Plunderer
Episode 19

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 19 of
Plunderer ?

“In which our heroes rest, relax, and address some long overdue misunderstandings.”

At the start, it looks like it's going to be a full fanservice episode with the announcement of an all you can drink—and all you can grope—party. And while this episode does have more than its fair share of fanservice, at least this time it's fanservice with a greater point: looking at our heroines' insecurities.

Each of our main three female leads is worried about some aspect of themselves physically. For Hina, it's her bust size. For Nana, it's her age. And for Lynn, it's her muffin top. The thing is, in the objective sense, none of these “problems” actually stand out. Hina is more than a little busty in her own right. Nana may be 300 but she looks 25. And Lynn has a figure that supermodels would kill for—even with the little extra in her love handles.

The telling thing is that they each envy each other. It's a “grass is always greener” situation and serves to humanize the character's a bit. But this is the light-hearted stuff in the foreground. It's the rest of the episode that really stands out.

It's important to remember that, in a real way, we are being introduced to Licht and Nana for the first time. Post-time travel Nana and Licht are not the same people the rest of our heroes knew before their journey through time—though they are similar.

In the original timeline, Nana guided Jail in becoming a hero—a reflection of her ideal version of Licht. In the new timeline, she would have guided Jail to become himself as she knew him—the man who literally offered to wipe away his entire timeline just to set a lonely child free.

Likewise, in the new timeline, Hina wasn't just some stranger that found Licht—not in his eyes anyway. She was a companion from before the war took everything from him—and one that seemed to truly love him both in the past and now.

And that's part of what weighs on him in the present. Licht is in love with Hina, too. This scares him. Losing his loved ones so many years ago broke him. So in the recent past, he's used numerous tactics to keep people at arm's length—mainly sexual harassment. At this point, he cares for Hina too much to do that so he tries to go for his usual backup plan: running away when no one is looking. Of course, the problem here is that Hina is wise to his BS by now. And as she promised him 300 years ago, if he tries to run, she'll follow. Though that doesn't stop him from trying another tactic: bringing up Hina's mom.

But for all the unresolved Hina/Licht intrigue, this episode is really Nana's story. Nana has spent her long life hoping that Licht would recover from his mental scars and her unrequited love would come to fruition. Yet, in the end, while she was able to heal Licht most of the way, it took Hina to finish the job. This has been a terrible double-edged sword for Nana emotionally. On one hand, Licht is finally back to being the man who she knew centuries before. On the other, Nana was unable to do this all by herself. Moreover, it's clear that Licht loves Hina (in the romantic sense) and not Nana.

Ever since she was a child—due to her upbringing and powers—Nana has sacrificed her own wants and happiness for those of others. Her entire adult personality is built around hiding the pain this causes her. She pretends nothing matters—that she's just a free spirit who cares about nothing beyond booze and having fun.

The problem is, she can't sell that image anymore—not to Jail. He's seen the lonely girl behind the veil and is no longer able to sit back and watch someone in pain—especially when they're someone he knows and cares for. And so he shows Licht Nana's video diaries. While terribly embarrassing for her, it clues Licht into the misunderstanding that's been torturing Nana.

It's not that he refused to take off his mask because Nana reminded him of the war and he didn't want to face her, it's because he was afraid his face—a face unable to smile—would drive her away. For nearly 300 years she has been his only family. While he may not love her romantically, he does care for her more than anyone else. The idea of losing her—of hurting her—was too much for him. And it hurts him deeply now knowing that he accidentally hurt her anyway.

In the emotionally exhausted sleep that follows, Nana is able to come to terms with the fact that her love for Licht will forever be unrequited. But as a part of her notes, even before she met Licht, there was another man who stole her heart away—a true hero keeping a promise 300 years in the making: Jail Murdoch.

Rating:

Random Thoughts

• Imagine how this new timeline's Sonohara must have felt when she realized that she shot one of her oldest friends—and one who protected her from bullying more than once.

• So what happened with the black hands? Both Licht and Sonohara are still alive so they should still be here. Or is it that, in the new timeline, their fight wasn't a star battle so the hands never appeared?

• Lynn, it's probably not the best idea to compare your body to those of genetically altered, immortal super soldiers.

• So Pele not only understands how to work a PC but also how to work a tablet? Yeah, no red flags there.

• Licht knows Hina's mother's name. ...And just when I thought we were done with backstory.

Plunderer is currently streaming on FUNimation.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.


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