This episode ha lot of very good parts, and a few parts I didn’t like about it. As for the good parts though: finally Orthros are getting some good characterization, which is really great to see. With this, they actually pose much more of a threat than what they were when we first saw them. Especially the way in which they were inspired to become wolves was just completely hilarious. That actually was a very clever parody to the usual motivation tropes.
Also, Yarizui was really good here. First of all: so far this was the most realistic depiction of a cold I’ve seen in a long while: the creators actually remembered that heavy breathing are completely different symptoms, and finally someone doesn’t just realize they have a cold when they collapse. On top of that, her characterization was just damn awesome. And while this show is completely over the top in terms of fanservice at times, the creators have been very consistent with Yarizui’s fanservice: here it actually feels very natural. She’s not parading naked all over the place, but instead you can see why Sato is getting attracted to her through the camera angles. Which for one don’t just focus on her boobs or ass.
The part that I didn’t like is the classic example of fleshing out the main villain… by inserting an even bigger villain. Of course, this makes sure that the villains are fleshed out. That’s not the problem. The problem is that this bigger villain is very often a complete stereotype and powerhouse that can only go down in the usual ways. The characterization of these guys is very often below average because they’re all introduced so damn late.
Also, again there were no food battles here. I think that this has to do with expectation management, though this is very difficult to do. The creators are definitely going for the “climax”-climax, in which they carefully build up tension, only to release all of that at the same time for the final episode. This can become awesome, if they actually manage to pull it off. I remember last year, with Sengoku Basara Two as an example of how this can backfire on a series. There too the creators put everything on the final battle, and actually had a ton of different animation directors working on the final episode. And yet, the production took shortcuts, fights were skipped, the action didn’t really come together, and things ended with a bit of a downer. Episodes like these really need someone who knows how to make these over the top battles work. This needs to be the crowning moment of awesome for this series.
Also, the joke after the credits. How wrong can you get?
Rating: ** (Excellent)