Angels and demons locked in an eternal struggle for dominance, huh? That’s an age-old tale for sure. In any case, it’s character development time in this week’s episode because if we’re going to go on a wild journey with these characters, we might as well know what they’re all about. We thus see that although lots of people seem to call her a demon, Amira can’t even hold her own around alcohol. One sip was enough to get her drunk, which Favaro almost used to his advantage. Oh, but don’t worry. He wasn’t going to do anything perverted or lecherous with the cute girl as one might expect from anime. This isn’t really your standard anime. Rather, he just wants to kill her. Of course, she’s insanely powerful; far more power than Favaro, in fact. As a result, he can’t really best her in an actual battle. So instead, he tries to kill her in a variety of ways, directly or indirectly. Unfortunately for our protagonist, it would seem that fate itself is conspiring against him. At one point in the episode, even a horse forces Favaro to save Amira when he had just sold her out to the royal knights a few moments ago. Again, it would appear that these two are destined to stick together at least for now.
Like most kisses, that kiss from last week’s episode was a way to form a contract. As a result, Favaro must tell Amira how to reach Helheim, or he’ll forever carry that silly demon tail on him. He even tries to cut it off with his own dagger to no avail. As such, our rogue has only two options: he can either help the girl or, again, kill her and perhaps the tail will go away. But can he really kill someone who’s only looking for her own mother? It’s not the most compelling backstory, but don’t you feel sorry for a girl who literally gets sad when she sees a young animal run around with its mother? In fact, Amira really is rather innocent, which I’m not particularly keen about. Still, I can’t say she isn’t a sympathetic character. MAPPA has done a great job in animating the girl’s various facial expressions, and this really goes a long way in making the girl come alive. In general, this seems to be one of the show’s primary strengths. The characters are just rather likable. Hell, as selfish as he might seem at times, Favaro is still a rather charismatic fellow, but I’ll get to that in a bit. My point is, the anime has done a great job in getting me interested in these characters, and best of all, they’re not high schoolers.
If there’s anything that standardly anime-ish about this episode, however, it’s the fact that even though our girl is a powerful “mahou shoujo” (if only in the sense that she can transform and kick major ass), at the same time, she’s utterly naive and clueless about the world around her. Once again, we see her destroy one of Favaro’s enemies in one fell swoop. Even though she desperately wants to reach Helhelm, he convinces her that they need some funds for the trip. I can’t help but wonder if he might continue to take advantage of her power in future episodes to make himself rich. In any case, they take a detour to hunt down some giant goat-like creature. Needless to say, our “mahou shoujo” didn’t even break a sweat in the ensuing “battle” (it was too short to be a real battle). So perhaps she is a demon. Then again, perhaps she’s something even greater than just your bog standard hell creature. We learn this week that she’s stolen a God key, and should two God keys come together, “it will awaken.” They must be talking about Bahamut, huh? And Bahamut is still imprisoned up in Helheim, isn’t it?
So you can’t help but wonder if Bahamut is perhaps Amira’s mother. The thing is, Amira doesn’t really belong on either side of this angels vs. demon divide. The angels are after her for the God key, but so are the demons. In fact, the demons outright want to kill her, so it’s hard to think she’s one of their kind. And remember, even though angels and demons are almost always eternal enemies in our stories, we actually saw them work together to subdue Bahamut in last week’s episode. So what is Amira, really? Yes, she has a demon tail, but at the same time, she has no real ally… except for the foolish Kaisar and that kickass horse (it really was a pity that they had to leave that horse behind), I suppose. Even Favaro wants nothing to do with the cute girl, but apparently, Kaisar has fallen in love with Amira at first sight. He might not like it when he finds out who she really is, but then again, we don’t really know who she really is either. All we have are some clues to go on. The head of the royal knights seems to have the same pendant that we see around Amira’s neck. There’s certainly a connection there, but what connection? We can only wait and see.
But speaking of Kaisar, we see a bit more into his character, too. Yeah, he falls in love with Amira, because he fancies himself a (white) knight. But really, it’s just his archetype. He fulfills that role of a duty-bound character since Favaro is the direct opposite. Furthermore, Kaisar’s role in this show is to play the straight man to the trickster in Favaro. The straight man is what makes the humor work. His interactions with Favaro wouldn’t be so effective if he wasn’t so straitlaced. Again, Kaisar was once a noble, but this time, we learn that his family was not only disgraced, but publicly executed. Worst of all, he blames all of this on Favaro. Really? I’m sure Favaro played a part in Kaisar becoming a bounty hunter, which is a career that people don’t seem to look fondly on in this universe, but did Favaro go so far as to get Kaisar’s family killed? That, I’m not so sure about. I just wonder if our protagonist is truly that unscrupulous. Then again, he’s repeatedly tried to kill Amira in this week’s episode, and she’s a rather innocent character. So who knows? I guess the jury’s still out on the guy.
Favaro’s clearly a morally grey character, and while some people seem to find him annoying, I think he’s a refreshing character. I mean, he’s supposed to be annoying. He’s supposed to be selfish. He’s supposed to be full of shit. Essentially, he’s a bit of anti-hero, which is why in last week’s episode, I even compared him to Captain Jack Sparrow. Again, he’s not as flamboyant — well, he’s a little “boyant” — but you can see how they sort of share the same character traits. Favaro doesn’t really buy Amira’s story, but more importantly, he’s a rogue. As a protagonist, he’s a nice change-of-pace from your standard, wholesome anime hero who feels this weird, unnatural compulsion to help everyone in need. Instead, Favaro’s just a scoundrel in this world filled with nobles, angels, and demons. He’s a nobody, so he’s got look out for numero uno. This philosophy is probably the only reason he’s made it this far. Still, whereas we’ve learn a bit about Amira and Kaisar’s past, Favaro is still a bit of a mystery. Hopefully, this will be rectified in future episodes.
Anyway, we got another well-executed episode. So far, this is my favorite anime this far. But of course, it’s early, so like always, take everything I say with a grain of salt.