Anime Best in Show

Review: To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 03 – Best In Show

Quick Summary

In To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 03, "The Minotaur's Fortress," Hank Henriette and Nancy Schaal Bancroft hitch a ride on a covered wagon to Hank's next assignment. A Minotaur who had been under Hank's command was slowly disassembling a town to build an impregnable fortress. Every night, he would bellow and go forth, and the townspeople were desparate and afraid. Many lived in refugee camps in their own city because their homes had been destroyed. Nancy insists on following Hank into the fortress because she wants to understand what drives the man who had killed her own father. Will Hank let her? Will the Minotaur let them enter at all? And why can't Liza Renecastle find a blouse that has buttons? 

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

Best Moment in the Show

At the end, Theodore was no longer afraid. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

The first two episodes gave us a taste of the tragedy surrounding the soldiers who had been transformed into previously mythical creatures. Seeing Nancy Schaal's father descend into a madness that threatened her and her entire town drove home how dangerous these soldiers have become. In other words, both the first and second episodes hammer home the "sacred beasts" aspect of the title. This episode did the best job of helping me feel the "abandoned" part.

In this episode, Hank had to hunt down the Incarnate named Theodore Sherman who could transform into a Minotaur. The episode gave us a scene that showed Theodore had been scared of fighting, to the point of paranoia. Hank had tried to help him calm down by showing him a coping skill: Hank cleaned and prepared his weapons so that when it came time to fight, he would be ready.

Apparently, Theodore took that lesson to heart, because he not only built the fortress; he filled it with traps and weapons to ensnare anyone who entered. Yet, even with all of that preparation, he was still terrified. It didn't help that Theodore's initial joy at seeing Hank turned to terror when he realized Hank was there to kill him.

After a brutal fight, Hank finally had the mastery. Theodore, bleeding from his injuries, asked Hank if he was going to die. Hank's an honest sort and didn't deny it. Then Theodore said (19:35), "In that case... I guess I don't need to be scared anymore."

Nancy Schaal finally got a taste for what Hank was doing -- and why. She didn't like it. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream

He actually smiled.

"You can rest now, Theo," Hank said, and he pulled the trigger.

Everyone else had either labeled Theodore a monster or had turned their backs on him. Only Hank still saw him as the scared soldier he had been. I thought the melancholy was really effective here.

What did you think of Nancy Schaal's reactions to Hank's mission? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments! 

7 thoughts on “Review: To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 03 – Best In Show

  1. I really liked everything to do with Theo in this episode, but Nancy, for me at least, was starting to veer towards the annoying. I think it’s just the way the series has been set up, I get that Nancy needs to understand why Hank does what he does, but we the audience already know and understand so all her questions felt pretty redundant. I don’t know, I want to like Nancy and I did in the last episode, but not this one.

    1. “I don’t know, I want to like Nancy and I did in the last episode, but not this one.”

      I get what you’re saying! I think we have to get her through her naïveté stage, so I anticipate a lot of apparently immature outcries. Did you see episode 4 yet? What did you think of her in that episode?

        1. Okay! I should have my Best in Show review of that episode posted on Saturday, so please visit if you have time! I’d love to know what you thought of the episode.

  2. i feel like the third episode is probably my favorite of the three. i also think that theo was glad that an enemy finally appeared. i thought of it like the feeling of dread you get when you’re reaching the top of a roller coaster vs. finally feeling the drop. it seemed like theo was forever climbing the top with no end in sight, just constant paranoia, and finally when hank arrived it’s like yes i knew there was an enemy i didn’t prepare in vane. or something like that. i’m not sure how to describe it, lol

    1. “t seemed like theo was forever climbing the top with no end in sight, just constant paranoia, and finally when hank arrived it’s like yes i knew there was an enemy i didn’t prepare in vane. ”

      I think that’s a great perspective. I had interpreted relief as someone who had simply reached the end of a journey. I like your additional insight that in a sense, Hank had validated his entire life.

      And now that you suggested that, I see Hank’s reaction differently. At first, Hank looked pained when Theo said he’d invaded the fortress to kill Theo. Then, Hank took on an almost happy expression. Maybe he realized the impact of what he was about to do.

Please let me know what you think!

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