Posted by psgels on 22 January 2009 with categories: Shikabane Hime



Short Synopsis: Sougi and Itsuki tell about their background.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Now this is more like it! This is exactly the reason why I came to like the first season so much, and I’m glad to see that the second season is going to be more than a weak sequel of the first. Sure, this episode was much about a side-plot of this series, but a bit of background never hurts, and this episode definitely shows that the creators haven’t lost their touch, after the rather disastrous fanservice-problem of the previous three episodes.

This episode was all about Sougi and Itsuki, who in their early days looked suspiciously like your average shounen-lead-pair: a dorky male lead gets contacted by a female with power, in this case because Itsuki hit a truck and happened to form a contract with Sougi before she turned into a berserking Shikabane, complete with the introduction-scene at school (again…).

But thankfully there was much more to that episode than just that. While Itsuki wasn’t as tormented as Makina by revenge, the two of them had their own problem. Itsuki was practically a corpse, and yet Sougi saw her as a regular girl, without any special powers. This caused him the huge scars that he has on his body, simply because he wanted to protect Itsuki from getting hurt, even though she could simply regenerate her wounds, while he couldn’t.

So, yes. The fanservice was definitely a problem, but this series does know what it is: entertainment. As much as I’ve ranted on these past three episodes, they never failed to entertain me, and especially this episode was full of adrenaline, even though there were plenty of quiet parts. If the creators can keep the same mood for the rest of the series, with Makina’s storyline and all, then I’ll call this second season a success.

The next episode should be either fun or a complete disaster: Makina is being transported by a group of monks, without Ouri, and suddenly one of the seven stars attacks, impersonating Keisei. Let’s see where that one goes.

One Response

  1. Paul says:

    Without a doubt the best episode of the series so far.

    What was particularly brilliant about this episode was when Sougi and Itsuki tells the stroy of Tomoharu. The constant intersection between Sougi and Itsuki as they took turns to tell the story and narration; and with Angela’s Beginning in the background, it could not have been more perfectly conceived and executed. Absolutely brilliant!! In fact, I thought it was better than the Kensei death scene in ep 12.

    We see this style of storytelling quite often in movie but I cannot remember the last time this was done in an anime. This makes the entire back story of Sougi and Itsuki particularly compelling and emotional engaging. In fact, I think they are far more interesting that Ouri and Makina at this point so O&M has their work cut out for them.

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  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 12:12 AM)
    @Realist: I believe so yes as far as I remember she hated the co-ordinators, she was pretty much an outright racist and representative of that theme in the show.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 11:48 PM)
    @Emma But do you think Flay was intended to be hated?
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 11:32 PM)
    I reckon flays name is a good indication of what should be done to her. Makoto I still see, for as a how much a guilty pleasure classic school days as unique among harem lead male characters.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 11:05 PM)
    @Bam lol, but let me ask, in what category would you place a character like Flay from Gundam Seed or Makoto from School Days?
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 11:03 PM)
    @Ninja: well to each his own.
    In regards to the virtue of hated characters it is important to distinguish between characters that are meant to be hated (Griffith) and the characters that are unintentionally resented (Kirito).
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 10:41 PM)
    @Emma Even though, like most people, I’m often frustrated by her consistently poor decision making with narratives (this is really her fatal flaw) I love most of her characters although I admit she’s written some of my most hated characters. But strong negative feelings towards characters can also be a sign of good writing.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 10:39 PM)
    @Emma But I also just love her style. I would watch her works whether she was a man or a woman or a housecat with opposable thumbs.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 10:39 PM)
    @Emma I’ll admit, I too am partially motivated by my desire to see someone like her succeed in a society that has so much gender discrimination especially in an industry that has often been a lightning rod for discrimination. I want anime to change, and no matter what you think of Okada’s work, you have to admit she’s a part of that change.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 10:37 PM)
    @Bam I continue to bring it up because I loved the show.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 09:49 PM)
    Well realist I won’t declare her untalented as evidently she is quite prolific and gets a lot of work and its good to see a woman working in the male dominated anime industry.

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