English Dub Review: The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar “Steel Is Tempered One Hundred Times”

I won’t be watching this episode one hundred times, that’s for sure.

Overview (Warning: Spoilers!)

Linnea wakes up flustered after a risqué dream about Yuuto. In reality, he is headed to the Horn Clan region of Gimli to implement a system of crop rotation. On the way, Chris and Al show off runes that allow them to speed up Yuuto’s carriage.

Upon arrival, Yuuto discovers that the people of Gimli don’t yet trust the Wolf Clan leadership, and they refuse to follow their new governor’s orders. Linnea uses her charm to deliver a passionate speech, and the citizens of Gimli finally agree to try the new system of farming.

Late at night, Linnea enters Yuuto’s chambers, strips, and begs him to make love to her. Though he initially tries to make other excuses, Yuuto admits that he cannot marry Linnea because he is in love with Mitsuki. While Felicia eavesdrops, Yuuto explains that he is from the future and stole pretty much every idea he brought to Yggdrasil.

Linnea believes that she is a failure for losing her clan’s battle with the Wolf Clan, but Yuuto assures her that one mistake does not define her, and she shouldn’t give up. Linnea takes this to mean she shouldn’t give up at winning Yuuto’s hand in marriage—but their rendezvous is interrupted by the news that Steinthor is preparing an attack on the Wolf Clan.

Yuuto’s advisors explain that the Lightning Clan hasn’t lost a battle since Steinthor became their patriarch, but their clan’s strategy is always to charge into battle and attack head-on. Yuuto doesn’t understand how such foolhardy tactics could prove so successful, but the others assure him that Steinthor himself is a force to be reckoned with and that he inspires incredible morale in his men.

At another meeting, Chris demonstrates that Al is trained as an assassin. In exchange for the promise of an oath after the battle, Chris and Al agree to sneak into the Lightning Clan and stealthily take out some guards. Later, Chris watches a confident Steinthor prepare an enormous army.

Our Take 

I like a good romance as much as the next guy, but the love scenes in this episode aren’t romantic. They’re just creepy.

We begin this episode with a shadowy sex scene, one that’s definitely just there for shock value—Gasp! Yuuto is cheating on Mitsuki! Wait! Don’t worry, Yuuto/Mitsuki fans, it’s all just a dream!

But this dream doesn’t just shock Linnea—it makes her realize that she has a profound sexual longing for Yuuto. I thought that her marriage proposal in episode two was just for political gain, but now, out of nowhere, Linnea seems genuinely smitten. Obviously, the show doesn’t do a great job in making me invested in Linnea’s desires, but the way she carries them out are even more frustrating. A pro-tip to all the lovesick readers out there: showing up naked to your crush’s room and demanding that he sleep with you—and then persisting after he says no—is not the best way to go about it. The scene is both unoriginal (I’ve seen similar ones in so many other shows) and embarrassing to watch (these are supposed to be serious military leaders?). Plus, it basically violates every rule of Consent 101.

I like the idea of Yuuto building up Linnea’s confidence and helping her realize she’s a skilled leader in her own right, but the generic, predictable dialogue between themdoesn’t do much for me. I’m frustrated that Linnea keeps putting down her own abilities—as I’ve said before, this show would be much more interesting if Yuuto had more flaws as a leader and the people of Yggdrasil had more strengths they were confident in, so they could learn from each other rather than it all being one-sided. But even after Yuuto admits that he cheats, Linnea still insists that he’s better than she is. Why is this show allergic to other characters having strengths? I want to like Linnea—I like watching her lead the Horn Clan, and it’s certainly okay for a character to be insecure. But the fact that her entire life revolves around Yuuto right now makes it hard for stand out as a character on her own.

I also feel that the conversation between Yuuto and Linnea was a wasted opportunity. Linnea barely registered the news that Yuuto didn’t make up any of his inventions. Instead of reacting with shock or anger, instead of realizing that Yuuto is a fraud and she shouldn’t hold him in such high esteem—Linnea doesn’t react to the news at all. Before watching this episode, I’d been really excited to see what would happen if another character found out. It could have been a great opportunity for character growth, both for Linnea and Yuuto. But The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar has never been interested in any meaningful character development.

There is one piece of this episode that stood out to me as interesting. It’s a story that Yuuto tells Linnea, one that’s clearly about himself and his time spent in Yggdrasil—but it ends with him miscalculating during a battle, and another character paying the price with her life. Clearly, this is something that happened in Yuuto’s mysterious past, and I like that we keep getting nuggets about what happened when he first arrived in Yggdrasil. I’m really curious to see what it will turn out to be. (A random guess: maybe it will involve the blonde girl from the intro who hasn’t appeared yet, the one who looks exactly like Mitsuki but blonde and it’s driving me crazy because I don’t know why?).

I also continued to enjoy Chris and Al’s antics in this episode. Although Al is still annoying (both in her dubwork and in the way she’s written), the twins’ banter with each other can be pretty funny. And I like the development that the unassuming Al is actually a talented assassin.

The backgrounds continue to be painted beautifully, but some of the character art in this episode seems rushed and lazy. The score is great, though—the news of impending war is accompanied by ominous, energetic, Pyscho-esque violins. Kudos to Kouta Yokoseki.

In short, I was hoping this show would improve, but most of my criticisms of past episodes still hold true in this one. The Master of Ragnorak & Blesser of Einherjar isn’t doing anything I haven’t seen before, nor is it doing unoriginal stuff particularly well.

Score
3.0/10

Bodie Shanis

Bodie is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. You can often find him in odd costumes, either because he's at an anime convention or performing in a musical. He's currently working on his first novel.

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