English Dub Review: Million Arthur “Despair of the Future”

Yes, you’ll despair when you realize this show isn’t even half over yet!

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Dancho’s team of Arthur Hunters makes quick work of a giant army of enemy Arthurs, though Dancho senses they are being watched by someone…and she’s right. That’ll have to wait since even with that massive victory, their mission to slay a MILLION ARTHURS (see, like the title!) is not even ten percent complete. Even worse, the remaining Arthurs are beginning to plot a big move to retaliate against the Hunters. The first step is to flee them at any opportunity and leaving decoy Excaliburs behind, which confuses the group. So, to gather intel, they stage an incident to lure out a goon Arthur and interrogate him about the plan.

What they learn isn’t reassuring, as it turns out the remaining 900,000+ Arthurs are gathering together for one last battle against the Hunters. The situation looks grim, but each of them tries their best to come up with a winning strategy. Not easy, as the Arthur Army already has them surrounded. Ruro suggests that they run while they have a chance. Tekken is determined to fight through his fears. Kakka’s pride is only barely winning out over his despair. Yamaneko holds herself to their mission. And Renkin is wide awake with worry. The next morning, Dancho leaves notes saying goodbye to her team, planning to act as a distraction while the rest escape, only to find them waiting for her on the way to the battlefield.

The fight begins in earnest, with each of the six Hunters taking out as many of the enemy as they possibly can with their fairies giving them access to the air. But the sheer numbers against them soon overwhelm their chances of victory. That is, until a violet light emerges in the sky, revealing Pharsalia, the girl who was observing them before. She obliterates the army in an instant as her allies, among them a few Arthurs mentioned off-hand throughout the season, look on. Before she leaves, she says she was willing to save the Hunters THIS time, but she might crush them too if they bore her. Dancho won’t be deterred in her mission, however, and swears that they will complete their mission.

OUR TAKE

So ends Million Arthur Season 1!…which is basically an artificial non-ending to set up the second half of the series. It’s one of the reasons I’m kind of irked when certain anime has “two seasons” when really they just have one season with a complete story but with a break in the middle. It’s especially transparent with episodic shows like this, where there isn’t any big arc to wrap up, so we need to come up with something out of the ordinary and climactic to suddenly happen so that it feels like a natural point to break from before the show goes off the air for a few months. I guess checking back in with the main mission and showing how far this team has come in learning to trust each other would fit that bill, while also setting up the key players for the second half who will come into play later.

As for the plot of this “season finale” itself, it’s pretty humdrum, as would be expected with this show by now. It’s pretty sound, structurally speaking, and there’s nothing exactly WRONG with it, it’s just very unremarkable and following more towards function than any sort of standout character or plot development. The team all have to work together to stop an army of mooks at once, and so have to deal with the threat of death before nutting up and entering the fight, damn the consequences. Credit where credit is due, I’ve seen quite a few stories where the characters didn’t even get THAT far, so kudos on the writing team here for at least doing the work. But the arrival of Pharsalia to do their job for them and leave them with a cryptic warning goes to show that they are by no means the only strong group in this area. There’s always a bigger fish, as they say, and the ending moments of this season do a sufficient job of making that point.

Though if you somehow gained a liking for this show and can’t wait for further installments, then worry not! For whatever strange reason, the second season’s dub release has been released alongside the first, meaning that you can pick up right where it left off and binge the second season before that also wraps up next week! But in terms of a way to cap off this first season, I’d say this episode did…fine. Just fine.

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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