Plunderer
Episode 8

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Plunderer ?

In which our heroes get their drink on—and everything we thought we knew is overturned.

The majority of this week's episode follows our heroes as they all get sloshed. After finding a town destroyed by a flying monster, Jail believes Licht might have some information about it.

Thus, he has a simple plan: beat the crap out of Licht until Licht tells him everything. But as Nana doesn't really want to get chased out of yet another town due to the two of them fighting, she forces them to fight in a different way: a drinking contest.

But as much as Jail wants to know what happened to the town, the deeper question is what captivates him. He wants to know who—and what—Licht is. The man is a walking contradiction. Despite Jail having the larger count (especially when you remember to include Licht's stunning -1001 count), Licht has exhibited power far beyond Jail's own.

The only explanations for this are that either Licht has another hidden ballot or that Licht is indeed a legendary warrior from a battlefield 300 years past—and Jail fears the implications of it being the later.

To find which one is true, Jail hopes that alcohol will loosen Licht's tongue. But what's interesting about the following conversation is that Licht never once lies. Sure, he dodges the questions or gives meaningless answers but none of what he says is untrue.

At the same time, Hina and Lynn have a drink—and one that brings clarity for Lynn. When Jail tried to start a fight with Licht putting both Hina and Lynn in danger, it was Hina he protected. Lynn takes this to mean that Hina is number one in Licht's heart. And this grants a bit of insight into how Lynn sees herself.

She looks at Hina and sees a woman small and cute—someone who all but cries out for protection by simply existing. Lynn, on the other hand, is muscular, strong, and able to handle herself in a fight—i.e., “manly.” Moreover, Hina is kind to a point that it puts even a martyr like Lynn to shame. Yet, despite deciding on her inferiority, Lynn still resolves to beat Hina and win “Puddings'” heart (even though Hina is still 100% clueless to the fact that she is in a love triangle at all).

But before things can go any further comes the big reveal. The “monster” that massacred an entire town isn't a demon like the sole survivor reported but a helicopter gunship—and, moreover, one from the Abyss (and not the totalitarian government).

On the surface, Plunderer appears to be a medieval magical fantasy. However, there have been more than a few hints that this isn't strictly the case. We've seen that at least some in the army have access to far more advanced technology than you'd expect to find in a medieval era (namely radios) and the government is keeping the general populous from advancing technologically—most likely to keep them in easily-controllable ignorance.

And if the government knows enough about flight technology to know what to look for to ban it, it stands to reason that this is because they have flight technology themselves. So with that in mind, seeing a helicopter might not seem all that weird—at least at first.

What changes everything isn't that a helicopter has appeared; it's that said helicopter is a Mil Mi-24 series Russian-designed gunship—i.e., an easily recognizable helicopter from the real world. This implies that this series, despite its outer trappings, takes place in our world (or that the Abyss itself is our world if nothing else).

Doubly interesting is that while none of the military members present—including an officer like Jail—recognize the helicopter for what it is, Licht does. His surprise is not from the fact that a crazy loud flying machine exists and came from the Abyss but that this particular model still does. And his remarks about not seeing one since the war further solidify that Licht is indeed a legendary ace and is over 300 years old.

How the appearance of a helicopter is possible—as the connection to the Abyss has appeared to be a magical, one-way thing up until now—is likewise an intriguing question and one that looks to be addressed in the next episode.

Rating:

Random Thoughts:

• Nana makes so much money off of Jail.

• Nana can easily drink both Licht and Jail under the table.

• Jail doesn't believe Licht is the perpetrator from the very start. Moreover, he recognizes that someone who can jump as if he were flying might have a reason to do so—i.e., fighting a flying enemy.

• The Licht versus Jail drinking music is the most epic the score has been all season—which is the joke as it goes nearly silent when not focusing on them.

• I love how the helicopter sound starts out so distorted you can't tell what it is but slowly resolves into a sound anyone could recognize.

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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