to the abandoned Sacred Beasts
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 8 of
to the abandoned Sacred Beasts ?
As the name might imply, to the Abandoned Sacred Beasts is loaded with tragic stories of lives destroyed by the repercussions of war. Of those, the story of Beatrice, the Siren, is easily one of the most tragic. Some of that effect comes from her being by far the least menacing Incarnate to appear to date; even her Incarnate form should be drawing looks of awe rather than the horrified rejection she actually gets from the townsfolk. There's also her backstory to consider, including how becoming an Incarnate has effectively cost her what she most loved to do. The other big reason is that, of all of the Incarnates to appear so far, she probably least deserves her dire fate at the guns of Coup de Grace.
Of course, there's a delicate balancing act to this presentation, which succeeds in her being more thoroughly sympathetic in the anime than she was in the manga version. She claims to have killed many during the war, though she didn't do so directly; she only put enemy soldiers to sleep so that they could be killed by her allies. She still feels that she's responsible, however, and one scene showing her splattered with the blood of soldiers slain this way emphasizes the guilt that she feels. Since the war she does not seem to have harmed anyone, is mentally stable despite her despair over her situation, and poses no unprovoked threat. When she does finally use her power against the townsfolk, it's not out of rage but anguish over the person dearest to her being killed. The manga lays her killing intent with the use of her powers on more heavily, as if it felt a need to justify killing Trice off, but this anime version treats her more as being temporarily lost. After all, she only really wants to be able to sing again without harming others, and that puts a sorrowful twist on a final performance equally as lovely as her appearance. Sadly, her situation left her with no way out; she is too gentle to weather what Cain would demand of her even if she could get there, the military wants her dead, and Schaal doesn't have enough pull or power to offer her any real help or defense.
While Trice's tragedy is the main element of this episode, it's not the only one. The revelation that Claude is Cain's brother is anticlimactic here since it was revealed back in episode 6; it only makes sense here because Schaal presumably didn't hear it like the audience did. That he's losing sympathy for Schaal for her interference in his mission also may be a significant point going forward. Less is going on in New Patria, but that side of the story isn't that interesting at this point anyway.
The artistic quality control is still shaky, but this episode works well enough despite that, making for another respectable entry overall.
to the abandoned Sacred Beasts is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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