Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 4: Rising Tension

Episode 3 progresses the story nicely with the sisters dealing with the fallout of last week and almost being recruited into the rebellion army (though apparently they just want to live in peace – and that didn’t last very long) and Zhou dealing with the failure of his constructs and wanting to do something nice for the Empress (which still seems really weird given the empire are the ones who ‘killed’ his friends but I guess he is pragmatic about the whole thing. Anyway, all of the plots are bubbling along nicely and working towards a head on collision which should be entertaining.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 4

We do however have the usual hang-ups of this type of show with the Empress being a kid but also bound by all sorts of codes and honour. She’s manipulated into action, she is upset by the war, and yet her actions perpetuate the violence she’s apparently so hurt by. With limited life experience and some fairly vague direction from those around her, I’m sure she’s doing the best she can but looking in from the outside it all just seems pretty tragic.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 4

The rebels as well with their usual fighting for peace mentality seem completely unaware of the irony of their own statements. Admittedly, just laying down arms and trying to live peacefully doesn’t work so great when the empire literally stomps your village flat and sets it on fire so I kind of get why they feel a need to fight, but fighting for peace is always a weird moral line given the actions taken are decidedly un-peaceful.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 4

Still, while there are a lot of cliches being thrown at us and the animation still isn’t exactly amazing, this one has set up a pretty decent story and things are more or less in motion which means they can just pretty much ride this to its natural conclusion (I’d prefer it if they did rather than trying to throw in a dozen or so plot twists). I guess we’ll see what it does in the coming weeks.

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