Peace was never an option. Neither was pacing.
What They Say:
Episode 3: “HEED MY CALL, BEAST”
Orphen goes with Childman and the other Black Sorcerers in order to try to track down Azalie before they can kill her. He manages to track down the creature, and despite his best efforts to talk to her, the creature attacks.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Cardinal sin of light novel adaptations: rushing. Without being familiar with the source material it was impossible for me to determine how quickly the story was proceeding through the source material. I can say that by the end of this episode I’m certain that they must have crammed an entire 250 page light novel into three episodes.
Books are adapted into single movies all the time though, you’re thinking. Well, yes, and often it doesn’t work out well there either and they often clock in at a longer run time! The best light novel adaptation series usually average at least six episodes per volume, if not thirteen.
So, why does everything fall apart here? Well, aside from some truly lousy animation throughout most of the episode it’s a matter of empathy. The sorcerers from the tower are not nameless and faceless (except for one) but they might as well be. We know nothing about them other than they were Orphen’s classmates. When they start falling in battle I felt nothing. There was no reason to care about these people. They were generic red shirts with stupid haircuts, and never did I feel they were the creme de la creme of magic users like they were supposed to be.
The clues and hints dropped about the bombshell reveal that occurs near the end of this episode were laid carefully, but the reveal likewise lacks oomph. We didn’t know enough about Orphen’s former mentor to get a sense of the change in personality. We didn’t know enough about Azalie and her motivations are still mysterious.
Not to mention we’re never given a good reason for why Claome and the dwarves pursue Orphen into the woods. Yes, she wanted to help Orphen but how did she even know where he was? How did she convince the other two to go along? It’s all just sloppy.
The episode concludes with absolutely no hint at where the story could be going. The conflict has wrapped! Time to go home right? The novel series is twenty volumes long so there’s still plenty of material to murder. Once again we have another story that is being pushed out the door for a cheap nostalgia cash in. The rare moments of great animation or scenery are not enough to carry this show like this.
Three episodes in and I realize that this adaptation is taking the more is less approach to storytelling. The worst thing you can do when adapting light novels is to rush the source material. The plot which I thought was going to be the driving force for the majority of the season as wrapped up in episode 3. Orphen is now a man without a quest, having effectively cut ties with his past and succeeding at what he set out to do, even if the outcome wasn’t exactly what he was hoping for. So, that means that everything is now one giant question mark.
Episode Grade: C –
Streamed by: Funimation