As we near the last few episodes of the series, things are really starting to ramp up now. We even get some long overdue battle sequences, and while they are brief, they are an upgrade from what we’ve seen so far.
A lot actually happens in this episode, and its kind of impressive to see this episode juggle the multiple plotlines and still have them come to a sort of connection. The connection is haphazard at best, but this is the first episode that is able to balance character moments, action and progress the plot in a meaningful way.
We’re also getting dangerously close to Chrono Phantasm territory here, and there are some things that I’d wager even veer into that game’s story (although this is just a guess). Its quite problematic since that game is only out in japan, and very recently at that. That means that the formal visual novel style storyline has actually barely released in Japan, and we might get some spoilers from that soon.
Last episode I mentioned a bit about the Boundary (go back and read that bit at least), and we get yet another name drop that will mean nothing to anime only watchers, or even players Takamagahara. Take note of that, as its soon to become very important, even if it totally makes no sense right now.
Hazama mentions the name. soon after his meeting with the Imperitor, after her awakening. Again, I’m really kind of surprised to see the Imperitor appear so early, as she just barely makes an appearance at the end of Continuum Shift II.
We also get some more headway on the whole Litchie and Arakune relationship, and Hazama presents Litchie with a tempting offer indeed.
With regards to the Imperitor, we get a bunch of interesting moments. She obviously the leader of the Terumi, Relius Phantom camp, and also controls NOL. Its interesting to note that the series throws in an explanation of what happened to all the people in the NOL Library branch that everyone seems to be moving around in.
For the Imperitor, the many people who followed her have offered up their lives, for her. For what purpose? Well that’s the big question that is sure to get answered in coming episodes.
The other thing related to the Imperitor was Tsubaki, and her battle with Jin. This was our first real battle scene since Noel and Tsubaki squared off a few episodes ago. Its a bit of an upgrade, especially in terms of Jin’s powers being shown off nicely. Its sad that the actual battle is composed of a bit too many close up shots, and there’s some seriously evident recycling going on as well.
Jin gets some character development in this episode, as he finally gets some idea about his existence and what Jubei was trying to tell him. This all happens while he discussed the idea of the Imperitor with Tsubaki, who blindly follows the Imperitor like a religious cultist. Its Jin own words that clue you in to just how warped the so called “ruler” of the current order is. Ikaruga, Shishigami Bang’s home country, is one such country that refuses to support the Imperitor and gets wiped out as a result.
Even inside NOL itself, any opposition is swiftly taken care of, and by Tsubaki’s own Zero Division.
While Jin pleads Tsubaki to stop being entranced by the fake security that the Imperitor provides her, he is also finally able to weild the power of Yukianeisa. Apparently Jin is able to tap into a power that seeks to oppose The Imperitor and whatever she is trying to do to warp the world into, and lets just say that this concept is pretty important. Whether the series has time to actually address this little nugget of info is a question that I’m very curious about.
Eitherway, by the end of this encounter, Jin not only has himself back at full strength, but he intends to take down his brother Ragna, who he views as the entity that creates in balance in the world? (Maybe Jin’s still a bit crazy there yes? XD)
The other bulk of the episode is spent on Noel and Makoto, and their attempts to get Noel to safety. It hardly pans out though. While Makoto is able to contact Kokone and arrange a meet with Tager, Hazama ends up getting to Tager before anyone else.
Its frustrating that the entire battle happens off screen, but I can’t argue the dramatic effect that the anime staff was going for with Makoto and Noel coming upon the scene of a totally battered and beaten down Tager with Hazama standing ontop of him:
The worst case scenario happens as a result, and Makoto and Noel come face to face with Hazama/Terumi. Makoto definitely intends to protect Noel from Terumi, but how long can she actually stand before she’s cut down?
We’re left hanging as Terumi prepares to attack Makoto.
The episode actually ends with Jin coming face to face with Ragna again, with a battle about to break out. Its a solid way to end the episode, and I’m curious to see if we get a rematch between Ragna and Jin, and if Jin gets put down just as quickly as he was in the premier XD
Speaking of Ragna, he was mostly in the background this episode, as all he was really trying to do was get to either Noel or Terumi. He just kind of fumbles around, mostly because the plot needs him to, but I really just wonder if those scenes were neccecary at all. In any case, his talk with Jubei before he heads in was definitely important, with some serious foreshadowing going on. Rachel it seems, is actually the only one who actually intends to join in the fight, as both Jubei and Valkenhein seem content to remain on the sidelines.
The final element to discuss is obviously the Imperitor appearing before Tsubaki, and Tsubaki officially joining Team Imperitor, siding with Hazama and the rest of her own free will now. The scene was handeled a bit clunkily, but I suppose it works. Again, this is getting dangerously close to the end of Continuum Shift II, so I’m really worried about whether this story will go from here.
All in all, we’re going in hot. If you’re still watching this series then at this point, it is what it is. All that’s really left is to see where this series ends, and if its able to answer some more of the millions of questions its thrown at its audience.
Seems like Ragna finally comes face to face with Terumi next episode. See you in a week! Hopefully these reviews will actually hit on time! XD
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