BlazBlue: Alter Memory: Episode 11 – “The Murakumo Awakens”

BlazBlue: Alter Memory is an anime that features a character named Ragna the Bloodedge, who is also known as The Grim Reaper. He has a reputation for destroying NOL branch offices; because of this, he has a high bounty on his head. The start of the series sees the characters living in a time loop; however, after Noel Vermillion rescues Ragna in episode two, the time loop is broken.

Episode 11 opens with Terumi and Ragna’s confrontation. Unfortunately, about the first five minutes of the episode focuses on Terumi explaining everything to Ragna and the audience of the various elements and concepts that had appeared before now but didn’t make much sense. It’s too bad it was decided to do an “info dump” like this, instead of slowly unveiling this information over the course of the series. During the first few minutes of the episode, I felt like I was experiencing information overload.

Kokonoe sends Lambda to where the battle is, but tells her to wait until there’s a momentary opening before she makes her move. Before the battle between Terumi and Ragna gets going, Noel becomes Kusanagi, the God-Killer Sword. Terumi sends her to the Cauldron below. When Noel makes it to the Cauldron, she finds Hakumen waiting for her, and the two begin to battle.

During the battle between Terumi and Ragna, some surprising things happen and revelations are made. These happenings and revelations ultimately help to turn the tide of the fight.

While Noel and Hakumen fight, Jin joins in the fray. At the end of the episode, all of the remaining major players are all at the Cauldron, and they’re all ready to rumble.

Sorry for the lack of specifics, but saying anything further wanders too much into “spoiler” territory.

The pacing of this show has been rather frustrating for me, since I went into BlazBlue: Alter Memory without any knowledge of the game franchise. I ended up spending almost half of the series feeling lost and confused, but was able to start putting at least a small bit of information together around the halfway point. However, the fact that several minutes in the second-to-last episode was devoted to an “info dump” to convey the information that was needed for the audience to truly understand what has gone on during the course of the series tells me that the writers needed to have found a way to convey or give stronger hints to what was ultimately explained during this episode’s “info dump” session. Perhaps if some of this information had been relayed to the audience earlier on, I might have enjoyed this series better.

According to what I’ve seen online, there’s supposed to be only one more episode of BlazBlue: Alter Memory, and from what I saw in this episode, there appears to only be enough material for one more episode. So if this series is indeed almost done, then I say, “Thank goodness.” While there was an interesting premise being presented in this series, the execution wasn’t as well-done as it could have been. This has been the Fall 2013 series that I looked forward to watching the least, so I’m feeling relieved that it’s almost over.

Additional posts about BlazBlue: Alter Memory:

One comment

  1. milesvibritannia · January 2, 2014

    I’m also a newcomer to the BlazBlue series and the anime hasn’t done a particularly good job of introducing me to it properly. The pacing is indeed quite problematic and I’m not only confused but I just don’t feel like I care for anyone in the cast when I feel like I’m supposed to. The whole development aspect seems almost nonexistent and much of the anime has really left me disappointed. I’m hoping to find time to play the games sometime in the future, along with just being a nice arcade style fighter I’ll actually get a coherent, entertaining story.

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