The focus shifts to Ryner once again
What They Say:
Tiir, the magic-consuming man who brutally defeated Claugh, is now after Ryner - to offer him an escape from a life of struggle.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With Ryner having gone missing along with a few other people of note now, Ferris is getting herself in gear to go and hunt him up. Ferris is certainly intent on getting him back since she has quite the adversarial relationship with him at this stage and there are those that are intent on holding her back as well. Watching her go through her hunt and scrounging up information makes up a good chunk of the first half of the episode and it's nicely brutal since she goes at it until she catches up with him, though you get the sense that she could easily kill him just to be done and over with things. What throws it all into chaos is the arrival of Tiir on the scene who was recently seen causing quite a lot of trouble for Claugh.
The arrival of Tiir takes things up a few notches in terms of the brutality of it all but it's all cut relatively short as when they flee from him, both Ferris and Ryner end up caught up in a large scale army attack being led by Sion. The tension is pretty good in this sequence as they standoff against each other with Sion and Tiir sparring verbally over it while Ryner listens to all of it. With Ryner essentially little more than a potentially explosive bomb ready to go off at any time as described by Tiir, it doesn't exactly sit well with him and he takes it very much to heart, being called a monster. While he's done good recently in showing others that you can survive and be happy with an alpha stigma power, there's still that core belief in himself that he's inherently not good and something that needs to be taken out of the equation. Tiir's words are far too silvery tongued for Ferris' taste since it's making an impact on his mindset.
Similar to the previous week, the really big selling point here again is not the story but the tension and action. The almost singular focus on Ryner with a healthy dose of Ferris goes a long way towards making this a very good episode in those terms. The action gets rather brutal with the bloodshed and violence but the scale it works nicely as well since we get the army factored in which adds a lot to the standoff. Tiir helps this immensely since he's cold and brutal, openly so, and uses more than just his magic abilities to cause trouble. His words dig deep into Ryner in a way that swords haven't and it's amusing to see Ferris being so forceful in trying to get him to not listen considering she's been smacking Ryner around for awhile.
Episodes like this one really frustrate me since it once again shows me the potential of the show when it wants to focus on Ryner and to Ferris to some degree. The high points continue to be the action and actual design of the show since it uses dark colors and blacks very well and create a very engaging and disturbing atmosphere when it wants to. While having Sion come into the picture wasn't exactly something I expected, it added something more to it overall with an army backing him up. But like any good villain, it's all about the words as Tiir manages to get under Ryner's skin in a way that few others have, even after he's been so positive with others. It's not an episode that redeems the series by any stretch, but it's a small bright spot in the middle of episodes that have left me dry.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.