Hey, after 12 episodes I finally spelt the name right on the first go instead of the fifth. There’s an achievement. Anyway, this ends pretty much exactly the way you would expect given the story so far. It’s never done more than be a standard sword and sorcery fantasy and the ending, in all its light show, sword clashing, dragon fighting glory is as standard as it comes, including the final boss having three forms to fight through before he was finally defeated. But hey, nobody really cared about the black king because we had to save Yuri.
So yes, we even get a fight of good Yuri vs evil Yuri inside his head again, just in case we hadn’t already hammered that cliché into the ground. And while this show has always had a heavy light vs dark theme this episode really just hammered it.
But the strength of bonds and friendship wins, because this is standard fantasy and don’t worry too much about anyone because you know we wouldn’t want the good guys to not feel like they had an outright victory.
Despite what might seem like a harsh episode review, I had a lot of fun watching this and I’m looking forward to writing a review of the whole series.
This is all pretty stock standard final battle material now. Characters who have been at odds or set up as opposites face each other and there are a lot of extras getting knocked off (not that it matters given the black king seems to be able to auto generate soldiers at will). It isn’t exactly exciting but it isn’t entirely dull either. Juliana actually stole the best part of this episode with her duel with Burkhardt (and thank goodness someone finally dealt with him – he has felt like an unnecessary character ever since Yuri turned to the dark side). Of course the episode ends with Yuri and Aram facing off. Pretty much, if you’ve watched until now this is a necessary episode to continue things along to fighting the king, but the episode itself wasn’t anything special.
Right, I had a lot of fun with this episode, so my criticisms are not enough to detract from the overall enjoyment of the free-for-all being set up but at the same time I am concerned that there were so many issues in this episode.
The main one being time. Somehow we’ve all regrouped with the various factions and the army is all ready just to march straight back into the black king’s space as soon as they bring down the shield. Great. Only didn’t it take them weeks to retreat from there and when did they leave the desert? I get that Aram and friends flew back to the Mage towers so I won’t even question that they seem to have instantly arrived (because flight is akin to instant-travel apparently) but Julianna and the others need a couple of weeks at the smallest estimate to be in any kind of position to fight. Nope, they are ready and raring to go.
Then again, apparently this show has no end of ‘magical’ solutions to issues.
Seriously? Anywhere? Instantly? I know you just built this thing but surely it should be a little bit harder to get inside the black bubble to bring the shield down.
And apparently now the Black King is sitting around watching Aram and friends on his equivalent to a big screen TV. Why? And if he could do that why hasn’t he just sent someone to kill them while they’re sleeping given his minions have been teleporting anywhere they like for the entire length of the show? Is there any reason for kidnapping Phoena at this point? She doesn’t seem like as much of a threat as the guy who is suddenly purifying everything.
Anyway, cool battle sequence and set up for great fight to come. Just check logic at the door first but that’s much the same as the whole series so far. Plus, dragon involved in fight (not dragon being fought). I really wish someone had changed it’s name. Furball the dragon doesn’t really inspire.
This episode feels like it is Aram’s graduation ceremony. From boy picked up by former hero, to ambitious idol of Yuri, to reluctantly taking on the role of the hero, to actually being a hero, Aram’s journey throughout Chain Chronicle has been interesting. It really feels like this is where he was always heading and now that Furball has transformed into a Guardian Dragon (let’s hope it gets a new name) and Aram has used a cool new flaming sword as well as reversed the blackening on the chronicle that Shuza had stolen, you just have to wonder what is next for this character.
What works particularly well is that his basic personality has not changed. He is still that socially awkward kid that Yuri was inspired by back in the village way back when. What has changed is that he now has a focus, he has allies, and he believes that he is taking the right course of action. If Aram suddenly launches into eloquent monologues it would defy any belief, but Aram being his usual brash self but now backed up by a fairly decent skill set works perfectly (even if you have to wonder how fast one can level up in this world just by sheer determination).
Before ending I just want to touch on Juliana and Shuza who both get the award for biggest act of stupidity so far in this series. Arriving at an impasse in negotiations right before the black army shows up and then Juliana takes a cheap shot at Shuza on the battlefield resulting in the two leaders essentially duelling to the death only both were being contaminated by the darkness and neither one even noticed. Any argument about which one of these characters should be leading anything in this show essentially got thrown out the window at that point given Shuza is certainly the more capable military leader but has absolutely zero compassion and Juliana is outright to emotional and immature to really be particularly effective. Of course, handing the reigns over to Aram seems equally dumb because while he’s become a far more impressive force in this fight, he’s still a socially awkward loner.
I do wonder though, what happened to Yuri this week?
This is a fun fantasy story and if you like chaotic battles, good and evil, magic powers and mythical creatures, you will probably really enjoy the story.
There was a moment early in this episode where I realised they’d just thrown us into the middle of a battle and we didn’t know who was fighting or which side they were on. And then I realised that of course we knew who the bad guys are, they are all in black. This story is basic fantasy and they throw a million characters at us but other than our core group none of the others really serve any purpose other than momentary assistance, advice, death count, or needing to be rescued. As a result you can just kind of let the names roll past you and ignore them. It makes for light and amusing viewing but at the same time feels like a bit of a waste that this world isn’t fleshed out any more than it has been.
Of course we spend quite a bit of time on Yuri this episode. He’s gone to the dark side fairly literally but Aram isn’t really in the mood to take that lying down. Enter a magic book and let’s finally see how Yuri got to where he is.
Mostly I just felt sorry for this poor tree but that isn’t here or there. While it would be easy to say the world building and character development of this show is sloppy, this core group have really become interesting in the last few episodes and the story continues with enough momentum to entertain. The show has never tried to be anything particularly profound. It really is by the numbers fantasy but it does it reasonably well.
It really feels like other than Shuza, nobody in this world had ever considered any other way of fighting the black king other than Yuri. With Yuri getting taken over the sorcerers, the holy queen, and even Yuri’s friends are all kind of at odds and not really knowing what to do. Shuza on the other hand just seems to want to take over the world and to be honest I’m not sure how he’s any better than the black king (you know, other than having a personality and a bit of flair on screen).
However, this does clear the stage for Aram to step up and he does in the best way you could expect given how new he is to this whole idea of working with others. Not a lot else happens this episode but it was a solid follow up to last week.
Chain Chronicle picked up directly where we left off with Yuri and Aram defeating the soldiers who were attacking the village. After Aram faints and then wakes up, Yuri gives him a talking to and attempts to recruit him into his volunteer army which by the end of the episode he’s decided to change the name of. This show does not do subtle.
These are the bad guys in case you couldn’t figure that part out. This is generic fantasy without any surprises so far and to be perfectly frank I’m enjoying it. It’s felt like a long time since someone just did a steep the world in darkness kind of story without trying to throw some massive over-complication in to make it seem more clever. There’s very little to recommend it, it doesn’t stand out from any of the other generic fantasy out there nor does it seem to be trying to at the moment. The writing is okay, the characters generic, the fight sequences passable, and basically if you just want to switch off and do fantasy for awhile this is working.
Review Episode 3:
Is this the characters admitting they have no clue where to go or what their next step is so we’ll just kind of aim for this group of people and hope they can exposition us out of nowhere? Okay, it’s a fairly standard plot development in fantasy but it doesn’t make it any better. The Princess has gone to round up some allies and Yuri and his group are off to see the sages and then… I don’t think any of them have thought any further than we want to win. There are some cool moments this episode with Aram and Burckhardt (predictable but cool) and the final minutes give us a bit of excitement before the episode ends.
This remains a fairly generic but decent enough fantasy so far.
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