“Live with Honor, Die with No Pride”
With most of the smugglers still on the run, the Imperial Government cracks down even harder as their own corruption starts to come to light.
Gosh, for a guy who’s being billed as one of the main protagonists, Leocadio continues to… not really do much at all. He seems to exist to just be the one guy on the Empire side who isn’t a complete asshole, except he also keeps defaulting back to just following orders. They go detain Innumael’s sister, he thinks “hmm, what if, maybe, uh, this is bad?” and we move on. Granted, this is basically how I expected his character to go.
While we’re on the Empire, we also get a lengthy sequence about Helman (aka “Psycho Captain”) and his dramatic backstory, which frankly does not accomplish anything. I did not consider him a compelling character to begin with – shitty cops who get off on being in positions of power are nothing new – so a flashback about being abused and then killing people for an elaborate revenge changes what, exactly? Charitably, it’s a parable about how the Empire’s society is broken on every level, but instead it just raises questions of how this is even important to the plot. It certainly doesn’t explain why he’s weirdly invested in the Innumael case of all cases.
Innumael and crew don’t show up much either in this episode, with just a minor scene or two about them planning to sneak into the big city. Innumael has to wear a wacky disguise as some kind of priest (it’s actually a pretty good disguise) and the shoe drops from last week to reveal that Schaake is in fact blue blood. It’s all fairly workmanlike setup for whatever’s going to happen in Gutheil next time.
The week’s main plot is about Spy Lady, whom I feel has not really been adequately introduced. I didn’t realize for certain that she was with Headkeeper until halfway through this episode, and I honestly don’t even know her name. At any rate, she’s investigating discrepancies in the organization’s cash flow, and discovering that it all leads back into the Empire itself, specifically its CDC equivalent. Then she gets captured by their wacky long-hair anime scientist, because of course there’s one of those.
“But wait,” you think in the cursed year of 2020 CE, “a major nation actually funding its disease-control division? Sounds like bullshit!” You’d be right! It turns out the office in question is a creepy anime lab (staffed entirely by women for unclear reasons) conducting human experiments with a bunch of giant test tubes all over the place. When placed adjacent with last week’s creepy lab, the implication seems to be that in a bid to combat terminal luminosis, the Empire is kidnapping lower-class citizens and forcing them to contract luminosis. Apparently if one mutates into a creature, their body produces some kind of magic seed that can reverse the disease’s effects in someone who has not yet succumbed. The implications of this on the broader storyline are unclear to me, other than continuing to make the Empire and everyone in it continue to look bad.
Coming out of this with an especially large amount of egg on her face is Mary Bult, the politician who first showed up in the prologue of Episode 1. She returns this week to spout a bunch of chicanery about why Headkeeper are Bad People and how she’s spearheading an initiative to wipe them out once and for all… after the show has revealed that she’s one of their main backers and funneling the money through her accounts. Is she running a false flag to raise Imperial support? Is she actually for the common people protecting themselves? Who knows, but probably the former.
All told, investigating corruption and such is actually pretty interesting stuff for a fantasy-themed anime; it’s certainly more grounded and entertaining than, say, Mr Isekai Fucks 10,000 Slave Beast-Girls With An Appraisal Skill or whatever else is getting adaptations these days. I just also don’t have much faith that Magatsu will stick the landing.
- Spy Lady seems like kind of a shitty spy, but the security at the lab seems equally shitty so honestly she doesn’t do too bad of a job. What kind of secure safe is under a spotlight and behind a curtain?
- This episode also features Spy Lady’s contact at the restaurant eating a single bite of food and then leaving his entire breakfast untouched, confirming it was an intentional gag last time. Don’t waste food, folks.
- Helman’s aforementioned overly elaborate revenge against a single man includes a casualty list of one dead man, at least twenty dead women, and one woman emotionally scarred by losing her entire family. Not really worth it if you ask me.
- Jel’s said that since he’s played the Magatsu Wahrheit game, the stuff discovered in the lab is fairly clear.
- I have not played the game.