Back Arrow ‒ Episode 16

3 months ago 49

It has been a few months since the battle between Rekka and Lutoh. The establishment of an independent Granedger is pending, with Atlee chosen to be the queen of this new nation. The other polities of Lingalind gather to pay their respects for this momentous signing. Things appear calm for the moment, and many old friends and allies come to wish the Granedger well. The Prax Armored Division even goes so far as to defect from Lutoh to the new Granedger nation. However, many of the old divisions are still there and not all present trust one another.

Meanwhile, Back Arrow and Shu travel to Rekka to arrange a settlement agreement there. Ren takes offense to their presence and attempts to assassinate Shu, but he bluffs to escape and Back Arrow keeps her at bay. Kai arrives and puts an end to the fighting, revealing that he has been reading the ancient texts and presses Shu for missing gaps in the records. Rekka's new advisor suggests that Ren kill him to give Emperor Zetsu an excuse to attack the Granedger, but a sudden attack on Rekka makes everyone scatter. Over Rekka's capital a new flying crimson battleship has arrived and begins laying waste to the city. It is being controlled by Tae Howa, the disgraced former Rekka noble, who was gifted the vehicle by Elect Supreme Rudolph.

Wow, this one genuinely surprised me.

I am continually impressed with the plotting of the series, and I think Kazuki Nakashima is really delivering in this regard. Initially, I felt that the political binary of Lutoh versus Rekka was purposefully simple so that it could act as a backdrop that the audience would not have to think much about while the robots were punching. It has quickly become clear that not only are things much, much more nuanced than they initially appeared, but I think there only being two major political groups is a big benefit. There is an increasingly large cast with divided or conflicting loyalties, side switching, double agents, etc. and the “simplicity” of the two major states is helpful in keeping it all straight.

I know I am prone to being surprised by plot twists, but wow the revelation of the new battleship was genuinely shocking. I assumed there was some powerful object or relic or something that Shu was after - his drive to leave had to be coming from somewhere - but the final moments with Tae piloting the vessel came by complete surprise. I assumed he was being given a new powerful Briheight, but a second battleship? Definitely an exciting surprise and yet another tectonic shift in the geopolitical landscape.

As a minor note, it was really sweet that Atlee got to be queen. Having that entire scene where everyone discussed the practical and personal reasons that Atlee was chosen to be their leader was a tender moment I thought.

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Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.

Back Arrow is currently streaming on FUNimation Entertainment.

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