RokuAka – 08

When the students finally get to the White Alchemy Research Lab, the resulting tour is somewhat interminable and clunky, full of characters explaining things (or interrupting others to explain things), then discuss how dangerous it is to resurrect the dead before saying such practices would never be carried out nowadays.

It all feels like foreshadowing for what Eleanor and the RDW have up their sleeves for their next attempt to nab Rumia. And with her supposed bodyguard Re=L in an extended snit borne from her jealousy over her and Sistine’s closeness to Glenn, Rumia is particularly vulnerable, especially when Glenn goes off to find Re=L, who stormed off in a huff.

The boring lab tour nonetheless succeeded in placing me in a false sense of security, just as RokuAka’s first episode so ably did, sacrificing a consistently dark tone, but resulting in a satisfying emotional roller-coaster as shit hits the fan.

Just as Re=L is approached on the beach by her apparent brother (who I immediately assumed was RDW), Eleanor faces off with Albert, Rumia’s actual bodyguard, albeit a long-distance one. It’s time and distance that screw him over, as the increasingly unhinged Eleanor is merely creating a diversion; keeping Al away from where he should be.

Glenn leaves Sistine and Rumia alone to go look for Re=L, obviously lulled into a false sense of security. He clearly isn’t aware of how easily Re=L can be turned to the dark side by her “brother”, who uses some kind of eye-contact hypnosis/brainwashing to turn her against Glenn, running him through with her massive sword.

Another who is caught completely off guard by what the RDW has in store for them is Sistine, who cheerfully gathers food for Glenn and Re=L’s return, certain Sensei will come back and everything will be fine…until she hears glass breaking, enters the room, and finds Re=L standing over a severely wounded Rumia with blood everywhere.

As we know, Sistine is not a professional soldier or warrior. She can be a badass, as we saw at the competition, but she’s still a kid, and this week we get another realistic reaction to the horrible fucked-up shit she has to deal with: When Re=L (who is a pro) basically dares her to use offensive magic, poor Sisti, scared shitless and worried about hitting Rumia, freezes, and Re=L escapes with her captive.

When Albert comes in with the half-dead Glenn, and Sisti sees how bad his wound is, she goes into a fit of despair…also quite appropriate for an ordinary, well-adjusted young civilian. Fujita Akane has done great work with the voice of Sistine all Spring. Of course, Sisti isn’t a complete wuss either, nor is she immune to the proverbial glass of cold water, which Albert provides by starting to leave if she doesn’t buck up and help him save Glenn. While he prepares the reviving magic, Sisti must administer CPR.

It’s the old ABC method (rather than the present, AHA-prescribed CAB method), which means locking lips with Glenn. But the show doesn’t treat it as a romantic moment or a joke, but as a life-and-death necessity, which I appreciated. Where RokuAka does joke around is after the credits roll, with another pleasant palate-cleansing preview, which is the proper time to do so.

Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

3 thoughts on “RokuAka – 08”

  1. And so we’ve finally reached the scanlated manga. Too bad that this show has no LN translation past volume 1, so we’re now reaching uncharted territory for me.

    I think it’s been a great ride so far. Looking forward to taking the surprises on the chin by now (since you don’t seem to have known the source material beforehand, right?)

    1. None at all! But that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying it; it’s been a pleasant surprise. It’s brimming with cliches, but Glenn, Sisti and Rumia are really strong, likable characters I love rooting for. The conflict with the RDW and magical combat isn’t the main draw here—nor should it be—it’s just icing.

      I don’t even mind Re=L’s sudden “betrayal” this week, because it’s highly apparent she’s under some kind of mind control, and she’s been erratic since we first me her. Meanwhile, Albert is a rock who helps steady Sisti; his occasional jabs about Glenn being a pathetic wuss (with the understanding Al has towering standards) are a nice detail.

      The competition gave us quick introductions to the other students in Glenn’s class, but the show wisely doesn’t crowd the episodes with too much from them; it keeps the focus on the mains.

      RokuAka has also proven skillful at executing big, sudden shifts in tone. Juxtaposing lightweight comedy with mortal danger can be a dicey business (improperly done, the tone can become muddled), but RokuAka pulls it off.

  2. Oh, I fully agree. It’s rare that I like essentially all lead characters – even Re=L (though I generally don’t favor her deadpan template).

    Heck, I don’t know any other show who I’d have forgiven to have one girl abducted and in need of saving for three arcs in a row without major sarcastic comments, but Rumia is flat-out awesome. And it’s making sense that the opposition would hunt her for the obvious reasons. Probably because she isn’t a simple cry-alot-yell-for-the-hero princess, but a kind, strong girl with a major spine.

    Sistine has been growing on me quite a bit. Her tsundere template is very much hit-and-miss to me, but she isn’t spiteful by nature and when the chips hit the felt she comes through. I believe her inner struggles, and it rather enhances her achievements. The last arc will almost certainly be focused on her and her “predecessor” (see the OP). Looking forward to it immensely.

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