had that ubiquitous no credits epilogue spiel for added reinforcement! Really makes you wonder what’s coming next week because after this I’m not sure what’s left to tell.
Given how much this season has suffered from the adaptation rushing curse, this episode really hit in the feels because it highlights just what could’ve been with a bit more effort and slower pace. As evidenced by that introductory duologue at the start Kyo wasn’t that bad a villain in hindsight: he had the history, the reasoning, and mentality needed to become properly sinister and worthy of Kimura Ryouhei’s VA work (admit it, the guy was pretty damn impressive). The breakneck pacing and slashing and burning of source material however effectively ruined that, leaving us with an otherwise half-baked antagonist with superficial (at best) developments and a lot of secondary characters whose only purpose was seemingly filling time. Chimeras, tangential vassal weapon plots, and tales of redemption? Hard to really care when mere minutes were spent on fleshing them out. Truly a tale of just what could have been.
Further highlighting these issues are what became of Naofumi and his (likely) final showdown with the dragon within. While I cannot deny this was a blast to watch play out, much like with Kyo a good deal of satisfaction was lost due to the rest. Hard caring a lot about Rishia and her natural rise into her own for example when she’s been next to nonexistent this season, or to chew on how Naofumi’s party no longer need to be physically bound to him to justify their presence with him when it falls in the midst of other rapid developments. In the end just too much happening in a condensed timeframe for any serious impact to be had, something I really hope the next season can correct if only to smoothen the many wrinkles introduced in this one.
One way or another, next week’s finale is going to be very interesting indeed.