I was supposed to publish this one yesterday, titled “legend of Legendary Heroes has deep stufff and fucks it up”, based on my first viewing through the episode. But after thinking it over for an hour and watching it again last night, I’ve decided to simply discuss my thoughts.
Establum, one of the kingdoms under the rule of the Roland Empire, has rebelled. That’s supposed to be another test for Sion. In this episode, we see him being questioned harshly by nobles as to how to deal with it. He’s smart enough to realize who’s behind it all and implements appropriate actions in order to avoid slaughtering the innocent.
In the meantime, Noa An (Noa Angel?), the leader for the rebellion, finds out that she’s really just a puppet put up as a symbolic figure. Less than 20 minutes later, it was all over. No important characters really got hurt and Noa An actually lives on for another day.
After my first viewing, I was disappointed with how quickly and neatly everything was handled. The screen time for the height of the rebellion lasted less than 17 minutes to save time for Lute and Phylis, who looked like unnecessary comedic relief characters rather than two out of the three central characters. Everything went down pretty fast and the display of emotional struggles was all too brief.
As usual, Milan is behind the scheme and Sion is smart enough to find out. What bothers me is that it’s way too obvious that Milan will be some kind of final boss because he always takes the initiative to do evil things in order that Sion can play the good king. At some point of time, Milan will hatch a scheme so evil and messy that Sion will have to make a major decision – to let the evil continue or confront Milan about everything. It sounds like good enough drama, but that’s where the problem lies. It’s only good enough but not great.
There are classic tales out there about the hero’s slow descent into the darkside because it seems like taking that path will help him to achieve his goal in his life time. Sion was presented with such dilemma. He realized that with his slow and steady method, what he wants will not be achieved during his life time and once he’s gone, everything will go back to its corrupted way. Disregarding whether he has too high of an opinion of himself and too low of an opinion toward humanity in general (personal note: I agree with him on the low opinion on people), we see that there’s potential for heroic struggles within. However, here, everything is conveniently laid out for him. Milan does something here, so he sends his brave and hot-blooded general, Clau, for damage control. The situation doesn’t present hard choices for him. He allows Milan to hatch the scheme but he’s not in the hot seat for long.
Now for the details. It’s just so convenient that Clau always easily dispatches the enemy commanders without much killing. It’s just so convenient that the episode is short and there’s no need to show the possible intense regret and struggle that Noa An goes through when her minions take their own citizens as hostages. It’s so convenient we don’t see these people groan and curse the princess and in term we don’t see her emotional pain and struggle as a kind and compassion character as well as her groaning in emotional pain about having to do what’s evil despite her wish to do good. Finally, it’s just so convenient that Clau saves the princess just when Milan is about to kill her.
Silly me, of course. Noa An is in the OP eye-catcher and the pretty ones in there almost never die. She’s cute with big tits and a wasp waist, not to mention she happens to share the same ideology as Sion. Nope, she ain’t gonna die and she will come back and fall in love with Clau Chrome. Yep.
Although the classic hero’s tale of slowly falling into the darkside is predictable, it makes for great drama nonetheless. But in this case, there’s always a way provided for Sion to escape from sinking into the darkside. Milan is conveniently a risk taker who always act on his own accord. Of course it’ll be so easy to blame him for everything. The roles that Milan and Sion play do work, as Milan presented: Sion is the light, Milan is the darkness. But such a partnership/union never works out so neatly at the end. Messiness will always ensue.
There are some other questionable plot weaknesses but I won’t discuss them here. I’m sure everyone has seen them before I had. My personal opinion is that the anime handled this plot poorly by giving an easy way out for everyone involved and hinting too strongly that Milan will rebel someday and become the final boss, thus sparing the blame on Sion, who actually hired him and allowed him to do whatever he wanted in the first place.
I’m not final on whether this setup is good or bad; I AM concerned that this setup may present a weaker dramatic tale and thus, wasting its potential.
A hesistant 7.2 / 10 for this episode.