In episode 10, “The Tyrant Vampire Princess,” we find out why Claudia was so worried about Irene Urzaiz.
Episode 10 picks right up where episode 9 left off. After watching the match, Amagiri Ayato, Julis-Alexia van Riessfeld, Sasamiya Saya, and Toudou Kirin analyze the puppets’ attacks and worry that they don’t yet have an effective defense. Saya receives a call from her dad and takes Kirin to customs to pickup a new weapon. Ayato and Julis decide to practice. Meanwhile, Ernesta Kuhne meets her winning puppets (RM-C, the female, and AR-D, the male). AR-D asks why, if he’s equivalent in strength to RM-C, he’s helpless against her. Ernesta laughingly uses an ancient quote about gender roles, then whispers to herself that she can’t very well tell him RM-C is his limiter.
After practice, Julis and Ayato try to make it to the arena where Saya and Kirin are about to compete. They come on Irene Urzaiz defending herself against some students who had held a grudge against her. Irene was the one that Le Wolfe released in the last episode. Once she wins the fight, she recognizes and approaches our heroes. Julis interposes herself between the two and tricks Irene into revealing she’s actually after Ayato. Irene tries to start a fight, but Priscilla Urzaiz, Irene’s sister, arrives and sternly tells her to stop. Irene complies, whereupon Priscilla apologizes to Julis and Ayato and forces Irene to as well. Afterward, Julis shares that those two are partners, but there’s no information about Priscilla’s capabilities.
Saya and Kirin’s match starts. Both are disappointed that Ayato didn’t make it in time, but both focus on the task at hand. Kirin, with her astonishing speed, eliminates her opponent first. Kirin uses her heavy gun as a shield until she gets the opening she wants. The resulting blast removed her enemy from competition.
After their shower, Saya tries to invoke what she says is an ancient custom with Kirin (a.k.a., message Kirin’s breasts to make them bigger), but once again Kirin’s speed saves her. Unfortunately, Ayato and Julis pick that moment to arrive, and Saya, perhaps to get revenge for her defeat by embarrassing Kirin, lets them in — even though both she and Kirin are still naked. She gives Ayato and Julis the “V” for victory sign as if nothing was amiss. Poor Kirin screamed.
Ayato and Julis compete in their second round. This time, Julis fights while Ayato takes it easy. Julis demolishes her opponents in just a little more time than it took Ayato to win in the previous round. To be fair, Julis used a strategy that took a little time to play out. However, the second victory was every bit as convincing as the first.
Julis fixed lunch for the both of them and revealed that she felt that Ayato treated her unfairly by not stroking her hair like he did for Saya and Kirin. In other words, she’s feeling more and more comfortable with him. She feels like she can take these emotional risks by opening up to him. The closeness gets too intense for her, though, so she turns on coverage of the next match.
Lester MacPhail and Randy Hooke are fighting Irene and Priscilla. They hope to trick Irene into wearing down, since her sword (Lux) draws so much power from her that they can’t imagine she’ll last long. Irene still defeats Randy almost immediately; Lester manages to withstand the first attack and forces Irene to reveal her secret. Yes, Irene’s sword draws tremendous power from her, but it also adjusted her body to compensate: it gave her vampire fangs. Irene drains some blood from Priscilla. Not only does the blood replenish Irene’s strength; Priscilla has regenerative capabilities, and it also heals Irene. Irene hurls what looks like miniature singularities at Lester. He is forced to concede.
Seeing how powerful Priscilla’s power is, and seeing how effectively Irene can use it, Ayato and Julis are concerned.
What I Liked
When Saya talked to her dad, the connection was audio only. Yet, when Ayato spoke, the screen turned to him, then back to Saya when she spoke. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering, but I laughed.
Ayato and Julis continue to grow closer together in a mature and supportive way. She tries to apologize for them not making it to Saya and Kirin’s match, but he tells her that he’s as much at fault because he wanted to get as much practice in a possible, too. He didn’t blame her and he didn’t want her to blame herself.
Kirin used her speed to win quickly. Her fighting style remains consistent and daunting to her enemies. The animation for her fight was intricate and exciting! Saya’s use of her big gun (bazooka?) was also fun to watch.
After their shower, Saya lets Ayato and Julis into the locker room even though both she and Kirin are without apparel. Saya’s nonchalant about it, but Kirin freaks out. Julis had no idea how to respond. It’s standard fare for a show like this with a harem subplot, but I still found it funny.
The animation, from the signs at the Festa to the door controls to the battle sequences, continues to attract and hold my attention. I continue to delight in the fight scenes, especially with sword play like Kirin’s.
I actually felt sorry for Julis’ opponents, especially the second one who tripped the fireball trap. I shouldn’t laugh at despair, but I kinda did in this episode.
I know it’s more or less stock tsundere, but I like how Julis is slowing opening up to Ayato, especially when she made lunch for them. Her expressions while she was describing why she felt Ayato treated her unfairly (because of his patting Saya and Kirin’s heads) was particularly satisfying.
What does Le Wolfe have on Priscilla? She doesn’t seem to act like she’s been tortured or mistreated, so perhaps she’s not even aware of how the school’s using her to control Irene. I’d really like to see Ayato somehow convince her that she should let him help her free her sister, though maybe I’m starting to let the whole harem thing affect my thinking.
What I Liked Less
I don’t understand why Lester gave Irene time to refuel. Of course, it’s for dramatic effect, but if he had struck as Priscilla was opening her collar, the result might have been different.
The trends and themes that I’ve always liked about The Asterisk War continued to be in this episode. For example:
- The slowly developing relationship between Ayato and Julis; I can just see her trust in him growing
- A pleasantly growing friendship between Saya and Kirin; they are warmly supportive of each other (most of the time)
- Beautifully animated battle scenes; they’re fluid and realistic (within the confines of their powers, of course!)
- Attractive and enjoyable facial animation, especially (in this episode) for Julis; it really helps me empathize with the characters
I wonder if Saya and Kirin will face Irene and Priscilla before Julis and Ayato. If so, I’m not sure the two young women would stand a chance against the vampire and her portable refueling station. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Reviews of Other Season 1 Episodes
- Episode 1: Witch of the Resplendent Flames
- Episode 2: Ser Versta
- Episode 3: A Holiday for Two
- Episode 4: Unshackled
- Episode 5: Lightning Blade Speed
- Episode 6: The True Face of the Girl
- Episode 7: Decisions and Duels
- Episode 8: A Holiday for Two Part 2
- Episode 9: Phoenix Festa
- Episode 11: Power and Its Prices
- Episode 12: The Gravi-Sheath