I think there’s a decent chance we’ll see another season for Shingeki no Bahamut at some point. Not only is it in-line to sell quite well according to Stalker, but that would make it effectively the first MAPPA show to earn back its production costs. Still, the first season is what it is, and that’s twelve episodes, and there a lot of ground to cover in the final month. And this episode certainly did its share of the heavy lifting.
While there’s an awful lot going on in the plot at the moment, thanks to the experienced hands on the tiller it’s all pretty logical and easy enough to follow – even if this ep did need to rely on a dragon for exposition. Pulling a thorn out of the dragon’s foot (or lion’s paw, or whatever fearsome beast you like) in exchange for information or support is hardly a novel concept, but as with much of Bahamut it’s really much more a Western than anime or even Japanese concept.
This is all set up when Lavalley sends Kaisar off in possession of his own squad in order to track down Favaro and Amira before the other Orleans Knights can, because of course he wants them to go to Prudisia and find her mother rather than be forcefully returned to the Capital. When Kaisar catches them up he tries to put on a good show, breaking Favaro’s sword in the process (foreshadowing moment) but things are looking grim for the ruse until Amira goes into demon mode and zaps the three of them (together forever! But what of Rita?) off to another dimension.
Given its preponderance of age over trendy youth in staff and cast, it’s no surprise Bahamut turns to 81 year-old Iizuka Shozo to voice the aforementioned dragon, and Iizuka-san proves he can play older (the character is apparently ageless). I’ve been speculating for a long time that it was actually Favaro that was the knight fated to destroy Bahamut, even since before he was actually a knight – it just felt right – and I’m convinced now more than ever that it’s going to happen. The pieces have started to fall into place, starting with Favaro receiving a Knighthood for helping fight off the demon invasion. Then, there’s this week’s “sword in the stone” moment when he’s the only one that can pull the barb from the ancient dragon’s foot – which prompts the old geezer to note that it was “fate that brought you here”. That’s more than enough for me, but there’s another important piece of evidence from the B-plot that I’ll get to in a minute.
As far as what the dragon has to say, it’s mostly stuff one could have pieced together from the facts at hand. We know that if Amira comes in contact with the key, Bahamut will revive and the world will be destroyed (which seems to happen every so often). In fact, the dragon tells the heroes that the only way the world can be saved is if Amira stays in his alternate dimension, but at this point she reverts to a five year-old girl who wants her Mommy – and that’s enough to prod Favaro into his hero moment. If this isn’t the fated knight I don’t know who possibly could be, and he pledges to change fate and bring Amira to Prudisia anyway. And it turns out that the barb is a piece of Bahamut, which may in fact have the power to change fate – but the last thing the dragon tells Favaro (and only Favaro) is that he must kill Amira if he wants to save the world.
Meanwhile, there’s important stuff happening back in the castle. Martinet’s plan to convince the King that Jeanne is out to murder him as worked a treat, and he imprisons her and orders her to be executed. When Martinet visits her to work his seductive arts, he pretty much seals the deal on her being the fated knight (she isn’t) but for the moment she declines his offer to drink of his magical potion and learn the truth. Rita, meanwhile (left behind all on her own), has found out where Jeanne is being held and seems about to free her when Martinet makes his presence known. This is about the first time we’ve seen Rita look a little frightened and she’s certainly not used to being taken so off-guard, so it’ll be interesting to see how her characters responds to what’s basically an entirely new situation.