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Helck Episode #19 Anime Review

4 min read
Backstory episodes can be really hit or miss depending on both the story and execution - as well as placement within the bigger picture.

“Vermilio of the Four Elite Lords”

What They Say
Helck’s motivations become clear with an awakening of a horrific truth. Vermilio vows to fight by Helck’s side.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Oh! That’s right, her name is Vermilio. I had forgotten since the past six or so episodes have been focused on backstory. Important backstory, very much so, but the framing of it has kept pretty much everyone but Helck out of things and that’s made it feel very disconnected from the series we’ve been watching. Understanding where Helck comes from, the losses along the way, and then seeing how everything turned against him and the dangers facing both mankind and demonkind was solidly done. But at the same time, it felt like it needed to be better relayed and with questions from someone like Vermilio in the present in order to expand on it and make it feel less like an extended information dump and more like actual storytelling. Especially since it’s been about five or six episodes worth of material.

With Vermilio now understanding what Helck has been hiding, and his way of apologizing to her for what he’s done and the pain of it, helps to put these two in an interesting place. His relating his escape that brought him to her land plays out well at the start here as he initially thinks he can still help Alicia at first, but reality becomes clear soon enough. While Vermilio does question him a bit about why he didn’t go the distance to stop this, the reality is that we see more and more of what Mikaros and the others have done and the form of so many that were so far gone. It’s just an unspeakable kind of evil being played out here and Helck’s ability to stop it seems like it’s impossible to follow through on. There are moments where Mikaros does realize he should have dealt with Helck earlier and at least tries to ensure that he’ll be properly ready for it in the future, hence his being teleported to the demonkind lands.

This is a lot for Vermilio to process and contrast from what she’s seen of him so far but she also knew he was hiding something since nearly the start. What becomes interesting is that Helck does admit that he has the power to defeat what’s going on but his concern is that his power may be more destructive. He wants to do the right thing but he also wants to ensure that a demon lord, such as Azudra, would have what’s needed to stop him in case he goes too far. Of course, he still doesn’t know the truth about Vermilio but she finally reveals her true name to him and that she will stand by him in this mission to protect the bigger picture. Considering both had hid things from each other it’s not a surprise that they’ll find common ground like this because both are looking at protecting the people over everything else. She takes it a few steps further and even offers him sanctuary once all is said and done and that’s a nice additional bit that gives him true hope.

© Nanaki Nanao / Shogakukan / Helck Production Committee

In Summary:
The structure of the episode is a bit odd and the back “half” has the pair back on their journey and doing a little good along the way in helping out a town that was under siege from a nasty monster. It’s a fun piece in just seeing how things operate there and the dynamic between Helck and Vermilio now. The lighter material is welcome after all of the serious things but it also leads into a bit more seriousness at the end with Harpey finally finding Vermilio for Azudra and moving the storyline forward from there. The refocus for the remainder of the season is being put into place and you can see the threads starting to come together to deal with it here.

Grade: B

Streamed By: HIDIVE