So this week, our heroes find themselves in the clutches of the Neo Gaz Empire, an organization that hopes to rebuild the fallen empire. No wait, they’re really a band of thieves and swindlers. They either steal from the rich or trick unsuspecting travelers into joining them, and Toru and his friends just happen to be the latest victims. No wait — yes, once again — these thieves and swindlers initially did want to find a new home for former citizens of the fallen empire. They’ve just been led astray because times are so tough! They are hoping to take advantage of our heroes too, but you can’t really pull the wool over a saboteur’s eyes. Not only that, Julia, the girl who’s pretending to Princess Chaika, goes and gets herself captured when she attempts to steal once more from the rich. Thankfully, Chaika’s childlike naïveté gives these guys the second chance they totally need in order to turn their lives around! And y’know what, I can’t help but feel cheesed.
First, Chaika is hopelessly stupid. She knows she’s being hunted, but despite this, she endangers not only her own mission but her friends’ lives as well by refusing to follow Toru’s more-than-sensible advice. And for what? A promise? Seriously, she literally spends ten minutes talking to Julia, and that’s enough to make the clueless girl think she’s found a true, genuine friend. Yeah, yeah, she’s meant to be this way, because you could even say she’s “incomplete,” but that just leads us to the second problem: Chaika doesn’t even learn anything from this ordeal. After all, this band of merry thieves and swindlers merely needs a single event — one solitary event! — to reform themselves. Ah, who knows how long they’ve been preying upon unsuspecting travelers and stealing from the faceless rich! But nevertheless, Chaika’s good will towards them is enough to convince Julia, a girl that had once said, “That girl’s a real idiot,” to find a new goal in life! So Chaika is proven right in the end, and they may as well help every other poor sap they encounter.
What cheeses me the most, however, is that this episode feels like a complete waste of time. Despite all my complaints about Chaika’s character development being at a standstill, you can say her optimism is what makes her special and that I’m just a cynical old man! Fine, fine, we can just agree to disagree with Chaika’s portrayal. What’s worse in my eyes, however, is how the plot goes absolutely nowhere. Alberic and his crew are still doing the same thing they’ve been doing since the first damn week the show started airing. Man, this Gaz guy sure is mysterious! Let’s look into this some more. Aw man, I spent all day reading, and I learned nothing again! Gosh, what a mystery! Likewise, our heroes learn nothing. Oh, this band of merry thieves and swindlers used to be citizens of the fallen empire? Sorry, they don’t know jack shit about Gaz after all. To top it all off, we see a completely new character to the story murder someone in cold blood, but this is never touched upon again until the very last seconds of episode. Then it turns out this new baddie won’t return a floating fortress and-… whoops, show’s over! Move along, folks! Nothing to see here!
But seriously, this feels like a filler episode.