This shot looks pretty cool. It’s just unfortunate that everything leading up to it kinda blows.
— Now that the girls have made their way to Valery, the final boss, he obviously needs to deliver his villain monologue. This is where we learn why he’s doing what he’s doing. Unfortunately, his motivations are all over the place.
— So as we already know, he saw an “angel” one day. When he approached the crystal, however, it bestowed him with immortality and other special powers. He wondered who had given him these powers and why, which is kind of a silly question. He came in contact with something mysterious. That’s the answer. That’s how he got his powers. Nevertheless, humans have this need to craft grand narratives out of the most mundane events, so Valery’s deranged mind made him think that he had been chosen by God.
— Afterwards, he wandered the world and saw how it was consumed by greed. As a result, he felt that he needed to recreate the world. Y’see, that’s the problem right there. His idea of recreating the world is finding a weapon of mass destruction that will allow him to enforce his rule through fear. He hasn’t solved the root cause of greed at all. He’s just a bad villain.
— Valery then threatens to destroy a chunk of Tokyo, ’cause y’know, that’s what good rulers do. They murder indiscriminately. Luckily, Hakushu messed around with the big cannon, so it failed to do anything.
— For some odd reason, Valery refers to Hakushu as a False God. She doesn’t remember ever meeting him, but he claims he once saw her on the border between life and death. Was she the original “angel” that he saw? I can’t remember any other time he was between life and death. Meh, whatever. I’m so tired of this guy.
— Even though the Rage of Tunguska is out of commission for now, Valery has the ability to repair the ship outta… well, thin air apparently. It’ll take some time, however, so Leyla needs to keep the good guys busy for now. As a result, we now get her mini-backstory.
— Sadly, it’s also pathetic. Hell, it might even be more pathetic than Valery’s backstory. She considered herself ugly, so when Valery called her beautiful, she fell in love with him. She knows that she’s being manipulated. She even knows that he’s doing something terrible, but he called her beautiful! Again, I just don’t get it. Did Natalia never call her and Klara beautiful? I highly doubt that.
— In the end, however, when Valery proves to Leyla that she’s nothing more than a pawn in his schemes, she decides to turn against him. She forcefully yanks the crystal out of her chest, so I guess she always had the ability to be “unmanipulated.”
— Leyla goes straight for Klara to try and save her sister. Hakushu tries her best to block Valery’s attacks from getting to Leyla, but unfortunately, one of them gets through. What was the rest of the girls doing, though? While he was busy unloading his complete arsenal at both Leyla and Hakushu, what on earth was Sakura’s team up to? Sigh…
— Needless to say, Leyla ends up having to sacrifice herself in order to save Klara. She lives long enough to pull the crystal out of Klara’s chest, but as soon as she pushes her sister towards Sakura and gang, she is engulfed by an explosion. I still feel like this could’ve been prevented. I feel like Sakura could’ve done something to prevent Leyla from dying. But y’know, this anime series has been kinda lazy from start to finish. Valery is a terrible villain, so of course, the writers are gonna kill Leyla because they want their tragedy points.
— Thanks to losing her sister, Klara loses control of her emotions. At this rate, she’s going to go full demon if Sakura’s team don’t find a way to get through to her heart. But I mean, they did pretty much let Leyla die without putting up a fight…
— Oh well, next week’s episode will be the last one. I haven’t really soured on Sakura Wars as a franchise. If Sega puts out a new game with a larger budget, I’ll buy it on day one. Hell, I’ll preorder it just like how I preordered the soft reboot. I even hope that they somehow port the older games to current consoles, because I’m not gonna fiddle around with a Saturn emulator. But man, this anime sucks. It never should’ve been made.