by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Assassins Pride ?
At first the episode is mostly just about furthering the mysteries set up last episode: young people are getting attacked and left drained of vitality without being physically harmed. Circumstantial evidence seems to point towards Kuf, though Melida keeps seeing images of a vampire-like figure. Attempts to engender sympathy by having the orphans attacked fall flat. Things get slightly more interesting when Elise gets attacked and Rosetti is apparently killed, though I didn't believe for a second that the story would so haphazardly kill her off here. That, of course, proves not to be the case. The much bigger and more effective twist is that the vampire-like figure that Melida's been seeing visions of appears to actually be inhabiting Rosetti and may have been there all along. A scenario where Rosetti had been temporarily taken over wouldn't have been too surprising, but the latter case, if true, is a shocker.
Much less of a shocker is that Marquis Blossom Pricket is dirty, dirty, dirty. How many of those “infected” citizens were actually failed experiments involving either creating or treating improperly-transformed lancanthropes, and which was he actually trying to do? Using “mystery spots” to hide what he was doing seems like something straight out of a Scooby-Doo mystery, but it's at least a little clever. The real question, then, is how much of what's going on with the attacks is under his control. Based on everything that's revealed here, my current operating theory is that the vampire entity in Rosetti may have been part of a failed attempt to either produce or remove a lancanthrope transformation from Rosetti back seven years ago, and that's what caused the calamity that Kufa was also involved in at that time. The truth of that will presumably come out next episode.
Melida also gets considerably more attention with Kufa being absent until the last couple of minutes. That allows her to take the initiative more than she ever has before, even if she was partly guided along by Black Madia (posing as a student this time), This was heartening, since so far she's mostly just been pushed along by Kufa. How seeing Kufa's true form is going to affect her is the other note of anticipation for next episode, though I doubt it will cause a major shake-up.
The artistry definitely seems less sharp than it has been, and that isn't saying much. Overall, though, the mystery recovers the content just well enough to make this a decent episode.
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