Sorey is no King Arthur, but Arthur didn’t fuse with angels to smite dragons.
What They Say:
Episode #3: “The Sacred Blade Festival”
Sorey and Mikleo travel to Ladylake, capital of the Hyland kingdom and home to the legend of the Lady of the Lake. Excitement in the city is at an all-time high, due in part to the upcoming final ceremony of the Sacred Blade Festival.
Content: (please note that content portions of this review will contain spoilers)
Sorey and Mikleo arrive in Ladylake, cutting out all of the random battles in between. The massive city on the water is currently in the middle of the Sacred Blade Festival, and our hero can’t really get in the city without a pass in time to see the ceremony. Luckily he’s spotted by a merchant named Rose, who is quick to mark him as a tourist and tries to extort some cash out of him. That doesn’t sound lucky until you realize Rose didn’t check him for gald before getting him through the gate. She lets him go without paying when she realizes he might have some connection to Alisha.
Sorey isn’t the only one in the city, that demon who was after Alisha is too, but when Sorey catches sight of it and gives chase the demon calmly states he’s not longer after the princess (which explains how Alisha was able to get back to the city safely, she should have been mincemeat), and even tips Sorey off that someone else is out to kill her. That someone would be the council, who pays the assassin guild the Sparrowfeathers to kill Alisha. The first episode already ruined Rose’s surprise alter-ego, or what little surprise it is since it’s rather obvious. (I’m not sure anyone unfamiliar with the game plot would notice or remember.)
The city looks cheery on the outside, but turmoil is filling the city with a dark aura. The malevolence (get used to that term, you’ll be hearing it a lot) is a poisonous miasma to the seraphim, created from the dark emotions of humans and animals. Sorey and Mikleo make their way to the cathedral where the sword ceremony is in its final moments. The miasma is thick at the ceremony, as knight after knight fail to draw the blade at the center of the room. What the normal humans can’t see if the lady seraph lying in front of the blade, watching as her city prepares for a preemptive strike against a neighboring country.
Things go from bad to worse when Alisha begins to speak to the crowd. She speaks out against striking first, an unpopular opinion, and that’s when the malevolence hits critical mass. A hellion beast appears, mostly invisible to the confused and panicking crowd, and begins to wreck shit. Sorey then steps up to take his own turn at drawing the blade, which he does, but only after a warning from the Lady of the Lake seraph, Lailah, that being the savior isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. (No one else seems aware of the irony that the Ladylake’s seraph is actually fire based? It’s also taking me a bit to get used to her Japanese voice, which has changed since the game because her game voice actress sadly passed away. It’s also much higher pitched that her English voice actress.)
Sorey’s actions put a halt to all the chaos, which includes Alisha under attack from her would be assassin. This is a massive, chaotic fight scene but everything still looks amazing. Especially Sorey joining forces with Lailah and using her fire power to strike the hellion down. The appearance of the Shepard certainly draws everyone’s attention. When the flames die down Sorey passes out, leaving a stunned crowd standing around.
From ‘maybe you’re the chosen one’ to ‘congrats! you’re the chosen one’ in record time! Sorey arrives in Ladylake and makes with the hero business pretty quickly. Little does he know the political mess he’s just thrown himself into. Alisha’s reworking for the anime and the tightening of the plot are perfect examples of how to do a game to anime conversion the right way. All of the important stuff is intact, including the characters personalities. The relatively generic plot is the only reason I could see for viewers to grow bored of this visual splendor.
Episode Grade: B +
Streamed by: Funimation