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BLADE & SOUL #5 -- Special Review

The message? Being a do-gooder is baaaaaaaad...!

Well, it’d be interesting if the show kept up this formula...

Each episode, the A-plot centers on a new, incidental morality play that Alka gets involved with, while the B-plot gradually advances her larger quest for revenge. It’s a more retro style of TV plotting, more like KUNG FU on its most basic level. And -- to revisit my observations last episode -- it’d actually be appropriate since that show was really one of the first major on-screen projects to explicitly connect Easter and Western heroics.

(Hell, Alka’s recurring flashbacks with her mentor are pretty much the same as all the ‘young grasshopper’ scenes in KUNG FU, aren’t they?)

That said, one advantage KUNG FU episodes have over BLADE & SOUL’s is that they’re twice as long; so there’s more time to properly handle the A-plot’s set-up and fall-out. While I did get the general gist of this episode - - the boy dooms himself and the girl because he’s too childish and emotional about handling moral quandaries - - the episode really does rush through the specifics. I was scratching my head a little about who was who at the climax, even while I was being moved emotionally.

If I have it right, this tragedy centers around some do-gooder dooming himself because he gets too bent out of shape about the morality drug traffics. If that’s the case, it adds to my point last time about how observing the parallels between samurai stories and Westerns isn’t actually that profound - - because this really smelt more like a gangster story. Swap the katanas for tommy guns, replace our naïve swordsmen with a g-man, and recast Alka as a hitman, and it’s easy to picture, isn’t it? And because it’s so easy to picture, it puts a point on how this sort of… conflict set-up is just universal.

And that’s perfect for a fantasy landscape that isn’t beholden to any specific culture and time period, no?

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

Kino88on June 3, 2014 at 8:39 a.m.
Yeah, this episode was a bit off in some ways, though still Above average, it gets better again next episode, I still like the way this show plays with morality,
Marshal Victoryon June 3, 2014 at 4:21 p.m.

Ah yup. Pattern this show has an will repeat over an over. Its almost like it asks are their any good people in that world?

Tho the fantasy world Nc Soft has made is not that great or even fresh, GONZO has used every hook they can to make it interesting. From Kung Fu ( the tv series ) to The Man with No Name an even some moral angst on growing drugs. Tho its clear the village does not care what it does to other long as they are fine.

Also its clear from this one to the Hostess with the mostess if not a clean player in this.Which will Lonesome Dove tale into thing latter on quite nicely.

takashichea moderator on June 3, 2014 at 5:22 p.m.

This is like my least favorite episode in the series. The so-called hero was a jerk. It was making fun of what justice was. Finally, they killed off a woman and ending the expendable male trope. I did pity on Malna.

@Kino88:

It does best by playing on the morals of revenge.

@Marshal Victory:

That was like the only foreshadowing thing about Elle Karen.

Marshal Victoryon June 3, 2014 at 5:54 p.m.

@takashichea: Considering the amount of surprise by many on other boards they did it right. With out spoiling any thing I say they did it just right. Just enuff to hint not enuff to confirm. Tho if one thought a bit more about what happened in this episode its right there for any to see.

An she will all ways be the Hostess with the mostess to me. Tho probably not for the two reasons most would think.

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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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