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Steven J. Mepham

Episode forty-one continues the trend of fast-paced, action interspersed with character moments that have an impact. We open on Flayvus, Kanae and the Jinsei hating guard from episode 36/37. Flayvus is extremely pleased with himself for getting the drop on Kanae who is far from content with her circumstances. While Professor Hu and the Jinsei hating guard discuss the outcome.

Whatever the Empire has done to this guard, I can’t help but think it goes beyond what has happened to Mapulehu. There is a level of blind irrational hatred to her approach that I think is important to note. It also makes me speculate on whether she will be an obstacle for Jinsei to overcome in the future.

As the panels move on, we see the starts of what could be a good friendship between the Guard and Kanae, before a sharp cut back to Seven and Jinsei’s Duel.

I like this panel because it shows just how hard Seven is striking Jinsie and conversely just how resilient he is. Those welts must throb and he’s still got the tenacity to continue.

This might not be the best time for Jinsei to start trash talking Seven.

I have a feeling this might hurt. Reminds me just how much of a badass Seven is.

Jinsei’s emotional flaw

Hubris aside, this episode really showcases the trauma and mentality that is holding Jinsei back. His resilience allows him to weather Seven’s attacks but also places him into a battle fo attrition – one that ultimately he will lose.

Yet even from here, Jinsei is a strategist, working within the confines that are present. He knows how to win the fight, but Jinsei is unable to face Seven with his full strength and skill. Instead of opting for a more drawn out, and difficult fight. I wouldn’t say that Jinsei taking up the sword would immediately equate to him winning – Seven is too skilled for that – but it would make the task much easier. Thus Jinsei makes use of what he can..

Attacking relentlessly with stool in hand. Until he finally forces seven into a corner. Its a depiction of his tenacity and will power.

If this sequence tells us anything it is that Seven and Jinsei are as tenacious as each other and that Jinsei is an absolute boss with wielding a stool. The end result, however, is unsurprising.

Jinsei’s unwillingness to use the sword ultimately costs him the duel. Marius, unwilling to watch more calls time on the duel.

As far as training goes, it is an utter disaster that serves only to highlight the true extent of the emotional block that Jinsei is facing. I suspect, that there some soul searching and resolution required before Jinsei is ready to face Seven again.

The final panel sums up where Jinsei is: at an impasse. Beaten and bruised and unable or unwilling to face let along overcome the things holding him back. In essence, he is at a low point, perhaps not the lowest yet, but unless something changes, this is as far as he can go. His wordless comment underpins this, between the “huffs” of his breath, he has no words to say.

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