I’m surprised that the second episode of this aired so quickly; I actually thought the raws were trolls for the series. I’m kind of happy to see it’s legitimate, and even happier still because next week is episode three, not a rehash of episode two. Anyway, we continue to see more and more of the cast that will round out Luke’s party. You can definitely feel the RPG-like vibe from the series, but that’s not at all a bad thing. I’m going to stick with this series this season, so hopefully it continues to deliver quality material.
Malkuth’s dreadnought “Tartarus” blocks Luke and Tear’s path, causing their wagon to divert. A series of bombs blows the bridge to hell and gone, but the Tartarus’ magical shield capabilities keeps it undamaged. Later, Tear and Luke agree to be let off in a nearby town. It doesn’t make much of a difference; the two are deep in Malkuth territory, and it’s a long walk home.
A farmer’s market is happening in the town proper, and the village specialty is some sweet apples (Horo would love this.) Luke takes a bite and walks away, not realizing that he needed to pay for it; nobility sure has it rough. Luke is dragged away as Tear looks on.
As Luke wonders what is going on, the two are taken to a house outside of the farmer’s market area. Inside is Jade Curtiss, officer of the Malkuth Empire. Jade calms everybody down and hears the situation out, and eventually everything gets resolved. Also present is Ion, a member of the Order of Lorelei, and a high ranking one at that. Still, Tear pays the merchant for his troubles, and the leaves with Luke to find some lodging. On their way, they run into Anise (sans humongous doll) who is chasing after her master, Ion.
The next day, the two enter the forest on an errand from the town. Apparently, the Raiga are having issues with another forest dwelling species, so they go to talk to the Cheagles. Inside they find Ion under attack, but he blows the animals away with a single casting. The three join together, and after noticing Cheagles running rampant, go to find their enclave.
The party finds the Cheagle community in the hole of a tree stump. Although nobody understands what they’re saying, Ion notices the Sorcerer’s Ring, and lo and behold, one of the Cheagles can speak! They explain what’s going on in the forest, and assign one of the ‘kids’, Mieu, to join the adventuring party. Mieu has an extremely annoying way of talking, and when Luke confronts the creature, Mieu ends up throwing flame in his face. Not a good start to the relationship.
The bigger party moves out to find their objective, and eventually find a Raiga guarding some eggs. Mieu tries to talk to the humongous Raiga, but gets thrown back to Luke and Tear. Apparently, the Raiga are in no mood for diplomacy. A huge fight breaks out, tossing Luke away and putting Tear on the defensive.
Just as Tear’s shield is about to go, the sound of Jade chanting can be heard. Darkness consumes the area, and a huge amount of lightning rips through the area, stunning the creature. Malkuth reinforcements had arrived…though they were really just looking for Ion. Together, they all head back to the town, but Anise splits off to do a quick errand.
Much to their dismay, Anise returns with Malkuth soldiers in tow. Jade is unhappy that both Luke and Tear are Seventh Fonim users, and orders their capture.
So far so good. We’re still in the introductory phases, so I don’t expect the story to ramp up until next episode at earliest. Like I said previously, this episode really reminds you of this series’ RPG roots. It’s like being in a quest: get info about enemy, go defeat enemy, return home. Except this one, the party hasn’t returned home yet. For now, though, it’s a decent enough idea, since we’re still trying to get a handle on who people are. I really do think that from here on out, it’s going to be a wild ride.
I still think Luke is one of the most annoying characters of the season, but that’s tempered with my knowledge of the game, and that his character has some merit. Also, I absolutely adore Yukana’s work with Tear Grant. HOWEVER: I was scared of hearing it again, and when I did, my ears hurt. Mieu. Oh goodness, why does Mieu have to talk in such an annoying way? Worse yet, it’s so high-pitched! I know it’s supposed to be cute and furry and all that, but I STILL don’t like Mieu. Out of all of the Abyss characters I know, Mieu goes dead last. At least in this episode, Anise and Jade were also introduced, or else I would’ve started screaming. One good deed out of Mieu though: that scene where flame breath bakes Luke’s head is absolutely hilarious.
The animation quality and soundwork have yet to fall off, and with a bit of fortune, we’ll continue to get a very high standard of work for this series. I’m excited and really looking forward to all of this.
Enemy Attack: The Oracle’s Shield, if I’m reading my Kanji correctly…