Plenty of spoilers in this post. You’ve been warned.
We’re well into the sword-stealing plot now. Yuuri and his retainers (minus Gwendal, Gunter, and Murata) are in Caloria for a celebration for the defeat of Soushu. They run into Alford, who has a unique sword in his possession along with the holy sword. Janus (I’ll just go with that spelling for now) shows up with a huge monster and demands they hand those swords and Morgif over…or he’ll start destroying Caloria!
Yuuri makes what to him is an easy choice: hand over the swords. He makes this decision not only for himself, but for Al, who reluctantly agrees. After the swords are taken–just like that!–the monster and Janus disappear; they had simply been an illusion.
“It couldn’t be helped,” Al says. “You didn’t make the wrong choice, Yuuri.”
But I’m not sure if I agree with that sentiment!
You can always argue that hindsight is 20/20, and it really does seem like the most noble thing to do to try and save the people of Caloria. But you have to remember that this isn’t just a matter of giving up their personal swords. The three swords the White Ravens wanted aren’t just any swords. Al’s has holy power, Morgif obviously has demon power, and the third, rusty sword has some as-yet-unexplained effect on people with maryoku (and probably other powers). You have to weigh the dangers. Is it more dangerous to let a monster rampage a city-state, or to let an amoral group have three ridiculously powerful magical items?
To be fair, the person who should have spoken up–Flynn–did not. I can’t imagine Conrad or Josak recommending against saving people, even though Josak seemed to have the whole deal figured out from the beginning. Wolfram’s the logical one to do it, but Yuuri rarely listens to Wolfram’s advice even if he had said something. The person who speaks for Caloria should have protested on behalf of her people. That she didn’t either means she didn’t understand the enormity of the situation, or she’s still “following” Yuuri, even though he told her he doesn’t want to be followed.
Come to think of it, I’m not sure if Flynn has ever gone against what Yuuri said since the box incident.
It would be hard for a leader to argue for the possible destruction of her country and deaths of some of her people. But I feel that if she’d looked at the situation objectively, she would see that this decision could have repercussions not just in Caloria, but across the entire world.
Someone should have been there to point that out. But no one was. Murata was either back at Shinou’s temple or on Earth. Gwendal was at the castle. And no one else stepped up.
I guess what’s strange to me about this is that everyone just did what Yuuri said without protesting much at all. In the past, they’d challenge him, make sure he was looking at all sides of the issue. He’d usually go ahead and make the exact same decision, but at least I felt comfortable that he knew what he was doing. Not so in this episode.
Another thing that seemed to be curiously lacking was the strategy behind the scenes. Typically when Yuuri makes decisions with big consequences, his retainers have a plan to bail him out. Maybe this plan exists and it’ll be revealed in the next episode. I sure didn’t see a hint of it in this one. “Let’s go get our swords back” isn’t much of a strategy.
Here’s hoping there’s a purpose to all this. I’ve been feeling somewhat weird about the general conceits of the show all throughout the third season. It seems to me like Yuuri’s standard decision-making is being demonstrated time and time again to be flawed. I don’t know if that’s on purpose, and if Yuuri is going to grow, or what.
On the one hand, I don’t want Yuuri to lose his drive to protect. But on the other, I wish he would temper that with a little more common sense. Now that he’s been in this world awhile, he can start making judgments based on his knowledge of its rules, rather than Earth’s. It should get to a point where he can start thinking of the consequences, instead of having them pointed out to him by someone else.
Random shot of Sara from the end of the episode! What can I say, I like him.