2017 Week 5: Episodes 17-20

Started by Milieva, April 29, 2017, 12:29:04 PM

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This week we will be discussing Season 1: episodes 17-20.  Please mind the rewatch rules.

The official chat will be Saturday 29th April at 19:00 UTC/GMT/Zulu time (3:00 pm in New York, 8:00 pm in London). 

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Finally getting around to writing up my extended thoughts on these episodes, although I'm sure I'll be coming back to this post after rewatching the episodes again.

Episode 17
The continuous off-modelness in this episode is really distracting. It also makes it impossible to tell if Innouva's wolf form was intended to be ugly, especially since the concept art in the materials collection wasn't ugly.

Innouva's confirmation here that he does actually know the real reason why Zagato is doing all of this just further cements my belief that he would have been a much better Big Bad for Season 2 than Debonair was. (Details for that idea can be found in the "2017 Week 4: Episodes 13-16" thread.)

The very first glimpse of Innouva that the Magic Knights get, just a shadow outlined by edge highlights, is a really superb example of...minimalism, maybe? I'm not sure what the right term would be, but that shot evokes stronger feelings in me than I think a nice and clear view of him would have.

The tiny Ferio in this episode is what firmly cemented my headcanon that Ferio was still really young when Emeraude became the Pillar. The manga does have one panel showing him this small and it has the line about him not being able to remember Emeraude ever truly smiling happily, which is what initially caused the headcanon to form, but he really sounds that young here.

Episode 18
Alcyone really needs to get a clue and realize that Zagato is not interested in her. This thought is a bit of a carry-over from the end of the previous episode, where she's still trying to convince Zagato to let her fight the Magic Knights again, but seriously, how much brain-power does it really take to consider that maybe Zagato isn't threatening Emeraude because you've been misreading him and he at least cares about her?

Episode 19
Something I missed commenting on during the rewatch chat is that during the very first bit of this episode, there's a moment where the glow outlining Emeraude isn't properly aligned with her hair and you can actually see it get adjusted to the correct angle.

I find it really weird how the girls don't even mention Innouva when they're recounting the enemies they've faced and defeated. Given that, aside from Hikaru facing Zagato at the Fire Shrine, he was the enemy they most recently defeated, he really ought to have at least been mentioned.

I'm very firmly convinced that this is not the first time that Emeraude has healed Zagato - that, in fact, she's been healing him every time she's noticed that he's been injured and it's actually contributing to her mental state precisely because, as Zagato points out, healing him makes it harder for the people going up against him, but she just can't stand to see him stay injured. I also think that when he can, Zagato actually does his best to hide his injuries from her for those same reasons.

I realize that other people may have a different opinion, but I really have absolutely ZERO sympathy for Alcyone here. Yes, finding out that she never had the slightest chance of gaining Zagato's love hurts, but I have a hard time believing that he would have bothered with her if she hadn't been so eager to prove how much she loved him.

This is something I only noticed this time around due to following Complete Over-Analysis' liveblog of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle over on Tumblr, but Emeraude's eyes being shadowed during the battle between Zagato and the Magic Knights is a BAD SIGN. COA has done extensive analysis about how shadowed eyes on a character are an indication that their darker side is coming to the front.

I absolutely love how Zagato actually manages to get through to Hikaru (at the very least) that the Pillar system is inherently unfair to the Pillar, but I really can't help but think that he might actually have succeeded on the "Getting the Magic Knights to not kill Emeraude" front if he'd had the sense to stop attacking while he talked to them. And this is, of course, on my list of "Fics to write someday".

Episode 20
Emeraude being able to just spontaneously create a Mashin due to sheer rage really gives a good idea of just how powerful the Pillar must be, given that I'm sure it took Zagato most of the time between the battle at the Fire Shrine and the Magic Knights' arrival at the castle for him to create his Mashin.

I honestly think that the manga ending scene for this part was one hell of a lot better than what we get here in the anime. To be completely blunt, it's just too damn soon for any of the girls to even be starting to think about maybe returning to Cephiro to help however they can. "It's not fair" really sums up how they must be feeling at this exact moment, which can't be much more than a minute or so after they killed Emeraude.
Of course I'm normal...I'm 90 degrees off from the rest of the world.

Of course I'm in agreement that Innouva would've made a better season two main villain than Debonair. Also, if they knew he was staying around a little longer, maybe Ascot, Caldina, and Lafarga could've had their big character moments at the shrines where it had more Impact and Meaning overall instead of them having to change things around to fit Innouva in the schedule.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: On a scale of Alcyone to Ascot, how well do you cope with unrequited love?

On not mentioning Innouva, yes, I think this instance can be possibly be explained with my one of my favorite pet peeves with the anime, them not really thinking their changes to the plot lines/characters through. This can be considered almost an inevitable problem when trying to rush out an anime adaptation before the manga's finished. Or it might just be that they're pretty sure Innouva's dead now (well, providing they recognized that beast as Innouva, I can't remember off the top of my head whether they did or not).

Why could they not make Emeraude's Mashin a centaur like it was in the manga? *cries*
If your headcanon for Ascot's backstory doesn't make me want to cry, I probably won't believe it.

One interesting thing of note about the story in the first season: The battles against (most of) the villains are almost never won over by the brute force, or when it is, it's all three of them together. So, instead of a DBZ like progression in which the villains just get stronger each time, you have villains that are, at least while fighting individually, all indeterminately stronger than the Magic Knights (indeterminately other than being weaker than Emeraude and Zagato).

This is a little more apparent in the manga, actually. Alcyone? Undone by getting too cocky and not taking the Magic Knights seriously enough. Ascot? Made to realize that what he was doing wasn't right by his friends. Caldina? Convinced it wasn't worth the paycheck (possibly because Zagato decided to pay her up front like an idiot). Lafarga? Accidentally set on fire which broke the mind control. And Zagato and Emeraude were both defeated by all three together.

Just interesting to think about.
If your headcanon for Ascot's backstory doesn't make me want to cry, I probably won't believe it.