While last week’s episode was a fairly weak effort all told, I thought this was a nice rebound. What’s interesting about this arc is seeing how a difference in upbringing can result in a difference in perception. Asemu wasn’t raised in the same environment as Flit, and his hatred of the Vagans is not as strong as Flit’s for the UE. Asemu’s parents are alive, his home has never been destroyed, and while his father seemingly tried to instill that hatred in his son he was largely absent from his life. The result is why a plotline such as the one this arc is pursuing is possible, with genuinely mixed feelings between Asemu and Zeheart. Of course, with school finished and Zeheart having shown his true stripes, Asemu is going to be in the military now and clearly, he’ll be on the front lines or we wouldn’t have a series. But I can’t help think Zeheart is right in saying Asemu’s really not cut out for fighting, and I think a collision of world views between Asemu and Flit is going to be a major component of the remainder of this arc.
Shakugan no Shana III – 18
Well, that’s it for Hecate, apparently. See you next creation.
This continues to be a pretty interesting finale to the Shana saga, though I’m pretty sure I’m not rooting for the side I’m supposed to be. Turns out Yoshida went along with Yuji so she could keep an eye on his plans after all, with the intention of pulling the rip cord if he ventured into areas she didn’t like. Yuji is aware of the Giralda and apparently seals its powers, but judging by the preview it’s going to be activated next week by one means or another, so Pheles is going to be heard from at last. Does this mean the end of Yoshida? Thousands of haters hope so but I’m not among them – I always rather liked her, and she’s one of the few people with the sense to act why exactly Yuji and Shana are fighting each other at the moment.
I confess a certain morbid curiosity for how all this is going to turn out, as the whole premise has been laid out surprisingly well – if very patiently. I can see plenty of holes in SotF/Yuji’s plan and I’m not convinced his optimism is warranted, but if the other side is made out to be conquering heroes in the end I’ll be pretty nauseated. Part of it is their arrogance – I just don’t like most of the forces on the flame haze side, and the surviving Earth Gods seem like complete dickheads to me. But I also think they share in the blame for all the violence and conflict that’s reigned for thousands of years. It’d be very interesting to see how Lamies comes down on all this, because he seems like the closest thing to a cool-headed neutral in this whole ugly feud. He seems to be aiding Yuji – for the benefit of the power of existence the departed tomogara will leave behind, though I don’t buy that as his reason – but he’s working both sides, as usual. What does he really think of all this? Maybe this does come down to a philosophical battle between SotF/Yuji’s idealism and Shana’s cynical realism, but I don’t think it’s quite that simple. In the end, there’s plenty of blame to go around and both sides are in the wrong, and I hope that’s the POV the series takes instead of painting the flame haze as virtuous heroes.