Before we begin, I’d like to observe the recent passing of Cole Brown, who had been providing the English voice of Lord Redford [ANN] [Funimation]. I was not personally familiar with him or his work, but by all accounts he was skilled actor and generally a good guy, and I extend my sympathies.
While the Germanian military blitzes through the Sellun corridor into Landsbruck, and Sophie herself brings the hurt to the fortifications in Coenenburg, a detachment of the Eylstadt royal guard helps some of the remaining soldiers snatch Izetta from the very palm of the enemy. To keep up momentum on the global scale (presumably), Germania directs Sophie away from her personal vendetta to aid in the Battle of Britain. The Emperor also reassigns Berkman, which is implied to be the first word of a death sentence for someone who knows too much, and begins outlining in earnest his plans for world domination. After a month of lying comatose in Eylstadt’s secret underground back-up headquarters, Izetta wakes up, but without the use of her legs. Sensing her desperation to continue fighting for Finé even while disadvantaged at every possible level, Seig offers to level the witch-on-witch playing field by giving Izetta the other half of the first witch’s Magic Stone and allowing her to bypass her most significant limitation.
This show has some issues.
To begin with, Scott hit the nail on the head last week when he observed that the show was betraying its original hook of asymmetrical magic-vs-technology warfare in favor of some bog-standard magical power battle, and this episode only continues to move us closer to a mirror-match. Very soon, we will have two witches, each with half of a deus ex machina rock that lets them store energy, which supposedly takes some sort of toll on the user. Both users are also already functioning at reduced capacity, now that Izetta’s broken her back. Sophie seems to already be feeling the effects from the industrial-level usage of her half of the rock, and any physical issues that she’s exhibiting are supposedly amplified in her imperfect clone body.
Speaking of which, Germanian “science” might as well be magic at this point. First of all, they’ve totally bypassed the fifty-five years of medical progress it took for humanity to clone a living creature. Then they went straight through the Jurassic Park / Alien Resurrection region of sci-fi to the point where they can take the remains of someone who’s been dead for centuries and cobble together enough of a genome to clone. Then they veered through Neon Genesis Evangelion territory in that the back-up clones are all pretty much brain-dead bodies grown in-vitro through adolescence, and then went even further than that by requiring some fresh witch-blood to “reawaken” her primary clone body or whatever.
Such is the limits of Germanian science, I suppose </sarcasm>.
Tangentially, I’m assuming that this is a world without Uranium, because German scientists in our own 1939 actually did know about fission and were indeed actively researching the possibility of nuclear weapons, whereas Germania in the show is resorting to magic to power the The Bomb.
The emperor has also decided to go full cartoon evil in this episode, which is pretty much exactly what I feared going in, so I can’t say I’ve got a lot of confidence left for this show. Even if they manage a relatively sweet magic fight, it’ll always be weighed down by the knowledge that it could have been more – that it was supposed to be more.
Lots of clean-up and set-up in this episode, but, after last episode’s hard left, I just can’t bring myself to get hyped.
It occurs to me that our Rolling Reviews have been disappointment after disappointment for, like, a year and a half, so I hope you all are listening to our podcasts, where there’s a little bit more variety in the conversation. Believe it or not, we do actually enjoy some anime – we’re apparently just not very good at predicting which ones they’re going to be.