Posted by psgels on 5 August 2006 with categories: Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



Haha! This is where the fun really begins! One of the advantages of the enormous pacing of this show is the fact that it now has time to develop an amazing ending. And so far, things have been moving in an awesome direction. Firiel and Roux have made up, so their whining also has stopped, things are actually explained in the right way, and so many worthwhile events happen. This episode really showed why the previous episodes had to sacrifice their pacing.

We start at the forest at the end of the world. The Mahiru-star is getting closer and closer, and suddenly a portal from the other side of the world opens, releasing a bunch of angry-looking meat-eating dragons. Meanwhile, Eusis asks Igraine what might’ve happened to Lot Christbard, and then it seems that nobody’s able to find him. This means that another person has to take Lot’s place in the dragon-battling. Igraine then volunteers.

The next day, Leandra, still hasn’t figured out that the invasion of Torubato is a trap, so she leads Gulair’s army towards their doom. Back to the dragons, Igraine proves that she’s quite the dragon-slayer as she mainly is responsible of killing off the group of four dragons. Then, however, five others come to replace them. Then, Adale, Vincent and a couple of soldiers come them to the aid, along with Cain, Firiel and Roux and the dragons are scared away. It was a very successful scene, which I really enjoyed. Of course, Eusis would’ve been able to defeat another five dragons, especially with Igraine, but it was a good moment for the creators to make every party meet again. I just loved how everything just happened all at once.

Eusis then asks Cain his name. He then answers, and he also tells that he’s one who’s looking for Hermes. Roux then manages to prevent Eusis from declaring Cain as an enemy, even if the guy is a heathen. Rouxbow, meanwhile, gets introduced to Adale and Vincent. Vincent also wonders how Igraine managed to become a knight, and Firiel indeed notices that her unicorn used to belong to Lot Christbard. Igraine then reveals that Lot has been gone since the previous night.

Roux, meanwhile, explains what he knows about the Mahiru-star’s behaviour. It seems that three passages to the other side of the world have opened. Of course, this is letting in a huge number of meat-eating dragons into the dimension, and it will become a major problem if the dragons just keep coming, and start terrorizing some villages. The Ephemeris won’t be able to close these gates, though if you have it, you will be able to figure out what to do next. Why this is, still remains a mystery.

Cain then proposes to go back to Sellafield. Then Adale enters. She then tells Eusis, Roux, Firiel and the others the things he came to realize during the previous episode: Lot has been paying a lot of visits to the mansion in Shiliz Sandlru. Or the place Roux was tortured. Eusis doesn’t like this. This was the reason for Adale to come to Eusis, because she was worried about him.

What follows is Firiel, Roux and Cain leaving for Shiliz Sandlru, while Adale, Vincent and the others stay behind. Eusis then scolds Adale, as sending a messenger to him would have been faster. Though that wasn’t a really smart move of him. ^^ Adale seems to have borrowed some unicorns from Duke Gilbia’s wife, because of her queen’s touchstone. She also claims that she came here to help him.

That evening, Firiel wonders what Hermes exactly is. After all, Cain is with them, though Duke Riez is also a member. And then FINALLY, we receive some explanation about them. It was indeed time, at the second-last episode. I’ve been waiting for this, and suddenly, the story makes much more sense. Hermes symbolizes the Shadow Kingdom of Gulair. They consider the Snake Rod to be their symbol. Consider the queen as light, and them as the dark.

And suddenly, a picture is shown that explains so MANY things. We see a picture of the queen (if I recall this correctly, this is the first shot we get to see of her. She looks pretty old), with in the background a picture of Hyragurion. This gives us some very high suspicions that Hyragurion actually is the main capital of Gulair. That’s why there are so many parties. That’s why Firiel had to go there. Everything suddenly makes much more sense.

In any case, back to Hermes. Shadows are necessary to maintain harmony. If one of the two becomes too big, disaster is bound to happen. Hermes Trimestigus is the leader of the Hermes. It’s been explained before, but now I finally understand what it really means. The Hermes is currently divided into different factions. Each of these factions has a different leader. Cain and Rou belong to the research faction. I wouldn’t be surprised if Firiel’s father is the leader of that faction. Hermes Trimestigus is probably the leader of the evil faction. Or however it’s called.

I think the major mistakes were the following:
– This explanation should have arrived sooner. The Hermes are a major part of the storyline. You would introduce them at the beginning of the anime, not at the end.
– When Firiel went to Hyragurion, the fact that it’s Gulair’s capital should have been mentioned.

The next morning, they run into Leandra and her army. Firiel uses this opportunity to tell Leandra about the fact that Brigeonte’s trying to deceive her. Leandra decides to believe her. It’s interesting that Firiel mentions that there’s a traitor among the dukes and nobles who’s spreading the lies about Brigeonte’s plans. Why doesn’t she just mention Lot’s name? Because of this, she sends Ravenna to lead the army to Torubato, while she heads to Hyragurion, in order to unmask this guy. Or could it mean that we’ve got another traitorous noble somewhere?

Meanwhile, the weather continues to get worse. Lots of people are praying, in the hope for things to turn out right. Then, Firiel, Roux and Cain arrive in Shiliz Sandlru, where Marie and Madam (sorry, forgot her name) have been waiting for them. Apparently, it was their task to keep an eye on things. It seems the castle is heavily guarded. Firiel then suggests to go inside. To make it even better, she plans to enter it directly.

In order to achieve this, Cain makes use of one of his powerful bombs, in order to scare away the guards. Then, Lot appears. I so like the way that his personality remained the same as it was when he still was acting. Mostly, when you see a bad guy, trying to deceive others as a good guy, you see him or her act very cheerful in front of the good guys, while in fact, he or she’s incredibly serious. Too serious, perhaps. Though Lot appears to have a real laid-back personality.

Lot then bring them to the real Hermes Trismestigus, aka Duke Riez. He’s had to hide his identity, in order to get close to his target. Because of that, he faked his own death. The dead body which was found indeed was just a dead body made to look like him. Duke Riez then tries to toy with Roux again, by making him remember the Snake Rod. It works quite well. Then, Riez reveals that he has paid a visit to Sellafield, in order to destroy Elilin’s grave and pick up the Ephemeris. So it’s now in his possession. Apparently, Lot told him about the location. Riez, however, seems to think that having the Ephimeris, automatically means that he has the Mahiru-Star, while Roux revealed that it can only show you the steps to take next, earlier in the episode.

And then, finally, Firiel totally breaks out of her role as damsel in distress, when she grabs the nearest pointy object she can find, and charges towards Riez, using the things she learned from Igraine. She’s doing quite a good job, though Riez has more experience than she has, resulting in him overpowering her. Riez then tries to enlist Firiel, Roux and Cain for his own purposes.

The saviour of the day gets to be Rouxbow. He charges in from the window, making good use of the Deus ex Machina, and makes Lot drop his sword. In the confusion, Firiel grabs it, and overpowers Riez. Cain, meanwhile, has made sure that Lot won’t move anywhere. Then, Roux reveals the contents of the Ephemeris. It’s an ordinary book, which just reveals the exact movements of the Mahiru Star, and the influence it has. It won’t be able to control the Mahiru-Star just like that.

Duke Riez, then places all his hope on the only plan of his which still stands: Brigeonte’s invasion. Only then, a very surprising guest arrives. A mysterious person who looks just like Cain. This explains his appearances in the previous episodes. The guy speaks in complete mysteries, though he does recognize that the Mahiru Star has reached its limit. The Mahiru-Star, meanwhile has turned entirely red, and then it explodes, creating a huge tidal wave. Then the episode ends.

The next episode, Leandra will probably stop Brigeonte’s invasion, Adale will stop the invasion of the dragons, and Firiel will stop the Mahiru-star. That means that either Leandra or Adale will become queen, unless the Firebird’s Feather has a hidden meaning to it. If that’s the case, Firiel will become queen.

Overall, I loved this episode. The music was awesome, the pacing was perfect this time, and finally things become clear again. I can’t wait for the last episode. Let’s hope it won’t mess up like so many other endings do.

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