Warlords of Sigrdrifa
Episodes 9-10

by Kim Morrissy,

How would you rate episode 9 of
Warlords of Sigrdrifa ?

How would you rate episode 10 of
Warlords of Sigrdrifa ?

Between both Sigrdrifa and I taking breaks, it's been three weeks since the last episode review. So let's start this review with a very quick overview of what happens: Episode 9 resolves the sticky situation our heroines landed in at the end of episode 8, while episode 10 is probably the last "calm before the storm" episode before this show wraps up altogether. Between these two episodes, it's revealed that Odin isn't dead and that he's unambiguously the bad guy seeking the end times of humanity.

The role of Norse mythology of this anime is fairly interesting on a conceptual level. If they were real, how would Odin et al think about how their lives and battles have been reduced to myth? To them, our modern world would certainly seem like a "post-Ragnarok" world. Warlords of Sigrdrifa makes this idea very literal. Odin is someone who can't accept that his age has passed, and it seems that he is using the Pillars to willfully start another Ragnarok. There are still some things that I have questions about, like what exactly happened to the original Norse mythology figures after the first Ragnarok that would turn them into the Pillars of the current situation, but Odin's motivation at least feels plausible enough.

Still, mulling over it all, I have to say I'm a little disappointed at how slapdash the setting has shaped up to be so far. It's the kind of idea that seems clever on paper or as a thought experiment, but it could have done with a lot more fleshing out and foreshadowing to be effective as a proper plot. The fact that episode 10 barely touches on the lore makes me think that time has run out for the worldbuilding. After this episode is the climactic battle; I expect maybe one or two more twists from this, but anything more would just feel like handwaving. And the show still hasn't explained the zombie pilots!

Generally speaking, though, both episodes are competent at what they set out to do. I quite enjoyed Sonoka's badass moment in episode 9. I know that from a narrative perspective it was kind of half-assed for her to get back in the plane so easily after all her depression and trauma, but seeing that cute baby-face of hers take on such a fiery expression was still very satisfying. It really brings home what the other characters were saying about her way back in episode 1: She may seem like the calm and sweet one, but she's actually the most ruthless when it really comes down to it. Also, those were some slick moves she pulled in battle. (Admittedly, the part where her plane starts spinning around and firing in all directions was overdoing it, though.)

Episode 10 turns the focus to Azuzu's mental hang-ups in the leadup to the final battle. As the strategist, Azuzu has a lot of pressure on her, and at first she's too stressed to appreciate what Miyako is doing by pushing for a summer festival. Among the heroines, Azuzu was the least fleshed-out; although this episode doesn't quite bring her up to the level of the other heroines, it does bring her vulnerabilities to the fore, which I appreciated. The final moments, where Claudia declares that the friendships she has made are her reason for fighting, also had more emotional impact on me than I expected. The insert song carries a lot of narrative weight, but it's also just a very pretty song. I'm quite impressed with the soundtrack of this show in general.

Given what a messy and inconsistent series this has been so far, I don't have high hopes for the climax, but I did enjoy these two episodes. After so many episodes hinging on side characters, I was quite relieved to see the focus return to the main cast. Sigrdrifa is less than the sum of parts, but the main quartet is a likable bunch, and the plot does better when it's not trying to bite off more than it can chew.


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