Saihate no Paladin Episode 4 – Mid-Battle Power-Ups Done Completely Right

Saihate no Paladin Episode 4
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We’ve seen it in hundreds of anime before. The protagonist gets into a fight they cannot possibly win and then (usually accompanied by a montage, flashback, or visualisation of their internal thoughts) they suddenly get a power-up and win the fight. Saihate no Paladin pulls something similar this week but due to some solid ground work in world-building and foreshadowing, it doesn’t feel like it has come from nowhere.

Also, as it doesn’t necessarily resolve the conflict or guarantee the victory it doesn’t feel half so cheap as some stories would make this sequence. Just another reason why Saihate no Paladin’s deliberate pace in setting up this story is going to pay-off in the longer run.

Saihate no Paladin episode 4

Saihate no Paladin may be taking its time but it isn’t wasting that time.

Let’s back up to the start of the episode.

Saihate no Paladin episode four picks up immediately from where episode three ended which is with Gus deciding to protect Mary and Blood from Stagnate by launching an attack upon a god. Whatever other flaws Gus may have as a character you have to applaud him for this move. It’s gutsy and also kind of insane and yet momentarily at least more effective than anyone in their right mind might have assumed it would be.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 4

Certainly Mary and Blood aren’t making moves to defend themselves having more or less resigned themselves to the situation.

Of course, that could also be part of their characters given Mary is very religious and tends to hold oaths in extremely high regard and Blood is a warrior and far more straightforward. Gus on the other hand is pretty fine with being deceitful, underhanded and largely doing whatever it takes to succeed. It makes sense that of the three Gus would be the one to rebel against paying the debt they owe to Stagnate.

But, if Gus’ plan had succeeded their wouldn’t be much left for this episode and so despite putting up a tremendously good fight he does lose.

Then Stagnate does that typical gloaty villain thing of giving everyone a day before he returns. It was probably the one moment in this episode of Saihate no Paladin that I really wondered about because honestly Stagnate would have been better off taking Blood and Mary while Gus was already defeated and Will was still trembling in fear because giving them all a day… Well, we know that bad guys who give good guys time to rally almost always regret it.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 4

So the following day Will is resolved to at least try to protect his family and he marches out to confront Stagnate.

I did have a question for Saihate no Paladin here and that was how Will knew where to meet Stagnate. I mean, the guy literally appeared out of nowhere the first time so why did he assume that Stagnate was going to appear in the field again. It seemed a little off but we’ll just go with it because it did make an awesome setting for Stagnate to do his thing and cause the skeletons of dead warriors to rise from the earth and do battle.

To Will’s credit he put a lot of effort into his attack and managed to damage a god before being brought down. It was a great attempt but when you think about it, Will had three teachers and in this fight he was clearly using Blood and Gus’ techniques. What about Mary?

Saihate no Paladin Episode 4

This is where the solid build-up over three episodes of Saihate no Paladin comes in to play. We knew that Will had to make an oath to one of the gods on the solstice as part of the whole becoming an adult thing. We know he’s been praying with Mary every single day since the day he snuck into the temple and was burned. We also knew he was reincarnated and had resolved to live a better life so he had to reject Stagnate and what he was offering.

So yes, Will makes his oath mid-battle (I’m assuming that’s not the norm) and get’s quite the power jump.

Is it enough?

Probably not, but it was really one of those amazing anime moments where you just want to cheer for the hero and then give him a hug.

This was a great episode of Saihate no Paladin and I’m loving how this story continues to build. We’ll hopefully find out next week how this current crisis resolves and then hopefully find out what is next for Will.

You can read the full season review here.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021


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Karandi James


Saihate no Paladin Episode 3 – A History Of Failure

Saihate no Paladin Episode 3 Review
https://www.crowsworldofanime.com/

The mystery of how Gus, Mary and Blood came to be undead and raising a child is finally revealed in an extended exposition dump with flashbacks to a war 200 years ago in episode 3 of Saihate no Paladin. I strongly suspect that this episode would fare better in a binge watch following on directly from last week and not ending with the cliff-hanger we get but continuing on to see the outcome for the situation we are left with because on its own this episode gives us a lot of crucial information but doesn’t quite manage to nail its tone.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 3

Would Saihate no Paladin be more enjoyable binged?

I hope that doesn’t make it sound like it isn’t worth watching because I’m really enjoying this story. I’m just frustrated by the twenty minute bites which makes the pace feel way too slow and we’re forever getting cut-off by the episode end before we get to the next bit of information I want to know. For some stories the episodic format really works and the week break in-between episodes adds time to think and discuss and just take in the episode, whereas a story like this feels like it is just not right for the format.

But I guess we’ll see once Saihate no Paladin gets a bit further along.

Anyway, episode 3 has Blood once again leading Will into behaviours that Mary is definitely not going to approve of as he decides that given Will is about to become an adult it is time to teach him to drink. He then takes the inebriated Will to look in on Mary as she is changing and that ends about as well as you would expect such a scenario to end in anime.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 3

It isn’t a bad scene by any means but so far Saihate no Paladin has reminded me far more of a sprawling epic fantasy than the usual anime fantasy fare and this scene was so very typical anime scenario it actually felt jarring against the setting. Again, not really a criticism that an anime has moments you would expect to see in an anime in it, but it just didn’t feel like it belonged. Like if the characters of Lord of the Rings suddenly took a time-out from their journey to visit a hot-springs.

The episode swiftly moves us on and we have Will preparing for his duel against Blood. In fairness, I really enjoyed this segment. It was something we’d been waiting for since Gus and Will discussed the upcoming fight in episode 2 and Will putting on all that armour seriously meant business (though I have to wonder if fighting wearing more armour than normal was actually an advantage or not).

Saihate no Paladin Episode 3

I won’t tell you how the fight resolves but it was decent enough to watch and then Blood and Mary sit down to tell Will their history. Which we do need to know given Saihate no Paladin has kind of built up this deliberate lack of knowledge for both the audience and Will but I’m not sold on the delivery here.

Pretty sure this was supposed to be deadly serious though when Blood talked about ‘the kinds of demons you really didn’t want showing up’ I kind of laughed because first I wondered just what kind of demons you did want showing up. Then naturally I thought of Sebastian from Black Butler and that kind of killed any chance I had of taking what was a fairly serious segment particularly seriously.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 3

Still, through Mary and Blood’s explanation as well as Will’s conclusions, we learn about the war against the demon king of kings and how devastating it was and the events that resulted in Gus, Mary and Blood becoming undead. They then also explain how Will came to be in this city inhabited only by the undead and that was actually suitably emotional to really land.

I kind of wish they’d ended this episode there rather than going for a cliff-hanger style ending by introducing another threat right before the end of the episode. A solid emotional note to end on would have been quite satisfying for Saihate no Paladin and instead it feels like they weren’t convinced that the audience would be hooked in by that and so they had to throw a potential battle at us even if that undermined the moment we’d just watched.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 3

Three episodes in and I know some people aren’t sold on Saihate no Paladin and I can see why. For me though this is giving me some very solid fantasy vibes and despite my issues with the pacing I’m very much hooked into this story and the world building so I’m definitely looking forward to more of this. Though, this anime is making me wonder if the reason we don’t get more epic style fantasy in anime (lots of fantasy, not so much epic) is because the stories they tell just aren’t suited to the twenty minute episode format.

You can read the full season review here.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021


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Karandi James


Saihate no Paladin Episode 2 – Training, Gambling and Secrets

Saihate no Paladin Episode 2 Review
https://www.crowsworldofanime.com/

One thing I am really loving about Saihate no Paladin is that the music is suitably over-the-top dramatic. Will gets ready to fight some skeleton demon thing and we get this fantastic swell of music that you’d expect from a fantasy movie back in the 1970’s as the hero prepares to charge into a fight. Sure it’s a little cheesy but as a viewer I can’t help but feel excited by the scene because of the music.

But how was the rest of the episode?

Saihate no Paladin Episode 2

Saihate no Paladin isn’t rushing through its set-up.

Over episode one and two of Saihate no Paladin there’s been a fairly deliberate pace. Instead of just mashing Will’s upbringing and training under the three guardians into a single montage, we’ve spent two episodes now seeing his experiences as he’s aged and learned. I can understand that for some viewers this would feel quite slow and if they haven’t really connected with these characters this opening act probably wouldn’t work for them.

It is impossibly for me to judge whether I’d like this as much if the anime was my only experience with the story. I came in knowing at least where this will go in the next little bit and I already quite liked Will as a character and the world that this story is set in. Still, I think these first two episodes have done enough in building up the characters and combine enough action scenes (even if they are training related) with the talking and exposition.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 2

Basically, I am so far really enjoying Saihate no Paladin. My only real concern is that LiveChart has this anime listed as 12 episodes and that kind of indicates that at the current pace we aren’t going to get very far into this story. I really hope that they have considered where they are ending this season and it doesn’t just sputter to a stop like so many anime from the Summer 2021 season.

Anyway, this episode has Will still learning about the world from Gus including a bit of history of the gods. He’s also been working with Mary and has just completed a 5 day prayer ritual. And Blood decides to test him out against a demon skeleton, only Will defeats it apparently much easier than Blood expected. Rather than praise, what Will gets is lead into the city of the dead and left to fend for himself as a more challenging test.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 2

The audience and Will are increasingly aware that Blood, Mary and Gus are withholding information from Will. Though it is really difficult to figure out their overall intentions. In this episode, Gus particularly takes a number of actions that certainly make you question his overall goals and even when Will directly confronts him and demands and explanation he says nothing.

It is interesting watching this relationship between Will and Gus play out in Saihate no Paladin. Prior to this point Will has always followed the instructions or what he thought his teachers wanted. The experience with Mary in episode 1 where he entered the temple against their instructions taught him the value in listening to them. Yet as he approaches his fifteenth birthday he’s finally gotten to a point where he at least wants to know why.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 2

When Gus refuses to elaborate on his reasons, Will refuses to follow his most recent request which is to lose an upcoming match against Blood.

The other key moment in this episode was Will realising he had to pick a god to swear an oath to once he becomes an adult (at fifteen) and he clearly hasn’t decided yet. The importance of his oath is explained to him by Mary and Gus and we’re certainly left wondering just what Will intends to do.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 2

All things considered, Saihate no Paladin is doing exactly what I needed it to. It has a real sense of being this epic fantasy story just starting out. The visuals work well enough and about the only real complaint would be the sheer amount of voice over from Will at times, particularly when he’s telling us things we’ve already put together. Less would be more in some cases. That said, so far I’m really enjoying this.

You can read the full season review here.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021


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Karandi James


Saihate no Paladin Episode 1 – Reincarnation and Training (another isekai fantasy adventure)

Saihate no Paladin Episode 1 Review
https://www.crowsworldofanime.com/

Saihate no Paladin episode one introduces us to Will, a human child being raised in the city of the dead by three undead characters. There’s a priestess, a warrior (who is a skeleton), and a sorcerer (who is a ghost) and no that isn’t the opening line to a bad joke. Mary, Blood and Gus have been raising Will since he was a baby and each of them have been passing on their respective knowledge to him. Throughout this first episode we get a glimpse of Will’s upbringing and the relationship he has with these characters.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 1

Saihate no Paladin is setting the scene.

As will become apparent to anyone who watches through what I assume will be the OP that appears at the end of the episode, the story is going to take a far more epic scale and Will is going to venture out from this city. But it is nice that in the tradition of epic fantasies and hero journeys of the past, Saihate no Paladin takes the time to establish Will’s baseline and childhood first rather than rushing into the call to adventure.

Now just so we’re clear, I have read a bit of the manga, though apparently the anime is adapted form the Light Novel. That said, it was impossible for me to go in without expectations.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 1

However, one question I had while reading Saihate no Paladin and is still a question I have after watching this first episode, why bother with the reincarnation angle? I do get that it becomes somewhat more significant later in this story but it feels like an unnecessary detail in an already cluttered mythos for this fantasy world. Here we have gods and blessings and magic through words and there’s a rich history and lore in this world. Do we also need Japanese protagonists being reincarnated into it? Particularly when said character barely remembers his previous life?

But lets look at this episode and how it opens up.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 1

For some viewers I suspect this first episode of Saihate no Paladin may come off as a little slow given they are largely just establishing the character. We don’t know what the long term goal is or what direction the story will take. We’re just watching Will go about his days (at 3 and 8 and a few other ages) as he trains and learns. This won’t be a problem for binge watchers when there’s more episodes but for episodic viewers this first episode didn’t land with a bang. It’s a much quieter introduction to the world than other anime might have given you.

We do however get some beautiful moments, like when Mary carried baby Will out of the temple for the first time and he got to see the city of the dead. It is a glorious visual. Likewise, when Blood and Will are walking in the evening together the quiet scene with the purple sky is actually pretty lovely to look at.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 1

Equally, the three characters, Mary, Gus and Blood all have enough individual personality and their interactions are actually quite fun as they contrast but complement each other nicely.

If we’re looking for a weak link with the characters here it is Will and that’s largely because he’s currently lodged in nice guy protagonist mode. As the story progresses it would be nice to see him develop a bit more and feel a bit more like a fully realised character rather than the blank-slate he’s currently resembling.

Saihate no Paladin Episode 1

The episode of Saihate no Paladin does close in dramatic fashion with Will disobeying a rule to not enter the temple when Mary is there. The resulting situation leaves him injured and perhaps having learned something from the experience. That said, this episode ultimately leaves anime only viewers with more questions about the world, the gods, and the three undead raising Will than it does give answers.

I’m looking forward to seeing where they go next with Saihate no Paladin.

You can read the full season review here.

Images from: Saihate no Paladin. Dir. Y. Nobuta. Children’s Playground Entertainment. 2021


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James