Ah, what can’t Klaus do? Judging by the third episode, our great leader is obviously incredibly smart and mentally resilient. And I’m sure always knew that he was a great fighter, but this week’s episode just takes it one step further. There’s no stopping Klaus in a bare knuckle fight once he gets started. Had this been any other anime, the first three sentences to this post would precede a rant about how the main character is such an overpowered Gary Stu. And yeah, Klaus is kind of an important character. Luckily, he’s not the main character. The focal point of the story is still Leo, and the kid’s got plenty of limitations that makes him interesting to watch. And Klaus is interesting, too. He gets to be interesting because he doesn’t always steal the spotlight. It gets boring when someone that capable ends up doing everything. Luckily, we only get a glimpse of Klaus’s greatness every now and then.
In any case, this is one of those episodes that don’t really appeal to me on any sort of emotional level. In other words, it’s enjoyable, but not particularly memorable or affecting. It’s all just flavor. A lot that we see in this series is just there to add flavor. Like that episode about vampires, for instance. Even though this is a universe full of strange and sometimes intimidating-looking monsters, vampires seem so much threatening. Not only that, there are so many of them lurking in the Beyond. And yet, when everything finally comes to a head, I don’t think those guys will play any significant role in the narrative. I could be wrong, but both the King of Depravity and the King of Despair seem like more than enough for at least this season. So what are the vampires even good for? Just flavor… and likewise, Klaus’s bare-knuckle boxing here is just flavor. Not the sort that lingers long after the fact. It’s just something.
It’s something to see just how good Klaus is. It’s something to see that no matter who or what we are, people just enjoy the raw carnage that comes with this sort of bloodsport. Well, not me. I’m a huge fan of sports in many of its forms, but I’ve never gotten into anything that resembles fighting. Boxing? Nah. Karate? I’ll pass. MMA? Nope. Wrestling? Definitely not. So it was amusing to hear that guy wax poetic and extol the virtues of bare-knuckle boxing to Leo. Maybe it just scratches some sort of primal itch, one that I unfortunately do not share. But it’s an itch that Klaus doesn’t mind indulging every now and then. He came all the way out here, because he cares about his guys enough to actually think that Zapp is in danger, but eventually, he also loosens up as the heat of battle warms up. So we see both sides of Klaus as a leader. He’s loyal to his allies to a fault, but he’s also a killing machine.
In the end, the owner of the arena jumps into the ring just to get a taste of Klaus for himself. A punch eventually reveals, however, that the owner is nothing more than a corpse being controlled by some vampire. Clearly, however, not all vampires are out to kill and murder people, and this guy quickly disappears as soon as his true identity was revealed. What to make of it? Nothing, I’d imagine. Again, it’s just flavor. Rather, the episode’s more significant moments bracket all the fighting that happens in-between. Leo spends some one-on-one time with Black, a.k.a. White’s “clumsy” brother. Yes, masquerading as a klutz is pretty much the oldest trick in the book, but just as Klaus is all too trusting, so is Leo. But it’s intriguing to hear that White supposedly has a bad heart. That can mean anything. And it’s more intriguing to see Black’s facial expressions when he hears that White had called herself a ghost.
I don’t really know where this is all headed, but I don’t feel like Leo and White are going to live happily ever after or something. Just a gut feeling. Black and White are kind of like foils for Leo and his sister, so narrative-wise, once they’ve served their purpose, they’re also pretty easy to discard. Moreover, she is (along with her brother) an anime original character, right? So she’s probably impermanent, which might speak to the fact that she’s a ghost. Now that we’ve more or less cross the halfway point, maybe the narrative can start building towards some sort of conclusion. I guess the thing that interests me most now is whether or not that conclusion is also a conclusion for the two anime original characters. I can’t say I’m really rooting for any particular outcome, though. I guess it would be nice to see some sort of happy ending, but I don’t have much emotional investment in either Leo or White. I’m just curious.