In this week’s episode, Alexis shows his mettle. Unfortunately, his former fiancee continues to disappoint.
— Welp, Lord Dawson is on his own. Honestly, Marrine is kinda useless as a leader. She couldn’t arrive in time to help Milza, and even if she had, she would’ve just needlessly endangered herself. And now, she’s unable to lend Dawson any help (not that the bastard deserves anything). The writing’s on the wall: Marrine is kinda incompetent. If all it takes is for a pep talk to turn the tides of the war, then she was never in a secure position to begin with.
— Alexis has suddenly become ruthless; he will only spare Dawson if he gets the latter’s crest. Amazing what a pep talk can do, huh?
— Oh look, another idiot thinks he can poke his head out from his heavily-defended position and win. If Milza couldn’t pull this off, what makes this Dawson chump that he can?
— If a guy has his eyelids half-closed, you know he means business.
— Guys, guys, can you tell that Alexis is a sensitive artist? Even his battle campaigns are works of art. Impressionist works of art, even!
— What’s remarkable is that Alexis is actually this good at leading his men. If he has always been this capable, then it makes it all the more damning that he hasn’t stepped forth into the battlefield until now.
— Oooooh, Marrine is shocked to hear that Alexis can stand up for himself! Maybe you shouldn’t have ditched him at the altar, girl! Then again, he waited years to get a backbone, so he deserved what he got.
— The more important question, however, is whether or not Marrine will really allow her former lover to die. She respects his talents, so she’s warning her allies to not take him lightly. In other words, she’s acting as if she’d be okay with him falling on the battlefield. Nevertheless, she later retreats to her bedroom and crumples in despair. Honestly, what a fool. She can cry all she wants, but the woman has no clue what she wants.
— Marrine claims that the war has just started. Uh, no, we’re already at episode 19. If anything, this war is about to end. Plus, if the Nords go down, who does Marrine have left on her side?
— This sorry excuse for a Viking warrior won’t take Alexis seriously. At the rate that this story is unfolding, I hope he gets his comeuppance by the end of the episode. After all, his daughter is kinda nasty.
— Boy, they sure do love the word “moppet.”
— This is kinda unbelievable, isn’t it? Alexis just crushed Dawson, and now he’s going to engage Sea King Erik shortly afterwards. Again, if he is actually this capable, then it makes it all the more pathetic that he was just sitting on his ass for the vast majority of this story.
— I like how all the Nord warriors have a moustache and beard set. It’s a requirement, I guess.
— I’m kinda surprised that Alexis is doing this alone, though. I know that Theo and the rest of the Altirk Treaty are engaged in a battle against Waldlind, but where are the rest of the Union forces?
— So apparently, Sea King Erik can turn his men into mindless idiots. They’re almost like zombies… except that they can die.
— Eventually, Alexis gains an advantage, and Erik is too proud to retreat. Typical. The latter insists on dying like a true warrior, whatever that even means.
— Oooh, turning the image negative! That’s a good animation trick!
— I’m not going to comment on Alexis’s battle strategies, because that’s not my forte. I’ve never taken an interest in this sort of thing. I’m told that his naval maneuvers here are inspired by a particular strategy used in WW2, but whatever. It’s not of particular interest to me.
— Erik charges in headfirst, and this shakes Alexis’s confidence. I guess our marquis never expected his opponent to put himself in direct danger. Maybe Erik will win, but even if he does, he’ll incur a heavy price. Nevertheless, he’s doing this out of pride. Erik no longer cares if he dies in the process so long as he dies like a warrior. It’s hard to win against someone who has nothing to lose. It’s also stupid.
— The animation is pretty terrible right now, but this is the first time that a Crest-wielder actually looks like an actual raid boss. He’s literally at least five times bigger than Alexis.
— I do like the fact that Alexis can’t actually fight. He can only cower as Erik slowly advances towards him. He’s a great commander, but he’s certainly not a warrior. This would probably explain why so many people — like Erik — refuse to take the marquis seriously.
— Haha, wow, Alexis’s mage suddenly reveals herself to be a badass ninja. Like with Alexis, if she could do this, why didn’t she try and stop Erik before the madman could take down so many of Alexis’s poor soldiers? I feel like I’m watching an adaptation of one of those stupid musou games, where these poor footsoldiers’ lives mean nothing to the heroes above them. They’re just meant to throw their lives away.
— Still, I like the imagery of Alexis having to willingly stain himself with blood in order to save Marrine. He’s no longer the innocent “moppet” that everyone views him as.
— Siluca is meeting with Marrine to negotiate a truce between Alliance and Union. The girl claims that the three major powers are now even on the battlefield. Is this really true, though? I mean, Marrine just lost two of her top allies in the course of three episodes. They keep painting Waldlind as this fearsome force, but when was the last time they won a major battle? Y’know, without resorting to chemical warfare.
— Needless to say, Marrine refuses to accept anything but complete victory for her side. What an idiot.
— Our girl tries one last gambit: she suggests that perhaps the Mage Academy was responsible for the Great Hall Tragedy. Our true enemy, she says. But Marrine remains stubborn. Sigh.
— Siluca even tells Marrine that Alexis entered the battlefield out of his love for her, but it’s to no avail. The sad part is that I bet Marrine will survive all this nonsense just to rub it in our faces. It’d be doubly hilarious if Alexis has to give up his life for her.
— After Siluca leaves, Marrine tells her mage to begin planning for an all out war against the other two factions. She wants to force the evil faction out of hiding, basically. All of the lords will be gathered in one place, so the Grancrest might end up being forged as result. She thinks that this will thus tempt the true enemy into coming forward, and she might even be right! But isn’t this also playing into the bad guys’ hands? Isn’t this what they would want? She’s practically begging to be played like a puppet. First, she’s outnumbered 2-to-1! Neither the Altirk Treaty nor Union are suddenly going to turn around and join her side! Second, they actually wants her cooperation. They’re literally begging her for a truce. Theo sent Siluca to meet with Marrine for exactly this reason, and yet, she spurns their advances. What. A. Fucking. Fool.
— Once Aubeste departs, she tells herself that a great tragedy might result from trying to forge the Grancrest. This new tragedy might even be greater than the one she endured, and yet, she won’t stray from her foolish plans! Ugh. Uugggggggggggggh. My head hurts, man.
— Plus, this show has only one gimmick:
Bad guy: Even though I’m in a bad position, my enemy is weak and pathetic! I’ll show ’em!
Bad guy: Oh no, I’m losing! But I can’t back down, ’cause m-m-muh pride!
Rinse and fucking repeat.
— It’s too bad that Marrine sucks too, because the idea behind her character isn’t bad. She just can’t back up her actions with credible motives. It also would’ve been nice to see her kick ass as a leader, but she hasn’t. Marrine hasn’t done anything impressive. She’s only in her position, because she was born into it. She hasn’t proven herself at all. Again, the best she’s done is resort to chemical warfare. Even Alexis gets to look good.