“The seventh is…”


Rokka 11 Img012At last, the answer is revealed. But first, I want to talk about Nashetania! I think this episode was the first time we properly got to see the way she fights when she fights to kill – we haven’t been treated to much of that before, if at all. All this time, her actual skill and combat experience with her power as the Saint of Blades has been rather unclear in my opinion – even back during the initial stages of her journey with Adlet, the scene of her taking on a horde of Fiends when left alone by herself was skipped over. But one thing is now certain, and it’s that she’s definitely not the greenhorn she told Adlet she was – especially in light of that versatility. At times, it seemed like her power wasn’t so much the manipulation of blades as it was the manipulation of silver sharp things that could grow from anywhere. It looked awesome, though – this episode really was a time to appreciate how beautiful everything she creates is. I don’t even mind that everything’s rendered in CGI! And I’m saying this as someone who isn’t particularly fond of her. If I had to pick between liking or disliking her, I’d go for the latter. In fact, it felt really satisfying watching Adlet give her a clean kick to the face.

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Rokka 11 Img024Now, as for the solution to this extended mystery – it’s clever, I’ll give it that. In a way, it’s basically identical to the hypothesis Adlet put forward a couple of episodes ago, except he now has a proper explanation for what was thought to be impossible and sufficient evidence he needs to back up what would otherwise have been a very vague stab in the dark. I say this because the solution essentially involves a very external factor with little previous relevance – this being Riura, the Saint of the Sun who was forced to engineer a rise in temperature within the forest under duress. When Adlet blew the door to the temple open, her death made it seem like the barrier had activated – when in reality, all that surrounded the forest was normal fog. The seventh then activated the real barrier amidst the ensuing confusion.

Now, this is perfectly plausible – but to be honest, I was hoping for a solution relying primarily on internal factors. In other words, I wanted it to be something clever that the seventh managed to do by themselves in a seemingly impossible scenario, something we’ve all been missing or overlooked somehow – instead of having Adlet racking his brains on ‘is there a Saint in existence capable of carrying out this phenomenon?’ and having her happen to be involved in everything, albeit by duress. Riura would be the ‘eighth’ Adlet once theorized about, I suppose. But she’s not a new and thus relevant antagonist, and so it all feels like a bit of a cop-out – like a deus ex machina does. I know Riura has been mentioned before, and that she had been missing for a month when the story started, but it was a single line that didn’t feel like it was going to amount to anything. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the concept of the Saints so far has been exposition – talking about various Saints and what they could do felt like world-building, not a plot device. It was meant to give Nashetania, Maura and Chamot a bit more development, and put their abilities into context of what other people like them were capable of. Making an unrelated Saint the cornerstone of this mystery was just too big a knock to the setting for me to fully approve.

Rokka 11 Img036But as I said, it is a clever solution, and I was just as happy and relieved as Adlet when he could finally rest in the knowledge that his name had been cleared. It was a bit weird that no-one came across the clearing where they’d previously killed a bunch of Fiends, and saw a huge-ass Fiend that none of them remember killing – but of course, not everyone might have come across it. And those who did could just believe that someone else killed it, especially given how trigger-happy Chamot is – slicing it open to check its insides would probably not be on the agenda. The corpse of Riura actually being inside is the crux to legitimizing Adlet’s hypothesis though, and it’s put Maura into terribly deep water – saying that Adlet planned all this, even down to the corpse of an old woman is too far-fetched even for the strongest man in the world. And the jig was up about Hans being critically injured too, because both Hans and Chamot were fine and looked very happy to see Adlet still alive. Maura was also the first to suspect his story, and has been the one to challenge him on any discrepancies she could find.

And yet, now that it’s all over I don’t believe Maura is the seventh. If she were, she wouldn’t then bring up the question of who the seventh was immediately after Adlet was proven innocent, as if she just remembered that there was still a problem with that – it’d be the last thing she’d say as she’d be shitting bricks. Instead, the seventh is whoever went up to the altar and tried out a number of ‘random’ activation phrases and methods, triggering the real barrier in the process. And I think we all know who that is.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. The Traveler (@IWHBYT)

    Ah! Very interesting feelings you have about what Adlet revealed! I hadn’t really thought about whether people were satisfied with the mystery hinging on such subtle clues and I wonder how many people questioned how they themselves felt about it. I think that most people were just incredibly satisfied with more Fremy and Adlet moments and of course, his name finally being cleared. All that and then the cliffhanger at the very end likely left little room for thought about the makings of the answer to the mystery of the barrier. I wouldn’t put it past the author to have intentionally set it up that way, but of course a reviewer has to look back on events in a way a watcher or reader wouldn’t necessarily do.

    As for Nachetanya, I still think she’s the 7th, a literal extra for one reason or another. I can’t say I think she’s the traitor, but if she is then it still works out in my mind. Concerning her skill I believe she was known as the Princess of Blades back in her kingdom? Given the fights that went on and against Goldof no less she was sure to be a sharpened greenhorn, plus there’s also the matter of her temporary exiling that may have forced her to fight wild animals and even a Fiend or two, especially with Saints being hunted down before Flamie could be fielded herself.

    1. Vantage

      I think one’s thoughts on how the mystery was solved is a key thing to question – especially if you’ve spent the entire season coming up with speculation and revising your thoughts every time new information was revealed. It’d certainly be a different experience for those who marathon it or are already novel readers, but watching an episode per week allows for a considerable amount of viewer interaction. Rokka was almost begging you to come up with your own idea of who the seventh was and how they framed Adlet, before seeing whether your theory survived whatever the next episode had in store.

      By greenhorn, I’m going off what she told Adlet when they first left Piena – about her being skilled, but having had no real live combat experience with fighting to kill (Fiends or otherwise, she won’t have been trying to kill Goldof). She then told Adlet she was therefore ‘anxious’ or something along those lines. I say that in inverted commas because she clearly has great acting skills, and as you say she’s been in exile so her experience is certainly not zero.

      1. The Traveler (@IWHBYT)

        Thank goodness you already know Fate/Kaleid’s story or you might have been racking your brain over that as well this season, although, perhaps it would’ve been out of the sheer awesomeness of the mystery rather than the complexity at this point.

  2. gorgonzola

    From a design pointvof view thecsaintvof blades power is something that is good at everything but tops nothing else in specialization, then again once too many blades are summoned it becomes overwhelming. Blades should be kept spare as they did giving us cool dodges from adlet and fremy. That’s emerging elegance.

    1. gorgonzola

      Also I can’t see shit while typing on the phone:p

    2. Vantage

      I’m guessing it becomes harder for her to control the more she summons. The way Nashetania did it with all those patterns was just right! It felt like Adlet was in a Touhou game for a bit, haha.

      1. gorgonzola

        The harder to control bit makes sense from a design point of view too because her projectiles are flawed since you can destroy them making the blades dysfunctional. So the only way is to summon more and more stuff until she gets the enemy. She’ ll never top anyone because of this but we got cool sword and bullet dodges too. This may be the best fight we’ ll get for a long time.

      2. Wanderer

        That seems pretty likely, given how Fremy was able to stop one of ther swarm of blades attacks by shooting a single blade into another so it crashed into another, which crashed into another, chain-reacting the whole field of them out of alignment, and Nashetania was unable to correct them so they all just crashed down around Adlet and Fremy without causing harm. It seems like when she uses that many blades at once she kind of has to “program” them how to behave, because she can’t directly control that many. If something interferes with that program, the whole thing comes apart.

        1. gorgonzola

          It’s really trendy stuff people like but don’t realize how bad it is for action. Something like nashetanya vs chamot, given it will ever happen (I’m not telling nor confirming anything from the novels I read), will be very lame. Stuff like destroyable blades (dysfunctional attack) vs regenerating mobs (reach cover to regenerate and you don’t need to plan anything). For tactics and thus action to happen Chamot would be taken out because of anything like a fever for example. Rokka No Yuusha is gamey and has cards to play elegant fights but it also has rpg gimmicks preventing from polishing someone’s skills. Fremy/Adlet vs Tanya? Awesome but I’m still waiting to turn it up to eleven.

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