I’d say it is a testomony to my very own choice for storytelling sensibilities and simply how far these of the Yuki Yuna sequence have come that I felt this story revolving round Chikage bought far more attention-grabbing after she died. Dealing with the fallout that comes from the previous Hero’s actions, the circumstances her departure leaves the crew in, and this entire story’s scenario as a prequel is a compelling piece of world-building, as a result of we (in addition to presumably the present-day Hero crew studying the story) can see the seeds of how issues progressed to the system we all know immediately. Given the character of the franchise and this novel-adaptation story’s place therein, we may in fact at all times guess that issues had been going to prove badly for Nogi the First and Proto-Yuna. But not solely do these devilish particulars make that anticipated end result partaking regardless, however the extra reflective components of the plot we have arrived at additionally handle to push these emotional buttons this sequence is at all times greedy for.
Of course, earlier than we will discuss concerning the present’s efficient dealing with of the aftermath of Chikage’s demise, now we have to really watch her die. I do not assume the battle between her and Nogi is one of the best Hero vs Hero battle that Yuki Yuna has ever delivered, because the CGI use appears slightly extra clunky and apparent than prior to now (I do admire the cool dissolve impact on Chikage’s scythe as she loses her powers proper earlier than touchdown her final blow on Nogi although). Rather, the thematic and character threads that get hashed out right here work nicely in organising what’s to come back, whereas considerably smoothing over these problems with motivation on Chikage’s half I used to be uncertain about final week. Particularly, I’m into the concept that the “Side Effects of the Spirit System” excuse is extra Nogi attempting to whitewash the scenario than the rest, as Chikage’s accusations of her former comrade’s platitudes name the levels of Nogi’s motivations into query carrying on via the remainder of this episode.
The query of the Heroes being ‘public’ figures at this level within the timeline, the results on them due to that, and the distinction with how we all know they’re arrange later appears to be the driving theme of this arc. It interrogates the function of such ‘heroes’ in society each in fiction and in actual life: In Wakaba Nogi’s time, the individuals of the world are conscious of the horrible scenario with the Vertexes, and the Heroes are supposed to present hope within the face of that. Whether that not truly working is supposed to be a commentary by the writing on how such efforts would inevitably finish in the actual world, or just meant as a mirrored image of the other informative tactic being enforced in Yuki Yuna’s time, is maybe a matter for later, extra broad debate.
Rather, within the second, the expressed concept right here is that we should do not forget that ‘Heroes’ of their setting are nonetheless individuals, and may’t act as platitude-reinforcing monoliths always. This persists even at occasions the place an understanding of narratives would dictate in any other case; As we see with Chikage’s closing sacrifice, and the way it’s clearly much less about truly saving Nogi in that final second, and extra about merely attempting to finish her personal life in a method that lets her forgive herself for what she’s achieved. A heroic act that helps others, however truly achieved for your self. Have the opposite Heroes been higher than that, or are they too conscious that the one motive they did not go down the identical path as Chikage was as a result of they knew sufficient to not learn the feedback?
That type of uncooked seek for solutions within the wake of a tragedy is the middle of this episode that I feel makes it work in addition to it does. As I discussed final week, I acknowledge Chikage’s standing as a sufferer in her personal story whatever the deeds she perpetrated therein, and that is bolstered with the indignity of her even being omitted of the unique model of the Hero Memorial. In a method, that is carried on by the narrative itself, that the telling of her story solely turns into extra nuanced and attention-grabbing after her passing. But the real-world-style results of such a occurring are particularly leaned into by Great Mankai Chapter right here, utilizing this as a possibility to deal with depicting that tough scenario of discussing the dangerous issues an individual did after they’ve died. The Heroes can bear in mind the precise good occasions that they had with Chikage even then, reinforcing that there actually are not any simple solutions among the many decisions of combating a shedding battle for the sake of a public more and more hostile in direction of them, or solely searching for themselves regardless of the nominally noble process they have been assigned. With that in thoughts, it is in all probability factor that this prequel story got here so lengthy after every thing we have seen of the Yuki Yuna present correct, as at this level we all know that issues did lastly handle to get higher.
I’ve been vocal about my situation with Yuki Yuna delving too far into mere distress porn, however I feel this episode truly avoids that. It’s grim as the subject material it is cultivated for itself should be, however it leverages that to discover new thematic floor concerning the previous Hero System. It lets its characters (Chikage included) ask the query of the general worth of parading out characters like this in the event that they primarily exist to be subjected to traumas as dramatic shops or scapegoats. In that respect, I can see the worth in adapting this sequence after the earlier two seasons, and its portrayals of Hero scandal PR cleanup and magical lady press conferences makes a transparent case for its distinctive previous setting. What I’m saying is, not solely did this episode work for me, however this level it is arrived at retroactively made me admire the journey of the earlier couple episodes a bit extra. I feel the standard of Chikage’s story is advanced to guage by itself deserves, however that platitude embodied by the remaining characters on this episode, for her sake or their very own, rings true: I will not be forgetting her any time quickly.
Chris is a contract author who appreciates anime, motion figures, and extra ancillary artistry. He may be discovered staying up method too late posting screencaps on his Twitter.