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HomeentertainmentAnime NewsReign of the Seven Spellblades ‒ Episode 11

Reign of the Seven Spellblades ‒ Episode 11

How would you rate episode 11 of
Reign of the Seven Spellblades ?

Community score: 3.9


I like to think I’d been pretty generous with in regards to its writing. Sure, it was prone to get lost on its own points, forgetting about concepts or commentary in time to just round back to Oliver and follow him and his pals onto the next stage of their central adventures. But those interesting points were still there, and delivery of them alongside the straightforward magical action stuff was functional enough to let me cruise through the show considering it capably just above average. But in retrospect, that was but a house of cards to construct a narrative on top of, and the need to keep piling stuff on here as we approach the end of the season will eventually cause the structure to collapse under that weight.

They had me in the first half, not gonna lie. The duels we hit the climax on last week finish up early on so that Chela can settle down with Stace and ask her the same question we all were: What is your damage? The answer is basically what I would’ve expected, a story of branch-family trauma and internalized self-worth issues. Stace’s targeting of Chela as an outlet to prove herself was as arbitrary as the writing always made it feel, familial connection be damned. It is another vector for Seven Spellblades‘s most recurrent thematic point, which is to show how monumentally messed up the meritocracy of a wizarding world such as this one is, and the effects that would have on its competing, clashing student body.

Nothing we haven’t seen before, but what puts this bit over is the way Nanao of all people gets to be the one to bring Stace around, via her expectedly blunt way of stating things. It’s funny, but it also works because this kind of delivery is precisely what Stace would need to cut to the heart of the overthinking, trapped-in-her-own-expectations issues: She is not Chela, and she shouldn’t have to be, regardless of what anybody else thinks. Realizing that people are not interchangeable tools was the awakening Nanao herself had had up through her time as a career soldier, so seeing her impart that lesson to others in a way that helps both Chela and Stace serves as a growth marker for her. It also makes for another example of how letting characters like Nanao serve in stories outside of direct proximity to Oliver does wonders for them resolving things on their own.

Unfortunately, as is always the case with Seven Spellblades, we still must inevitably return to Oliver anyway. The issues that result aren’t Ollie’s fault this time though, no, the problem is that Spellblades‘s writing decides, for some unfathomable reason, that what we need is for his opponent Albright to vomit out his own sob story after we just got through with Stace’s decently effective one. It’s superfluous in every sense, least of all because Albright’s barely been skulking around the story so far, only inserting himself into this tournament duel storyline at the effective last minute in the previous episode. Not only does the flashback we get impart nothing new on the “Wow, the upbringing for most of these wizard kids has been kind of wack” front, but it doesn’t land at all because of how disconnected we are from him. The moment where his father takes a beat to wordlessly stand up and start zapping the kid for failure in the past comes off as unintentionally comedic more than anything.

Worse than that, it quickly becomes apparent that this wasn’t even an earnest effort for pathos, but simply an excuse for one more escalation in battle to pad out this plotline. We wind up with Albright threatening the characters with bee-based beatdowns and forced memory loss, ostensibly trying to turn this whole plot, which he elbowed his way into, into a shaggy dog story. And when that doesn’t take, it’s because they use it as an excuse to deploy more revelatory details that have no place in this part of the plot. Remember how Pete’s condition as a reversi allowed for growth in his and Oliver’s trust in each other, and uncovered a whole extra side of Kimberly? Yeah, Chela’s reveal as a half-elf has none of that. I don’t doubt that they might return to it in more salient ways later (though, given the way the writing continuously forgets about that whole magical creatures’ rights storyline…) but it entirely exists here to be a “surprising” revelation with virtually no build-up or examination. It is precisely the kind of last-minute plot-convenience deployment I was so annoyed by in the actual Harry Potter series as I read it back in the day, and that makes its use in Seven Spellblades positively laughable.

It’s a collapse of the story’s writing into its most clunk-tacular, and the worst part is it didn’t even need to be here. The Albright situation winds up resolving into basically the same place it was before his last-ditch attack, and the characters don’t even have time to meditate on that before another unrelated combat situation shoves its way in from offstage after the credits. Forget about all that tournament and dueling stuff (believe me, I already have), as immediately we’re instead now contending with a kidnapping plot by that succubus lady. It makes for more unintentional hilarity, as Albright appears to be randomly killed offscreen right after he’s been properly pacified, with virtually nobody commenting on it. Granted, Pete, being among the others taken by the abruptly appearing tentacles makes it apparent that no one’s dying yet, but by then the damage has already been done, tonally. I guess we just have to move on since that’s what the show itself is doing and take this storyline on its own terms once it gets underway properly next week.


is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Chris is back for another season of calling wizards nerds. Feel free to disagree with him on that on his Twitter (for however much longer that lasts), or check out his irregular musings on other nerdy subjects over on his blog.

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.



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