by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Assassins Pride ?
With episode 7 the series moves onto a new arc, and this one appears like it is setting up to be a classic whodunit story – only in this case the victims aren't being killed, just incapacitated without obvious harm. And it wouldn't be a good mystery story without evidence at least circumstantially pointing towards the male protagonist, would it?
But before we get into that, I have to wonder about the nature of Shangarta, the new setting that the story moves to halfway through the episode. Supposedly all of remaining humanity lives in the giant candelabra we saw in the first episode, but this town seems to be at the bottom of a shaft accessed by the train spiraling down into the ground. So does that mean that it's not covered like the others? A bit more elaboration on the setting here would be welcomed at this point, even if it required some random exposition.
Anyway, this episode largely involves throwing out a bunch of little tidbits that will theoretically come together to form the overall mystery, as well as throwing in some potential romantic hijinks for good measure. The latter comes in the form of Rosetti needing a pretend-fiancée, and naturally that means Kufa. The writing has already suggested that she's sweet on him (Melida has to have at least a theoretical romantic rival, after all), so something like this happening isn't a surprise. The scene towards the end of the episode where Kufa weightlessly dances above the water with Melida reaffirms that any actual threat here is all in Melida's head; Kufa is fully devoted to her even if his feelings are not exactly romantic. Still, a bit of jealousy might be good for her.
The circumstances surrounding the actual mystery are a little more interesting, as all of the details are coming from a myriad of different directions. There is, of course, absolutely nothing suspicious about a man renowned for genetic engineering taking in a gaggle of orphans, but what his ulterior motives might be is not even being hinted at yet; the only thing that is certain is that they are not gregarious. That raises the question of whether or not Rosetti has been enhanced in some way, given that she was the youngest ever to achieve her position. The disease in Shangarta which requires victims to be killed immediately is incredibly suspicious and no doubt linked to whatever Pickens is doing. So, likely, are the incidences where the girls are collapsing as if they have been affected by a vampire, even if they have not been bitten. Kufa is obviously not the culprit but just as obviously deeply linked to this affair, with suggestions that he may have saved Rosetti several years earlier and was at least implicated in some ugly incidents at that same time (which Pickens was no doubt actually responsible for). The flashes that Melida has been getting, presumably because of having Kufa's mana, suggest the real, direct culprit if not the man behind him.
While something a little interesting might come together out of this, the execution here is bland enough that it's hard to generate any enthusiasm for the series at this point. It's not that the series is necessarily bad, but it does feel like it's just going through the expected motions.
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