In Dies irae Episode 11, “Self Destruction Factor,” Shirou Yusa learns about his relationship to Karl Kraft/Mercurius, and it’s no exaggeration to say he’s not in the least bit happy about it. Rusalka Schwägelin goes to visit Rea Himuro to talk about stomach aches. Talk about foreshadowing — Rusalka experiences the mother of all stomach aches just moments later! Wolfgang Schreiber interrupts a perfectly good fight and promptly makes Rusalka’s day even worse.
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What’s In This Post
3 Favorite Moments
We get to meet Kasumi Ayase when she was a little girl. The dad (who’s apparently insane, is related to Karl Kraft’s plan, and appears to be very comfortable harming little children) comes up with a pretense to “adopt” little Ren Fujii (who was otherwise absent from this episode — the hero, not present in the last aired episode?). The little guy had what appeared to be something like post traumatic stress syndrome, because when Ayase tried to greet him with a handshake (1:40), he pushed her down. That’s not one of my favorite moments. What was one of my favorite moments was Ayase jumping right back up and getting in Fujii’s face about it. I like her spirit. Too bad she’s spent most of the last few episodes unconscious (outside of the flashback).
Yusa has had some of the best moments in this series (which is a little sad, since Fujii’s supposed to be the main character — I think, anyway…). He continues his streak in this episode with his reaction to Karl Kraft’s monologue about creating Yusa’s powers. “Are you trying to tell me you’re God? That blond guy and I are God’s toys?” he says to Karl Kraft, who’s watching from a throne somewhere beyond Yusa’s sight (8:59). “Shut up! Shut your damn mouth!”
Himuro’s just witnessed the effect Yusa’s return had on Rusalka (in a show that’s not known for its restrained its use of blood, this screen sets a new high or low mark, depending on your perspective). She also witnessed what Wolfgang did to Rusalka (which actually made me feel sorry for her, and I can tell you, that’s not easy given how wretched she is). Wolfgang’s attack also, of course, caused bleeding. And how does Himuro ultimately react to these incidents? She faints (17:22). Of all the character moments in this entire series, of all the decisions any of the characters in this show made all season, this was the most reasonable and understandable.
Here we are at the end of the eleven episodes that’ll air on Crunchyroll (as far as I can tell, anyway). I’m left with a strong feeling of disappointment. I’ve said before that I’d rather watch a show try for something amazing and fail than shoot for mediocre and succeed. Now, I’ll add another adage: I hate failed potential.
And Dies irae is now my poster child for failed potential.
Just look at this episode. Final episode of the public run, and they’re introducing new characters — while existing character arcs get zero air time. Where was Fujii this episode? Where was Ayase (in the present, I mean)? Last week, the show introduced Göetz von Berlichingen, a character so powerful that even Eleonore von Wittenburg treated him with respect. Where was he? Why was he allowed to interrupt the fight at the end of the last episode just so he could do… nothing?
Speaking of interrupting fights, that seems to be this show’s method of ensuring maximum audience disappointment. Remember Kei Sakura fighting Fujii in episode 9? That fight was just getting interesting when Eleonore stomped her. In this episode, Wilhelm Ehrenburg’s fight with Yusa was at least entertaining when Schreiber’s avatar nomed both Wilhelm and his sister/mother Helga (his what?).
Why introduce Helga just to see her become an avatar’s snack?
I’ll keep an eye open for the follow-on episode, and if I find out where they’re showing, I’ll try to post an update on this site. But unless the narrative makes a dramatic change, I’m forced to agree with Chill_Guy in his Reddit post when he suggests, “the production committee is making this more for existing fans of the series [the Visual Novel] and not for new watchers.”
It’s a shame. There’s a lot of potential here, and I’m not seeing much of it developed.
What do you think? Do you have other examples of wasted potential? Am I being too harsh? Let me know what you think in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit’s Discussion of Episode 11
- 100 Word Anime: Dies Irae Episode 11: I’m Done
- Manga Tokyo: Dies Irae Episode 11 (Final) Review: Self-Destruction Factor
This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)
- Dies irae Episode 0: The Dawning Days
- Dies irae Episode 1: Twilight Girl
- Dies irae Episode 2: The Claws and Fangs of a Beast
- Dies irae Episode 3: The End of the Nightmare Is a Beginning
- Dies irae Episode 4: Spider
- Dies irae Episode 5: Reunion
- Dies irae Episode 6: Golden Beast
- Dies irae Episode 7: Swastika
- Dies irae Episode 8: Promise
- Dies irae Episode 9: A Mother’s Sins
- Dies irae Episode 10: Einherjar