Back Arrow
Episode 11

by Grant Jones,

How would you rate episode 11 of
Back Arrow ?

Rekka's invasion is heading towards Lutoh at full speed. As armies gather, the Granedger crew and Lutoh's advisors team up to begin their planning. Shu works with the scientist Demyne to perfect artificial bind warper technology and help arm the Lutoh army in preparation. Before the battle, Shu also takes time to speak with Back Arrow about his dream of getting past the wall. He convinces Back Arrow that the two nations will destroy one another in the fighting and that he should instead stay in Lingalind and become the king.

When the fighting does start it immediately becomes a massive struggle. Tanks, Briheights, the Granedger, and more engage in fierce combat across the blasted battlefield. Back Arrow duels with Ren, and while she is a capable warrior, his new abilities allow him to break away to attack Kai. Before he can strike the decisive blow, however, Ren sacrifices her Briheight and tries to go one step further by blowing herself up to take him out. Back Arrow disarms the bombs and takes away her knife as well, arguing with her that self-sacrifice is meaningless.

Even though the Emperor of Rekka manages to spear Prax with a fiery lance attack, it is clear that the battle is not going in Rekka's favor. The Emperor calls off his forces and break from the day's fighting to resume the next day. Before the episode ends, Shu tries to convince Back Arrow that letting Kai live will come back to haunt them, but Back Arrow says that as the future king he is out to befriend everyone.

This series continues to impress.

Now that the fighting has started in earnest, we get lots of pure eye candy. Big explosions, named attacks, sweeping armies – it's all on quite impressive display. The Emperor's fire attack stands out as a particularly exciting moment visually, and the sort of half lightning half lava effect it has looks terrific. The Briheight designs are all wonderfully creative and I think their simplicity in design pays dividends here as the fluidity of motion in these fight sequences really shines through.

I have commented on the show's growing political complexity over the past few episodes and that is beginning to bear fruit for sure. While the cast is not necessarily deep or complex on the whole, there are quite a few distinctive characters running around and this episode helps show that off. I think the Romechs of the Three Kingdoms vibe pays huge dividends for me personally, and Back Arrow going full Gentaro at the end put it over the top. If things keep picking up steam like they have been this little show may end up being a genuine favorite of mine.

Rating:


Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.

Back Arrow is currently streaming on FUNimation Entertainment.


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