Blade and Soul: Episode 4


We open on the excitement of flashback. It’s really a visual narration of some words Alka’s master offered her once upon a time.  It’s, as I gather, some “meaning of life” stage of her training.

She’s unconscious, and being tended to by some orphans.  Her tattoo is completely dark.  We are then treated to orphans being orphans, stealing food from tall, fat street vendors, you’ve seen Aladdin, you know the drill.

Fortunately, upon waking up the first thing Alka does is NOT kill them, which has been how she’s greeted everyone else up to this point who got the jump on her.

Cutting to the inn, Loana is injured and in bed.  She isn’t exactly sure why she’s here, so she puts on her clothes and walks downstairs.  Luckily, Of Mice and Men survived the massacre.  But only them.  Joy.   She recognizes Karen’s name, but we don’t get any details.  This is the start of Blade and Soul tipping its hand too heavily with Karen.  From this point on, the series will be REALLY in your face about “Oooo look how special snowflake she is!” while refusing to give you details because that equals drama to the simple minds who wrote this show.

The incident with Alka seems to have shaken Jin, and she’s quietly contemplating her “Impurity”.  But Femme Fatale is there and…you know what, fuck it. Embrace the Lesbians Are Evil trope! I’ll take it at this point, ANYTHING is a welcome distraction.

Our orphans don’t know what to do for money right now, so Brother (I didn’t catch either of their names) takes one of Alka’s swords, reasoning that, hey, she has two, one will sell pretty well.  But he comes upon a highway robbery, and the criminal is there.  Don’t worry, he kills a woman right in front of us so when Brother kills him, we know he was justified.  Seeing the valuable all over the ground, though, he can’t resist and sells them so he can get some food.

In Alka’s dreams she’s remembering when the master used Heaven’s Spirits to induce a hallucinogenic state and…okay, you know the moral of the tale. “A sword isn’t just for killing it’s for living” yadda yadda, let’s skip this.

Well Little Sister is impressed by the food, but Alka knows what’s going on already. And we see the cycle repeat day after day, until Alka confronts him over it.  Brother gives the usual speech that you see in a Reefer Madness video, about the gun sword makes him feel like a man and people respect him.

Am I the only one who feels a bit uncomfortable this message is happening in a video game anime?  Don’t we have enough problems?

This is such a strawman argument.  And it exists for no reason.  Ultimately what will doom this kid is that he bit off more than he could chew. He wasn’t ready for the responsibility that came with handling a weapon.  We don’t need this speech about his micropenis to sell the point home.  And yes, while true, those without power will often resort to violent ends when they feel justice cannot be meted out any other way, but the show is coming DOWN on him for it. “You should recognize your place as a piece of shit peon” is just a moronic message to send.  And that’s being generous.

Brother attacks another caravan, only this time…his spoils are…! Yes, Heaven’s Spirits.  He just attacked a drug shipment. In fact, a drug shipment under the auspices of Karen.

Well the cartels have tracked him back home, and as the thugs break in, a scuffle breaks out, and Brother is shot twice.

Just, damn. Not even the CHILDREN are safe from Reverse Refrigerator Syndrome. Last week it was getting annoying, but now it’s just funny. I think we found our Blade and Soul drinking game.  I thought at first perhaps the selection of an all-female cast was a conscious choice, but no. Clearly in this universe men exert some new law of physics that makes their body attract bullets.

This pathos snaps Alka out of her recovery and she dispatches them.  She departs after helping Sister bury the body, another life ruined by Alka just going about her business.

But Sister will be joining the team growing at Karen’s inn. So there’s that I guess.

I want to be more angry at this episode, but I’ve seen Episode 5. And the Aesop there is so much more broken, I don’t even know how I’ll keep my mouth shut.



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