That was quite the episode! I was thoroughly impressed with everything that happened and I really don’t have much critique for it. I think they did a good job balancing the episode with motivations, drama, all while keeping things moving. I was definitely expecting this battle against the gargoyle to last two or three episodes, but I’m glad I was proven wrong.
I’m pretty happy with the amount of time that we spent with Yotsuya in this episode, that wasn’t necessarily him saving the day for everyone. The real heavy lifting of the episode was done by Iu, but I think most of the episode’s impact came from Yotsuya’s time alone and him reflecting on himself as a person. We’ve known that he moved when he was younger and really didn’t connect with anyone around him to the point where people just didn’t want to deal with him. Which in some ways is just bullying, but at the same time it seems like he accepted that fate and just let it happen without trying to make things better. But I really do enjoy the flashbacks to him with his friends while he was growing up because it had such a significant impact on him and his development. I’m also glad to finally know what was happening in the opening scene where he’s clinging to the chain link fence and crying. I would be upset too! The important box my friends and I buried under a tree that we deemed significant being uprooted? I would be so mad!!
But that was just the tip of the ice burg for this episode! There are so many shining moments throughout, but I really think they took it to the next level when Yotsuya discovered the log point of everyone mourning the death of the knight. It was one of those moments that made death in this world concrete and final for everyone except the heroes. I’m still not sure what exactly the world is, but the people who exist in it are as real as they can be. Their deaths mean much more than the death of a single hero. So, the moment where Yotsuya finds the body and reminisces over their few interactions that hit a lot harder than I was expecting. The knight isn’t coming back and there isn’t anything that they can do about it. And that! Makes Kahabell’s situation a lot more stressful when it comes up! She’s not a hero! This is her home world and whatever happens to her happens for good!
So, the knight’s death was a really good set up for the stress with the Gargoyle. I was fully expecting Yotsuya to show up and save the day like always. But instead it served as some pretty intense motivations with Iu as she is finally able to rank up. It’s stressful to know that when Kahabell was stabbed and fell into the watery depths that she wasn’t just going to be able to come back and finish up the fight. She’s the strongest of the party members next to Yotsuya and since they’re both gone… well the rest of them are pretty much screwed. But thank goodness for that bat because Iu is finally able to reclass! Which is honestly something I never thought we were going to see. I didn’t realize that everyone else had been gaining levels because it seems like they continually have to be rescued… But I suppose they must be gaining experience along the way. Either way, the final blow that she was able to deal. That was pretty rad. “Let me just catch my severed arm to impale you in the heart”. So, bonus points to Iu this episode.
If I had to give any nitpicks in this episode, it would really have to be when Yotsuya showed up and immediately went to save Kahabell and both Yuka and Iu’s reactions were… kind of unnecessary? Like… You guys are heroes… it makes sense that if one of you were to die or get stuck at the bottom that it would be pretty ok. Especially since when Yotsuya fell into the pit you guys still left him down there without trying to get him out? (Yeah, he did tell them to leave him down there, but still! I would assume that the same thing would have happened if any of them were in the same position!). Also, Kahabell’s death would be permadeath…. I don’t know that whole moment just didn’t sit that well with me even if was something so small. But I’m glad that he was able to save her in the end because I think she might be my favorite of the group so far.
So! Next week our group is going to split up again! It really does seem to be the most effective strategy for all of them. I hope that they aren’t going to divide up into 1 and the rest of them. Personally, I think at least Yotsuya and Yuka teaming up would be the best option, especially because she hasn’t really had her time to shine. To me she’s just been kind of annoying and really just takes every opportunity to rag on him and the situation. I don’t necessarily want her to fall in love with him…. but at the very least I’d like them to be good acquaintances. I don’t know… she has a bad attitude, but I want to like her, so I hope they are able to do more with her character. With those hopes in mind, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode!