The Spring 2016 Anime Preview Guide
The Asterisk War 2nd Season

How would you rate episode 13 of
The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water (TV 2) ?

What is this?

The Phoenix Festa continues with the fifth round, as teams vie for spots in the quarterfinals. The Saya and Kirin team have already made it, but Julis and Ayato face a tougher path, as the limited activation time of Ayato's peak power – and the negative effect its use has on him afterwards – has become public knowledge thanks to the battle against Irene and the Gravi-Sheath. To compensate for Ayato's unfinished recovery, Julis devises a new strategy for dealing with a team of male martial arts experts from the Jie Long school. While her strategy is ultimately successful, their opponents warn them about their next fight from the same school: a pair of twins who delight in their superior abilities and are masters of tricky fighting. Meanwhile, the master of both schools, the little girl Divine Revelations, looks on with amusement and interest in Ayato's powers, and Julis has a visitor.

How was the first episode?

Theron Martin


Review: Fresh off of its season-long break, The Asterisk War resumes with the formal introduction of Divine Revelations. While she had appeared in the first season's opener and briefly in one or two episodes, this is the first time we have actually seen her do anything. That means, of course, that she has to establish her bad-ass creds by easily dodging and soundly trouncing a whole horde of martial artists. She also makes yet another person in power who has now taken a particular interest in Ayato, though whether or not that's actually going to lead to anything is less clear in her case. Also introduced are the twins who will apparently be Ayato and Julis's next major opponents, as their foes in this round are so throw-away that I couldn't be bothered to remember their names. They are sufficiently obnoxious already as to assure that they will engender no sympathy from the audience. The end of the episode also brings another new character into the picture, a green-haired girl in a maid-like dress named Flora, who I am presuming is either one of the orphans from the orphanage or a servant from Julis's home country. Either way, they clearly know each other well.

The bulk of the episode is wrapped up in the battle, though. Despite some intense action scenes, I found its highlight to actually be the strategizing for it. Action-oriented anime is so replete with bull-headed heroes (and, to a lesser extent, heroines) that this series actually making an effort to show its leads formulating strategy before going into battle has always been a refreshing touch, and that is the case once again here. The strategy they come up with – maneuvering their opponents into isolated separate battles with a fire wall thrown up by Julis and then suddenly switching opponents to catch the opposition off-guard – is a simple but clever one borne of precise timing, one which demonstrates the level of trust that has grown between the two. While there still may be intimations of romance, the evident trust is the more satisfying aspect of their relationship at this time.

The technical merits so far seem consistent with the first season, though the new opener impresses far less than the old one. Beyond that there's really not a whole lot else to say about the episode, as this is pretty much a “business as usual” affair. The next episode's title – “Corrupt Ruler” – does promise more big plot developments to come, but for now the series is keeping things simple.

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