Here we have the end of the Vira arc. And what an end it was. It’s pretty much wholly anime-original, yet still leaves things at the same state they would be if following the game more closely.
This will be shorter than the last couple of reviews, since most of the episode is action. We left off the last episode with Vira taking out General Furias’s ship. Well, the rest of the Imperial forces didn’t really take too kindly to that. Too bad their cannons were no match for Vira chargin’ her layzor. This was actually a nice touch: at no other point do we get the feeling of the true power of a primal beast: sure, Tiamat and Leviathan are big guys, but we just get the feeling that they’re powerful because they are big. CheVira, on the other hand, is just herself, but is able to take care of things impressively, and no sweat. Good thing Chevalier is a guardian…and as a guardian, once pointed back at the island, the damage was kept relatively low.
And then there’s a sword fight, Lyria does something besides yelling, and the rest of the crew get to participate in important ways too, coming in clutch at multiple times (Io especially). Very nicely directed all around. Too bad it looks not-good for the most part: that cheap-looking feeling from the first three episodes is back. Really brings things down a notch or two from what it could have been.
Then people get stabbed, Vira cries, everything works out, the end. Might sound a bit simple, but this episode is really the action climax to the whole arc; this could easily be made into an anime movie. Nice to see a rebuilding scene – usually in these sort of situations, the heroes bugger off to their next adventure, while the place they were heroing in still smoulders (and/or is fixed up nice and quick for the next episode).
This whole arc, but especially this episode, really is carried by Vira. She’s the one doing most of the talking, screaming, and so on. And Asami Imai nails it. The dialog itself works, as well as any other anime, but as usual the acting is what has to sell it. There were times I was taken aback by the sheer weight of emotion coming from the screen. All of the other performances are good, but Vira is great.
I’ve really been liking this show so far. I just watched the last season out of a sort of duty: it was the anime of my game, and I was going to buy it anyways (dem codes man), so might as well watch it. But I actually look forward to this show. Sure, it’s not the best show ever, but the writing and acting is pretty good. This episode was a good example of that.