Everybody dreams. Whether in the sense of an idea that you wish to see achieved or a series of abstract thoughts that coalesce in your sleep, everybody dreams. We will be discussing the the awake kind; in fact, we most often are when it comes to anime. “I want to be the best!” “I want to save the world!” Every protagonist worth their salt is striving towards something, otherwise it would make for a very short series. However, there are times when bull-headed stubbornness is not as noble a sentiment as oblivious protagonists make it seem. Damning the consequences to protect something you hold dear, for example, means nothing if you damn yourself in the process.
Not to start this off on a downbeat, but I wish to lay clear my biggest gripe with this episode: it should not have been one episode. So much character development is crammed into such a short period of time; it just doesn’t carry the weight it should. Almost immediately we are confronted by a man skidding his car into frame in order to propose to Mira. Pretty bold move, met with the assumed reaction of disbelief and shock…so it clearly works. Yep, Mira accepts off screen and…that’s all there is to it. It’s a wedding episode now. Though I will concede that some of this episode’s rapidity plays into Mira’s development arc, most of these scene skips seem to be so that we can rush through this entire event before the credits roll. It’s…I mean, I already said it: the episode is rushed.
Delving into Mira’s mentality, we see just how unwavering she is in securing the future of the Moon Light Sword Style. Though her husband-to-be, Seongjin, is a famous martial artist. Mira clearly has zero interest in the dude. Hell, even he seems more interested in the Moon Light Sword Style than her. Unfortunately, Mira has been almost conditioned to put her family’s sword style above her own desires—as seen, yet again, through flashbacks that show her forgoing the trappings of high school life. Now, it’s not like any of this emotional strife is subtle; but, that doesn’t make it any less upsetting. Her sense of duty is only worsened when we learn that her uncle also vowed to protect his brother’s (Mira’s father’s) legacy…but he’s terrible. Like, his-students-beat-him-up terrible. This also fuels said uncle’s hesitance to stop the wedding, as putting his niece’s happiness first—which he clearly wants to do—means giving up his best chance to honour his brother’s dream. It’s a real pickle of a situation.
Oh, in case you didn’t guess from the brief description of him thus far, Seongjin isn’t a great guy. Putting aside the fact that he is marrying a high school girl—which for some reason everybody seems fine with—he clearly has a suspicious focus on the Moon Light Sword Style. I mean, he’s not even played as a fancier of the martial arts for very long—that facade is almost immediately dropped in favour of a more menacing attitude. Look, long story short, the guy is a part of that creepy church we saw last episode. They want the Moon Light Sword. That’s it. Also, Seongjin has a big spirit monster—so they’re definitely a thing. At least we have confirmation that anybody can perceive these mysterious spirits, as the wedding guests freak out when a giant samurai ghost appears…as you would. Although, Seongjin’s public outburst of inhuman magic seemingly has no effect on anything other than the building he smashed; you know, seeing as how he drove away from the scene of the crime unhindered. Also, he got Mira’s sword. Also, she didn’t care. It turns out the real Moon Light Sword Style was the friends we made along the way.
And there you have it, an entire proposal-through-wedding-through-break-up played out in a single episode. Though it definitely could have used some more space to breathe, I think tha—what? What do you mean there’s still more of the episode left? Daewi’s friends is even sicker now? Surely we can deal with that next—okay, let’s do it now.
Yes, after Mira and friends leave her undesired wedding, we hard cut to Daewi standing in the hospital as doctors rush to save his sick friend. I think I literally blinked and missed the scene change—that’s how abrupt it is. Though we ultimately don’t see if his friend survives, Daewi’s newly broken emotional state leads him to pummel those jokers who mock him at work. You know, the guys who actively harass Daewi about his friend dying slowly and painfully in hospital? The guys who everybody wanted to punch in the face the second they opened their stupid mouths? Those guys. They get pummelled. Which I’m fine with. What is decidedly less fine is when Daewi takes this rage into his semi-final match with Mira—which is also crammed into this episode. Knowing that she suffered a wound in her brief fight with Seongjin, Daewi focuses on that exact spot and punches her until said wound seemingly reopens. Though it is brutal given what we know, I will say that I don’t buy the audience also being taken aback by Daewi’s ferocity. I mean, I don’t recall anyone besides Mori feeling disgusted enough to stop Gamdo’s beating; their reaction merely seems to happen to drive home Daewi’s spiral into fury.
Okay, now we’re finished. Whew, that was a busy one. Though none of the plot points raised where necessarily bad, I just can’t get over how fast we rushed through them. Mira went from shock, to acceptance, to refusal in a matter of minutes…perhaps literally. I have no idea how long the timeframe of this episode was. It begins with Mori mentioning the semi-finals and ends with said semi-final occurring. The tournament can’t be that spread out can it? And if it isn’t, Seongjin organised this in, like, two days. Also, is there really nobody who objects to this guy marrying a high school girl? I know there is a variance of culture and societal norms between countries; but, is that really on okay thing to do? Mira even points out that the ceremony will be relatively simple because she’s still in high school. Would Seongjin even maintain the fame needed to promote the Moon Light Sword Style like he claims? Would marrying a high school girl not harm his celebrity? I mean, this is a world where high schoolers pummelling each other into the ground is the world’s largest sporting event; so, I guess people either don’t care about the rights of the youth or they simply treat them as adults from the age of thirteen. There’s just…bad implications either way. Like how the tournament does not utilise nanomachines to heal injuries obtained outside of the ring—as seen with Mira. Sure it’s probably to avoid people joining the tournament for free medical care—which would immediately help Daewi’s friend—but it’s just so twisted when you think about it. The tournament’s main promoters are the two nurses for crying out loud—that’s just rubbing salt in the wound…that they won’t heal.