The promise that we find in Episode 8 of Dies Iraehas little to do with the plot and more on what we haven’t and will probably not see in the course of the series: a quiet school life. Ren always goes out of his way, usually prompted by the people around him, to remember on what he lost and will never get back, that ‘promise’ that things might return to the way they used to be before all this Nazi crap fell on his head. Not that he had much of choice.
Japanese Title: 約束
To succeed in having his wish fulfilled, Nazi Leader Blonde Aryan OP Villain, has planned to kill everyone in the city in a series of bloodbaths that will awaken the rest of the swastikas. I don’t know if you followed the episode thus far because I was so confused that even the awkward dancing scene in the club and the sub-par animation were not enough to bring me back to what was happening. There was some light in the end of the tunnel with the unnecessary fan service moments, with Marie changing clothes and Erii showing us her panties, but the rest of it was a mix of scene dropping and gun firing. We already know that Shirou and Erii are not dead. I mean, Deja vu, guys.
The after-credits scenes showered us with more names and plot points that are somehow important to what is happening. What I managed to get is that there is a descendant of a bloodline that originates from a nun who is probably Theresia.
Marie, The Next Top Model: I found Marie’s closet inspection quite interesting. Like any French guillotined girl that was once crazy as a cuckoo, she shows an affection for 21st-century popular western clothing, especially Japanese school uniforms.
It’s Clubbing Time: People raving to the music, drinking uncontrollable amounts of alcohol and sticking their tongue into strangers’ mouths and other body parts is like the norm for every club I have ever been, and they are not that many. Clubs suck and I found the scene slightly exhilarating. I mean, not that I am pro-exploding heads or anything, but that strobe looked good with that touch of red.
Themes & Trivia
Game Scenes: I haven’t played many visual novels, but the way they introduced the scenes of the swastikas made me feel like I was going to see a selection screen on the next frame and choose where I would have to go. I almost saw that dialogue box, ‘Ren, you can only protect one place. Where will you go?’, and the game cursor frantically going around the choices. I would have picked the school as well. Or maybe the church.
Sonnenkind: The sonnenkinder theory is a real theory originating from World War II. During the last years of the war, the Americans from the west and the Soviets from the east were pushing towards Berlin. Nazi Germany knew that the end of the war was near and they had to find a way to preserve the Reich ideology so that a Fourth Reich would inevitably come at some point in the future. Nazi leaders believed in the legacy of their actions and were convinced that someday their dreams of a unified world under Germany’s rule would become a reality. Since the only kind of human capable of ruling over the rest is the Aryan man, they bred pure-blooded SS troops with women that had all the Aryan characteristics: blond hair and blue eyes. These children would be raised in secret as true Aryans and then they, or their children, or grandchildren, or or or, would bring the Fourth Reich. Of course, as we all know, the Allies stormed Berlin and the sonnerkind program failed to come to fruition. At least that’s what the Allies said. Either that the program failed or that it didn’t even exist to begin with.
If you search around the internet, at least one conspiracy theory exists that says the program not only has not failed but places those kids in positions of power all around the world.
The problem with Dies Irae is that it is obvious even to people like me who haven’t played the game that it is trying to hard to replicate the events in it. Of course, that’s understandable, since the anime was crowdfunded by the fans of the game. Yet, I don’t want to assume and I am still wondering if that’s the case or if the anime is trying to deviate from the game. The music, the locations, the attempts to be philosophical, and the awkward timings of revealing more plot info, indicate that the creators had all the good intentions to create something worthy of something (the game) but lost a few crucial bits during execution.
With just three episodes left, I am not optimistic that the series is going to deliver any kind of proper resolution. We will probably get a full info dump of ‘here’s what’s happening’ monologues and then get a full-out battle between Ren-tachi and Nazi-tachi. Most of the times I assume what’s going to happen in an anime, I am blatantly wrong. We just have to wait and see.
Did you like Episode 8 of Dies Irae? Which outfit should Marie have chosen over the school outfit? Is Ren pathetic or what? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check the rest of our Fall 2017 weekly anime reviews here on MANGA.TOKYO.