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BLADE & SOUL #10 Shows Awful Revenge Is!

#10 -- Special Review. It ain't fun!

Well, this show really is using each episode to take a new, sharp angle on the nature of revenge - - and tightening that angle to the most acute degree, I’ve got to say. I mean, there are at least three inversions of your usual revenge thriller, here…

First, this asskicker suddenly finds herself at the mercy of one of her victims’ parents. Then, one of those parents takes the high road, and opts to greet Alka with mercy, instead of the righteous vengeance she deserves. And lastly, we see how the other parent’s refusal to let his hatred go inevitably spells the ruin of his entire family. The show’s playing an interesting game: letting the audience relish in the thrill of revenge, while repeatedly stressing how wasteful and self-defeating it is.

At another time, I might have thought that to be a trite message, but now, I can’t really forget the response of so many viewers to DEATH NOTE when I was reviewing that series a couple years ago. Sure, that series had a rich moral ambiguity to it - - leaving it up to viewers to make up their own minds about which characters were more justified in a given scene. However, I’ll be honest, it was a little trouble to see so many people root for Light. It was always fascinating to watch him, for sure, but I don’t think the show was ever advocating his position as judge, jury and executioner. There’s a difference between playing with ideas, and condoning them, and it was troubling to see so many viewers confuse the two.

I don’t generally believe in entertainment needing to be didactic, but still -- I’d like to show this show to those fans. And at least hope they get the clearer message regarding the futility of revenge.

Anyway, by this point, I really must question how sustainable this is; if the series is actually planning to go a full-season. I’ve absolutely enjoyed each meditation on these weighty question of morality - - and the deftly-terse action that accompanies each meditation - - but I don’t know if that’s necessarily enough for an epic length narrative. This show’s pleasantly reminded me of MUSHI-SHI, at times, and even MUSHI-SHI’s subtle and observed morality plays eventually started seeming like they were stretched to fit 26 episodes.

Watch “Sin” and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode.

Lowon June 17, 2014 at 7:23 a.m.

It was hillarious to be honest. lol

takashichea moderator on June 17, 2014 at 11:07 a.m.

Vinland Saga took revenge and warrior's pride in a similar way to Blade & Soul. However, Thorfinn had bigger dreams than Alka to atone for his sins which makes the audience feel attached to Thorfinn.

Blade & Soul does a good job on emphasizing the nasty consequences of revenge, but it doesn't give any solutions to Alka who has been battered twice so far. Can Alka live with herself? Will she be killed, commit suicide, or atone for sins? Likely, it would be 3. Elle Karen let go of her past after seeing her burn her photo. I thought Jin Valel was dead. Hopefully, this series end with a good ending and final battle.

zaldaron June 17, 2014 at 2:10 p.m.

Hmm well as one of the people that liked Light and believes in the death penalty (not really for revenge though but on other grounds) I may try to check this out then if it has been "prescribed" but busy with from the new world now....which oh boy if you want weighty moral quandaries....

You should check this out Tom. It is slow and not action packed really especially in the beginning, but the build up is worth it oh yes....

Kino88on June 17, 2014 at 3:23 p.m.
Wow, this show gets more and more tragic as it gose Along, it's amazing how this series takes a character like Alka who at the start seemed like just your average bland Dominatrix with no emotions whatso ever, only to later Reveal that revenge is like a disease and Alka has infected Many people, and now she has become conscious of this For too late, hunted and tortured by her own karma, it's a deconstruction of that badass stereotype and I'm lovin it, There's nothing wrong with having a protagonist who dose Bad things, so long as there actions have due consequences,
hitsusatsu11on June 17, 2014 at 9:31 p.m.

Pretty deep for a anime designed to push an mmo I must admit

Marshal Victoryon June 18, 2014 at 9:31 p.m.

Thought the episode was bit heavy handed in the tugging of heart strings an message. Actually knew who would die well before it happened.Death flag or red shirt they just stuck out to me as gonna die. Maybe because I'm familiar with the tropes its using or the pattern its kept since the show started. Which is not revenge is senseless but no good deed ever goes unpunished.

Think about who has died in the series an that pattern sticks out. But you can argue the revenge aspect as well over the show as well. But those who do a good deed in the show get it in the end. An a few characters have had their revenge an are content.

takashichea moderator on June 18, 2014 at 9:43 p.m.

Did anyone catch why Alka was assigned to kill that couple's daughter? She didn't seem such an important target.

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Blade & Soul is a franchise that was based on MMORPG game which spawned an anime adaptation that aired in Spring 2014.

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