Arifureta continues to be a mixed bag of varying animation quality and varying amounts of care. At times there are scenes that look truly beautiful and then they are followed by a still image depicting everyone walking in for dinner with the sound of footsteps over the top to give us a sense of actual movement going on (unsuccessfully). Likewise we go from a silly game of tag where Shia’s bikini top gets stolen to full on conspiracy and murder at the castle.
As always, my feelings on Arifureta are mixed as the overall plot line is fascinating and all of these characters have moments where I truly do like watching them. Then there’s everything in between those moments and when that starts dominating the episodes I find myself wondering once again why I continue to push through with this anime.
Definitely a case where reading is the better option for this story because you can definitely get through the more frivolous parts quicker and when you get to the meat the story is actually really good.
Those still watching Arifureta really have to just accept this is what it is.
You’d be forgiven early on for feeling that episode 7 of Arifureta was just going to be more filler time with fan-service as Hajime and the girls delay leaving Myu and her mother due to Hajime suddenly having sentimental feelings toward leaving Myu behind. Admittedly, it is a pretty decent character progression point given other than Yue, Hajime had cut himself off significantly from others after the initial betrayal that led to his fall so seeing him so connected to another is actually a great step forward.
It doesn’t make watching them play tag in bikinis any more interesting. Nor does it make morning wood jokes actually amusing.
However, for all that Hajime and gang seem to be in a holding pattern this week, events back at the castle involving the other students are in full swing. We finally get to see Aiko in her prison and admittedly she isn’t doing a whole lot other than fretting about things. It would have been nice to see her plotting escape or trying to get a message out or literally anything to show that she had grown beyond just wringing her hands and hoping, but at least we’ve finally seen what happened to her after her abduction.
Of course, it does leave you wondering why she isn’t just dead. All well and good to say she’s been taken off the board but the problem is she could be placed back on it if you just leave her where she is.
Aiko isn’t the main point though. What we see this week is that huge numbers of people in the castle are being influenced and this leads to an attack on the Knight Commander and pretty much only decent guy there. While a fairly common criticism I’ve had of Arifureta up until now is that we don’t spend enough time on this aspect of the story, leading to only having a vague sense of any of these characters, the Knight Commander has managed to make an impression so the attack upon him definitely carried weight and it definitely has huge implications for the safety of the students going forward.
And just to ensure that the plot is really hopping along we also get a cut of the demons declaring that their god has spoken and they are going to war. This could potentially lead to a very violent climax if all of these plot threads actually come together.
All that is really left is to see what Arifureta decides to do with all these plot points. Hopefully something good. Or at the very least, explosive.
Images from: Arifureta 2nd Season. Dir. A Iwanaga. asread & studio MOTHER. 2022.
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