There are three episodes left. Then, what the heck is a recap-episode doing here? This shows more and more that the creators just need to take a break for a year, and get their budgets and planning fully sorted out, because right now it seems that they just can’t keep up with their own schedule. Unfortunately, the planning-department of Madhouse just isn’t as good as that of for example Nippon Animation, which basically showcased Les Miserables without any break or recap at all, and looks to do the same for Porfy no Nagai Tabi.
The only new scenes are of Ryuuki, developing and reflecting on his own actions. Thankfully, this made the episode not a total waste of time, but this remains lazy on the creator’s side. Thankfully, the development that Ryuuki went through was very good, and the episode prepared really well for the final three episodes.
My main worry is that Madhouse has become infamous for screwing up slightly with their adaptations. For most part, they adapt faithfully, but when it comes to the details, you can always see cut corners. This isn’t like Gonzo, where they basically rewrite more than half of the original source-material; with Madhouse, the changes just feel lazy. Just a few examples:
– Shigurui: Entire final chapters left unanimated, with no intention to do so either.
– Devil May Cry: turned into random plotless fillers.
– Claymore: went with an original story after episode 21 and changed from an engaging plot to a cheesy final battle.
– Death Note: a rushed second half with many pages omitted.
– Gunslinger Girl: no intentions to animate the plot-heavy second half of the manga, so they went with their own ending.
– Pet Shop of Horrors: Just four chapters animated, no information on main character whatsoever.
I think you can understand my worries. Right now, Saiunkoku Monogatari really needs a second season, but I can’t help but fear that Madhouse will screw up with the little details again, and it’s such a pity to see this happen, right when we’re about to hit such an rumoured excellent part of the original novels.