Spoilers for Cape of Spirits Season 2 Episode 33. I highly recommend reading A Cape of Spirits prior to continuing. Check it out.
If episode 32 was a reflection on Jinsei, his past and his relationships, then episode 33 can be summed up as throwing us headlong into the present. It is the first episode of the season that is not centred on Jinsei and comes as a refreshing change given the previous episodes.
Episode 33 opens with Flayvus, alive and well a slight but welcome shock given his wounds in season one. As shown at the end of episode 32, The room he is in looks like some sort of laboratory and showing signs of wear and tear. Flayvus is strapped to a hard table-stretcher. It is unclear which it is as while it resembles a medical bed, it also does not appear to have a mattress. Someone was kind enough to give him a pillow an odd action considering he is an accomplice to a traitor. Nina is also with him, though she is broken and does not seem to be functioning. Flyvus struggles but eventually gives up trying to break free of his bonds. It is at this point that General Pisca enters.
This is not the first time we have seen General Pisca, who first appeared in a brief scene during season one. The first aspect of her design that I noticed is that she immediately portrays an image of power. From her pose to her fixed gaze it is clear that this is not a woman to be trifled with. This is only made more profound by the assistant on her right and the uncomfortable vibe she exudes. Her subsequent interaction serves two purposes. First, she confirms Flayvus’ status and that he is fully healed. She then summarises the key things we learned about Flayvus in season one.
Reported to be able to use up to 2 coins at a time. Main weapons are the twin blde coins. Supposedl an ex-theif-turned-mercenary. Was hired by Jinsei in the past, and now labelled an official accomplice of the traitor.
She then moves on to Kanae, though she is not present in the room. While the overall reflection is the same summary of what we know in season one. Kanae’ is more in-depth because while Flayvus was simple text with a close up of his or General Pisca’s face, Kanae’s summary is accompanied by key visuals. First we see her with her Punavarsu bowgun. Then a visual of her working as an engineer for the empire accompanied with confirmation that she “voluntarily” left the position. I suspect there is more to that story than we know. The third visual is of Kanae and Jinsea as seen at the end of Season One.
Finally, in a shift back to the present, General Pisca confirms
Jinsei and his accomplices were responsible… for putting General Topuz in critical condition, and will now be questioned… about the whereabouts of other Spirit Coins.
What is interesting about this opening is that it does not provide anything we did not already know. Instead, it summarises and affirms them. It focuses on the connections between our protagonists Jinsei and Kanae, but also, though to a lesser extent the connection between Nina and Flayvus. It refreshes our knowledge on who is who and what they can do and done in a way that while it is indeed a summary, it is a plausible one. The one oddity is why the focus is on the whereabouts of other spirit coins. There is nothing to say that Flayvus, Kanae or even Jinsei would know about them, aside from the acquisition of Punavarsu in season one. Given that these coins are so powerful, it is logical that the empire would search for them, but what I wonder is why they would think Kanae or Flayvus would know about them. An empire with its resources would be far better placed to uncover them. The only assumption I can make is that they have assumed incorrectly due to Jinsei and Kanae possessing the Katsurou and Punavarsu coins. Thinking on it, Jinsei did mention that the coins must have been prised from the door following Katsurou’s transformation which would, therefore, suggest the empire falsely believes that Jinsei and his group hold more information because they were present at the place that others were found. It could also simply be an “in case you know” scenario. Either way, it is interesting and makes me realise how little we truly know about the empire itself. Why is it so obsessed with finding these coins? Especially when it seems to be an overwhelming powerhouse already. It makes me wonder whether the empire is engaged in a war we have yet to learn about, or they could simply be greedy. It is interesting to speculate nonetheless.
One of the things I love about Flayvus (apart from being pretty and white-haired) is that while he is flippant and ha that bad-boy rough aesthetic, he is also incredibly direct. He is one of those characters who isn’t intelligent in a conventional way. His roguish nature bespeaks a different kind of intelligence, that is to say, he isn’t going to change the world with a debate or invention, but he isn’t a meathead either. He is kind of like a cat, nonchalant, loyal to an extent but completely aware and comfortable with his ability. It’s a refreshing change from the usual brooding rogue we see and balances well against broody Jinsei.
Moving on, General Pisca questions whether Flayvus’ word’s can be trusted before affirming that they can get the answers one way or another. She acknowledges that they perhaps can’t get the answers from Flayvus but they could get them from “the android.” The look on Jinsei’s face in this scene speaks volumes. It is a closeup of his face as he looks in the direction of Nina. His eyes are widened, his teeth are gritted and there is sheer panic and concern on his face. It perfectly sums up his relationship and connection to Nina and affirms something that I like about his character. He does not seem to see Nina as a mere “Android” but rather a person. Simply put Flayvus is fundamentally kind.
Or Maybe that half-blood girl can spare us some info?General Pisca
While this line may seem like a mere slight it is heavily loaded. We have known since the end of season one that there is cultural war and oppression occurring within the empire. Kanae not being allowed to keep the surname “Mizusawa” was evidence of this alone. But the way it is being used in this scene highlights the empire’s denizens sentiments in a way that is clear. These are people who look down on those that are of foreign descent. Though we don’t know the exact circumstance around each race/nationality and where the border of classification lies, but we do know that those who are not of the empire are looked down on and considered to be less. It begs the question: why?
This panel sums up perfectly Flayvus’ character. He is nonchalant and carefree when it comes to himself, but the thought of harm coming to Kanae is enough to elicit an angry reaction. I think as a character Flayvus is a great balance to Kanae and Jinsei, who both fall a bit more on the serious stoic side, while Flayvus sits comfortably in the jovial it makes a nice mix for our protagonists.
General Pisca’s response to Flayvus’ impertinence is violence. A hard slap to the side of his head as an indication that her interrogation is about to begin. The last panel we see in this sequence is the bruised side of Flayvus’s head.
The next panel is on Jinsei in his cell. his gaze is pinned to the floor. As he recalls Katsurou’s words
Find me, Jinsei…Katsurou
…and protect our friends.
I like this as it gives the focus on what Jinsei needs to do. The images then switch to Sumire and her question.
How could you leave us….?Sumire to Jinsei
Jinsei is then broken from his reverie by an ominous “oof-!” he turns his gaze on the grate above his cell. “Augh!!”, Whack, “S-stay Back–“, “Gaack–” and “I said, sta–!” I love how the dialogue is fast but tells us little. We know the guards must be being attacked, but not who, or why or whether this is a breakout. Are the assailant’s friends or foes? It puts us right into the headspace of Jinsei.
We do not wait long for a partial reveal of the mystery assailant. They look very much like Nina but we know that is not possible as she is with Flyvus and seems to be out of commission for the time being. The assailant throws Jinsei a coin.
It’s a tracker coin. Just Hold onto it, will you? And sit tight.Mystery Assailant
What I love about this panel is it really gives us a good introduction to this character, who can only be described as a sassy android. The final “Your Highness.” as they withdraw leaving a speechless Jinsei is amusing and is a nice break to the tension that has been building since the latter half of season one. That Jinsei does not baulk at being called an idiot is also a great show of how much he has changed since he was the crown heir. The arrogance that once inflated his ego, seems to be all but gone.
The next panel we see is General Pisca rubbing her hands followed by a close up of a bruised and beaten Flayvus. As we move n we see General Pisca leaving.
Proceed to stage 2. We’ll start with the girl in an hour.General Pisca’s final words.
The panels that follow are interesting because of the questions they raise. I find myself wondering What is Stage 2? what are they going to inject Flayvus with. We can surmise from the Pisca’s assistant’s reaction that it cannot be good for Flayvus’ health. As her male Assistant says with a sigh “After we just fixed him up…” The assistant prepares and is in the process of injecting a protesting Flayvus with a drug when luckily the door is kicked off its hinges and sent on a collision course with the assistant pinning them to the floor. As the panel moves on we see who I assume is our mystery assailant who was helping Jinsei.
The first thing to note is that they are very similar to Nina. Not unexpected given that Nina’s actually designation is 9. Which I am assuming means there are at least 8 other androids of the same design. However, while Nina’s clothes are clearly female, this android appears to be male (but are non-binary). They also seem to be much more violent than Nina seemed to be. Quickly zapping the remaining assistant. I have a feeling I will like this character. The episode ends with a shocked Flayvus.
in conclusion, Episode 33 is one that does many things. First, it deftly summarises our other protagonists’ situation and abilities. It brings our focus firmly away from the interrelations focus of the previous episodes and right back to the current stakes. There is less mystery to this episode leaning more towards the narrative stakes. However we do get some valuable insight into the psyche of the empire, or at the least General Pisca, who given her position is a good benchmark to judge the overall opinion of the empires loyal denizens. The most interesting aspect is the new android. Who are they? what do they want? Why were they sent to rescue Jinsei? It brings an element of mystery to a very straightforward, logical episode creating a nice balance between action, plot progression and intrigue that provides some narrative hooks for us to sink our teeth into.
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