Ikta has one last chance to defend against the Aldera army, and he comes up with a genius-yet-also-slightly-desperate plan. However it will only be him, Nanaku and Yatori participating, with Haroma and some of her platoon accompanying them as their medics; Matthew is to remain behind and guard the camp for two more days, retreating only if necessary.
Night falls, and Ikta’s troops have laid their trap in a section of narrow path, the same one the enemy is using. There is no way around the trap, forcing Jean and the Aldera army soldiers to take their chances. Jean decides to proceed despite smelling oil on the straw, but it’s in this flaw of thinking that Ikta succeeds in deploying his trap. Once Jean’s men are in far enough, the smell of oil lessens and Jean realizes his mistake. At that moment Ikta and his troops burst out from under the straw with their light spirits on full and attack in full force.
A battle ensues between the two sides, with Yatori’s platoon coming from the rear to join the fighting in order to ensure that Jean’s platoon can’t flee. After several minutes one of the soldiers from Ikta’s troop raises a flag signaling they’re opening to negotiating, but Jean doesn’t immediately call for a ceasefire. Not long after, Ikta loses his sword when an enemy soldier knocks it from his grip, and he is a split second away from losing his life when Jean finally gives the order to cease combat.
Jean probably ends up wishing Ikta had been killed however, because Ikta’s blunt in his terms of negotiating. Ikta absolutely will not surrender, and instead wants the Aldera army to withdraw to back behind the forest, which will give the Katjvarna army enough time to finish their retreat. Jean refuses, convinced that his men will kill Ikta’s if they’re forced to continue fighting.
Ikta slyly points out that Jean only thinks that his platoon will be the winners if Jean himself lives, and he makes his point by having his light sprite Kus shine a strong beam at Jean’s heart. Ikta says that he has his best shooter, one from the Remeon family (Torway), is hiding and ready to shoot Jean as soon as the negotiating flag is dropped. Jean knows Ikta is most likely bluffing but part of him feels that he can’t ignore the 10% chance that Ikta is not bluffing. Jean gives the order for his men to retreat, and we see that Ikta was indeed bluffing all along.
As Jean’s men retreat behind a fire barrier, Jean asks Ikta why he’s fighting to protect the Katyvarna Empire. After all, Jean believes in Kioka’s beliefs and ideals and is fighting to make them real, and he assumes that Ikta would be doing the same for Katyvarna. Ikta however bluntly states that he’s not fighting to protect his country but the people within them. Ikta says that heroes like Jean will eventually be used up and thrown away as soon as they are no longer useful. Ikta leaves a furious Jean with some parting words: “All heroes die of overwork.”
Back at the safe location where Princess Chamille had retreated to earlier in the season, Ikta’s platoon arrives at last. Princess Chamille is relieved that Torway and the others have arrived safely, and she is so excited to see Ikta that she knocks him over with a hug. He gently points out to her that she needs to speak to the other soldiers too, because they made just as many sacrifices and fought just as hard. Embarrassed over her mistake, Princess Chamille speaks to all the troops and thanks them for their efforts, promising that they will be rewarded.
One month later a trial is held where Lt. General Safida is accused of oppressing the Sinnack, which cost soliders their lives, and that attack invited an enemy invasion from the Aldera army. As a result he’s found to be the highest class of war criminal, resulting in a demotion, the stripping of all his military decorations… and executed. Justice at last for all the Sinnack who died.
Later that night, Princess Chamille summons Ikta to the throne room. She asks him point blank what he thinks of the Katyvarna Empire and Ikta tells her his brutally honest opinion, which Princess Chamille agrees with. She makes a request for Ikta to rise to the top of the Katyvarna military, and when Ikta asks why, Princess Chamille says she wants him to lose a war. She feels that losing to Kioka at the right time will invite in Kioka’s culture, economics and philosophies, and that the pressures from these outside influences could be used to force the Katyvarna Empire to change from the inside out.
However after the credits, there’s a short scene where Ikta tells Yatori that his father was a hero who also died from overwork. He tried to do everything that was asked of him, and lost his life in the process. Ikta’s inner monologue reveals that he doesn’t agree with Princess Chamille’s plan, and that if he were to try to follow it he’d run into conflict from others who support him. He tells Yatori that he won’t allow her to be caught up in the collapse of the country, should it choose to fall, and reminds her that he came to take her from her homeland for a reason. Yatori reassures him that she’ll never forget.
My thoughts: Fantastic final episode! I was hoping we’d get a little more revelation about the relationship between Yatori and Ikta, but the final quarter of the episode made up for that deficiency. I’m glad that the scene with Ikta and Princess Chamille made it into the final episode, for it was definitely worth the wait. I didn’t see a twist like that coming!
I’m also Lt. General Safida got what was coming to him. What a stupid– *mumblegrumble*
I really, really hope there is a second season in the future because I would love to blog it if I had the chance.
Story: While I’m not usually super into anything to do with the military, I enjoyed Alderamin enough that I was able to just suck it up and deal. I could find no major flaws with the story that I can think of at this moment.
Characters: One of the biggest strengths of this show is, in my personal opinion, its characters. I feel that Torway and Ikta experienced the most character growth, but the main cast had enough variety that there wasn’t really anyone I disliked watching. Even Haroma and Matthew, two of the more secondary characters from the main cast, had roles which highlighted their value: Haroma was a medic and thus had to be with the main platoon for healing purposes, and Matthew was put into situations where he could demonstrate his family’s military talent. Matthew was also a good example of comedic relief throughout the series, along with Ikta.
And Ikta, wow. What an incredible main character. I’ve never seen an MC quite like him. He’s blunt, has been sexually active, is comfortable talking about “taboo” topics, and is gifted with exceptional ways of thinking and an overabundance of military talent. Yes ladies he really is all that and a bag of chips.
Music & Animation: 5 gold stars, A++, the whole nine yards. I actually started watching this series based SOLELY on its gorgeous animation, and man it did not let me down. I love it when chances pay off! Madhouse did an amazing job with the animation and the music they chose, and I’ll definitely be looking for the soundtrack to add to my music library.
As for the music, I loved everything. Everything! Especially the opening and ending themes. Nothing to complain about here.
Overall Thoughts: An outstanding anime from start to finish. If you’re looking for a new title with stellar characters, invigorating music and pretty animation, then this might be the series for you. ^_^v The only complaint I have is that I was hoping we’d get more romance between Ikta and Yatori, but it’s not enough to lower my score and honestly if there ends up being a second season, maybe we’ll get some smooches at that point in time. I’m thinking of reading the manga in the meantime, and see how it compares to the show.
Final Score: 10/10