Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beast Player Erin, ep. 14-25, spoiler

I had first 25 episodes released by Static Subs in one large package. I had more time than planned, so I finished watching these episodes I had. And now I have to wait few days do get next releases.

As I mentioned before, episode 14 is a recap episode, told from point of one of the Mist-people, Erin mother's friend/betrothed. I also reveals that Mist-people have some plans for Erin, maybe devised much before. There's no more mention of Mist people in next 11 episodes.

In next few episodes, we learn that Jone (the honey man), is actually former teacher and principal from capital, who was exiled because of his refusing to be bribed. He offers Erin a choice of her future, and she decides to became a beastenarian. Jone helps by writing a recommendation to school and they began to cram for entrance exam.

Next two episodes deals with internal problems of kingdom where Erin lives. Kingdom is separated in two regions: Queen's, where people live in peace and prosperity, and Grand Duke's, which is in long and bloody war with neighboring kingdom. Symbol of Queen's part is a beast-lord, whom has some mythic/symbolical significance to people, and it's connected with Queen's status. In Duke's part, they revere the Touda (Erin comes from this part of kingdom) and also use them for war. Problem is that people from Queen's part thing about Duke's People (Wajyaku) as barbarians and simpletons, while they consider Queen's people (Holon) weak cowards.

Focus is put on Ial, young Sezan (elite warrior) who we met in earlier episodes (he gave Erin his harp), and who is struggled between his soft and hard sides. Now, he has to kill his former teacher, who became a traitor and joined Saigamul, rebellious group that fights to get rid of the Queen, and to put Duke on the throne (although the current Duke doesn't want it). We also meet the Grand Duke, his sons Shunan and Nugan and members of the Royal Family. Shounan is older and smarter (or maybe better said wiser) son, who realizes that kingdom's problems can't be solved by Saigamul's methods, or by getting rid of them. And Nugan, is under influence of Daimayah (Queen's nephew), who is probably behind kingdoms internal struggles. It must be notices that Nugan is not stupid (although his main feature is physical strength) or malicious, but he is doing what he think is right, even when this leads him to fight his older and formerly revered older brother. So characters are not just one-sided, they are deep and have conflict and motivations.

As of Daimayah, although I said that he influences Nugan, I can't be sure yet. Daimayah is showed as sneaky, but that can also be interpreted as careless or naïve. I one scene, he sends flowers to Duke's wounded soldiers. That can be seen as intentional offence, but it can also be seen as nice, but senseless gesture. Although I still think that he is evil behind everything.

Queen is not showed much, but it looks like she benevolent to her people, but too isolated from them. Her granddaughter, Seimiyah, is still a teen and don't have much influence. There is celebration of Queen's birthday, when they all met. And some kind of anti-Sezan, tries to assassinate the Queen, although he is thwarted by Ial. After that, Shunan contacts Seimiyah and suggest they work together to bring kingdom closer and she probably start falling in love with him.

Meanwhile, Erin was studying and preparing for entrance exam to Kazalm, an academy where beastenarians learn they trade and took care of old beast-lords. Of course, Erin passes with flying colors and is left there to live and study, while Jone goes back to his family. She at first has some problems with living in community. If she was a boy, I would expect our hero to find his arch-enemy there and live through his first fights. But, since Erin is a girl, she makes new friends and starts to fit in.
At Kazalms also ended Lilan, a young beast-lord that was wounded during attempt on Queen. That and trauma of separation from his mother left him in state where he refuse to eat or move. That leaves principal Esal and student Tomura (he takes care of Lilan) in despair. So, Esal decides to give Erin a chance. At first she doesn't have any success, but later finds out that Lilan react to sound of her harp, because they remind him on his mother. After some modifications to harp, Erin succeeds in bringing Lilan back from lethargy. Also, she gets respect of Tomura and other students. Teacher and Esal decide to keep Erins success a secret, because it could be used by Saigamuls or others. That is because beast-lord is a symbol of the Queen, and only she is allowed to command beast-lords (although she can't, really).

There are few scenes that show development of situation in kingdom: Ial investigation of attempt and fight with anti-Sezans, quarrel between Shugan and Nugan, etc.

Last episode feature Nukku and Mukku, two comic side-characters. They are not irritating as this type of characters can be; they actually quite nice to watch.

After second dozen of episodes, I must somewhat revise my opinion of this anime. Although I still think it appropriate for children (because of lack of violence, cursing, etc.), most kids would have problems with tracking this long plot and understanding all characters and their actions. There are not many characters, but they are deep, and have complex connection to other characters. I still didn't have moment when I would think something is illogical or poorly imagined.

I look forward to watching next episodes.

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