What the giant golden skeleton happened in this episode? Dies Irae passed the half-cour mark with a very confusing episode that tried to explain a few things but in the end left things even more jumbled than they were in the beginning. To quote the protagonist of the story, Ren, ‘I still don’t know anything.’ Neither do we, Ren.
Japanese Title: 黄金の獣
If I cared about the action scenes as much as I care for a believable and interesting scenario, then Episode 7 would have been okay, despite the lackluster action sequences. At least Dies Irae is now heading to a direction that caters more to what it was trying to bring from the beginning: senseless action scenes, backed by classical rock music and thrilling shouts of determination, fear, despair, and all these emotions that go hand in hand with anime battle sequences. It is evident that the animation is lacking, but at least we went from ‘what the frak is happening here’ to ‘I still don’t know what the frak is happening here but at least the characters are trying to kill each other.’ Ren and Shirou pit themselves against Leonhart (Sakurai Kei) and Wilhelm. Let’s leave Ren for later and bring Shirou to the spotlight: neither the opening scene nor anything in the episode explained why Shirou has special powers. I am sure that the game has an answer for all these questions and that we are probably going to get one in the anime as well, but having more questions than answers is not helping us enjoy the series. Shirou has a weird déjà vu ability where he basically knows what is going to happen and that allows him to react instantly. That doesn’t explain how he can do that in almost superhuman speed. There is probably some hidden backstory to him as there is for Ren.
In the end, we also get to meet the No.1 villain, Heydrich himself. I don’t want to spoil the best bits (find them in the Highlights section) but it’s apparent that he is your regular super-powered last boss who is ridiculously powerful and his tremendous demonstration of power is just a fraction of his power. Classic anime trope and one we have seen countless times before. At least we get to see Ren going from Kaio-ken to Super Saiyan 1 and battle against… oh well, I don’t want to think about it. For all its updated action, the series is still silly as frak.
Your friendly neighborhood: Spider-cursed-boy-turned-into-a-war-machine. At least that’s what happened to Ren.
Golden Skeleton: What is that thing? Is it a robot? A manifestation of Heydrich’s curse? A collaboration with Berserk? No matter what it is, it comes with some really cool weapons. From tanks, airplanes, and warships from World War II and its own armies of zombie WWII soldiers to six hands and power beams, this monstrosity is supposedly a demonstration of what Heydrich can do with only two of the swastikas broken.
Marie: This is not even a proper cliffhanger. Marie is going to die??? She is dead already and the main character still has half a series to defeat the Longinus dudes. Of course, she is no dead. I mean dead again.
It’s you??? Ren’s life has gone from normal to hell in just a few episodes. At least, his face and the voice actor are trying to make it look like he was surprised seeing the good priest behind all this shit. Yet, we get to little on Theresia and on the whole ordeal that Ren’s reaction didn’t even matter.
Karl: Ren is the bastard son of Karl? NO WAY! Who is Karl? Instead of throwing this as a hint, it would have been more effective to learn about it in a ‘Luke, I am your father’ moment.
What keeps this show from falling below mediocrity is the music. The rock-classical blend that keeps playing in the background was capable of keeping my interest through the action scenes and at least give the illusion that something important was happening on the screen. If nothing else, there is the possibility that the last half of the series will focus on the battles and give us more of this enjoyable musical score.
I Await the Dies Irae
Fair enough, Heydrich. We are going to wait with you, because the way this anime series is going, only a ‘Day of Wrath’ is going to save it from oblivion. That and Marie’s boobs. Actually, it’s been a couple of episodes since we’ve had a boob joke. Is the series trying to show as many visual novel elements as possible?
Did you like Episode 6 of Dies Irae? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check the rest of our Fall 2017 weekly anime reviews!