Episode Focus: Akashic Records 2, Just the Slightest Bit of Motivation


It’s always nice when a second episode improves upon the first. Actually, I’m not sure if critically I thought this episode was better than last week’s, but what I do know is that I enjoyed it more.

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The episode picks up where last week’s left off with Glenn continuing with his refusal to teach. He goes even further this week, as his apathy changes to hatred for magic. His assertion that magic is only good for killing people cuts a bit too close to the bone for Sisti, who hits him before leaving the class in tears (her respect of magic is linked to her grandfather, as we see in a later scene). This was the first improvement over episode one as we truly got to see an emotion from Glenn rather than a sad combination of laziness and misogyny. It also gave us an opportunity to start understand Sisti a little more as she let go of some of the principles we saw last week, getting upset and actually taking it out on Glenn seriously (unlike that odd magic duel we saw last week which was more comedic in tone than angry).

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Glenn then goes on to self reflect (episode one did this guy no favours) and decide that he was a bit of an idiot before going to help Rumia with her revision on magic circles. After talking with his student – which incidentally tells us some more about her desire to do good with magic, after a terrible incident in her past – he turns up in the morning, apologises to Sisti and promptly starts teaching class properly, better than anyone ever had before. This jump is a little inconsistent with what we learnt about him up to that point, so I can’t help but feel his conversation with Rumia about her abduction in the past was more poignant than might have otherwise seemed.

Speaking of which, when he turns up the next day to give supplementary classes, he finds himself attacked by a group of magicians in dark robes (everyone is so colour co-ordinated this season!) We leave him before we see the outcome of the encounter to visit the classroom where more hooded baddies turn up searching for Rumia. After they threaten to kill some people, she reveals her identity freely and leaves with them. In this sequence, Sisti speaks too much as is also taken away. Yes – plot!!

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It is then revealed that Rumia is in fact a princess who is supposed to be dead – I can only suspect a connection to Glenn somewhere in the past now, but we’ll have to wait and see to find out what happens. Meanwhile, Sisti is about to raped by one of the assailants only for Glenn to turn up and reveal he has made his own spell that prohibits anyone within a certain radius of himself using magic (which apparently is a pretty big deal). Of course, with Glenn, there is a downside here and that is that he can’t use magic himself. As it happens though, Glenn is an expert in martial arts and promptly dispatches his enemy with the skill of a member of the imperial army (thank the guy he was hitting for that).

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This was a much stronger episode this week that pretty much made up for the disappointing start last week. We learnt considerably more about Glenn, Sisti and Rumia in a pretty convincing way. I’m pleased to see we got some plot in this episode and you can already start to speculate where they might want to take this, without knowing for sure what’s going to happen. Here’s hoping things carry on improving in the coming episode.

 

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