Warlords of Sigrdrifa
by Kim Morrissy,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Warlords of Sigrdrifa ?
After last week's failed attempt to get me to care about a character's death, I wasn't super eager to watch this episode, but thankfully, it moved the plot in an interesting direction. Although some developments came across rather abruptly, like Claudia's newfound power to open a gate to Valhalla, overall this episode covered a lot of ground in a surprisingly cohesive manner. The mysteries deepen, the stakes are raised, and every major character gets something important to do. This was an effective episode for setting up the anime's final act.
The wildest thing about this episode was the revelation that Norse mythology doesn't exist in this world. In fact, Commander Satomi goes out of his way to say that the region of Northern Europe doesn't have any mythology at all. It's hard to imagine a culture without a mythology, so I have to wonder if there's some kind of convoluted meddling with time travel or parallel universes to create this kind of scenario. It's telling that Azuzu, who has consistently been characterized as the cleverest of the main heroines, struggles to put the pieces together.
The information revealed in this episode also puts a new perspective on Odin's role in the story thus far. I have only a vague idea about Norse mythology myself – most of my knowledge comes from video games and The Avengers – but Odin's mannerisms and outlook in this anime always seemed similar to the trickster god Loki. Loki hasn't been name-dropped yet, but if nobody in this world even has knowledge of the common Norse mythology tales, then that also means nobody's on guard against Loki's tricks. Whoever the "Odin" of this anime turns out to be, he's definitely playing the long game. He apparently died in the last episode, but I highly doubt that was the end of him.
Speaking of death, the other big mystery of this show revolves around what happens to the characters after their deaths. The zombie planes already implied that the dead pilots linger on in some form, but I think there's a definite possibility that dead characters will show up later in sentient form. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense to kill off so many named characters unceremoniously and with such little buildup. This might end up being the kind of show where storytelling decisions that seemed odd at first glance end up making more sense in retrospect.
On the technical side, this episode didn't have much action and the character animation was more subdued than usual, but it did have really neat hand-drawn effects, especially when Claudia opened the gate to Valhalla. I also liked the scene where the wooden sentry shows up at the end. The timing of its movements really emphasized its inhuman, almost robotic-like qualities, but it had an unsettling nimbleness about it as well. Definitely a tense note to end on for now. What unfortunate timing indeed for next week to be a recap episode, just when the story was getting good. Oh well, see you all again next time.
Warlords of Sigrdrifa is currently streaming on Funimation.
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