Saturday, May 03, 2014

10 Second Anime - Blade and Soul - Episode 5

Blade and Soul - Episode 5

10 Second Anime - Blade and Soul - Episode 5 photo 10SecondAnime-BladeandSoul-Episode5_zpsc300782a.gif

A morally ambiguous episode explores how common folks are caught in the middle of the illicit drug trade. Elle Karen lets down her hair, and puts down a mad dog.

Meh.

Dan Loana is all better and wants to start up the Pleasure Gang again, even if it's just three people. Ah well. I guess we'll see that big, stupid lunk again. Dabbuh!

Geh.

If I saw the beautiful inn keeper known for her fan dancing kill a raving lunatic with her hair pin, I'd probably be gawking like Hazuki here.

Omake Gif Anime - Blade and Soul - Episode 5 - Surprise photo OmakeGifAnime-BladeandSoul-Episode5-Surprise_zpsf037d228.gif

Not only that, I'd be gawking at Ms. Karen's beautiful hair cascading down her shoulders, and... ahem. Part of her mystique has been popped now for Hazuki, and I'm curious to see how they'll be treating each other in the future. It's not just Karen's big bouncer type guy that takes care of the dirty work. I was impressed with how quickly she changed back to her inn keeper persona after telling the lunatic to stop that noise, and then stabbing him in the heart.

Hmm.

Seeing this village rely on a hallucinogenic cash crop is not that rare of a story in the real world. We see this in Colombia and Afghanistan. Seeing a passionate anti-drug activist is also not rare, but using assassination tactics is more akin to a mafia turf war in getting someone's attention. This is also unjustified because the village elder needs something to grow in their climate to feed his villagers, and the activist needs to present an alternative. Sometimes it's impossible for subsistence farming if the soil can't support it, if there's not enough rain, or if the geography is too dry. If there wasn't a cash crop like this blue flower, this village would have had to disband.

We also see Karen trying to help her frontier neighbors in an expeditious, if unscrupulous, way. Running an inn, she probably has a more flexible view of right and wrong, and may figure such issues are better thought about on a full stomach.

Marna, the pretty village transplant who shares the elder's bed, has the most tragic story. Feelings of loyalty and debt, mixed with a need for survival and belonging somewhere, make her plaintive wail all the more piteous, "What's right and just for you isn't what's right and just for me!" In a tragic story, such a definitive statement is grounds for punishment, and Marna's life is taken by the crazy activist as she rushes to protect the village elder.

I'm not sure what to make of Aruka getting mixed up with this crazy guy who lets his passion against the blue flowers make him lose control, so that Karen has to put him down like a rabid dog. He had already tasked Aruka with killing the mercenaries guarding the crop, so his morality had turned to self-righteousness. That kind of certainty also can't be forgiven in this story's world. Perhaps Aruka's goals of eradicating the flower lined up with this guy so that she would take his money. By the end of the episode, we see she has begun to assert her own morals against taking innocent lives, enough so that she would ignore her contractor's orders. Her master told her that she must use the sword to live, not to kill, so maybe killing other mercenaries is okay in her mind, but she doesn't see how killing the entire village would allow her to live. Of course, one could argue the village isn't innocent because they are growing these flowers which ultimately helps the Flower Monks of the Palam Empire, but they aren't immediately threatening Aruka's life. The way of the sword is morally ambiguous, until it's not.

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