Welcome all she’s, he’s, and them’s to another anime rant! Let’s dive right into the reviews!
Episode 6 Review: A Girl, A Department Store, and a Gift
I’m not entirely sure what I should think about this episode. As far as personal enjoyment and the feeling of being entertained, this sixth installment was terrific. From a series structure perspective, though, there were serious issues.
Episode 6 in a series of 11-13 episodes is like the halfway point, and should optimally contain a big reveal, a major action scene, or something else thrilling or game-changing for the plot or characters. Lord El-Melloi episode 6, however, was what some would consider a filler. It helped develop the girl characters, but it didn’t advance the plot. The resolution of the girls’ adventure was a too quick and simple. Also, the tone of this episode felt out of place. Changing things up like this with comedy, light-hearted adventure, and themes of friendship isn’t necessarily a bad choice, but it works in some cases better than others. It felt just slightly forced this time.
To sum things up, Gray is concerned for her teacher, Lord El-Melloi, wanting to know what keeps him so tied to the past and what he went through in the Holy Grail War. She asks Reines, who tells her that Waver fought alongside Iskandar/ Alexander the Great. Beyond that, she doesn’t know. But Reines doesn’t give this information for free. Gray must come with her for the day on a shopping spree and girls’ hangout time in return for the info. Amid their shopping in the huge department store Carnac, the two girls are joined by Luvia. She is the new owner of Carnac, but because of her over-the-top gem and architecture magecraft, the magical system of the department store turns against them. The three girls are trapped in a closed magical space.
Luvia beats up the magically automated egyptian-style security guards that approach. Then the girls break the statue riddled with magic gems which controls the over-the-top spell Luvia put in place. Back in the real world, the girls have a bit more fun before Gray and Reines depart. When Gray arrives at the study back at Clock Tower, Waver tells her some upsetting news. The relic of Iskandar, the cloth fragment of his red mantle, has been stolen by the the group known as Rail Zeppelin. They left a letter inviting him to a “banquet.” Waver resolves to go and retrieve his treasure with Gray at this side.
Episode 7 Review: Rail Zeppelin 1: A Train Whistle of Departure
and the First Murder
It seems the entire rest of the series will be a large 6-part mystery on the Rail Zeppelin. I’m not sure how I feel about this, the structure of Lord El-Melloi. If the meat and potatoes of the story was going to be this Rail Zeppelin case, did we really need all the previous episodes? It’s not like I didn’t enjoy them. But it doesn’t seem like good story-crafting. All the information we learned about Gray, Mystic Eyes, and different disciplines of Magecraft could have been covered adequately in 3 episodes, but it was stretched out to 6. As for episode 7 itself, it felt slightly boring, but I believe everything they showed and introduced will be relevant to the mystery.
If there’s one thing Lord El-Melloi is clear about teaching audiences, it’s that Mystic Eyes are not things to be taken lightly. There are so many different powers endowed by so many different Mystic Eyes, and the devastating potential of some of them is frightening. Waver mentioned the ranking of Mystic Eyes from ordinary to gold to jewel to rainbow. That would have been more interesting to audiences if they had given us examples of Mystic Eyes from each category. The villain in ep 1 had Eyes that froze movement in anyone he focused his gaze on. Yvette can see human emotions. What ranking do any of these Mystic Eyes have?
I had a few other thoughts to include. I’m not sure why Claudes came with Waver and Gray; it seems suspicious to me. Why did he insist on coming, and why did Waver allow him to come on such a dangerous mission? I don’t think we’ve seen yet what Claudes can do /if he’s capable and useful. Also, we met a member of the Holy Church, who is also trying to get the rainbow mystic eyes. The Holy Church contends with the Clock Tower for the top positions and powers in the world of magic, a fact I was not aware of until Gray said it. Thinking back to Fate/Zero, it makes sense that the Church produces powerful mages, too. (Like Kirie Kotomine.)
Yvette was funny as usual in this episode, though I perfectly understand why she’s considered an annoying character. Her ridiculousness added a lot to my personal enjoyment. So did the reappearance of Shishigou the mercenary mage. Reines hired him to help find the theif who stole the mantle of Iskandar. I was also happy to see the beautiful and mysterious woman Hishiri Adashino from the Clock Tower’s Policies Department. She definitely has something to do with all this mystery but I don’t know what… and that snake she has is really damn creepy.
Speaking of the mystery, the first one at hand is “Who killed Trisha?” She was the assistant of the Lady of Animusphere. (It seems like the female assistants/bodyguards are always getting murdered… at least, it happened in the end of episode 4 as well, when Adashino’s bodyguard was killed.) She had Mystic Eyes that let her see visions of the future, so, somebody must have murdered her because she was going to predict their evil plan. Not that I know what the plan is. The suspects could be anyone introduced in this episode. That’s quite a lot of people. Currently, I have no noteworthy theories or guesses.
And that’s about it for these installments of Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files (Rail Zeppelin). Thank you for reading! Be on the lookout for more episode reviews of this series in two weeks!
An Early Look at the MBTI Types of Characters
Images from: Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files Rail Zeppelin Grace Note. Dir. M Katou. TROYCA. 2019.