Anime

Review of Fairy gone Episode 12: Ego Versus Tactics and the End of an Era

Quick Summary

In Fairy gone episode 12, "Powerless Soldier," Beevee Liscar presses his attack on the Heavenly Gate. Imperial soldiers fall in droves. Free UnderbarMariya NoelKlara Kysenaria, and Serge Tova meet the fleeing war minister Bruno Bohme, who asks them to join him. He knows the secret passages in the palace, so they agree. Soon, they get to where the action is. Does Free have any chance against Beevee, especially in light of what happened the last time they met? Can Mariya withstand the horrors of combat? What will become of Schwartz Diese's scheming? And wasn't Wolfran Row walking right beside Schwartz? Where'd he run off to?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.  

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Moment 1: Mariya's Courage 

Review of Fairy gone Episode 12: Mariya's courage

She might have wavered, but Mariya pulled herself together. She found her courage. Capture from the Funimation stream

Fairy gone pleasantly surprised me this week with how it portrayed Mariya. Remember back in episode 9 when she had to watch Oz Mare die protecting her? That traumatized her. She's been trying to find a path forward ever since. After teaming up with War Minister Bruno Bohme, the Dorothea agents rushed towards the fighting. Through every corridor and room they passed, they saw dead soldiers, and Mariya couldn't help but think of how "scary" war was. They split up and waited for their individual assignments to begin, and Mariya experienced a moment where she wasn't sure what she was going to do (10:24). It wasn't that she actively wanted to abandon her teammates; it's that she was overwhelmed. She rested her forehead against her rifle as she remembered Beevee's fairy weapon's impact on Oz. The next second, her eyes snapped open and her expression was determined. She'd decided to move forward despite her fears. Acts of courage just never get old, do they?

Moment 2: Free's Struggle with his Doubts

Review of Fairy gone Episode 12: Free banishes his self-doubt

Free had to psyche himself up for the attack. But it worked! Capture from the Funimation stream

Mariya wasn't the only one trying to work through the issues from episode 9. Free, too, struggled with his memories. Free had to know that Mariya's lack of training significantly contributed to what happened, just like he knew he had no such mitigating circumstances. After all, he was a veteran soldier! That meant he probably felt deeply guilty. Shortly after Mariya made her decision, Free struggled with this (11:13). That's misleading. He always knew he'd go into battle. What he wanted was the strength to do better. So he called on Oz's spirit, but not to help him. I think he felt too guilty to ask for that. What he did ask Oz for was 11:13) "just keep watching!" With that, he sprang from cover and drew his fairy weapon. Maybe wielding Verosteal made the difference; or maybe it was making peace with his memory of Oz. Or both? Whatever the reason, he did exceptionally well against Beevee. I was glad to see him get his confidence back. 

Moment 3: It's Dangerous to Go Alone

Review of Fairy gone Episode 12: Free relies on his team

Why fight alone when your squad can back you up? It's not about ego; it's about victory and being alive at the end of the battle. Capture from the Funimation stream

Free fought Beevee almost to a standstill, which is a huge improvement over their last meeting. Free's swordsmanship wasn't lacking, but as soon as Beevee used his fairy, Free was at a disadvantage. Beevee looked way too pleased with himself as he continued to taunt our hero. Beevee's fairy slammed Free's to the ground, and Beevee mocked Free, telling him he wasn't as good as Verosteal's previous swordsman. "Yeah, I know that," Free said (14:16). That's when Mariya unleashed her fairy, and together with Free's they took Beevee's fairy out of the fight. "My goal's not to beat you one-on-one," Free said, readying for the next attack (14:25). Even Serge got a shot in with his sniper fairy. "We of Dorothea will perform our duty," Free said as the dust from Serge's shot cleared. When I was younger, stories about the exploits of individual knights captured my attention. I wanted to stand out in a good way like they did! But the older I got, the more I learned about real conflicts, military and otherwise. Now, I understand that characters like Beevee are  neurochemical junkies who are unable to control themselves. Avoiding military conflict is preferable; fighting for "glory" is insane in a bad way. But it you have to do it, do so with overwhelming force. None of this "fight me man to man!" nonsense. Even the Evil Overlord understood that!

Thoughts: The Threads are Coming Together

Do you remember the moment as Mariya was struggling with her fear (10:07)? Serge was about to run off to his assignment when he noticed her unease, and he seemed like he wanted to say something supportive. The best he could do was, "See you later, Mariya!" Was I the only one who thought "Holy crap! That's a death flag?"

If you've been reading my reviews of his series, first let me thank you for making it to episode 12! Second, you probably know I've struggled with Fairy gone. There are things I really like about it, like the animation and the main characters. There are other things that I've liked less, like the pacing and the sheer volume of flashbacks. And don't get me started on the military tactics at the end of the previous episode or beginning of this one! So, after 12 episodes, where do I stand?

Reddit user sagenagato wrote a great post that talked about how the writers setup some of the plot points that came to fruition in this episode. Dawnstorm, who I'm happy to see has commented on many of my Fairy gone reviews, has spoken favorably about the story's basic plot mechanics (at least from the same perspective as the Reddit post). They're both right. I think I let my frustration with the negatives get in the way of celebrating what the show did right.

Review of Fairy gone Episode 12:  Ray Dawn's ominous stare

The show's basic plot is solid. There're some interesting questions here, like what's Ray Dawn planning?But pacing? Well... But it's still interesting and worth watching. Capture from the Funimation stream

I'm a sucker for redemption arcs, so I really like what happened with Mariya and Free in this episode. Mariya didn't just find her courage, she got over over-excited and tried to pursue Beevee after they'd won the fight. How often have you seen someone get just a little experience, then try to over extend themselves? Free's years of experience probably saved her life, and her willingness to listen to him helped. I like their partnership.

Though the tactics early in the episode still annoyed me (really, Beevee -- you lead your company in a tight group through the middle of the entryway?), I'm going to put that aside. This episode wrapped up a number of plot threads successfully, and I want to acknowledge that. It also left some questions unanswered, like why did Ray Dawn burn the village down in the early episodes, earning Veronica Thorn's wrath? Why did Ray protect the emperor against Schwartz? How many people and groups is Wolfran double-crossing, and where do his real loyalties lie?

These have the potential to be worthwhile drama, and I still enjoy these characters (though Klara Kisenaria could have used some more screen time this episode!). Besides, I hate to leave something unfinished. That means I'll probably be back to review the second cour when it airs in the Fall 2019 season.

What did you think of Mariya and Free in this episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Review of Fairy gone Episode 12: Ego Versus Tactics and the End of an Era

  1. Actually, Mariya and Free in this episode perfectly illustrate my major quibble with this show. If you’re using fairly common story elements, the temptation is to just reference the standards with the usual bodylanguage and call it a day. I’m just not invested here. I don’t care. It doesn’t help that heroism has never been high on list of fictional things I enjoy, and if you mess it up it’ll actively annoy me.

    One thing for example is Mariya wanting to pursue Beevee. Why? Revenge? Is that part of her make-up? Covering up insecurities? Prove of dedication to a decision she made? There’s potential here for characterisation, but unlike the big pictures I don’t have much faith in the show in these things. Story-wise, vengeance is Veronica’s trope, and Mariya obviously serves as a foil for her in the flashbacks. So there’s a connection here. Mariya has this narrative of “being cursed” to her, and it would make sense to turn that outward onto targets, in an attempt to move forward. The groundwork is there, but in the little details the show just doesn’t come together. And because the show often just goes for “cool” imagery, it’s entirely possible that stylistic concerns override this. As a result, the characters feel somewhere in between total stereotypes and worked-out characters, and it’s hard to find a mode of watching them that works for me.

    I feel like Serge’s been raising death flags since last episode, but he’s still alive.

    I’ll be back for the rest, but it’s more from a mild curiosity than through any excitement.

    1. “One thing for example is Mariya wanting to pursue Beevee. Why? Revenge? Is that part of her make-up? Covering up insecurities? Prove of dedication to a decision she made? There’s potential here for characterisation, but unlike the big pictures I don’t have much faith in the show in these things.”

      I interpreted it as a novice overdoing a newly discovered skill — courage! But looking back, I suspect my imagination was filling in missing pieces.

      You’re right. The show doesn’t have a great track record with this sort of thing.

      “And because the show often just goes for “cool” imagery, it’s entirely possible that stylistic concerns override this. ”

      I’ll jokingly say I almost wish you hadn’t made this observation several episodes ago, because what I can’t unsee it! You’re on target, of course. The show often goes for a cool pose when a dramatic development would have been more satisfying.

      “I feel like Serge’s been raising death flags since last episode, but he’s still alive.”

      I thought that as well. Now, with the show’s emphasis on style, I wonder if they’ll use this as a feint and kill Klara instead? I wouldn’t be very happy about that…

      Well, now we wait for the second half!

  2. I made it to twelve… and I think that’s it for me. I may end up bingeing the rest at a later date, but I’m in no hurry to continue. I’ve not been able to connect with anything or anyone, and the pacing issues are incredibly frustrating. I’ve not felt this disengaged with a series in a long time.

    1. “I’ve not felt this disengaged with a series in a long time.”

      I completely understand.

      I think the connections I’ve managed to form are mostly based on projection. Klara might be my favorite character, but objectively, we haven’t seen enough to really know who she is or what drives her. I like what I’ve seen of Mariya and Free, but we haven’t seen enough.

      I don’t have any specific reason to hope, but I kinda feel like not giving up. I don’t think I’m just sticking with it out of a feeling of obligation. I think I just want to see these people do something interesting!

      Guess we’ll find out one way or another this fall! Thanks for reading — also thanks for your reviews! It was nice seeing the show from another perspective.

      1. No worries and good luck. I was holding on for something big, something that would make me go, ‘Yes! Now I have to watch the next part’, but it didn’t happen.

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