Remember that time you didn’t watch this episode?
Seth enters a broom racing competition during a festival and decides to use the broom Alma gave him. Unsurprisingly, the old thing gets mocked by some rich kids and their leader insults Alma because of her loner nature, so Seth decides to protect her honor by beating the rich guy in the…in the…hang on, why are there jumps to old episode clips?
…yeah, turns out this is a clip show. Only ten episodes in and on the fifth episode of filler and we’re spending it flashing back to stuff that just happened.
Like remember the time Seth was saved by Alma from being burned at the stake as a child?
Or remember the time he first left on his journey and got Alma’s broom?
Or remember the time he and Melie tore up the city while trying to get him to use a basic spell?
Seth doesn’t win the race, but he saves other competitors from almost dying, and doesn’t that make him the real winner?!
No, no it doesn’t. Also, that bandaged guy finally makes it to Rumble Town, so we’re going back to adapting actual chapters next week!
Seriously? A CLIP SHOW only TEN EPISODES IN? And it clearly was not written for that in mind, because this felt just like the coffee squid episode a few weeks ago but suddenly interrupted with erroneous flashbacks, almost like they came up with a filler story so weak that they couldn’t fill the usual 22-minute runtime and padded it out with old clips! It’s FILLER WITHIN FILLER! FILLERCEPTION! Quick, spin a top to see if we’re not in a dream!
This is like if the aforementioned squid episode and the troubling recaps from Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory had an inbred love child. It’s a completely disposable installment that adds absolutely nothing like the former while being a flashing red light that production is in serious trouble like the latter. And you can’t say this was to catch up viewers coming back from the holiday break, because this aired right after Episode 9 in Japan! Recap episodes this early on in anime are almost always the canary in the coal mine for a series. Unless you’re like Gurren Lagann and pour gasoline on the fire to ride the explosion into being an instant classic, they are nothing but bad omens for things moving forward. And after the parade of padding we’ve endured since the beginning of December, this is just the crap cherry on the shitty mixed metaphor sundae.
What can I even say about the “plot” of this episode? Seth doesn’t have any lessons to learn or is given any ways to improve his magic, let alone something to tie those two things together. The rich dorks, who I’m not going to dignify by addressing them with their names, are straight out of a “stock anime filler villain” guidebook, and we don’t learn anything important about Artemis other than they decide to throw festivals to appease other nations. Not like we could’ve applied that to the antagonists of the story, no sir!
Maybe if you needed time to space out the episodes you should’ve left it at 13 instead of 21! Good god, the only time I’ve seen recaps happen earlier than this was in Clerks: The Animated Series, and that was to PARODY THEM. The only SPECK of hope is that next week we finally, FINALLY head to the next arc of the comic, where I pray the writing will improve at least somewhat. My faith and patience have all but dried up for this series, but maybe the beginning of the second half will turn things around.