Amira and Favaro take a boat to Helheim with Kaisar and Rita hot on their heels. After some kidnapping and a giant enemy crab, we find the foursome in the company of some pretty terrifying demons.
Now that we have our main cast, we need to set about bringing them together. Not just in the location sense, but in a way that doesn’t mean Kaisar is trying to kill Favaro at first glance. Episode 4 lays the foundation for this in that we get a bit of a party mix-up towards the end, with episode 5 completing what you could consider to be the scaffolding. It all begins on a boat trip to Helheim…
First of all, we see early on in this series that Favaro is pretty intelligent. It’s somehow a little baffling that he’s lured into the ‘boat to Helheim’ idea by the shadiest looking guy in the entire port, though I suppose we have to let him off when he meets a friend of his fathers. It’s pretty hard to doubt someone like that, but I just don’t see why you’d give the clearly evil guy the time of day. It’s also interesting to see Rita tagging along with the whole thing. Obviously Kaisar is chasing Favaro down to save Amira (because let’s be honest, he doesn’t really want to kill Favaro) but Rita isn’t invested in this whole cat and mouse game. Perhaps she thinks it’s more fun than being alone, or perhaps she feels that Kaisar is the only one that really understands her. I suppose the question is whether or not she can feel emotion as a zombie.
In all honesty the boat trip isn’t that important. There were two things that did matter, however. The first is that the friend of Favaro’s father was a backstabbing asshole, and the second is that Amira and Kaisar wound up kidnapped. Amon’s betrayal and apparent death is not a huge deal in itself, but the fact that he was associated with Azazel and subsequently gained demon powers makes it seem awfully like Favaro’s dad and his group were far more important than we know. This is basically confirmed with the reveal that Azazel knows Favaro and Kaisar’s fathers by name, but you’ve got to wonder exactly why that is.
The kidnapping is immediately important for the next episode, as it gives Favaro an opportunity to show that he still considers himself a friend of Kaisar. I’m not convinced this decision had a lot to do with Amira, as while I don’t think he’d leave her there to die while saving Kaisar, I don’t think he’d have been willing to go up there after her if Kaisar wasn’t there. At the very least, Rita certainly wouldn’t have had the motivation to chase after her. While the split-up helped to forge a better bond between Favaro and Rita, Kaisar was also able to learn the truth about Amira. Now both he and Favaro know, so given those two quickly resolve what is probably a huge misunderstanding (because this is an anime so of course it is) they’re set to go questing together as a foursome.
The torture of Amira was particularly brutal, and it did well to emphasise what she was going through without the need to show gore and/or censor bars. It makes sense for the demons to be pretty demonic about these things, but it’s an important way to show us that Amira isn’t like that. We know she’s a demon is one way or another, and this sets up a stark contrast between her actions and those of Azazel and company. It hasn’t yet needed to state that specifically, which earns it top marks in my book.
This show continues to be an absolute hoot. I think the last time I’ve felt this kind of excitement from a journey story was Samurai Champloo back in the day. Everything, from the animation to the direction, comes together fantastically to build this world filled with whimsy and danger. After the grimmer events of last week, we get a story on the high seas that would put any Pirates of the Caribbean sequel to shame. A big reason why I think this show is so great to look at is its visual design is always top-notch. Every monster and person in this show has a great style. The writing also knows how to get on the right side of ridiculous as the crew not only has to fend of sea monsters, but zombie pirates and an army of fishmen. The action remains so fun and frenetic that it’s hard to take your eyes off the screen the whole episode. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of Favaro’s craziness or his multitalented crossbow, and the show seems to continue to promise just that.
The next episode doesn’t waste any time getting back to the action. I love the idea of mixing up the parties. Rita and Favaro are definitely the most confident of the bunch, so seeing them have a little war of words was fun. Favaro’s brashness is his most endearing quality, so to see him straight up threaten a god was just great. The only problem about this episode is that the demon’s fixation on Amira meant that she and Kaisar didn’t get much time to mingle, and Amira herself didn’t really get many lines at all. There was also way too much blatant fanservice from Cerberus this time. I don’t mind it casually, but when you’re just having the girl lie in full view of the camera as she spouts exposition, it gets to be too much. In the end, it’s not enough to take away from Bahamut‘s strong suits, and I can’t wait to see more.