Overlord II – 05

Following his thorough intimidation of the Lizardmen, Lord Ains and his guardians travel to his newly-built forest stronghold. He learns it comes with a super-creepy throne made partially from human bones, and decides he’ll finally dole out Shalltear’s punishment by sitting on her.

Shalltear turning the intended pain into naughty pleasure, combined with Albedo’s violently jealous outburst in the next room, are both examples of OverLord silliness at its best. Things get even sillier when Ains uses a spell to see inside one of the village’s huts, only to catch Zaryusu and Crusch doing the nasty.

The Lizardmen elders and warriors, including Zaryusu, make their one last desperate stand against Cocytus, and are (figuratively) disarmed by his polite and respectful demeanor before being disarmed (literally), halved, and riddled with icy projectiles.

The comedy shifts from the silly to black, as Cocytus calmly, quietly explains how not a single one of his opponents’ magical or physical attacks will have the slightest effect on him; they’re simply too low a level to put a dent in his Guardian-class defenses.

That doesn’t stop Zaryusu & Co. from charging forward, even if it’s right into their grisly deaths. Zaryusu is the last to be killed, but Cocytus promises he’ll remember his name and that of his brothers as the names of warriors.

Back at base, Cocytus is praised for his victory by Lord Ains, and suggests the bodies of the dead Lizardmen be used for undead research. Cocytus makes a counter-proposal: raise Zaryusu, who had been such a valiant fighter, from the dead.

Something like that is well within Ains’ mighty means, but he wishes to make it a transaction, and so asks Crusch to spy on the other Lizardmen in exchange for the resurrection of her lover. (Her momentary assumption he wanted her body enrages both Albedo and Shalltear.)

Crusch agrees, and Zaryusu is brought back to life, and yet even here OverLord doesn’t shy away from having a bit of a laugh; Zaryusu’s speech is all high-pitched and messed-up, like he didn’t quite come back 100% right (rest will apparently restore his former gravitas).

But Ains got what he wanted: the allegiance of the Lizardmen tribes, and a mole who will alert him if that allegiance ever wavers, secured by a “spell” (in reality just a lie) that will kill Zaryusu if Crusch ever betrays him. All in all, some shrewd maneuvering by His Skullfaceiness.

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Gakusen Toshi Asterisk – 24 (Fin de 2nd Season)

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Asterisk War’s 24th episode wraps up the Liseltania/Assassin mini-arc, then sets up all of the new storylines and characters who will populate a likely third season. In that regard, it’s a combination of a wrap-up and stringing-along episode.

I decided to stick with AW for 24 episodes mostly because I dug the Rasmus Faber soundtrack, and I’ll admit that most of the less squeaky characters have grown on me.

Ayato remains as stubbornly dull as wallpaper paste, but he’s got a decent harem that’s gelled nicely, and there’s clearly more story to tell that will likely be of the same quality as the two cours that preceeded it, so continuing this series will ultimately come down to my schedule and what better shows, if any, air on the same day.

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But I’m getting ahead of myself! There wasn’t even a preview or announcement for a third cour at the end of this episode, so let’s focus on the second season finale. The wrap-up part turned out about as expected: Ayato wakes up, and the group works together to defeat Gustave and his imposing but ultimately not too challenging Hydra.

The battle scenes are appropriately over-the-top, if a bit too stylized for my taste, and call to mind an older, similar show that was usually a lot more balls-out with the combat, Chrome Shelled Regios. (I honestly couldn’t name many major non-cosmetic differences between Leyfon Alseif and Amagiri Ayato, by the way. ;)

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Suffice it to say, Leyf–I-I mean, Ayato does his thing with Ser=Veresta, Saya does her big gun thing, Julis does her Strega flower thing, Kirin does her slick samurai thing, and Claudia does her background political thing, as her Dad was the one who hired Gustave, something he did to protect his daughter but which she never the less is pretty disappointed about.

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Papa Enfield wanted to keep Claudia out of the Gryps Festa, but that ain’t gonna happen, which means instead of fighting in separate two-by-two battles, our core quintet will all be on the same side against teams from the other schools.

Ayato agrees to join them after finally learning what’s become of his sister (though why she has to be nude is never explained) and he’s approached by the latest kooky mad scientist, Hilda Jane Rowlands, who is introduced far too hastily.

Combined with Julis’ continued struggle in getting her best friend Ophelia back, whatever Dirk has planned with Ernesta on his side, all of Claudia’s stuff, and that idol lady who is sure to return, there’s no shortage of material for another cour; possibly two.

While I’m weary of committing to a third season of a show that never knocked by socks off in its second, I will at least give it a look when it airs, if for no other reason, than to hear what ol’ Rasmus cooks up for the OP/ED…

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Blood Lad – 08

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Liz returns home, but is confronted by Officer Beros of the Acropolis Police, who arrests Braz for illegally leaving Acropolis. Fuyumi’s kidnapper slips up while feeding her, and she rings the bell Bell gave her. Bell intercepts the kidnapper, who is her brother, Nell Hydra, who says he’s only running an errand for their mom. Staz arrives, but Bell lets Nell escape to Hydra with Fuyumi and then shoots Staz, throwing him in her grid room.

Jealous of Staz’s devotion to Fuyumi, Bell challenges him to a fight to decide if she’ll take him to her. When she’s overly cocky he nearly takes her bottom half off, and she must abandon all the clothing attached to it. Before he reads her diary, she surrenders, and takes him to Hydra. Staz apologizes for causing her to be uptight, but won’t apologize, because he sees himself not as the hero, but the “bad guy.”

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If that synopsis was too long, here’s the tl;dr version: Staz goes looking for Fuyumi and runs into obstacles; the biggest among them Bell. She likes him, and it pisses her off that A.), he doesn’t notice, and B.), he’s so fixated on Fuyumi, and C.), he considers Fuyumi a rare and one-of-a-kind “collector’s item,” not an equal partner Bell could be to him. Their battle proves they’re on pretty equal footing power-wise, and FWIW, we’d choose Bell over Fuyumi every time.

Their battle is also a wonderful exercise in absurdity, as Bell gets caught with her pants down (literally!) and Staz is riddled with bullets to the point of needing to be pixelated (unlike Bell’s ass). Staz freely admits he’s not sure why Bell is so erratic around him, but he also tells her she’s welcome to take it all out on him, because he can take it, unknowingly endearing him to her even more. Even as she leads him to her home where he’s sure to meet her brother and mother on the way to retrieving her rival in love, she’s determined to keep her feelings hidden.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • Blood Lad’s character designs are relatively simple, but fun and expressive, and the characters’ outfits change often (Bell’s in particular), keeping their looks fresh.
  • Now we know that crazy land with the planetoids/laputas in the ED is Bell’s home, Hydra.
  • Braz’s arrest by Berros shows us that, indeed, most people don’t really like him, which isn’t surprising.
  • Fuyumi seems to be a cooperative hostage as usual, but when the opportunity presents itself, she wisely rings the bell Bell gave her, setting everything into motion.