Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Viper's Creed - Episode 11

After those rather interminable filler episodes earlier in the series, the build-up to and arrival of the main story arc of Viper's Creed has been a most welcome one, bringing back much of the action so sorely lacking since that great opening episode and well and truly playing to the series strengths. This continues into episode eleven, although it has to be said that the plot takes a one-way trip to clichéville in the process.

For starters, more about the real villain of the piece, the female inspector who has clearly "looked a bit evil" from the start, is revealed, as we learn that she planned the entire thing from start to finish, BugMechs and all. Her only motivation appears to be getting the army back in control of things, something she's willing to do at any cost, letting the army run riot as they use terrorism as an excuse for their presence and care not for civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, Unit Viper are still fighting and sneaking their way to the TV station to broadcast the evidence behind this conspiracy (as well as proof of their own innocence), using the tried and trusted technique of sacrificing members of the team one by one. After Norma bought the farm at the end of episode ten, two more comrades fall this time around, hugely predictably leaving only Saiki and Sakurako (oh, and Ageha too of course) standing for the series final showdown. Ooh, I wonder what will happen in that episode...

Really, it's this obvious plot progression that is the downfall of this episode - While it works quite well from a purely action-oriented point of view, it feels like something that you've seen countless times before over the years, and the reintroduction of the shady underground character from that God-awful cooking episode has given me flashbacks to that terrible instalment didn't really help matters. As long as you're not expecting something innovative it works well enough, but from my personal point of view this episode felt rather tired and long in the tooth - Compare and contrast to my anticipation of Rideback's final episode, and you can soon see which series succeeded where the other failed.

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