*sigh*

This was an episode of relentless revelations, and I didn’t give a shit about most of them. They were either so basic that there was no point holding them off until the 15th episode, or so convoluted that they’d’ve needed a full 15 episodes of fleshing out to be comprehensible.

We’ll start with the So Basic one, since that’s the first to appear chronologically. The Book Club finally decides to explain their and Calibur’s scheme to the Sword of Logos, and it’s so unimpressive and generic as to be hilarious in retrospect that this show thought it was worth keeping secret. They’re after a map/instruction guide to the various Wonder Ride Books, which will allow them to rebuild the– whatever, the big book that started the world. Afterwards, they could reset reality to whatever they wanted, and rule everything.

It’s the sort of plot that the show ABSOLUTELY should’ve had the villains talking about with each other for months, since not only does it not change the tension or tone of the series if you knew about it all along, it actually gives it enough contours to feel like there’s a deliberate strategy behind the various weekly battles. (I mean, not a ton of strategy. I definitely don’t understand how any of the Avalon stuff was supposed to help them with opening a portal?) Withholding crucial context just made weeks of episodes feel aimless and inconsequential from a plot standpoint, and the mystery left in its place was never intriguing enough to invest in. When we finally get to the end of the road with the Book Club, they’re just hitting all of the most basic beats of a tokusatsu villain: We need to get enough collectibles to get godlike power, and then we’ll make you all suffer. That’s what they had us waiting for, instead of providing the minimum amount of information. It’s a stunningly poor decision, in retrospect.

As for the So Convoluted reveal, I… Jesus, I barely know where to start with Kamijo’s confession.

So, he’s a dedicated member of the Sword of Logos. He’s good friends with Fukamiya. One day, Fukamiya decides that he needs to sacrifice Luna to bridge the regular world with Wonder World, and gain Universal Truth. Kamijo sees that this is both lunacy and heresy, and takes down Calibur. (Not pictured in this flashback are the armies of Megid the other Swordsmen fought, so I guess Calibur raised an army via delivery app or something?) This is all vaguely in line with what we’d been told, even if the Fukamiya stuff still seems very He Just Went Crazy. But, this is all tracking so far.

Then.

Then, Kamijo comes to the conclusion that Fukamiya didn’t just go crazy, he was made crazy… by the Sword of Logos. Somehow, someone in the organization was the REAL traitor, and Kamijo needed to become Calibur (?) in order to destroy the Sword of Logos (??) by allying with the despotic Megid (???) so that they all could end all life on Earth (????) which would also give Kamijo the secret of the traitor inside the Sword of Logos. Kamijo decided that any sacrifice – including literal sacrifices, like the one Fukamiya made of Luna, which Kamijo found so abhorrent that he needed to murder Fukamiya – were totally okay, as long as they were in the name of rooting out corruption.

I honest to god do not understand any of this. There’s a thematic thread this revelation is reaching for (Kamijo lost everything by turning on his friends, while Touma gained everything by depending on his friends), and some plot-oriented The Villain Was Just Misguided horseshit, but none of it makes a single lick of sense. Kamijo’s villainy didn’t just happen, he’s been doing it for fifteen years. He happily worked with the Megid, who are legit apocalyptic monsters. He doesn’t care if any of his former friends are murdered in front of him, or by him. He doesn’t care if the entire world is destroyed, or at least subjugated by fiction monsters. All this guy was trying to do was find out which coworker screwed over his buddy. All of this is way out of proportion! You would’ve needed fifteen full episodes of insight and introspection and analysis to make Kamijo’s story seem like it's tethered to recognizable human motivations or psychology. To toss it into a two-minute monologue? You have got to be out of your goddamn mind. You had MONTHS of subplots where you could’ve explained this, debated it, unraveled it, etc. There’s barely any room for Touma to react to it, let alone try and understand the insanity of Kamijo’s reaction to his friend’s insanity. I don’t know that Kamijo’s story could’ve worked under the deftest hand, with the most runway, but it’s a complete misfire here.

The rest of it was good, though! I liked all of the Mei and Sword of Logos stuff! Up until the Book Club saw their master plan disintegrating and went NBD and wandered off! That was kind of disappointing as a viewer!

I’m very scared for the future of this show, you guys!



PROMISE IS A PENDULUM



Of all the things that had changed for Mei over the last few months, the strangest wasn’t the proliferation of magical swordsmen, or the surprise appearances of fictional monsters, or even the secret society that lived at the North Pole. Those were all unusual, sure, but the strangest thing had to be that she’d started viewing Touma as dependable.

She’d spent who knows how many late nights trying to prod Touma towards finishing a manuscript; an incalculable amount of time hounding him about deadlines. While he’d never exactly let her down, she’d begrudged him the impact his writerly habits had made on her life.

But here she was, surveying the savage beatdown the Sword of Logos had just received, and praying for Touma to return from the Wonder World.

She saw the wounds on Rintaro and the other swordsmen, and she saw the malevolent grins on the faces of the Megid. This was a fight that was going badly, and may have already been lost. The Sword of Logos had tried pushing past the Megid in order to prevent Calibur’s ascendance, but things were looking too grim. They needed Touma, and they needed him now.

He’d made that promise, that he’d be there for them. Touma had his flaws – she kept meaning to talk to him about those hats – but when Touma made a promise, that was all there was to it. If they could only hold for Touma’s inevitable return from a floating book portal, after overcoming a maniacal traitor, they’d all be saved.

But… it wasn’t just Touma who’d made that promise. She had, too.

She’d fought to be included in Touma’s little group of sword buddies. The promise wasn’t that Touma would always be there for them. The promise was that they’d always be there for each other. She was counting on Touma to save them, but what about Touma? What was he counting on from them?

Well, she knew exactly what Touma was counting on: he’d needed them to destroy the pillars empowering Calibur and the Megid’s plan for ultimate power. If they stopped fighting now, Touma’s battle against Calibur might be in vain. They needed Touma to fight for them, but Touma needed them to fight for him.

So that was what they’d do. She couldn’t pick up a sword and fight a monster (yet), but she sure as hell knew how to badger a handsome young man into trying harder. If the months of threatening and cajoling a lanky daydreamer had taught her anything, it was exactly the right buttons to press when you needed someone to get across the finish line and deliver on their promises.

If they needed Touma to get back safely and help them, they’d start by finishing their end of the fight. After all, they’d promised him.

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