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In which it is revealed that facing a dragon in the open is folly, blessed lances are nifty antennas for magic lightning, and as part of a tragic ending the gender of Lodoss sucks. Again.

For the most part the episode titles of Lodoss War are relatively restrained.

There’s usually none of the exuberance of a Dirty Pair (“The Vault or the Vote? A Murderous Day for a Speech“), or Slayers ( “CRASH! Red and White and Suspicious All Over!”).

Instead the episodes tend to be fairly simply named after a character or event that is the focus of the episode. And so you have The Black Knight, The Grey Witch, etc.

Ironically, what is possibly the most pretentious (and certainly longest) episode title is also one of the simple character name titles. There are several occasions in this episode, and previous episodes, where the title is directly used by characters to describe Shooting Star.

The episode starts with the forces of Flaim set up for a field battle with some impressive artillery: catapults, ballistas, etc.

In short order most of it is crispy critter surprise. Parn gets one lucky shot off into Shooting Star’s eye that is only mildly annoying until it catches the lightning causing Shooting Star to withdraw.

Memo to self: try not to engage dragons in the open when they can fly about. It is not a good tactical position to be in.

We cut to Ashram who is ready to challenge Shooting Star with the demon sword. Pirotess attempts to dissuade him with mixed results. It is clear at this point that Pirotess has hopelessly fallen for Ashram but he is, as yet, not reciprocating,

Something that is obvious to Wagnard as he displays a certain style when it comes to dealing with henchmen who fail to deliver.

Events move forward as Kashue et al forge a plan involving the back door to the lair, and blessed lances. Meanwhile Ashram is also moving into the lair.

The lair is the traditional mountain of gold and gems with the Scepter of Domination in pride of place sealed within a crystal

The tension rises as Kashue moves through the trapped back door and arrives in the empty lair after Ashram obtains the Scepter of Domination with the assistance of the Marmo priest.

A brief discussion followed by mayhem ensues. There is a brief encounter between Ashram and Parn (that boy really has gotten better but still not good enough).

And then Shooting Star returns and Ashram discovers that the Scepter grants immunity to Shooting Star’s  flames.

But not, as it happens, from falling rocks and Shooting Star is in a cave & not stupid.

As the chaos spreads in the cave Ashram is forced to choose between Pirotess and the Scepter which gives Marmo priest his opening. Pirotess then shields Ashram from Shooting Star’s flames by expending her magic and her life.

Once again, Pirotess exists only in reference to Ashram. Sigh.

In his defence Ashram finally speaks her name.

This is when Orson, Kashue, and Parn, with an air elemental assist from Deedlit, manage to drive the three blessed lances home. This completes the circuit. Magical lightning ensues, Shooting Star thrashes about whilst dying, and the mountain collapses on top of him.

Ashram chooses not to escape, and his death completes the tragedy of the episode.

There is a lot happening in this episode, and the pacing works very well. For all that they’re evil (well, more ambitious than evil), the end of Pirotess and Ashram is moving in its own way. It is just that with older eyes than when I first saw the series I wish that the gender roles could be a little more balanced. Speaking of which I see that I haven’t mentioned that Shiris is also becoming clearly interested in Parn (Deedlit is not impressed), and that I don’t remember any episode passing the Bechdel test.

Despite my qualms this is still a very good episode, fun to watch, and it moves the plot along nicely.

Day 1 – Prologue to the Legend
Day 2 – Blazing Departure
Day 3 – The Gender of Lodoss War
Day 4 – The Black Knight
Day 5 – The Grey Witch
Day 6 – Dub vs Sub?
Day 7 – The Desert King
Day 8 – The Sword of the Dark Emperor
Day 9 – The War of Heroes
Day 10 – Requiem for Warriors
Day 11 – Nice job breaking it hero
Day 12 – The Look of Lodoss
Day 13 – The Scepter of Domination
Day 14 – The Demon Dragon of Fire Dragon Mountain
Day 15 –
Day 16 – The Wizard’s Ambition
Day 17 – Final Battle! Marmo, the Dark Island
Day 18 –
Day 19 – Lodoss, The Burning Continent
Day 20 –

I’m beginning to wonder if anyone is actually reading these posts. No comments at all since I restarted, and no suggestions for open posts.