After last week’s debut, I was pretty underwhelmed so coming into this week’s episode I decided to lower my expectations. My hope is that overtime, it will exceed my expectations, but it seems like they have quite a bit of world building and ground rules to lay out which is fine since they seem to be giving us new surprises in each episode. And overall, I thought this episode was pretty alright. We got solid backstory for at least two of our characters, and while I personally haven’t become emotionally invested in anyone yet, at least our characters are developing, and we get to see why they act the way they do.
Hakozaki’s story was the focus of the episode, even though we got to see most of it though log points and flashbacks. Still, I think I preferred it this way of Yotsuya finding about her primarily by not talking to her. I don’t really see him being the kind of person that can connect on an emotional level and even then, it would take a lot for people to open to him. In the last episode we were told that Hakozaki is the timid sick character who is barely at school and she’s not super helpful with her blade either. But at least now we get to know what drives her! She’s worried about being a burden on everyone because of her illness so in the real world she wants to learn pharmaceutics and in the game world, she’s finally put into a position where she can help others. She’s still at a great disadvantage, but I’m glad that she actually wants to help people instead of just running away!
And in all honesty, without Hakozaki’s sad backstory we don’t get to see Yotsuya at least recognize that he’s a selfish person. But I mean… as a viewer I haven’t really gotten the impression that he’s a selfish person? Just that he doesn’t like his current situation and doesn’t really want to be bogged down by others. I guess in some ways that could be seen as him being selfish… but I think it leans more on the side of arrogance and confidence to me. But on that note, I’m happy that we get to see why he hates the city so much and honestly, I think it’s a valid reason! He moved away from his home and friends to a new place with people who didn’t want to get along with. It’s something we’ve seen before, but just to know that his hatred for the town is out of bitterness from moving here at least puts that hatred into perspective. And hey! If he learns to love the city because he makes new friends, that’s great! And if he continues to hate it, but decides to save it anyways, that’s also cool.
We didn’t get to see very much of Shindou in this episode because she was unfortunately stuck inside the belly of a troll trying to respawn but stuck in an endless cycle of dying all over again. But when she did come around, she was able to deal the definitive blow for the team which is great! But personally, I thought that Yotsuya was asking her to blow wind into the hole of his stomach… so when she walked up his back and blew up his head? I was caught off guard. I mean, yeah…. it did the job, but it wasn’t the climatic ending that I was hoping for. But oh well, this is the first challenge we’ve seen so hopefully there will be more intense battles in the future.
All around, it was a perfectly fine episode. Yotsuya finally has a blade and they all are lucky enough to survive another few days in the real world… which means it’s time to recruit a new character soon! I’m interested to see if next week will be solely focused on attracting a new character or if we’ll already be back and ready for another quest!