Spec-Ops Asuka #05 — Rising of the Shield Heroines

February 8th, 2019


How many goddamned kinds of shields do we need?

I did glance at War Smile thing. It was another princess episode. After watching a battle, summoning up the courage to not turn away from blips on a screen, she wanted to surrender and turn herself over, but everyone banded together and wouldn't let her since she is just that super special and precious to them. Gag me. Yeah, we're done with that crap.


This could've been a pretty solid episode 2 if not for the rampant stills. But it's episode 5. And two of the midbosses it spent multiple episodes building up and delivering overlong exposition about their powers unceremoniously died to the protagonist just going "I used a little more of my power," followed by a cutaway explaination that using more of her power makes her stronger, in case you were confused. The third had a particularly bizarre scene where characters gasped in shock that the girl who they all saw using magic scissors revealed that she was a magic girl. She then proceeded to use no magic whatsoever except for the deus ex barriers that appear around things. And speaking of those, I also enjoyed how they revealed that the summoned monsters have them too. They did so by showing that everyone was armed with things that go right through them, immediately followed by magic girl shields which do work, and then the double double magic girl shields which are even shieldier. All put together, there's like two straight minutes on nothing but progressively stronger shields being dropped down and explained about how they're that much stronger.

The second half was far more miserable. Our old favorite, forced amnesia makes a return, wiping out the… I hate to say character development, but whatever you want to call it. They can regrow limbs at will and wipe away whatever traumatic event they feel like, so I guess nothing matters, until the writers either forget about it, or invent some new excuse for why they can't do it. Frankly, the best thing for the show at this point would be to kill of War Nurse. She's served her purpose to be Asuka's guilt trip and at this point is just introducing compounding deus ex crap. Killing her off would double down on the guilt and ditch much of the "nothing matters, we can reset everything" that whole segment introduced. Either that, or take the Frozen route and get way more corny, but I feel like this thinks it's way more serious than it actually is and will continue in the mopey dramatic vein.

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