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Elephant Ambush
Nov 13, 2012

...We shoulde spenden more time together. What sayest thou?




Nap Ghost

Excellent episode.

The way Kei Gai fights with her whip is so cool.

I had no idea what was going on half the time after the fight and it was great.

I definitely did not see Cybermonk coming at all. That's gonna be a thing.

Anyone have any guesses as to why Seven Blasphemous Deaths was silent the whole time? That was really confusing.

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Cao Ni Ma
May 25, 2010


7BD is silent because Aoi Yuki aint cheap

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


Really feels like this image should be somewhere in the OP:


Also lmao the ending of episode 2, couldn't have sent them to a more perfect place.

Lemon-Lime fucked around with this message at 07:29 on Apr 12, 2021

Turin Turambar
Jun 5, 2011



Episode 3. Still good!

The important part was mostly about 'Bane'. Good motivation and backstory. Just turning to evil in a desperate move to save his country. He had a point even, Shang had the power to help destroy evil, but he decided to run away. He will be a good nemesis.
Of course, the whole 'I will let you the small fry' to the other guy was funny, they don't know how powerful is Lin. Which of course it could be key later. He almost had an orgasm when he understood he was so close to the super bad guy of the series, lol.
I wonder if someone is manipulating Emperor You, or is just incompetence. I'm sure whatever the oracle said will be relevant for the series.
Yandere princess is still yandere. In fact she is going to the deep end now. A pity, I think it could have been fun if he accompanied the party for a bit.
I hope cyborg wizard gets to return. Also, I wasn't sure if Buddhist monk would recover his senses after being separated from the sword for a while, it seems that's not the case.

Sindai
Jan 24, 2007
i want to achieve immortality through not dying

Vape Wizard's reaction to meeting the big bad was great.

If that's all Cyborg Wizard gets to do I'll be a bit disappointed. He has such a cool design.

I felt pretty dumb for just thinking "huh, this guy's hair looks familiar." I guess that mask works like Clark Kent's glasses.

Looks like next episode demon lady finds SBD. I guess she's going to be the one responsible for giving her a body.

Elephant Ambush
Nov 13, 2012

...We shoulde spenden more time together. What sayest thou?




Nap Ghost

Awesome episode and I agree with everyone else on just about everything.

My only gripe is why didn't Shou Fu Kan heal Rou Fu Yo? It makes no sense. We've seen him heal people before. He healed Tan Hi in S1E1 and the leader of the Go In Shi in season 2 after he got attacked by scorpions. I kept waiting for him to do that and it was really weird that he didn't. Unrelated, it's also really hosed up that the bug gang has had a secret tunnel into the Phoenix Castle this whole time.

Next episode is gonna be awesome.

edit: Oh one other thing I forgot to mention. I was re-watching episode 2 with my sister and we noticed that Lin Setsu A picked up one of the flamethrower sticks used by the Martians and examined it briefly. That's exactly what he did with Tan Hi's guard in the first season to make a fake and I really hope that later this season he builds a flamethrower stick for someone to use. Maybe he can make a flamethrower spear for Ken to use!

Elephant Ambush fucked around with this message at 17:57 on Apr 17, 2021

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


Sindai posted:

If that's all Cyborg Wizard gets to do I'll be a bit disappointed. He has such a cool design.

There's absolutely no way this is the last we see of him, so I expect him to either show up at the last minute and do something big, or be in the inevitable next movie.

Turin Turambar
Jun 5, 2011



Lemon-Lime posted:

There's absolutely no way this is the last we see of him, so I expect him to either show up at the last minute and do something big, or be in the inevitable next movie.

I expect him to show up again, but just at the end when the enemies have been defeated, and set him up for fourth season.

Queadlunn
Dec 10, 2005

Yak Deculture!


Fallen Rib

Goddamnit, I think my spouse and I might try to make a Ryoga prop...

Elephant Ambush
Nov 13, 2012

...We shoulde spenden more time together. What sayest thou?




Nap Ghost

Queadlunn posted:

Goddamnit, I think my spouse and I might try to make a Ryoga prop...

You should. He owns.

My next big expensive cosplay is going to be Shou Fu Kan. It will probably be late this year or sometime next year but I love that dude so much and his outfit is so badass

Can Of Worms
Sep 4, 2011

That's not how the Triangle Attack works...


I'm excited for what appears to be (preview spoilers) the return of the best character, blue bard lady. Hopefully she's going to have a recurring role and not just be a one episode cameo because the main cast (especially the protagonists) needs more women, but her lack of presence in the opening leaves me pessimistic.

Phobophilia
Apr 26, 2008
This space intentionally left blank.


Lemon-Lime posted:

There's absolutely no way this is the last we see of him, so I expect him to either show up at the last minute and do something big, or be in the inevitable next movie.

He'd loving better. He has such a weird character design, a different power scaling level than the rest of the cast, but the world of Thunderbolt Fantasy is so loving weird that he completely fits in, even when he is typing into a giant steampunk keyboard. You could literally write an entire season about him going on a rampage through the world and bringing down entire nation states, just as last season's Sword Princess was on the verge of doing.

This show's storytelling is controlled chaos at its finest.

Turin Turambar
Jun 5, 2011



Can Of Worms posted:

I'm excited for what appears to be (preview spoilers) the return of the best character, blue bard lady. Hopefully she's going to have a recurring role and not just be a one episode cameo because the main cast (especially the protagonists) needs more women, but her lack of presence in the opening leaves me pessimistic.

What do we know about her? I don't remember a lot of the second film.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


She's a long-time ally of Shang's who was helping him steal the swords in Xi You, and there's some unresolved romantic tension between herself and Lang Wu Yao. We don't know why she stayed behind when they crossed over, but we're almost certainly about to find out.

Elephant Ambush
Nov 13, 2012

...We shoulde spenden more time together. What sayest thou?




Nap Ghost

Lemon-Lime posted:

She's a long-time ally of Shang's who was helping him steal the swords in Xi You, and there's some unresolved romantic tension between herself and Lang Wu Yao. We don't know why she stayed behind when they crossed over, but we're almost certainly about to find out.

Everyone but Shou stayed behind because Sei Yu is their home and they were trying to keep the Emperor and the Princess from loving everything up.

Shou crossed the Wasteland of Spirits alone because he wanted to get the Index out of Sei Yu and try to find a place to keep it safe. He didn't want anyone else with him because he didn't want to endanger them.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


We don't know why she stayed behind when Lang followed Shang over. We have no idea what happened to any of them between Bewitching Melody of the West and whenever they show up again in the main series, which is what we're presumably about to find out for Mu Tian Ming.

Elephant Ambush
Nov 13, 2012

...We shoulde spenden more time together. What sayest thou?




Nap Ghost

Lemon-Lime posted:

We don't know why she stayed behind when Lang followed Shang over. We have no idea what happened to any of them between Bewitching Melody of the West and whenever they show up again in the main series, which is what we're presumably about to find out for Mu Tian Ming.

Ohhhh yeah I see what you mean. I would assume she had other things to do and Rou wanted to check on his homie and warn him about Princess of Cruelty being after him. But yeah I hope we find out more specifics.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Kind of interesting that Shang hasn't really got a ready counterargument to his old comrade. Man's been the rock-solid bastion of wisdom and morality for two whole seasons, but it looks like he may actually have to do some proper soul-searching here.

Turin Turambar
Jun 5, 2011



Darth Walrus posted:

Kind of interesting that Shang hasn't really got a ready counterargument to his old comrade. Man's been the rock-solid bastion of wisdom and morality for two whole seasons, but it looks like he may actually have to do some proper soul-searching here.

Well, he didn't have to reply while being kicked around. I guess he will say something on the next episode.
I wonder if the series will take the 'power corrupts' approach, as to why he preferred to run away and not use them.

OnimaruXLR
Sep 15, 2007
Lurklurklurklurklurk

I think there has to be a good solution to the precarious political situation in Xi You that isn't "Let fiction's most evil fangirl ruin her country" OR "Give the swords of mass destruction to the locust-themed evil wizard"

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Turin Turambar posted:

Well, he didn't have to reply while being kicked around. I guess he will say something on the next episode.
I wonder if the series will take the 'power corrupts' approach, as to why he preferred to run away and not use them.

Yeah when all you have is a hammer everything begins to look like a nail. Sure he could probably overthrow Xi You and found his own dynasty; but then he'd have to eliminate the old guard, and then any rebellions that pop up; etc, he'd just be resorting to doing what he hoped to prevent, using the swords to cause destruction.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Yes, but that's an argument that has its limits, particularly when a worst-case scenario happens as a result of him not intervening. He also doesn't entirely seal himself off from worldly affairs - he spent the last two seasons fighting low-level evil, and this season raises the uncomfortable question of what he'd do if Mie Tian Hai or Di Kong managed to take charge of a country rather than simply being warlords or murderers - what, exactly, is the meaningful difference between them and Chao Feng? His stance is beginning to feel less like wisdom born of strong moral principles, and more like a refusal to engage with the really difficult questions, and his lack of his usual ready supply of snappy comebacks in the latest episode felt like an acknowledgement of that.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


The swords are magical nukes and they've been used before to wipe out an entire country, something which is even mentioned again in this episode.

Shang's position is "hey, we shouldn't nuke people because nuking people is really bad." He isn't in this out of a generic sense of do-gooding; his mission is to make the swords disappear so no one can ever use them to glass a country again.

Wan's position is "sure, nuking people is bad, but when the alternative is my men dying in ditches and the country I love being overrun by barbarians, I'll pick nuking our enemies as the morally-acceptable alternative." He loves Xi You more than he hates nuking people, unlike Shang.

OnimaruXLR posted:

I think there has to be a good solution to the precarious political situation in Xi You that isn't "Let fiction's most evil fangirl ruin her country" OR "Give the swords of mass destruction to the locust-themed evil wizard"

I mean, the evil wizard clearly has a plan he's presented to Wan which is a convincing explanation for why handing Xi You to the Divine Order and giving him the nukes is better than Wan trying to murder the emperor and princess on his own. We're just waiting to find out what that plan is.

Lemon-Lime fucked around with this message at 16:46 on Apr 20, 2021

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Darth Walrus posted:

Yes, but that's an argument that has its limits, particularly when a worst-case scenario happens as a result of him not intervening. He also doesn't entirely seal himself off from worldly affairs - he spent the last two seasons fighting low-level evil, and this season raises the uncomfortable question of what he'd do if Mie Tian Hai or Di Kong managed to take charge of a country rather than simply being warlords or murderers - what, exactly, is the meaningful difference between them and Chao Feng? His stance is beginning to feel less like wisdom born of strong moral principles, and more like a refusal to engage with the really difficult questions, and his lack of his usual ready supply of snappy comebacks in the latest episode felt like an acknowledgement of that.

There's the factual manner though that in many of the above he intervened because they attacked him. Or have been consistently been chasing him and so on.

I think also there's an element of its way easier for him to defend people who are within harms reach of him, while defending (ruling) a whole country involves moral compromises he's not willing to shoulder the burden of.

These are largely irreconcilable moral problems; defending people in front of you because its the right thing to do in the moment; protecting the innocent people of other nations who would be killed en mass if Xie You continued to use the Sword Index for their imperialistic aims. Versus well now Xie You is being attacked by its neighbours, its defences are compromised because its corrupt rulership is more concerned with chasing down the Swords then in managing the affairs of State.

I think up to a level he's is willing to be a criminal fugitive and run from the law; but is not willing to become the law with everything that entails. For better or less Yandere princess & her father is the rightful rulers of the nation; for better or less Xie You brought this fate down on themselves by using the Sword Index for evil ends.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Lemon-Lime posted:

The swords are magical nukes and they've been used before to wipe out an entire country, something which is even mentioned again in this episode.

Shang's position is "hey, we shouldn't nuke people because nuking people is really bad." He isn't in this out of a generic sense of do-gooding; his mission is to make the swords disappear so no one can ever use them to glass a country again.

Wan's position is "sure, nuking people is bad, but when the alternatives are my men dying in ditches or the country I love being overrun by barbarians, I'll pick nuking our enemies as the morally-acceptable alternative."


No one is stupid in this show, the evil wizard absolutely has a plan he's presented to Wan as an explanation for why handing Xi You to the Divine Order and giving him the nukes is better than Wan trying to murder the emperor and princess on his own.

I mean, there are definitely degrees of power amongst the weapons in the Sorcerous Sword Index that we've seen, and using one absolutely does not guarantee long-lasting collateral damage like detonating a nuke would. They're dangerous and powerful, yes, but it's not axiomatically going to gently caress up everything if you draw one in extreme consequences, and even Shang is prepared to use them if he really feels he has to (see also, the S1 finale). That raises a lot of really thorny questions about when they should be used, given that everyone agrees that there are some circumstances in which they should.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Darth Walrus posted:

I mean, there are definitely degrees of power amongst the weapons in the Sorcerous Sword Index that we've seen, and using one absolutely does not guarantee long-lasting collateral damage like detonating a nuke would. They're dangerous and powerful, yes, but it's not axiomatically going to gently caress up everything if you draw one in extreme consequences, and even Shang is prepared to use them if he really feels he has to (see also, the S1 finale). That raises a lot of really thorny questions about when they should be used, given that everyone agrees that there are some circumstances in which they should.

I think its more like the Sword Index in totality is akin to a nuke; you hand out all the swords to your army like its Gilgamesh's Gate of Babylon and just let loose like what the State Alchemists did in Full Metal Alchemist. I think that's a good comparison for how to contextualize the Sword Index. It's not like a single sword blew up a country, its that all the swords have powers that are impossible for any country to defend itself from.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Raenir Salazar posted:

There's the factual manner though that in many of the above he intervened because they attacked him. Or have been consistently been chasing him and so on.

I think also there's an element of its way easier for him to defend people who are within harms reach of him, while defending (ruling) a whole country involves moral compromises he's not willing to shoulder the burden of.

These are largely irreconcilable moral problems; defending people in front of you because its the right thing to do in the moment; protecting the innocent people of other nations who would be killed en mass if Xie You continued to use the Sword Index for their imperialistic aims. Versus well now Xie You is being attacked by its neighbours, its defences are compromised because its corrupt rulership is more concerned with chasing down the Swords then in managing the affairs of State.

I think up to a level he's is willing to be a criminal fugitive and run from the law; but is not willing to become the law with everything that entails. For better or less Yandere princess & her father is the rightful rulers of the nation; for better or less Xie You brought this fate down on themselves by using the Sword Index for evil ends.

Right, but this is where you start to run into problems with the legitimacy of the royal family. Xie You isn't a democracy, and its rulers' actions are hurting people who have no say in the matter. At some point, the border between 'rightful king' and 'bandit warlord' begins to disappear, and the government of Xie You has really not been demonstrating much interest in the public good lately.

OnimaruXLR
Sep 15, 2007
Lurklurklurklurklurk

It would be pretty funny if King Locust's big plan was to run functionally competent bureaucratic state, just with a lot of evil magic and all government officials would be forced to dress like goths

That being said, the fact that Xing Hai is like "Of course your boss should have the sword nukes" leads me to believe that even if the Bug Guys aren't particularly evil compared to the imperial family, she probably thinks they'll make easier demon canon fodder

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


Darth Walrus posted:

I mean, there are definitely degrees of power amongst the weapons in the Sorcerous Sword Index that we've seen, and using one absolutely does not guarantee long-lasting collateral damage like detonating a nuke would. They're dangerous and powerful, yes, but it's not axiomatically going to gently caress up everything if you draw one in extreme consequences, and even Shang is prepared to use them if he really feels he has to (see also, the S1 finale). That raises a lot of really thorny questions about when they should be used, given that everyone agrees that there are some circumstances in which they should.

Again, some of the swords in the Index were literally already used to wipe out at least one country. Not all of them are like that, but that's not the point. Wan wants to use those same swords to guarantee the safety of Xi You against whoever's in the West, because he's a patriot and a pragmatist. He doesn't want the +1 Sword of Sparkling and Sealing Demons.

Shang wants to destroy the entire lot because they're far too dangerous to keep around in case they fall into the hands of people who want to use them to wipe out countries and conquer the world, like the emperor, the Divine Order, and Wan.

Kwyndig
Sep 23, 2006

Heeeeeeey




The problem is at this point the Index is a package deal, he neither has the time nor the luxury of distance to take out the really awful swords and destroy them then hand the merely nation conquering swords back over to the rulers of Xi You. I mean how do you even sort the swords, what's merely a nuisance weapon in peasant hands (Seven Blasphemous Deaths) becomes a nation ender in the wrong hands.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Darth Walrus posted:

Right, but this is where you start to run into problems with the legitimacy of the royal family. Xie You isn't a democracy, and its rulers' actions are hurting people who have no say in the matter. At some point, the border between 'rightful king' and 'bandit warlord' begins to disappear, and the government of Xie You has really not been demonstrating much interest in the public good lately.

Whatshisface even specified that the Royal Family were divinely appointed, so there's some manner of Mandate of Heaven happening in the setting.

For example, let us suppose that the Emperor has visions of the future, and knows that without the Sword Index, the nation will fall and be destroyed eventually no matter what they do. That even if they are replaced with a Wise and Virtuous ruler with skilled and loyal Generals, without the Sword Index and the willingness to use their, their position is strategically too precarious; they will eventually fall.

If we assume this is true for the sake of the argument for a moment (we know the Emperor is hidden away for some reason, we just don't know why) this would switch your perspective around wouldn't it? Then what's right and whats wrong don't remain still, but are fluid. Reading Machiavelli sometimes whats best for the people isn't doing things "for the public good" but is squashing your opposition as swiftly and ruthlessly as possible so you don't tax your people excessively paying for wars.

The peace and stability of Xi Yu later vs peace and stability now but inevitably destruction?

So I think looking at legitimacy through the lens of "are they good rulers?" is a really complicated question; the CGP Grey video "Rules for Rulers" encapsulates this well; but I think the point is regardless as to whether they are legitimate or not; our Hero is not willing to make that determination.

Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




Kwyndig posted:

The problem is at this point the Index is a package deal, he neither has the time nor the luxury of distance to take out the really awful swords and destroy them then hand the merely nation conquering swords back over to the rulers of Xi You. I mean how do you even sort the swords, what's merely a nuisance weapon in peasant hands (Seven Blasphemous Deaths) becomes a nation ender in the wrong hands.

Yeah, but as Wan points out, even Shang just rolling in and ousting the Xie You royal family like they're another one of the supervillain teams he regularly goes up against might well be an improvement - they wouldn't have sword-nukes, but they'd at least not have the country be actively sabotaged and its people abandoned and/or butchered by the people who are supposed to rule it. Even if he's unwilling to give them that power, there's a reasonable argument for him being a smidgeon more liberal with how he uses it, given that he does presently take an active role in fighting other forms of evil.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009


Darth Walrus posted:

Right, but this is where you start to run into problems with the legitimacy of the royal family. Xie You isn't a democracy, and its rulers' actions are hurting people who have no say in the matter. At some point, the border between 'rightful king' and 'bandit warlord' begins to disappear, and the government of Xie You has really not been demonstrating much interest in the public good lately.

It's Fantasy Ancient China, what does democracy have to do with anything? The emperor has the right to rule Xi You as he pleases because he has the Mandate of Heaven*.

(*Except the country is being led to its ruin by a corrupt and indolent princess, so the emperor has clearly lost the Mandate of Heaven and Wan is therefore obviously justified in overthrowing the imperial family by working with the Divine Order.)

gimme the GOD DAMN candy
Jul 1, 2007


whether the mandate of heaven actually exists in this setting or is just the same baseless claim of legitimacy that every hereditary monarchy in history used at some point is probably never going to come up.

Kwyndig
Sep 23, 2006

Heeeeeeey




Yeah but the Divine Order don't have the Mandate of Heaven either, they're a group of heretic sorcerers and rogue warriors. They're no better than steampunk warlock.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Kwyndig posted:

Yeah but the Divine Order don't have the Mandate of Heaven either, they're a group of heretic sorcerers and rogue warriors. They're no better than steampunk warlock.

Yeah thats the heart of it; even if we suppose that Shang thinks they lack legitimacy (Shang seems to think the current Emperor is better than what the situation entails, so I don't think he does); its a leap to suppose Shang would then think either he or the Locust Swarm has legitimacy.

I could see Lin maybe scheming to put Shang on the throne though, that'd be a hilarious prank to pull.

Cao Ni Ma
May 25, 2010


Kwyndig posted:

Yeah but the Divine Order don't have the Mandate of Heaven either, they're a group of heretic sorcerers and rogue warriors. They're no better than steampunk warlock.

If the heretic sorcerers and rogue warriors overthrow the government then they have the mandate. Its that simple.

gimme the GOD DAMN candy
Jul 1, 2007


the mandate is a tautology, yeah.

Turin Turambar
Jun 5, 2011



The discussion is interesting, but there is something important not being commented.

When Shang left Xou Yi, I have the impression the situation was just 'bad'. It was after he left (in fact, in part because he left with the swords, reducing their military strength and making the princess focus on recover them instead of taking care of things) when things progressed to 'very bad'. And it seems from the dialogue of the mask-guy (I'm bad at names), things turned from very bad to awful relatively soon, maybe it happened two or three months ago, from ep 3 timeline. Shang learned of current situation just now, with us.

Turin Turambar fucked around with this message at 18:40 on Apr 20, 2021

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Darth Walrus
Feb 13, 2012




I do find it unlikely that the story as presented so far is going to come down on the side of 'the divine right of kings is good, actually', and while it seems quite plausible that Huo Sho Ming Huang is going to be a lot more responsible for the decline of Xie You than he's led Wan to believe, that still leaves Shang with the same moral dilemma about how he should use the power he's claimed.

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