I Hate and I Love「我憎み, 我愛す」
I take back what I’ve said about Junketsu 2 episodes back. This was just one helluva epic episode with so much juicy meat to chew on! For glory Joseph! For friendship Edwina! For pride Ezekiel! Take what is rightfully yours back Maria and do what is right by you!
Wow, this episode started right where we ended with Archangel Michael vs Viv, instead of the usual background info Martha narrates at the beginning. I take back what I said about the production team not pushing the boundaries because right off the bat we’ve got Viv accusing the heavenly father of not knowing what love is, that love is a human creation on earth and therefore without knowing what love is, the church in heaven knows not of loss and suffering and thus refrains from interfering. And then Michael comes back by comparing humans to wheat and the heavenly church to farmers by retorting that wheat will still be sowed even if they disagree that the time is ripe, for farmers do not listen to wheat! Great scriptwriting there if ever I last saw one.
Maria’s still locked up and the investigation is surprisingly speeding ahead. Gilbert while keeping to his principles (bless him) is willingly hastening things as much as he allows and in accordance to Le Comte’s whims out of fear that Maria’s powers may return. Brother Bernard’s definitely out of the picture and Gilbert’s making sure he’s the guy in-charge of putting Maria to the stake. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time a female protagonist/MC got so beat up and bruised (apart from Kill la Kill I suppose). It’s outright abuse from Galfa 2 episodes back that has stuck through since – pretty rare for a broadcasted anime right? Maria has taken the time to finally see the true colours of those she’s been trying so desperately to protect and I don’t mean Martha, we all know Martha had to do what she did and it’s good to see her feeling such remorse for betraying a friend. What Maria had only a sliver of once upon a time was that even if she tried to help people, they would still stone her such as what happened in the neighbouring village. This time around, she sees people actually turned up to watch her burn and some people were even happy about it. Really makes one think about public executions back in the day and perhaps in our modern day times too…
Ezekiel wants Maria to just seek forgiveness and salvation etc. etc. and be spared. I couldn’t help but think of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible when Ezekiel desperately proclaims that it’s just words, that Maria doesn’t have to mean it, all she has to do is say those words. Maria’s not being stubborn to refuse Ezekiel’s pleas (it’s so heartening to see Dovey really try so hard for someone she once treated as the enemy), Maria’s sticking to her principles. She wouldn’t be Maria the witch if she asked for anything from the church in heaven and good on Maria for that.
The highlight voice acting wise definitely has to go to Ono Kensho. He’s done a great job in Aldnoah Zero.2 and that’s in spite of his Kuroko character being projected so strongly onto him and his voice acting. This one episode he’s managed anger, frustration, impatience and more anger. I’m not sure what sort of glory Joseph is looking for on the battlefield (which is just foolish considering how much Maria hates war) but Ono Kensho’s really brought that glory to the acting table. Fingers crossed the last 2 episodes continue this way!