「 竜騎の鼓動」 (Ryuuki no Kodou)
“A Dragonrider’s Beating Heart”
Kinsou no Vermeil’s third episode dives further into the hierarchy of students as we encounter our first batch of Gold Squares in the academy. But while Alto is gushing about how cool it is to discover students who’ve reached the higher echelons of prestige, he soon learns never to meet his heroes as he squares off against a sadistic Dragonrider.
PAID FOR BY THE DRAGON COALITION PAC, APPROVED BY CHRIS WESTLAND 2022
If there wasn’t already a Chris in Resident Evil, I’d say Chris Westland either sounds like an RE antagonist or a No More Heroes assassin that Travis would have to fight. But in this anime, Chris Westland is one of the renowned Dragonriders with a penchant for brutalizing those who defy her authority.
It’s kinda funny how the show tries to solicit sympathy from Rex after being unbearably obnoxious in the last episode by having Chris cruelly humble him. It’s even more challenging for him to garner sympathy points when he’s in the nurse’s office grumbling about how “that bitch” put him in the infirmary as he asks Alto about his opinion on dinosaurs. It might be a situation where you’re meant to feel bad for him as he starts veering further into joke character territory, but our instinct to pity others is doing all the work in carrying Rex as a character.
FLYING OFF THE HANDLE
Not to say that Chris wasn’t out of pocket for humiliating an underclassman who thought they were the hot shit, but it’s hard to tell whether she antagonizes people unprovoked, or if she’s only acting this way because she keeps getting silly duel requests from students out of her league. It’d be funny if the reason for this was that there was writing on the wall that Chris was a weaker Golden Square, like what happens in Index when Accelerator loses against Touma and everyone thinks that makes him easy to beat. But as he said, “Just because I’m weaker doesn’t make you stronger”.
Instead of doing what other Chris Westland’s would’ve done in the real world like giving real estate a shot or becoming an accident attorney, she is borderline obsessed with dragons for being able to fly. Can’t say that I expected anything too complex about Chris’ motivations given that it’s still a guilty pleasure show, but at the moment, her main draw is that she’s really mean to people who go out of their way to challenge her.
HE ASKED FOR NO PICKLES!
I did find it hilarious how Alto strutted over to Chris with Vermeil in tow for a duel as if he is going to file a formal complaint about how she treats her underclassmen. But it is also one of the many times in the episode that we get a general understanding of how Alto operates. He has whimsical fantasies about what life would be like as a higher-ranking magician but never lets it get in his head that the power could and should corrupt him the same way that it got to Chris’ head.
This is also an episode where Alto starts to become more comfortable with having Vermeil around. He tends to get flustered or miffed when she invades his personal space but also takes Vermeil’s presence with stride as he gets accustomed to kissing her to gain a mana boost. I think the fact that the episode ends with him going in for a kiss without getting shocked or embarrassed is kinda impressive because usually, it takes forever for the main guy of an ecchi show to reciprocate, but hey, it’s pretty neat that he didn’t make a massive deal about kissing her.