The assault begins!
Episode 3 finally gives us the action that we’ve been waiting for since the start of the season. Every moment is truly epic, and many characters got a chance in the spotlight as the heroes take the battle to the spirit tortoise.
The Shield Hero’s Army
The first half is initially straightforward. With the awakening of the Spirit Tortoise, the combined army begins to march into battle. And at their head is none other than the Shield Hero!
It is so refreshing to see the flag of Naofumi waving in the air, giving a huge morale boost to the soldiers. But more than, Naofumi is now leading his army with a genuine smile full of hope—a far cry from his attitude in season one.
One interesting moment to note here is the way Naofumi and Raphtalia are holding the flag together, like a king and queen leading their troops.
Like all military operations, it should be expected that the battle with the Spirit Tortoise would not go as planned, and the episode finely captured the complications that would arise, not just from a military standpoint, but also from a video game perspective as well.
If the Spirit Tortoise is a game boss, then it would certainly be a terrifyingly imbalanced game boss. Its immense size makes it both easy to attack yet nearly impossible to bring down, and its familiars and skills are strong enough to wipe out entire companies.
The battle is grueling, and as expected, casualties are high. Its really scary how such a large force couldn’t even inflict a significant damage—even with the use of artillery and magic—resulting in sacrifices and unnecessary deaths.
To Kill A Guardian Beast
Fortunately, Naofumi and his party take point as the vanguard. Many, including Éclair, gets to shine here, but none more so than Ost.
The human familiar of the Spirit Tortoise is indeed a testament to her host’s immense power. Ost herself is a powerful spellcaster, and she takes the role of Melty as she supports Naofumi throughout the course of the battle. But it is also a bittersweet thing, as Ost gradually weakens from using her magic. Nevertheless, Ost’s resolve is indeed strong to have survived until the end.
A Hollow Victory
Considering the sacrifices they’ve had to make, it is no surprise that, at long last, the Spirit Tortoise would be weak enough for Naofumi’s party to deal the killing blow. And in a really epic scene, a joint skill by Raphtalia and Filo, combined with Naofumi’s ingenuity, finally kills the Spirit Tortoise, ending with their victory… or does it? In a shocking twist, Ost is still alive, indicating that the Spirit Tortoise is very much still kicking despite losing its head.
Episode 3 finally picks up the pace and gives us a lot of fight scenes that are absent in the first two. Admittedly, the episode does feel a little rushed. But with that cliffhanger, we should expect an even more epic follow-up.
Episode score: 8/10.