First, let me clarify something.
An anime episode, or even the entire series itself, depends on two important factors to be good: EXECUTION and ANIMATION. Without these two, expect a series to take a massive plunge in audiences and fans.
Execution means how they did everything in a given episode or series. Pacing, screenplay, dialogues, and more importantly, story. Everything has to be executed in a way that would bring out the best in an anime. This is the most important factor in any series. And not just in anime, but also in novels, movies, tv series, and even video games.
Animation is pretty self-explanatory. If the animation quality is low, then everything would look unpleasant to many viewers, and they would probably drop the series. However, this factor is not that important.
Execution and animation need to be balanced, but most anime don’t do that. They can only prefer one over the other, and sometimes, even fail at both. Sword Art Online pre-Alicization arc suffered over favoring animation over execution. The fight scenes were all good, but the way they adapted the novels left much to be desired. Overlord also suffered from this.
On the other hand, Reincarnated as a Slime has no groundbreaking animation, but the way they executed the adaptation left viewers wanting for more. They enjoyed it. The execution was prioritized.
A perfect balance would be Violet Evergarden and Attack on Titan just to name a few. Both of these have beautiful animation, and the execution was just perfect. On the other hand, the third season of Seven Deadly Sins suffered when it failed to do both. Not only was the execution bad, but the animation quality dropped a lot.
Unlike my previous review, I will begin with what I did not like before giving my opinion on what I definitely loved in this episode. Obviously, this will contain massive spoilers for the episode.
King Hassan’s much-awaited Noble Phantasm was never animated at all. The epic and spine-chilling chant was not even there, and neither was the name “Azrael”. All he did was a basic attack just like in the game. Moreover, his design was toned down compared to last week.
Furthermore, Jaguar Man was absent. In the game, she was present during the battle with Tiamat and even transformed to her third ascension form. But in this episode, she was not part of the battle. It was as if the writers had completely forgotten about her.
Ereshkigal’s death was sad, but not much of a tearjerker for me. There was no buildup to the scene, unlike all the previous death scenes involving Leonidas, Ana, and Enkidu.
Animation-wise, this is a weird blend of good CGI and average normal animation. It’s not bad per se. It’s just really weird because Tiamat’s CGI remained the same as the previous episodes, and yet the quality for the rest was somewhat downgraded. But I guess this is the effect of COVID-19, so we can’t really blame them this time.
But despite these flaws, there are still so many highlights in this episode, Going back to King Hassan, aside from that blunder with his NP and design, everything else is simply epic whenever he appears. This is King Hassan, a Grand Assassin that tears apart demons with his bare hands and eats them. LITERALLY.
Ereshkigal’s second Noble Phantasm was a sight to behold, but that double chant and deployment of both Lord Camelot and Garden of Avalon almost stole the spotlight. For the first time, we finally saw two of the best Noble Phantasms animated in a beautiful way. In fact, Merlin here proved why he was the second candidate for a Grand Caster, what with his skills as both a wizard and swordsman.
But the best and most epic scene is reserved for the last minute. Gilgamesh’s entrance blew everything in this episode. His epic lines had me holding my breath. And when he finally activated Ea, well, I was almost crying at the sheer epicness of the scene.
Overall, this episode might not be as epic as the previous one because of several poorly executed scenes, but it is still a damn good episode regardless. Definitely a 9/10 for me.