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Helck Episode #22 Anime Review

3 min read
I feel like this kind of adaptation is one that won't please anyone and it just becomes less interesting the more it goes on

“Spell Breaker”

What They Say
Hyura and Edil battle it out at Castle Thor while a strange relationship starts between them. Meanwhile, Mikaros is confronted by Azudra and reveals a past grudge.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The struggle with this series continues for me and I’m finding it more frustrating the closer we get to the end of the season. I can see how they’ll wrap things up – and I do expect there’ll be more of the show because of how they’re adapting the completed work – but this is the kind of property that I wish they had reworked from page to screen so that it worked better in this medium. The manga succeeded because of its format and pacing but the anime has been feeling listless with so much flashback material and then shifting to a fight that doesn’t feel all that engaging to me – especially after doing a one-off episode focusing on Asta doing spy things. It’s just so all over the place and doesn’t feel like it has a cohesive forward-moving approach to what it’s doing, making it less than engaging.

Thankfully, we do loop back to Asta and the young woman she somehow managed to befriend who now wants her help in getting out of there. Asta’s not completely sure about her since she does throw a few curveballs but she can’t just leave her here either, especially since she says she knows both Cless and Helck and she really wants to see Helck. There are some interesting things to all of it and Shalamy does offer some tidbits, especially when her special power is revealed that basically expands the reach of others powers, as you can see how that could be used in a pretty dark way. But we also see how those within the castle here have a special control over Shalamy herself, giving Asta a real run for her money in trying to help her escape but also to stay free herself. It reinforces the importance of Shalamy pretty well but at the same time, it’s such a late add to things.

© Nanaki Nanao / Shogakukan / Helck Production Committee

And our leading pair aren’t even in this episode outside of some brief moments. The back half shifts back to what Azudra is dealing with in taking down Mikaros and it’s something that, for the most part, you know he’s going to accomplish based on what we know of Azudra. It’s done well in terms of Mikaros powering up and being an unexpectedly difficult person to deal with, but the battle itself was only going to go a couple of different ways. Everything is laid out as being so overstacked against Azudra and his forces that it’s almost comical, especially with how Mikaros presents it. The action elements around all of this are decent enough and Mikaros presents a good sense of power and presence about himself. But we also get a lot of posturing and dialogue to pad it out a bit so it doesn’t have the strength of a serious action sequence, which hurts it a bit. The music cues do help, however.

In Summary:
Things are moving toward a big moment in order to close out the two-cour series but at the same time, it all just feels so disconnected in a way. With so much time spent with flashback material and then Vermilio and Helck being sidelined largely since then as well, it’s doing a lot but it’s not a lot that feels interesting. It’s done well and I do like seeing how Mikaros is coming across and that Azudra realizes he has to be careful here, but there are a lot of balls being juggled at the moment and I don’t know that they have it together well enough to stick the landing at this point. It just feels less interesting with each new episode.

Grade: C+

Streamed By: HIDIVE