Gakusen Toshi Asterisk Episode 2: Ser-Veresta
A fairly slow episode this week, in contrast to the last one which covered quite a lot of ground – this week we had Saya’s introduction and Ayato getting his Ogre Lux. Oh, and a bit more of Julis and her situation in relation to what’s going on with the Festa. I don’t know how well this was implied, but ‘Festa’ is actually a collective term for a series of competitions held in Asterisk. It more accurately describes the event as a whole, and the tournaments themselves are given other names – for example, ‘Phoenix’ is one of them. And you need a tag-team partner for the Phoenix, which is quite unfortunate for Julis who has no friends! Was she going to just enter on her own, although I seem to remember that’s not actually possible? She really should have thought about this sort of thing before deciding to alienate the rest of her class, because the fact that it’s a tag-team has several important connotations. The first of those is it’s two-on-two, so it’s out of the question to take on two people by herself from a power perspective – it might be different if she were an undisputed Rank #1, but she’s only #5. So in Seidoukan alone, there are already four people stronger than her, who may even pair up and cause even more trouble that way. And a second thing is that tag-team matches open up a lot of possibilities for combinations and strategies (which is something this series does quite well actually) making it even harder for Julis to win the Phoenix and get the money she wants.
Maybe Aniplex should give some to her, they seem to have quite a lot of that lying around. And on top of all that, she wants a knight in shining armour. I guess this is where Ayato steps in?
As for Saya – isn’t her name cool? Sasamiya Saya. It’s very alliterative. And she’s a deadpan loli! I love deadpan lolis! I do feel kind of sorry for her and her massive grenade launcher though, because as the childhood friend her route is forever doomed. It’s like an anime maxim, the fact that the childhood friend never wins – Saya is obviously gunning for Ayato just like Julis is, except Julis doesn’t know it herself yet. I don’t think you need to be a light novel reader to guess that Ayato and Julis end up entering the Phoenix as a pair, after all. What I do like is that all these characters have pretty distinctive voices. I mean, except for Ayato and to an extent Claudia, who is just Touyama Nao pretending to be a rich girl. Saya has an uncommon ‘deadbeat’ sort of voice, and Julis has a really commanding, headstrong one – kind of like Ouka from AntiMagic, except less rough and angsty. Julis found out pretty quickly that Saya wasn’t as weak as she looked, though – Saya basically called herself Page One-level, then proved it in front of her. It’s fairly easy to guess why she isn’t actually a Page One, if her commitment to studies are any indicator.
I’m sure Lester’s life was in some sort of serious danger after Ser-Veresta rejected him, but they seem to have changed that slightly in the adaptation – it still ended with Ayato subjugating it though, so all is well. An Ogre Lux is basically a weapon power-up in this series – their will, output and special abilities mean that having one can put you at a whole different power level compared to using a normal Lux, which is just an energy weapon and nothing else. Of course, you have to already have some ability to make an Ogre Lux listen to you, so yeah. I wonder what’s with the CG Claudia scenes at the end of each episode? I know last week’s was used to have her introduce the website to us, but she didn’t do anything this week. I would have loved it if she’d asked the all-important question, though.
You know, that timeless question… plot or justice?