Since the anime ends this month, I’m going to do my best to finish these reviews by the end of March. (Unfortunately, by the time I finished this review, I read an article saying that this anime's finale will be aired on April 29)
Contains spoilers for the game.
Episode 19 continues off where the previous episode left off. Alisha calls out to Sorey through telepathy. She watches the tornado near Ladylake. Their conversation is cut off through unknown reasons. She just watches the current state of Ladylake in shock afterwards.
Oh boy, I have so many things I want to talk about for this review. Are they good things? Yes. Will there be some bad things. Definitely. I’ll try my best to not go on ranting. Nobody wants to read a rant, right?
Like in the previous review, I want to talk about the missed opportunities the game had regarding Hyland. The royal family in Hyland is never introduced except for Alisha. In episode 19, her father appears for the first time. This begs the question: WHY WASN’T HE IN THE GAME? Some of Hyland’s conflicts could’ve been fleshed out and solved if there were more knights and royalty revealed in the game.
Alisha in the game was always looked down upon due to her half royal blood (her mother was a commoner). When Sorey pulls out the Sacred Blade at the festival, Alisha chooses to watch over Sorey despite government protest. If Bartlow and his cronies didn’t want Alisha to be in charge, then they should’ve gotten one of Alisha’s siblings to watch over him or a knight with a higher position than her (come to think of it, the game never explains about Alisha’s knight ranking as well). Where are her siblings? Is she an only child? If so, then what’s the whole point of the half royal blood beef if she’s the only heir to the throne? I feel like Alisha would have a wider focus if the royal family conflict were to be brought into the game. Alas, the game missed out great opportunities to amp up their story.
The way the government functioned in the game made me wonder if the monarchy is only the face while the politicians control the reigns from behind. I forgot the word that corresponds with this type of government. Puppet-monarchy? I’m not clearly sure myself.
I’ll stop the talk about government before I get too political (I’m not really into politics myself).
Anyways, the main focus for these two episodes is Alisha. I think Alisha is both the good and the bad in this episode. Before I go on, I admit that I’m neutral over Alisha. I neither like nor hate her.
The good thing about the Alisha focus is that she has a lot of action and does something now that she obtains the power to see malevolence. In Episode 19, she first goes to a village called Sitole, located near the kingdom, that had been bested by the tornado (apparently, the tornado shown earlier is the third one) and evacuates the civilians as she attempts to fight off a hellion before getting saved by Zaveid (I’m so thrilled to listen to “Zaveid the Exile” again!). This is a good scene because it shows that Alisha is a princess who cares a lot about people and their lives.
Also, her interaction with Zaveid is also nice because it shows that she can finally speak with seraphim; their conversation shows that both of them do not hold any animosity despite her being Sorey’s squire and him being slightly opposed to Sorey. Sorey’s dream is also one step closer to coming true because of that conversation.
Basically, the ‘good’ aspect of having two Alisha-focused episodes is that the viewers can see more of Alisha as a character. Basically, it’s an answer to the viewers’ curiosity of ‘What is Alisha doing now that she is a squire?’
(Also, there’s more Ian and Sirel. I love them both, so them reappearing again is fine for me.)
The reason why I said Alisha also the bad for these two episodes is because of how the episodes focus a lot on her. I don’t hate it, but was it really necessary to return to Ladylake? I know the tornado is dangerous, but Sorey already quelled a dragon back in season 1. I feel like the writers were just reusing a scenario over again. Also, because it’s so Alisha-focused that everything feels a bit rushed.
Well, something good comes from it in the end as Sorey manages to do the impossible and purify the dragon. That means Eizen can be purified! Hooray for Edna and Zaveid! …or not. I mean, an anime-only viewer might like it, but I, as someone who played the game, am slightly disappointed. Dragons aren’t meant for purification because they’re too corrupted. Unable to purify them is also a lesson for Sorey in which he cannot purify everything and that death is salvation at times (I feel like a broken record). It’s still good for the anime, regardless. For the anime, Sorey being able to purify the dragon shows how much he has grown as a Shepherd, but it feels abrupt since he only purified a dying dragon and not an actual dragon. Also, Sorey is still inexperienced, so him being able to purify a big amalgamation of Malevolence when past Shepherds couldn’t is like a big slap in the face to his predecessors. The whole scene was pretty cool though.
Now, I want to talk about the characters that appeared in these two episodes. First, I want to talk about Ian. Oh my goodness, Ian. Someone, call Bamco and tell them to make her a party member. I want her as a party member. Her archery skills are top-notch.
Moving on, there is Bartlow. He is a corrupt politician and a liar. He tells the king that he tried to escort Alisha back home, but we know those are all lies. I guess the biggest antagonist for these two episodes is Bartlow, but I’m surprised that he has yet to turn into a hellion when he’s so corrupt. Perhaps he’s like Rose in the sense that he believes what he’s doing is right, thus negating his own negative thoughts from him heart. Though, his suicide most likely contributed to a lot Malevolence seeping into the ground. Thanks a lot Bartlow. Anyways, I don’t like Bartlow at all. I hated him in the game and I hate him here. In the game, he died towards the end of the game in the Mabonogio Ruins. I forgot what he was trying to do, but I think it was something that had to do with either war or trying to find Camlann. I’m not sure, but I don’t care about him.
With the king, Alisha’s father, I do like how he was introduce, albeit abrupt. Through him, Alisha’s past is revealed slightly more. He fell in love with Alisha’s mother and took her in as one of his wives, but it caused problems. He feels sorry for Alisha and wants to see her one last time before he dies. Although we don’t know much about him, he cares a lot about her. I liked Emperor Doran in the previous episode and I like the king. Why are the rulers such nice people, but the people either under them or working for them such awful people?
Also, there is a detail the king says about Alisha looking like her mother. I think that’s a nice little tidbit (I bet Alisha’s love for ponytails is from her father). It makes me wonder what the king looked like in his younger years or what Alisha’s half-siblings look like. It’s unfortunate that the anime immediately offed him after the second episode he was introduced, but I think it’s too show that the kingdom of Hyland is corrupt due to Alisha being able to see Malevolence seeping out of him (or maybe he’s a hellion in her eyes?).
Regarding Maltran, are they not making her a hellion in this anime? In the game, she was a hellion and she wasn’t as good as she seemed. She never liked Alisha in the game, and only got close to her for her own schemes. Alisha was the most distraught of this revelation. Like I’ve said before, Alisha is very lonely in the game, so she has no one to call friend. Maltran was the only person she could be comfortable with other than Sorey and Rose. Honestly, because I played the game, I was waiting for Maltran to play the hellion/evil card on Alisha, but she doesn’t seem to be antagonistic in this adaptation. She has a lot of trust in Alisha in the anime. Honestly, I’m not really sure how I feel about this. Maltran being evil was a bit unexpected, but I think the anime made her a bit better. Alisha doesn’t need to be betrayed by her mother figure. I did feel bad about her being crucified at the fountain square. Baltrow is a scumbag.
Lunarre…I don’t know what Lunarre’s role in this anime is. He’s very enigmatic. In both the game and anime, he was once a member of the Scattered Bones, but he seemed to have quit or been kicked out. (He’s also the source of my ire for the camera angle in the game; the camera angle just loved zooming onto his crotch during the first boss fight with him) In the anime, he just seems to be stalking Alisha (since he said that he witnessed her actions throughout season 1). In episode 20, he said that he’s going to shake things up regarding the Hyland soldiers guarding Maltran. I think his role is to wreak minor havoc. He’s a hellion, but his role hasn’t really been concrete, so I do wonder why he’s still there.
Sorey, Rose and the seraphim’s role in these two episodes is the same: help Alisha and purify Malevolence. I do like how Sorey says that dragons could never be purified because no one has ever tried it before. I like that confidence. Also, having two squires show that Sorey’s power has gotten stronger.
The one thing that’s consistent is how Alisha stays true to herself in the anime. She won’t kill, and she doesn’t. Her strong will manages to help Sorey quell a dragon and for her to take back Hyland for good.
Honestly, I have a favorite scene in both episodes. The first is episode 19 where Alisha fights the hellion for the first time. It shows Alisha’s personality and that she is finally able to fight hellions for the first time since becoming a squire; although, she can’t purify them because she doesn’t have the armatus. Seeing her use her lance again is marvelous.
For episode 20, I love the whole dragon purification with Rising Up playing in the background. Beautiful.
Overall, I enjoyed these two episodes despite my sort of gripe of going back to Ladylake. Regardless, the importance of dragons are shown again, which I like. Though, it makes me wonder what they’re going to do for the last few episodes. The shrines are shafted and most of the sidequests are shafted too. I just hope that the ending isn’t rushed.
Also, the previews for these two episodes are hilarious! I love episode 19’s preview skit where Alisha tells Zaveid his journey was harsh because he lost his clothes. Gold. Episode 20’s preview seemed like Alisha and Rose were going to duke it out in a brawl if Sorey hadn’t stopped them.