This is really why long series rock: they can really take their time in building up and give their characters enough time to prepare themselves for the upcoming climaxes. The key in these sorts of things is making the build-up count, and that’s something that this series has become really good at: the past three episodes were in no way inferior to the more fast-paced and plot-twist heavy episodes so far and they formed a very good build-up for the upcoming climax while keeping its atmosphere.
The big question now of course is: will the creators be able to pull off a good ending? There have been many great shows like this one with a great pre-ending build-up, but with just a rushed or dull ending. It’s a shame, but Damya still is just a stereotypical evil villain. I was really hoping that the creators would delve more into his character, but all they did throughout the series was make him more and more evil, rather than dynamic. This could pose a very serious problem for these final two episodes.
What I want is an ending that doesn’t just resolve the major themes of the series, but also progresses them in some way. It’s one way to just have the final two episodes full of pointless battles that eventually end up killing Damya and bringing peace back to the country, but that’s just lazy storytelling. Since the novels progress after this point, this is going to require input from the creators of the anime themselves. They NEED to have put some serious thoughts into how to let this end in the best way possible. If they can do that, then congratulations. This episode really was excellent in its atmosphere. This series really has put forth some great themes, characters and settings. It DESERVES a good ending to accompany them!
Rating: ** (Excellent)