Just waiting around but Merry Christmas to everyone
Enter week 2 of dead-air for the two series I’m covering. Bokuben S2 ended on a Fumino-centric note showcasing her not only her big multi-chapter arc detailing her estranged relationship with her father but also the school play that got her a kiss. The dance CG however was awful enough for me to consider not really bothering to review S2 as a whole because it mostly kept on Fumino and not much else on everyone else. It was more of the same while only treading upon a single character’s arc so you’re definitely more likely to see a manga review of it since the publication seems to be reaching its end with how the recent chapters are going.
This week’s Cold Steel theme is yet another relaxing theme that mostly plays during school moments and in damn near any leisurely occasion in both games so I’ll take this chance now to finally vent about my frustration with the series has fallen into. The whole bond points thing as discussed earlier leaves many of the characters rather flat. Cold Steel 1 gets somewhat of an excuse considering it was the first game and how it actually did have some group-bonding moments with two characters instead of one. The problem for bond points with me is that it isolates a given character to everyone else and focuses their relationship with Rean and Rean only. Sure, certain characters get their little conflict arcs with an opposing member of the class on a chapter per chapter basis but that only leaves an even bigger gap to the characters who don’t share such animosity towards their fellows. Compare this to Lloyd, whose bonding moments were quite limited, but still retained a ton of character bonding as a whole for the SSS. You can definitely chalk this up to Class 7 being too big for its own purposes and the developers don’t seem to have minded this because they keep adding MORE FUCKING CHARACTERS who won’t get developed and only exist to siphon what little development the main core cast can get. Against that excuse however, Estelle did this sort of dynamic much better with around the same amount of total characters as well and they’re wel emphasized by having relationships outside of constant praise of Estelle and/or Joshua. Class 7 feels more like a bunch of Rean’s friends who only slightly know each other instead of a fully cohesive group.
We’re back on schedule and I’m stuck in the weird position where both series I’m covering are on break. Not only that, but Azur Lane has until March while FGO won’t air a new episode until after the New Year so I’ll be a bit quiet. Which is a bit nice considering I can rant about Cold Steel some more.
This week’s tune is the regular battle theme for Cold Steel 1, a song apparently so good that they decided to name the saga after it. It’s definitely a really catchy tune that starts out strong but kind of fades out the longer it goes on, the complete opposite to what CS2’s regular fight theme is. Cold Steel’s combat, given its the first 3D game in the series, is a a mix and match of Zero/Ao’s that makes it hard to say that it has advanced its predecessor. The biggest “new” feature is Combat Links which allow certain attack properties to unbalance an enemy, allowing your opponent to follow-up with an additional basic attack. Bond Points are now front and center and dictate a considerable part of the game where you go interact with your classmates and increasing bonds involve more combat benefits regarding links where linked fighters will heal each other’s HP/MP, gain extra CP when the other is hit, cover each other’s defenses, and etc. Team Party attacks are moved to Burst while Zero/Ao’s burst is moved to Overdrive in CS2. Quartz and Orbments are also incredibly simplified now with the removal of quartz lines and counts. Now you just get a particular spell in form of a quartz that also boost certain stats. Combination Crafts are also gone, but that’s probably a given with how you have a ton of playable characters now.
Episode 12 means the end of the traditional season for anime and for series like Babylonia that’s going to go for around 23 if I remember correctly, which means that we’ll be getting a recap episode for TWO weeks instead of the usual one so this will be the last episode of the year.
It entertains me to think that the anime is getting closer to Ereshkigal while she’s going to get released in NA servers in a few hours of the time of this post’s creation.
Remember when I covered Fate/Extra Last Encore and then it decided to wait 4 months to show off it’s last episode. Well it’s happening here as the last 2 episodes will be delayed until March. A bit of both disheartening news for some understandable reasons that I can only hope pays off for them well.
Delays kept getting to me but this should be the last of it for a bit.
A threat like Gorgon needs more firepower than just some girl with a shield, a loli with a scythe, and a mage who can’t be knocked unconscious no matter what. So clearly what we needed was a girl flying around in her panties and a lady in a onesie.
No wait, I promise things actually get serious soon.
With Azur Lane being done and with no commitments til Friday, I’ll be taking this chance to finally get FGO done. It kind of worked out since it mostly featured getting Ishtar and Taiga recruited while introducing Quetz, but more on that in the actual post.
While last week’s music spotlight was Afterschool Hours, this tune plays at similar moments in the game, usually break days and weekends where you’re free to interact with other class members and also, of course, be at the beck and call of the help-wanted board and assist others in the meantime. A key part to the core-gameplay loop described last week that I didn’t mention are the treks to the Old Schoolhouse, which changes its layout and goes deeper in the farther your progress through the game, think of it like Mementos and those other overworld dungeons, but unlike those, these treks are completely mandatory. These combat portions are when you get to play favorites and construct a team tailored to your style compared to the field trips that assign you a fixed squad.