World Conquest Zvezda Plot Episode 10-11

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Recap

Turns out there was a giant civil war this entire time and West Udogawa had been the only neutral region thanks to Zvezda’s efforts. However, now that Tokyo’s governor (also Asuta’s father) has brought his special forces to the battlefield, Kate and her followers are easily beaten and forced on the run. With things looking grim, Asuta strengthens his convictions…sort of.

Gee’s Thoughts

As episode 9 revealed, West Udogawa has been invaded by the Tokyo military. Yes, I realize how nonsensical that sounds, but thanks to a fast and oddly convenient recap from Asuta, it turns out there’s been a giant civil war going on in Japan as Tokyo suddenly decides to wage a Nobunaga-esque war of conquest on the rest of Japan, quickly taking over 90% of it. It’s this kind of narrative inconsistency that really gets to me, especially when I watching Log Horizon and Kill la Kill, two shows with immensely rock solid narrative consistency. Sure, KLK is crazy, but ostensibly so is Zvezda. Being a spontaneous show does not invalidate its ability to evenly pace itself and tell a consistent story with a clear point. I think it says something when I’m 11 episodes into a show and I still don’t really understand the message it’s trying to tell. And yes, every decent piece of fiction should be able to effectively communicate its intent to the viewers. Throw in some confusing subplots related to the characters’ backstories and relationships and you have a plot that has no clue where it’s trying to go.

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It doesn’t help that Asuta, ostensibly our main character, still doesn’t really seem to have a place in the story. He makes a big speech in episode 11 about how he has no clue what lies in his future, how that is somehow okay, and he’s going to keep living his life that way. It’s such a wishy washy speech that I’m not even sure what was the point of making such a declaration. Compared to his dad, who is supposedly the villain, it’s kind of laughable really. And let me tell you, I’m probably taking the wrong message from this show, but Asuta’s dad is a fucking alpha male. This is a guy who knows what he wants, and will do anything to get it, consequences be damned. Those are qualities I can respect, even if the man himself is pretty sleazy. I suppose it’s a reflection of Japanese cultural values. When you have a culture that values subservience and timidity, strong men are the villains of the world.

That said, Zvezda continues to look great. Its strong art direction, even in the face of its loli-pandering and questionable attire choices, go a long way to making the show merely uninteresting rather than straight up terrible. With what appears to be 1 or 2 episodes left, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of conclusion and message Zvezda will try to show its viewers.

3 thoughts on “World Conquest Zvezda Plot Episode 10-11

  1. I would first of all argue that Sekai Seifuku has been completely consistent in its narrative, hinting all along that the country was mired in civil strife. Recall the opening scene with everyone shutting up shop around Asuta because of the imposition of martial law.

    More to the point, Zvezda is about family and acceptance and is being told as a sort of fairy tale. I guess it could be argued that the storytelling has been somewhat roundabout and indirect, but for me, that’s the charm of it.

    But to hold up Kill la Kill as being a show with “rock solid narrative consistency” you’ve really lost me. Is Kill la Kill fun, exciting and entertaining? Sure, although I would personally argue it’s not nearly so as its biggest fans would claim. Of course, that’s personal opinion.

    But to claim a show in which its ostensible protagonist switches sides and attitudes seemingly on whether the episode number is odd or even as having “rock solid narrative consistency” is frankly ludicrous.

    It’s perfectly fine to knock the way the story is being told in Sekai Seifuku. Myself, I find it enchanting, but I could understand someone not enjoying it. However, just because it isn’t a linear narrative doesn’t mean it isn’t consistent.

    And just because you enjoy Kill la Kill, with its glowing nipples, more than Zvezda doesn’t mean its own half-assed storytelling is “rock solid.” Maybe you can explain to me why killing the original Life Fiber in the penultimate episode seemingly had no effect whatsoever on anything, because that ain’t my idea of a well-conceived narrative. It’s my idea of still needing one more final episode to be action-packed.

      • I’m not a big fan of Kill la Kill, but it’s hardly about the war against life fibers. Life fibers themselves are pretty neutral, hence Senketsu, who’s a Life Fiber good guy. Are not Mako and others now wearing life fiber suits again at the end to improve their fighting??

        The objection to life fibers is that Ragyo is misusing them to take over the world. I can understand the confusion, however, since the whole story has been just one asspull after another.

        Unlike the blunt force of Kill la Kill, Sekai Seifuku is telling its story much more subtly, without the use of farting dogs. And it’s not about world conquest, really. It’s about acceptance and family. What does Asuta say in episode 10 when Kate & Co. ask him to consider going back to his father?

        To paraphrase, he said, “I’m staying with you, because you accepted me and never asked any questions.”

        Look at the difference between Zvezda and White Light. In Zvezda, everyone eats together and supports one another. In White Light, they don’t know who the others are and are frequently undermining one another, such as leaving Renge out during the treasure hunt.

        You see, the purpose of Kate’s “conquest” is to make the world a happier, more accepting family (except for smokers!). Go back and watch episode 4, where it shows Natasha first joining forces with Kate after being dumped by her own family.

        Still, as I said, I can understand not liking Zvezda. People see art differently. And what’s meant to be sort of a whimsical, fantastical fairy tale isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

        But to completely overlook the story’s subtext and make a silly argument that it’s not using a proper narrative, isn’t a matter of taste. It’s just missing the point.

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