Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers
by Gabriella Ekens,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers ?
On this episode of Rokka, or Dangan Rokka you might call it now, our protagonist Adlet gets sentenced to death as the traitorous Seventh Brave and is forced to run for his life.
To be fair, Adlet does a terrible job of defending himself. Instead of pointing out how so much of his behavior is incongruous with him being the Seventh (for example, he clears their initial suspicions of Flamie, and Nachetanya and Flamie are both alive when he could've easily eliminated them earlier), he starts constructing ludicrous scenarios in which someone else could've gotten into the temple first. This just clinches it for the others, and Adlet only makes it out by taking Flamie hostage. This isn't to call his faulty logic a narrative problem. I don't require that characters act rationally in all situations, and I trust that Adlet's failure will play into the larger story in an interesting way.
While Hans is still the most suspicious, Maura has jumped up there for me. Despite her overtures toward giving the benefit of the doubt, she's as quick to condemn Adlet as anyone. There doesn't seem to be any benefit in eliminating someone fast for anyone but the Seventh Brave. For the real Braves, a mistake means missing out on one of the six necessary warriors and allowing a traitor into their ranks. For the Seventh, it means a successful infiltration. Hans, Maura, and Chamot to a lesser extent, have been the ones pushing this investigation forward, so they're the ones I have my eye on. Hans and Maura also provided most of the information used to convict Adlet, and much of it was unsubstantiated by a second party. While I'm not entirely on board with Adlet's theory that there's an Eighth, his scrutiny of the others' alibis will prove his innocence.
(Although an Eighth does bring up the possibility that there may be an entire team of Counter Braves working for the Demon Lord. Now that'd be a bomb for this show to end on.)
While Flamie says that she believes that Adlet is the Seventh, her actions say otherwise. Although she coldly refused to defend Adlet in the temple, she doesn't seem to begrudge him taking her hostage, and she even patches up his wounds. She also bolsters her likely innocence by noting how much it would cost the group to lose a Brave by miscalculation. Flamie is more attached to Adlet than she knows, and I'm sure she'll end up a valuable ally in the future.
We also get some of Adlet's backstory. He was a normal kid, not too interested in fighting, until fiends did something to his village. He was the only survivor, and grief led him to seek out some sort of mountain sage, who could train him to be the ultimate warrior and get revenge on fiends. However, this sage has some conditions for molding Adlet into someone who is emotionally prepared to face any challenge. He must be a person who can, in his words, “smile, even when he's so sad that he wants to die.” Adlet remembers this while steeling himself for the next day's battle against the other five Braves. He starts laughing and smiling, proclaiming his strength even in this situation, and Flamie's astonishment at this is the first thing to drag her out of her shell.
This episode was paced slower than last week's, complicating the mystery while advancing Adlet and Flamie's characterization. I can't wait for next time, when it looks like we'll get some resolution to the mystery and a showdown between the Braves. How will The Strongest Man on Earth get out of this, and what is Chamot's much-built-up power? It's swamps, so maybe it's noxious gases? Farts? Either way, my favorite show of Summer 2015 keeps trucking on.
Gabriella Ekens studies film and literature at a US university. Follow her on twitter.
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