A Shepherd's will, and a Seraphim's decision fleshes out this episode with growth.
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 continues from where we last left the main story with Sorey, Mikleo and Lailah standing in front of the tornado, realizing that there’s a dragon within the winds causing all of this. We then see Alisha wondering where her guards are as the winds begin demolishing some of the buildings in the city. Noticing that the dragon was headed to the castle, the trio proceed to chase it down. At the castle, Alisha orders the guards to provide shelter to anyone who requires it. She & Maltran then notice that Sorey had arrived in front of the castle gates, face to face with the tornado. Lailah & Mikleo warn Sorey that he can’t take down the dragon right now, but Sorey notices that there’s something wrong with the dragon inside. He continues to eye the dragon, but the dragon decides to fly away, taking its disastrous weather conditions with it (huh, talk about an anti-climax). Sorey asks Lailah if the dragon is a product of Malevolence, which she confirms and expresses concern over.
As the weather subsides, Alisha meets with Sorey and expresses gratitude over his assistance removing the tornado. Sorey was taken aback by the compliment he didn’t deserve, but Mikleo averts their attention to the crowd who also witnessed all of this—including the pigtailed girl from before. As he is showered in praise and thanks, Sorey informs them that he didn’t do anything to disperse the tornado, but realizes that he can’t convince them otherwise. They are later joined by Bartlow who also expresses his gratitude. He walks towards Sorey and invites him on a date to a meal so he can learn more about him. Alisha calls Bartlow out on this invitation, but he responds by saying that he’s merely offering hospitality to the Shepherd to ease the struggles he experienced the past couple of days. Sorey accepts this invitation and Bartlow announces to the crowd that he coerced the Shepherd to stay longer. Sorey decides to invite Alisha along as well to the feast. The group were headed to Bartlow’s by carriage, but Sorey requests that they stop after noticing a couple of city folk recovering from the recent destruction. The people were cleaning the debris and discovering what they’ve lost, as Sorey notices that their despair is influencing the Malevolence. Lailah assures Sorey that Ladylake isn’t completely consumed by the Malevolence, but it won’t be long as the darkness grows. Mikleo was seen in the background, deep in thought about all of this.
They are greeted by Bartlow’s attendant as they arrive at his residence. However, his attendant informs Alisha that she’s must return to the castle to speak with the King on urgent matters. Alisha reluctantly departs as Sorey enters the house. He is greeted to a well prepared table with Bartlow sitting across from him. Bartlow asks Sorey what his connection with Alisha is, and Sorey responds that he trusts Alisha as a friend despite the small amount of time they’ve known each other. Bartlow then wondered if he and Sorey can be friends too, and offers a toast. Before he drank, Mikleo stops Sorey and tastes it to check if it’s safe, then lets him take a swig. Bartlow then asks Sorey if he can reside in the city to aid them longer, but Sorey says that he needs to go after the dragon. Even though he doesn’t know what to do when he encounters it, he knows that dragons represent ill-omen, and that it could be the first step to restoring the world. Bartlow is not amused.
In the evening, Sorey joins Alisha in helping out the city folk from earlier. Afterward, Alisha informs Sorey that she is going to Marlind under direct orders of the King. It mattered not if the order was given by Bartlow or the King, she wants to help the people of Marlind who are suffering. Back at Bartlow’s, his attendant wondered if it was a wise idea to have let the Shepherd leave Ladylake. Bartlow doesn’t mind at as he is still dead set on preparing for war. Later that night, Sorey was sound asleep as Mikleo wanted to discuss something with Lailah in private. Mikleo goes on about Sorey’s resolve in accepting the Shepherd’s role. However, Mikleo doesn’t know exactly where his own destiny lies now since he only joined Sorey to help him find Alisha. He doesn’t want to return to Elysium, because he understands the huge responsibility Sorey has now that he’s the Shepherd. Lailah recognizes that Mikleo wants to stay with Sorey, but she knows that he doesn’t want to be a burden either. She gives him a suggestion which prompts him to leave Ladylake that night on his own. The next morning, Sorey at first worries over Mikleo and wonders where he could be, but later accepts that Mikleo wouldn’t have left on his own without a good reason, and decides to leave him be. We then see Mikleo travelling on his own as we learn of Lailah’s suggestion. She advised him to a lake further down north in order to find the Gallahad ruins. Inside, he can locate a divine artifact that behaves similarly to Lailah’s Sword for Sorey. She suggests that it could be the power he needs to fully support Sorey.
Just outside Ladylake, Sorey meets up with Alisha to see her off before she goes to Marlind. He also returns her knife that she forgot back at Elysium. After expressing her thanks, she asked Sorey if he can accompany her for the trip, to which he agreed to do. As they travelled to Marlind on horseback, we cut to a scene before the trip where Alisha advised Sorey that the mountainous region known as Rayfalke’s Spiritcrest could be his next step to finding the dragon. As they traversed through a foggy forest, they noticed these odd, green, snake like blobs flying around them. Alisha identified these beings as trangelongs*; they’re gentle creatures that inhabit the forest. We then watch Mikleo walking through a leafy plain with with trees that lost their green. He hears a rustling noise, and realized that he was being pursued by a Hellion burrowing underneath the leaves. He starts running and swings his spear behind him, only to catch nothing but air. Three more of these Hellions start hunting him down and Mikleo escapes into the nearby woods for safety. Unfortunately, this leads him to a dead end and he loses balance, causing him to fall off the cliff. Luckily, the Hellions didn’t give chase, and he sighs in relief.
It’s nightfall as the Princess’ group set up camp in the woods. Alisha treats Sorey & Lailah to some tea she brewed with nearby fruits. Lailah thanks Alisha directly as they both held onto Sorey’s hands. Their communication was cut short when one of the trangelongs* from before attacked one of the soldiers. Sorey, noticing that it’s a Hellion, jumps and stabs it on its head which caused it to flee. The next day, they return on their trip as they head closer to Marlind. Alisha informs Sorey that Marlind has the second largest population and highest literacy rate in the country. Unfortunately, she’s unsure if the doctors they’re escorting will be enough to cure the plague at Marlind. She asks Sorey about his life. He explains that he was rescued from a fire when he was a baby by Gramps, and was then adopted under Elysium. He also never realized how strong Gramps’ blessing was from the Malevolence in Elysium until he left. According to Gramps, he also acquired the ability to see and hear Seraphim just by living amongst them. As Alisha wanted to learn more about the Seraphim, Sorey explains their connection to the world. The Seraphim embody the powers of Earth, Wind, Water & Fire, and these powers were used to sustain the world. He mentions that while they boast this strength, each Seraphim also has their own individual weaknesses. Alisha was wondering why the Seraphim suddenly left the humans, and if their departure was the cause of the current era of chaos. Sorey explains that according to Gramps, due to the reverence lost on the people toward Seraphim, human doubt and fear manifested into anger and hatred, thus causing them to fight each other. Their negative emotions from all of this was enough to engulf the world in darkness. Sorey himself isn’t sure if that’s exactly the issue, but he knows that the current state of Malevolence in the world will only worsen the disasters and make them more frequent.
Alisha recalls the time when Sorey mentioned his dream to her at Elysium. She realized it makes sense that Sorey became the Shepherd because of his upbringing as a lone human who lives with Seraphim, and his dream to bring humans and Seraphim back in harmony. Sorey, reflecting on Alisha’s words, never considered himself lonely at all while at Elysium. Everyone from Elysium was always there for him, including Mikleo. We then cut to a multitude of scenes between Mikleo and Sorey with Lailah. Alisha drops off Sorey & Lailah at a junction, and they split paths from here. Meanwhile, Mikleo is walking through a damp part of the woods drenched in shallow water. Knowing that he’s on the right track, he then reflects on a several moments with Sorey in the past, stating that he won’t be beaten this time. On the other side, Sorey & Lailah can see Rayfalke’s Spiritcrest in the distance, and head forward. Mikleo, advancing further through the woods, eventually makes it to some broken ruins, exclaiming that he beat Sorey. Likewise, Sorey says the same for Mikleo as he stands in front of the Spiritcrest’s entrance. Night falls, and we see both Sorey & Mikleo staring at the moon from their respective locations. Lailah comments that he and Mikleo are probably marvelling at the same bright moon tonight, which Sorey agrees to. We then cut to a flashback when Sorey & Mikleo were kids as they examined and enjoyed the ruins right in front of them. After the credits, Mikleo wakes up in the morning and discovers the ruins right in front of him, and the episode officially ends.
Alright, there are a couple of things to cover here. I did enjoy that the second half of the episode focused on Mikleo. Usually, childhood friends just join along cause of their current relationship, so to see Mikleo question that notion was welcoming. Also, the fact that he went on his own and that Sorey decided not chase him is a good dictation of their trust. We then get some more backstory at the end of the episode with Sorey & Mikleo, as it led to a flashback when they were kids which capped the episode well. The soothing music that played during this complimented these moments too. I’m personally glad that they’ve decided to provide Mikleo more outside of the usual “best friend” character. At the start of the episode, we also get a clear cut idea as to what Sorey needs in order to fulfill his role as the Shepherd. He witnessed a strong source of Malevolence through his initial encounter with the dragon. And with help from Alisha, he decides to tackle the Rayfalke’s Spiritcrest in order to find quell this malevolence. While it was a tease that we didn’t see much during their encounter at Ladylake (ESPECIALLY after the two episode detour.), it left me wanting more as Sorey is determined to expel the Malevolence that surrounds this dragon.
The action was minimal, but the point of this episode was to build character so I’m not too gypped by it. Hopefully the next episode can fill that void. There were a couple of times when the animation felt a little hokey though. I wasn’t kidding with that first picture in the summary. It felt like they used that angle for Sorey a couple of times in the first couple of minutes, and a slightly modified version of that shot at the end too. There was also the scene as Sorey & Alisha were discussing Seraphim. It was odd in execution as we only watched Sorey & Alisha hobble up and down from different angles during this exposition. They could’ve balanced it by having shots of the scenery instead.
Regarding the Dub/Translation: Apparently, Trangelongs were enemies in the game, but I wasn’t able to fully pinpoint if it’s similar to a translation used in the game. Based on the subs by Funimation, it appears to be the same term they used in the dub. Otherwise, not much to point out besides the voice actor for Bartlow’s Attendant whose pronunciation felt a little off, but he’s a minor character so I don’t care too much for it.
- Mikleo’s contemplation and eventual decision to grow stronger.
- The scenes establishing Mikleo & Sorey’s relationship.
- Sorey’s next step to expelling the Malevolence is clear.
- The beautiful song that played near the end of the episode.
- Some of the animation in this episode felt lazy or awkward.
A solid episode that gets a 3/5 from me. Stay tuned and see if I can keep up a weekly release schedule the next episode in the series in Episode 08 – Rayfalke’s Spiritcrest, next week.
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