A Princess' struggle, and a familiar intruder results to a very good episode overall.
Unlike the Daisuki Sub reviews by a745, the Funimation Dub reviews will have a more episodic approach to the series and will not make as much spoiler references to the source material.
The episode begins immediately from where we left off with the Princess asking Sorey if he is the Shepherd, to which he responds rather anticlimactically, no. She then asks some more questions about the ruins to which Sorey was able to answer with his findings and theories from the previous episode. It was at that moment that the Princess is slowly starting to lose hope in the Legend of the Shepherd and the world, exclaiming that it’s falling into darkness. As the trio leave the ruins, Mikleo is already warning Sorey about bringing a human who didn’t have the decency to introduce herself to him. Sorey reassures Mikleo that she seemed like a good person and that he doesn’t ignore anybody who needs help. As the Princess expresses her gratitude to Sorey, we get a glimpse of her point of view and learn that Mikleo is completely invisible to her, which Mikleo is also aware of based on what Gramps told him.
Outside, the Princess compliments the view from within the Capital of Seraphim, which led to Sorey describing the Seraphim as told in the Celestial Record. This is when the two share that they’ve both read the book while learning the name of village that Sorey & Mikleo reside in: Elysium. Upon arrival, Mikleo begins to head off to Gramps’ place to report. As he's leaving, a couple more Seraphim like him proceed to crowd around the entrance. Just as Sorey was going to introduce the Princess to them, she suddenly bursts into pleas for the Seraphim’s help in saving the world from chaos and destruction. This left everyone, including Mikleo, in awkward silence. One of them breaks the silence by advising Sorey that she shouldn’t be here, and crowd leaves Sorey & the Princess behind.
We then cut to Sorey, Mikleo & Gramps as Gramps scolds Sorey for bringing the Princess to Elysium. Even if Sorey wanted to help her, Gramps explains that humans only bring trouble to Seraphim and disaster to the land. Though Sorey is human too, he is one of the few humans who acquired the ability to see and speak with Seraphim since he lived in the village for a long time. Sorey retorts with the Celestial Record he received from Gramps, stating that there was a time when Seraphim & humans lived happily together and that she also believes in Seraphim herself, requesting their assistance. The episode then shifts to the Princess and Sorey eating dinner. She first apologizes to Sorey for attempting to speak with entities that didn’t exist, which led to Sorey asking her where she lives. After telling him that she’s from the capital of Hyland, Ladylake, Sorey goes on a book club tangent realizing that it’s connected to the Legend of the Sacred Blade. The Princess then expresses a bit of disbelief in the legend since nobody was able to pull the blade free.
As the Princess is fast asleep, Sorey steps outside to discover Mikleo waiting for him. He delivers a message to Sorey from Gramps saying that the Princess is allowed to stay in the village until she’s ready to leave. Sorey expresses thanks to both Mikleo & Gramps and goes back inside of his house. We then find Mikleo staring out in the distance reflecting on Gramps’ worries with Sorey’s good nature and kind heart, which could lead him to trouble. The dawn of the next day shows Sorey & the Princess hunting down young boars with Gramps monitoring them from afar. After learning about Sorey’s background, she sensed that someone was watching her. Sorey responds by speculating that something might want to learn more about her. She humbly appreciated the gesture, thinking that Sorey is only humouring her with the existence of Seraphim.
That night, the Princess started to have nightmares of the events that transpired during the Prologue. She awakes abruptly in fear, which caught Sorey’s attention. After calming down, she notices Sorey’s copy of the Celestial Record, which he states he read a lot since he was a child. She then reveals her dream to explore several ruins around the world thanks to the Celestial Record, as with many others who are fans of the book. However, you have a higher chance of dying due to the current state of the world. She informs Sorey of the extreme calamities happening throughout Hyland, including the disaster that occurred in Griel. Sorey realizes that she is here because of the Legend of the Shepherd, which she confirms is the only hope she had left to restore the world, but is now at a loss with that too. Accepting this, she walks outside in the cold night, and starts to cry as some Seraphim & Gramps observe from afar.
Early in the morning, Mikleo wakes up to a determined Sorey banging on the door, and asks Mikleo to return something back to him. He then finds the Princess sleeping outside and is happy to realize that the blanket she’s using was provided by Gramps himself. Later on, he brings the Princess to the mural depicting the Legend of the Shepherd he saw the other day at the ruins, which caught her in awe. He then uses this opportunity to convince her that the Legend is real by showing her the glove he found with the mark of the Shepherd. This was enough to raise her spirits now that she knows someone who genuinely believes in the Celestial Record. Because she shared her dream with him, Sorey shares his dream of a world where Seraphim & humans can live happily together once again. He offers her the glove as a token to never lose hope in the Shepherd’s arrival as Legend foretold.
Mikleo, Gramps, the Seraphim & Sorey see the Princess off, but not without her (finally) introducing herself as Alisha Diphda. Alisha expressed gratitude over the fact that Sorey helped her without receiving a proper introduction, which she apologized for. She revealed that she knows there are Seraphim in Elysium, and can sense that they’ve been in the village this whole time even though she can’t see them. She then invites Sorey to participate in the Sacred Blade Festival at Ladylake, returns the glove to Sorey because she feels that he’s the Shepherd, and departs.Suddenly, Gramps noticed that somebody had entered his domain. To warn everyone of this, HE INSTANTLY JUMPS HIGH ONTOP OF THE VILLAGE GATE and ordered them to search for the intruder. Turns out it’s the Foxsassin from the Prologue, and a small explosion drew the attention of Sorey & Mikleo towards the bizarre creature. They discover him choking out of one of the Seraphim. Noticing the duo, he exclaimed that he was searching for the main course, only to find two annoyances instead. Sorey identifies the Foxsassin as a Hellion and they prepare for battle. In a fun little combat sequence, the battle was cut short with Gramps appearing out of nowhere and demanded the creature to leave. He obliged by saying that he doesn’t want to let his main course get away and departs. Sorey then apologized for causing the Hellion to come to the village as result of bringing Alisha, but Gramps assured him that it was neither his fault nor Alisha’s, it is due to the status of the world outside of the village.
Later in the night, Sorey starts to reflect on the events of today, realizing that the reason why the Foxsassin was at the village is because he was targeting Alisha. Knowing this, he decides to leave Elysium right away, but not without Mikleo catching him right in front of the gate. He shares with Sorey the exact same conclusion that Sorey had and reveals to him a knife that belongs to Alisha. He found this knife in the ruins under Gramps’ orders and discovered that the knife has a symbol of the royal family embedded into it. Knowing that this could help him, he gives it to Sorey and also decides to tag along with him as well, much to Sorey’s excitement. As they’re leaving, Mikleo relayed one more message to Sorey from Gramps: “Walk the path you believe in, and live your life to the fullest. Do these things, and I know you'll not go astray.” The episode then closes off with the two of them witnessing a gorgeous view of the world outside of Elysium.
Overall, a very good episode that further solidified the main characters. Sorey’s determination to cheer up Alisha shows how much of a kind person is, and we’ll see how that kindness can prove to be a challenge further down the road. Mikleo, the cautious, yet reliable friend is a good partner for Sorey to have in this journey to keep him grounded. The biggest highlight for me in this episode is Alisha. You see her struggle, collapse, and growth from the start of the show up to this point, which is what we want to see in a character in order to care. As an authority figure, she cares so much about the world she lives in that she would go so far as to hold onto a legend that many would consider a fable in order to save it. You’ve felt her hope slowly diminishing after all of her hardships, only to see them renewed with the help of Sorey. It was all refreshing, and it made me care about the character, which was something I did not have in the source material. As an aside, the show also did a good job avoiding her name (and making these reviews referring to her kind of arduous) until this point; the set up made sense in the grand scheme of things.
The combat scene was a lot of fun with its direction. Thanks to the Foxsassin and his agility, the battle was able to benefit in spacing and the use of the environment. You can also feel the weight of each physical move when thrown, which all contributed to a thrilling scene. The only problem with it is that it was a too short and left me wanting more. Some of the songs from the OST in this episode fit their cues nicely as well. Such moments include the piano piece that plays when Alisha departs and a piece that plays during Mikleo & Sorey’s conversation before they leave—which I think I haven’t heard of in the game’s soundtrack before either.
Regarding the Dub/Translation: The only glaring inconsistency to note of is the use of Elysium instead of Elysia. Again, it’s good that Funimation did adjust most of the terms they had previously to fit with the game’s localization I just have no idea why they’ve decided to keep Elysium though. Maybe they received special instruction from Bandai Namco? Or they’re doing their own thing? Either or, I can see this being a bit of a distraction for some even though I myself don’t find it too distracting compared to the other inconsistencies that were in the original Funimation sub—Record of Seraphic Remains, anyone?
- Alisha’s character development was strong.
- Sorey’s kind-hearted personality shining through.
- The combat direction was engaging and entertaining.
- Some song cues fit really well.
- Just a nitpick, but the combat was too short and left me wanting more.
A good episode that gets a 4/5 rating. Check out a745’s review of the same episode here (be wary of spoilers) while we wait for the dubbed release of Episode 03: Mikleo’s Funny Face The Sacred Blade Festival