Episode 7 of Giant Beasts of Ars comes and goes without providing much forward progress, though a few more blanks get filled in along the way.
At last, the events in the high tower start to connect with our heroes’ journey in a more tangible way. Despite the constant talk of what’s going on “at the front” and all, the reality is that I haven’t seen or felt much of a link between these events and what is actually happening with Jiro, Kumi, and the rest of the gang. At the same time, the exposition delivered in these scenes seldom amounted to much useful information for the viewer.
All that has changed in this episode though. Not only do we see that the ruling powers are quite aware of the experiments being conducted on these magical child soldiers, we see that even hinting at putting a stop to it will result in consequences. Stakes! We have stakes, folks, and that adds much-needed tension to the story.
We also learn that Jiro was married! That’s a pretty big twist, though it seems more impactful on the front end than the back end. The buildup to Jiro and Toka getting married was sweet, with their little compliments and shared interest in art and progress. But then they get enlisted as soldiers and Toka is out of the picture so fast that her death doesn’t quite hit the way it should for the viewer. I think just a few more scenes of them together might have given it the emotional heft it needs. It does recontextualize his connection with Kumi due to the cleric/paladin bond, but Toka’s death was strangely rushed in comparison to her measured introduction.
The giants were finally given good designs at least! Their strangely geometric and compartmentalized faces made them just unnerving enough to seem utterly inhuman. The only problem is not so much with the giants as it is with the rest of the monsters. The giants are giant monochrome black/gray featureless creatures, which is fine… except that nearly every other monster has also been a giant monochrome black/gray featureless creature. The repetition is a real issue here. Nevertheless, the designs are terrific on their own and I think they make good antagonists.
Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.
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