Blade and Soul: Episode 2

Bright spot, out you go so quickly.

DISz2eK

A bit of universe building this week, but in all not much to say.

I’m sure this episode is buoyed by how much you love eager spunky adventurer girls.  However, I would bring her on a date to Mt. Doom and re-enact the ring scene. But let’s get to the episode.

Oh, as a note.  Over the past week the internet has taken to calling our ninja girl Alka.  I’m taking the fans words on this, as any lobby who can change that in a week must have some real power.  After all, it took years for the Yagami Raito thing to disappear.

That or none of us really care enough.  Personally, between Haruka last season and Haru this season, I’ll gladly switch over to something that won’t result in tongue twisters. I might have noticed it, but she stresses the “ru” part so much, usually when transcribing L’s it’s a bit softer.  Either way, I edited the previous review just to keep it consistent throughout the run.

So, Alka is walking through the desert. Alone.  No Mori.  Why? That’s weird. She encounters some furry kid, who frets that Aruka has no protection in the desert, and gives her a…I guess a shawl, but it’s more child sized. I’m not up on my clothing. Here I’m tempted to complain “but that’s not what you wear in the desert after stressing it so much”, but much like the clothing LAST episode, I am wondering if this is some gag about Alka picking up questing armor from different places and slapping it on her body.  If this IS a running gag it’s not very funny.  The show isn’t light-hearted enough to make good on it.

Alka heads to that border town we saw last time, the one with the inn? She’s going to try to earn some money.  It’s apparently a nasty piece of work.  Param has presence there, but no jurisdiction, or so I’m gathering.  They appear to be in a conflict with “the Kingdom”, but the citizenry doesn’t think very highly of them, either.

I will credit Blade and Soul this, they did not pull the “gang of rapists corner our badass heroine and she kicks their ass” card.  Which I fully expected an anime of this caliber to do. Nope, instead, people are loud and obnoxious, but relatively polite without thinking everyone is trespassing into their territory just because they’re walking down a street. After some meandering where we’re treated to “day in the life of the Blade and Soul universe”, which was pretty interesting. It felt far more real than most fantasy locales.

So we meet our Naruto for the series, Hazuki.  She’s slightly less obnoxious and slightly better to look at, but only slightly in both departments.  She takes Alka to the inn.  Apparently Hazuki is basically a drunk.  She racks up debt, pays it off, then drinks herself into it over and over.  This might be more interesting if I gave a crap about her other than how her head would treat the physics of being caught under a wagon wheel.

Well because Alka is with her she gets dragged into working off the debt, at least since the water isn’t free. Which actually makes sense in a desert town.  Apparently the innkeeper has maid outfits, but she notices the butterfly tattoo on Alka.  She tells her to leave.  And I like this character even more.   She promises not to give Alka away to Param, but requests she go to leave her inn from getting caught up in Param politics.

I thought that the one strand of hair Alka leaves long when she cuts her hair was stupid and there just to be edgy, but, the show is conscious of it by having her keep it over the butterfly tattoo as often as she can.  Again, this show, despite being so pedestrian, is showing us some very well thought out things. I don’t know if the positive stuff is ALL taken straight from the game (I’d believe it, though), but it’s elevating this show a bit, and it’s important to acknowledge.

Of course for her safety measures (which are sadly inconsistent), Alka is ambushed in the street by not one, two, but three assassins coming to collect the bounty.  Naturally, Alka murders them all….no, wait, two of them are borderline crazy and kill each other.  Convenient.

Our innkeeper arrives to block a fourth shot, Alka speeding away.  Apparently Hazuki doesn’t get hung over, because she’s yelling at her.

If she’s in much more of this series I’m just going to start calling her EroNaruto…you could cut and paste her attitude and it fits so well.

Again, our innkeeper lady (I still haven’t caught her name) warns Hazuki not to be so eager, or she’ll get killed.  Oh, that’s her name. Karen.  I like Karen a lot.

Hazuki pursues Alka, and after a fight where Hazuki tries to pull of the crazy yandere chick but fails, Alka gets the better of her. She’s about to kill her, but Karen intervenes, clearly not here for the bounty, just to stop the fight.  She lectures Hazuki a little bit, but realizes she’s talking to a brick wall and keeps it brief.

Karen is establishing herself as our Urahara, and far more effectively than Hazuki is winning our hearts as Naruto.  She’s clearly had a history with fighting, and is likely doing a job far beneath her station.  But she’s content to live life rather than fight, and that gives her a few layers.

There were too many logical hiccups here to call this a good episode, and we probably crammed the action scenes into the end too quickly, we could have cut the drinking scene by a LOT and not lost anything. Alka is quiet, Hazuki is a drunk and obnoxious, we get it.  Still, we are seeing some nice elements.  Can the show pull it together?

Oh who are you kidding. No. No a million times.

 

 

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