Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Sacred Seven - Episode 9

From the moody, unlikeable guy we were introduced to at the start of Sacred Seven, it's fair to say that Tandoji has changed a fair bit as the series has progressed - something reflected on at some length in this ninth episode of the series.

As Arma struggles with his work-life (well, work-work) balance due to intensive training from Kagami and company seriously effecting his opportunities to keep up with school work (despite Ruri's best intentions in helping out), so others comment on the changes they've seen in our protagonist as he becomes an ever-more popular member of the school.  But what exactly is it that's changed him; was it Wakan's invitation to join her club or Ruri's attentions that have made him a more personable individual?

Such ponderings are cut short however as our attentions are grabbed by the appearance of not one but two Darkstones, creating a rather unique problem for Ruri, Kagami and their maid army... and for Arma himself of course.  While Tandoji is tasked with tackling supposedly the "simpler" of the two enemies, his brother lays waste to any efforts from the massed forces of the Aiba Foundation by quite literally eating up everything they throw at him.  Despite ending up in rather a tight spot himself, and in that cheesy way which so often happens in cartoons, Arma's determination to protect his new-found friends gives him the energy and strength he needs to destroy not one but both Darkstones, while still having enough in reserve to thwart their final combined attack as the whole thing is proven to be a feint towards achieving a greater goal.

As average as this episode was in terms of story, plot and character development, I can't deny that it still has an eye for an action set piece when it wants to, with the entire elongated fight against the duel Darkstone threats proving to be one of the more entertaining things to come out of this series of late, no matter how cheesy its ending might have been.  To be honest, Sacred Seven would probably be better served sticking to this "monster(s) of the week" strategy rather than anything more ambitious, as it's certainly what the series has done best more often than not - the second half of this week's instalment was almost a poster child for decent, mindless anime action, never mind all the blather about friendship and so forth.

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