In To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 04, "March of the Behemoth," Hank Henriette and Nancy Schaal Bancroft are riding a train when they come within sight of an enormous bridge that crosses a deep divide. The conductor tells her that it's the pride of peacetime because it straddles the North and South. Peaceful commerce now flows across it. The train is forced to an emergency stop, and Liza Renecastle tells them why: A gigantic Incarnate called Behemoth is lumbering towards the bridge. It falls to Hank to bring an end to the danger. What does it mean that the Behemoth had previously avoiding even injuring people? Why is it so intent on walking through the bridge? And what can Hank, as powerful as he is, possibly to do halt such an enormous creature?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
Best Moment in the Show
We had to wait until the end of the episode to learn why Arthur was so determined to walk through the bridge. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
This series is reminding me more and more of Midnight occult civil servants in that I am thoroughly enjoying the characters and plot, but can't hold the series up as a magnificent example of animation. It's not bad at all -- but it's not Fire Force or even Astra Lost in Space, either.
Kinda like Midnight occult civil servants!
I admired the plotting skills that went into this episode. In the very opening moments, almost without words, we saw a hint that explained the mystery of why Behemoth, also known as Arthur Allston. We get a shot of the quiet man sketching something in his notebook. Hank was there and asked him about it, so Hank was well aware of what he was drawing.
We learned that the Behemoth had carefully plotted his course so he avoided hurting anyone. That convinced Schaal that he hadn't lost his human soul, so of course she was outraged that everyone still wanted to kill him. Except that only the railroad owner really wanted to kill him. Hank just knew it had to be done.
The Behemoth was following the ravine that led to the bridge. Hank had to use explosives to even slow the monster down; he had to use the equivalent of shaped charges to injure Arthur enough to even hope of saving the bridge. Even that, though, was not enough. Arthur was absolutely determined to push forward.
Schaal ran into the middle of the bridge and pleaded with him. He paused, and it was clear his eyes were still human. When he paused, Hank ordered that the engineers detonate the last charges he had ordered them to plant.
Hank knew what he was doing when he asked the engineers to plant the explosives beyond the bridge. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
They hadn't understood why, because the charges were well beyond the bridge. There was no way the engineers saw that the blast would save the bridge. But it did. And in a sense, it saved Arthur, too.
The blast blew out part of the ravine, and though the new gap, Arthur could see the sea. The westering sun reflection gleamed. Arthur paused and tears began to flow freely. In that moment, he laid himself down and died.
The sketch he had been making? It was of the sea. More than anything, he had wanted to visit it before he died. Hank couldn't save his life, so he did the best he could: he helped his old comrade achieve his dream.
I cannot imagine the guilt that Hank carries with him every day. Even still, he has enough humanity remaining that he can make efforts like this. The plot devices were simple, but effective, and they setup the final moments. I thought they were the Best in Show for this episode.
What did you think of Arthur's story? What was your favorite moment? Let me know in the credits!
Other Posts about This Series
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e - Episode 4 discussion
- Couch and Chill: [Review] To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episodes 3 & 4
This Site (Crow's World of Anime!)
- Review: To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 01 – Best In Show
- Review: To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 02 – Best In Show
- Review: To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 03 – Best In Show
- Review: To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 04 – Best In Show
- Review: To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 05 – Best In Show
- Review: To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 06 – Best In Show
- Review: To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts Episode 07 – Best in Show