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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Darth Walrus posted:

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.

People are brought up in the pre-existing social context; people are raised in such societies to be loyal to the government and to the sovereign; if you look at it from a vaguely confucian way, there is a natural order, a hierarchy that to be good and virtuous you must abide by for society to be moral and upstanding. Shang will have been raised in some sort of pastiche of ancient chinese cultural contexts and governing philosophical and cultural traditions which will heavily weigh on his likely thinking. Which brings us back to, "unless push comes to shove Shang probably views the ruling family as legitimate, and the idea of overthrowing them and installing himself would be incomprehensible to him".

I don't think it automatically means "the divine right of kings is good", it is just the existing context in which the setting exists and is neutral and I don't think is meant to say something about it one way or another.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

I think we got our answer to the "Why isn't Shang just healing people?" Can't be used in combat it seems.

Sindai posted:

lmao Lin just immediately going to work.


Turin Turambar posted:

Lin starting to manipulate the villains => me

I just love it to bits. He's just too good at this. And he doesn't even have to, it's just his HOBBY.


Captain_duck posted:

Demon witch lady found the Aoi Yuuki sword, and its apparently her sister? Looks like she gets released from the sword next week.

Hell yeah. Getting the better version of "I was reincarnated as a Sword"!

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Phobophilia posted:

Can Booch finally give our boy Lin a W for once? It's been two for two where his target has taken their L in stride, Lin is a very sore winner and he needs that ego boost.

So what exactly happened with that, my understanding was that his last target the guy from the place Shang is from decided to just turn to banditry which is... I presume underachieving? And Lin is upset at that instead of scheming to take over the world or something the guy decided to be okay with just robbing random people?

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Lin is basically like Loki; he's a trickster who keeps getting owned in a karmic way and its funny.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Turin Turambar posted:

What, not comments about the freaking nendoroid appearing in the show ? Pretty funny.

The backstory of 7BD is was nice to see. Well, not 'nice', you understand me.

Maaaaaaaan. Also explains a few things!

But yeah, man, this episode kinda cements demons as evil huh.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

I mean I kinda like it when demons are just like, a fantasy people like Elves or whatever; and maybe they just happen to have a war like culture like Sparta and being led by imperialists or whatever and just doing ~politics~ or whatever, like being drow. Because it lets you have say, a demon character who isn't just self-interested like Xinghai but maybe are capable of acting morally even if albeit by somewhat orange/green alienlike morality. Like for a brief moment you could imagine at the end of last season that 7BD was so traumatized by Simp Monk that maybe its possible for some demons in the show to be redeemed.

Maybe its still possible, but clearly none of the demons we've seen so far have that capacity and that door is currently very firmly shut.

So its a little disappointing but you're right it is very different from the norm.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Brutal Garcon posted:

Xing Hai (and maybe 7bd) seems far from self-interested, she's still working for her old bosses' purposes, centuries after they seemed to give up on their invasion.

I was referencing specifically how she was willing to work with Shang/Lin out of rational self-interest in the sense it served her goals (regardless if her goals are to server a master by proxy).

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Lemon-Lime posted:

The two demons we've seen so far are fanatical imperialists who deliberately chose to stay behind when their army retreated so they could continue to fight a war that their own country decided to pull out of, and who call their king a coward for not just continuing to throw troops into the meat grinder.

It seems extremely unlikely that every demon is like that, or even a majority of them.

I did say, "from the ones we've seen so far", we haven't seen their King or what their actual decision making was, but the Demon God from S1 is not a good sign.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Also its hands move and gesticulate.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Phobophilia posted:

The Nendie Lin puppet is probably the same size and has the same rigging as Regular Lin and Regular Shang puppets, it just has the proportions of a Nendie.

It's all camera tricks. One of their favorite types of shoes is feel walking over ground, they literally film puppet shoes with nothing else attached pretending to walk over terrain. That kind of thing makes me appreciate it more.

The production of this show is really amazing.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Potsticker posted:

Even when I'm not enjoying the plot, the puppet work keeps me watching.

I like the plot too even if it mostly washes over me, there's something I like about how deliberate things feel, a lot of very specific talking and discussion that strikes me as realistic between people acting fairly human despite being quite powerful; almost like a D&D adventure party.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Turin Turambar posted:

And another great episode. At this point it's the normal thing, we are being accustomed to greatness.

An incredible fight scene to start with, Lin being smooth as hell, funny banter, nice chemistry between monk and princess, it was a complete episode. Urobochi also covers well possible plot holes, like why Shang didn't use the index against that formidable enemy, or what the new enemies think of Lin, they aren't really that stupid.

I feel like in some cases its worth examining it like a D&D session; Demon Lady fumbled her persuasion roll (and her pride prevents her from giving a longer more substantial explanation other than "This evil man foiled my plans once!") and the General and Mantis Boy fumbled their Insight checks where they got an ambiguous reading that they read into it what they wanted or expected to hear.

But I didn't quite catch it, is there a specific reason for Shang not to use the Index, was it just being cautious of Ming preparing some kind of trap, or because Instrument Lady got injured before he could consider using it?


But yeah this is such a great series, I feel like this season has spoiled us a lot.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Lemon-Lime posted:

No, it isn't. Fiction does not work like a garbage roleplaying game.

Yes, it is. Because if you're constantly nitpicking scenes based on "Why didn't they just talk to each other!" Like they're beep boop robots and not individuals with hang ups, personality quirks, and mistakes in communication, you're missing the point of fiction being about telling a story. Suggesting that there are underlying mechanics of one stripe or another to explain "immersion breaking behaviour" is just a means of facilitating someone's enjoyment of a creative work and avoid hyperanalyzing every bit of dialogue for plot holes.

It's just a specific way of rebranding "willing suspension of disbelief".

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Darth Walrus posted:

This is an Urobuchi work, and he's an avid D&D player who's previously incorporated his experience into his writing.

I actually forgot about this, there was an anime iirc that was an adaption of a D&D game between him, the Monogatari guy, the Durarara author and others. Which is not to suggest that Urubuchi rolled some dice to determine how that scene played out; only that it is a useful way of reframing fiction to not get hung up on potential inconsistencies.

But, as I mentioned further up it is I think observable that the way Shang and others talk to each other is reminiscent of the way D&D/ttrpg players talk to each other when adventuring. So I think borrowing language from D&D and tabletop rpgs to describe and talk about Thunderbolt Fantasy is fairly apropos.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Turin Turambar posted:

New episode


-Shang is a freaking time traveled. He comes from the future O_o. If I understood it right, at some point the Void Junction will allow to go back to the past, and he will do it. Does this will create a closed loop?
-Shang and Bard are in the demon realm.
-Demons are super strong on their home turf. They have extra powers because they were in the Demon Realm.
-The land is cloaked in the deepest blue~~! being used a distraction and being the thing that pike interest from the Demon Count was hilarious


My understanding is: At some point in the past Shang travels to the future (i.e the current Present) where he learns how the mirrors work and probably some tidbits about heretical sorcery (or at least a layman's understanding so he recognizes it when he sees it) and then eventually returns back. So I think our Shang is the current Shang and there isn't necessarily any kind of time travel plot, i.e our Shang isn't from the past or future. HOWEVER I wholly expect Xing Hai's shenganigans to set events in motion where past Shang goes to the future, learns what he needs to learn, in order to eventually put a stop to her schemes in the present.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

OnimaruXLR posted:

I think a fun note for this season to end on would be Past Shang popping into the scene of the aftermath of the season climax battle, go "What the gently caress happened here???" and then the inter-season movie features young Shang and General Centipede having adventures

Isn't he a Scorpion?

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

This sort of thing where characters actually have to talk to each other and relay information is actually something I adore with this series, it's very Romance of the Three Kingdoms-esque I suppose? It really feels like I'm getting the best of both worlds here. This is a series I trust to deliver something wonderful at the end for all the setup.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

MatteusTheCorrupt posted:

I think that was the demon duke and not a Time Cop

Yup, pretty sure its Deishuu Kaiki's seiyuu there.

Time Count's motivations are a mystery to me but interesting. I think this is what a lot of setup was for, things are really heating up!

Just me or did Aoi Yuuki sound a little different for most of the episode?

Yeah I'm pretty sure Lin wouldn't have fallen for such a trap, since he already knew 7BD was there.

I feel sorry for Ken, but also find his constant bad luck and being left behind kinda hilarious.

I wonder if time at all gets changed or what.

Also that end card at the end.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Elephant Ambush posted:

Kei Gai is sexy as heck.

Also that was a really interesting episode. I still have no idea who Time Lord is. I really don't think it's the main demon lord guy that Kei Gai was talking to.

Re: Count, It is a little strange that he seems to know more than he's letting on, but they have the same voice and horns and everything. It's mysterious but the simplest explanation is that he's bored and doing all of this because it amuses him.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

I wanted to mention last episode is the meeting with the Immortal Hermit and their conversation with Shang felt like a very subtle nod to Emiya Shirou and Archer in Unlimited Blade Works; albeit with a different argument and resolution; but similar! It was fun and also touching. Basically the way Shang, like Shirou, has no regrets with his choices, and doesn't blame the Hermit for indirectly, placing on his shoulders this duty; in a similar way to both Shirou not regretting his choices in UBW to fully accepting the legacy of Kiritsugu. I think there's a pretty important emotional resolution happening here which is more than "not much happening".

But anyways I agree; there was something exceptionally strange and sus with the way Juan acted towards Shang with the Index. On the other hand Lin continues to act very much like Lin, so I wonder if the puppet is foreshadowing an ability to control Juan like a puppet or to speak through him or something.

Todays episode has more happening:


-Namely, Ming is presenting himself as some kind of Xanatos like figure and the questions of the threat of SBD reviving or the index and General Po are all kinda ultimately not important, the end result is he wins is I think what they're trying to convey though I didn't quite catch the exact plan.
-Lou is a Tiefling is confirmed. I wonder what the actual plan by Azeliphus is or if its just him seeing an opportunity to mess with people and entertain himself; as is often the case with 5e D&D demons and their tiefling descendents.
-The preview for next week hints that Lin presumably has something planned at the cusp of things.
-Pimiao trying to plot behind General Po's back got shutdown hard, which made me laugh.
-I like that SBD continues to be something of a tsundere/frazzled with regards to Monk dude and Qing Hai continues to look on in confusion.


e:

quote:


I'm not sure of Yi Piamio, was the moment of saving Shang just slightly weak writing (the writing team needing some excuse to not kill the hero when he should die), or is he a double agent or something like that?

My thinking is he wanted to undermine the General Dude and simply took the opportunity to have the Index in the General's hands to sell the subterfuge he's doing as more believable. We know from the previous episode he had some sort of game in mind when he was suggesting that the General do what he wants.

Raenir Salazar fucked around with this message at 15:22 on Jun 12, 2021

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Elephant Ambush posted:

Vape Wizard can't just swap places with people. He creates an illusion with his smoke which means he has to be in the same room or nearby the people he wants to deceive. Also the effects of the smoke eventually wear off. He can't just "swap" with someone and gently caress off elsewhere. Especially if the other person doesn't know that other people are under the influence of the smoke.

What was really weird to me in this episode is that Mantis and General guy both looked right at 7BD and didn't immediately start going crazy trying to get to her. That made no sense.

SBD has to activate her ability, it isn't a passive. And doing so would break their uneasy alliance/truce, so she's restraining herself.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

I hoping that like, it's not like it redeems them or anything but regaining her body and actually figuring out her feelings kinda chills them out enough that next session or after they are more like frenemies. I'd love for this to be like a really long running series with story arcs setting up stuff for future arc.

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Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Can Of Worms posted:

I'm catching up on the last 4 eps and I didn't expect to get an eyeful of Xing Hai fanservice Just the entire idea of a fanservice scene using these dolls is hilarious and Lin giving her a massage had me cracking up during the entire thing.

Regarding the reveals from the latest episode:

I'm sure Lang and Azibelpher are going to have a wholesome Father's Day in next week's episode. Also this series really enjoys blinding women, huh.

Urubuchi has been getting better about not torturing his female characters but come to think of it this is still something of an unfortunate throwback.

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