All the compelling elements that this season was building up to, all culminated within this episode. Rishia, Ost and Naofumi, all took major steps ahead in their development as characters. This is by far the most complete and fulfilling episode from beginning to end.
After a “no s**t” moment where Ost is revealed to be the “avatar” for the Spirit Tortoise, it turns out Kyo Ethnina captured the other 3 Cardinal Heroes, using their powers as backup to fuel the Spirit Tortoise.
Fitoria shows up to help cut the Spirit Tortoise’s head off, while L’arc’s party is tasked with cutting the heart off as doing both at the same time would finish it off for good.
Before the 2 aforementioned things could be made possible, it all started with Rishia’s biggest moment of the entire series. As Kyo Ethnina uses the cheat code that is controlling gravity, Rishia surprises everyone with her ability to resist it. Now, starts one of the memorable moments of the entire series!
Rishia Going “Super Saiyan Green”
Dear Anime Gods,
Thank you for one of the best character developments I’ve seen in quite some time. Not only did you make this character completely useless in the beginning, she’s a simp for a very non-likeable character making it quite a hilarious dynamic. In one of the greatest turnarounds ever, you made her become every “shonen” trope possible. She becomes confident, wittier, delivers badass dialogue and then tops it off by turning Super Saiyan Green. I just want to say thank you for these blessings. It was very unexpected, but very welcomed.– Love You Gods, Otaku Sinh
If there was a star of this episode, it is 100% Rishia. This is the coming out party for her character if you will. With a huge list of characters that could be used as the forefront to carry this episode, you’d never think it would be the weak-minded Rishia. To be fair at this point, no one really knows what Rishia’s capabilities are. I don’t think we can still define what she really can do. Although, there are hints and clues as to what the possibilities are. I never thought she’d be the one carrying these epic sequence of scenes. The tone, the confidence, and what turns out to be the perfect bad guy to fight against; I’m convinced the writer made Kyo Ethnina to be just that guy for her own character development.
The transition and building of the moment for Rishia couldn’t have been THAT much better. You can nitpick some parts where they could have made that lead up feel more dire. I think it’s just the innate expectation that “the good guys will find way” that kind of kills the moment of actually thinking the bad guy can win. This anime hasn’t really shown that any important characters have the ability to “kick the bucket,” so naturally I think most people would be thinking in this way. Although, it doesn’t take away the perfection of Rishia’s “coming of age” moment.
Within a very short span, we were able to witness a complete 180 of what many thought of her. Where she was not confident, she became brave and stoic. What Kyo lacked, Rishia recognized in herself. How Kyo handles relying on other people’s powers, Rishia recognized she could accomplish on her own. There’s clearly a point of emphasis to contrast these two character’s similarities, while seeing how they deal with it differently.
I’m not a musician or will pretend like I know much about music at all, BUT the kind of music played during certain scenes and especially this one, really hit you in the feels. After Kyo Ethnina uses the “gravity technique” and after all season hinting at Rishia’s hidden abilities, the “coming of age” kind of music with the piano fits so well. It’s the kind of musical score that gives you goosebumps because you know something significant is about to go down. In this case, Rishia is breaking character and “becoming” something. These are the kind of moments I’ve been clamoring for all season!
One scene after another, taking down every spell and creature Kyo could conjure up maybe the most badass moment of the entire season. She even saved the other 3 bum Cardinal Heroes by shooting out a projectile like it was nothing. Judging by Raphtalia and Naofumi’s reactions, it’s still difficult to grasp exactly what her skills are besides manipulating ki. Does she look this strong only because Kyo is weak? Other than that, this was by far the most unexpected and welcoming character development this entire season!
How Ost Helped Naofumi Develop
Like the teasing of Rishia’s character arc improving to this more confident and powerful version, the anime has teased the death of Ost’s death a couple times already. Not only did they try to kill her off twice, they teased her ability to give up her powers to Naofumi. This time, she gave away all of the Spirit Tortoise’s powers within herself to give to Naofumi, unlocking a new ability within the shield.
After the mages outside with Fitoria finish taking down the Spirit Tortoise, Glass & Therese takes down its heart. Now, Ost asks Naofumi to destroy its core, killing herself. Naofumi, in a change of heart, didn’t have the will in his heart to unleash the power of the “Wrath Shield.” With a smile on her face, Ost force unlocks Naofumi’s new shield, the “Spirit Tortoise Heart Shield” and destroys the core, killing herself.
In the end, Ost’s true purpose was to further the development of Naofumi. From the very beginning, Naofumi probably knew that he could have killed Ost off to stop the Spirit Tortoise, but chose not to. When he had the chance again, he chose not to do it. As Rishia is showing us what abilities she has, Naofumi just gained a new one with this newly minted shield. We can expect its capabilities to be used from this point onward.
Reliving the “Bad Guy has the Upper Hand” Gravity Scene
Coming fresh off the reveal of the previous episode that Ost is basically the Spirit Tortoise itself, this sets us up for the “everyone is here to fight the bad guy” moment. Kyo continues to antagonize Naofumi’ party until he reveals his control over the Spirit Tortoise’s gravity powers. In an instant, he seemingly holds the upper hand on literally every single character using this “gravity” ability.
This is a very interesting moment in this episode because it could have gone a lot differently if Rishia didn’t step in to fend off Kyo. When Naofumi’ was getting his head pounded in, I would assume he’d get pretty angry— it wouldn’t be that far-feteched to assume he’d unlock more of the “Curse Series” within the Wrath Shield.
Another scenario could have been Ost finding a way to give Naofumi her powers from the get-go. In the meantime, the biggest road block still would’ve been giving Naofumi and Ost time to make the transfer happen. In the end, it looks like Rishia HAS to be there or else we would’ve gotten a more volatile and messy scenario.
A Good Ending to an Episode
As much as I despise Kyo as the villain, the portrayal of his character misleading the audience on multiple occasions hit home as a pretty good despisable villain. In the waning moments of the episode, Kyo giving us the “psyche I lied!” moment; for a split second I really thought this was going to be it for him.
Teasing Naofumi’s new abilities regarding the shield. Ost teased that she hopes to be reborn, which means she will come back at some point. Honestly, they should have left her death as is and bring her back as more of a surprise, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Once Kyo escapes back to his world, L’arc’s party chases him down. Naofumi, wanting to help chase them down was able to unlock the ability to enter their world, bringing along Raphtalia and Filo. Naofumi commands Rishia “to stay with Itsuki.” Rishia cries, stating that “were comrades now!” The episode ends with those four entering L’arc’s world to chase down Kyo Ethnina.
I truly enjoyed the ride this episode took us on from start to finish. I don’t think any scenes were wasted and every moment had its purpose. The way that they handled Rishia coming up from the gravity scene, I’d wished they used that kind of drama in the previous episodes. Of course it won’t be on par because they’ve been building for this moment for 6 episode now. Still, my criticism remains that they should be taking notes directly from this episode if they need ever need some inspiration.
So, what about our main guy Naofumi? Because Ost helped Naofumi unlock a new shield with the “Bless Series,” I think we can assume he’s on his way for his own moment of glory. Not having to rely on the Wrath Shield and fighting with compassion will show a different side to Naofumi. We already knew this season was going to be a different Naofumi than the last because of how all the soldiers cheered for him in episode 2. We are about half-way through and we’re not going to have Ost Hourai for the foreseeable future. It’s now the main protagonist’s turn to be at the forefront of this series. With Naofumi, Raphtalia, Filo and Rishia entering L’arc’s world, we can expect our main cast of heroes to have the spotlight back!
Thank you anime gods for another classic!