Asterisk War is almost at the end of its second cour, but the story is far from over.

Here’s my review.

Honestly when you step back and look at this show so far, the best possible end for Asterisk War was when the Phoenix Festa ended. Why? Well not only did it feel like a final ep, but it was the end of the 5th light novel, meaning that whole Phoenix Festa arc had officially come to a close and something new would be happening next. That’s where it should’ve ended because now we’ve reached the point where the story can’t be wrapped up with 1 ep remaining and we’ll with be left hanging, expected to go read the light novel, or we’ll get some last-minute, after credit announcement that another season is on its way. I hope it’s the latter.

I’ve said it many times throughout my reviews that Asterisk War is probably one of the better magic high school anime out there as it holds its own without having to rely on cheap fan service tactics to keep you watching. Hell, even for a harem show this has been really tame. While true the majority of the second cour was spent on the Phoenix Festa, it wasn’t just battle after battle with nothing else happening, they still had the story progressing throughout  the whole arc and by the time it ends we’re ready to move on with the next part of the story and continue diving deeper into the still unsolved mysteries. All in all I like how the story is always put first and the fan service or harem antics aren’t front and center all the time.

So bringing this back to ep 23, we’re once again having more new characters and mysteries revealed to us, adding to the already pending question of will there be another season or not. I could spend the rest of this review talking about the many reasons why a season 3 is a must, but I’ll stick to just talking about what happened this week because there is a lot to talk about.

Power struggle. It was mentioned last week but it’s becoming ever clearer that there is a balance of power in Lieseltania that is not to be toyed with. The higher-ups really hold all the power while Julis’s brother Jolbert is merely a puppet who sits on the throne. To keep the power balanced Julis would be married off to one of the people behind the scenes and also be made into a puppet who bows to their every wish. But she’s got a chance to change this by marrying Ayato instead. True she’d still have to bow to the powers that be, but at least she’d be able to be with someone who she likes.

What’s more is that since winning the Phoenix Festa and if she also wins the Gryps Festa, Julis would easily have more influence to be on the throne rather than her brother. But even with all that power she’d still never be able to accomplish her dream of saving the people across the lake. While Jolbert tailors it to make it seem as if he’s doing this for Julis’ sake, at the end of the day it’s just the lesser of two evils. Even being a princess living in complete luxury, Julis would never have the freedom to do as she pleases because she’s still a pawn in someone’s game.

The other side of the lake. We first learn of Julis motivation back in ep 3 where she talked about why she was taking part in the Phoenix Festa. The money she earned from that would go to helping out the orphanage she used to frequent as a child. Here we are 20 eps later and we finally get to see this orphanage and the kids she cares about so much. True the ones she knew back in the day have all grown up, but the fact remains the place needs help.

From here on in things get interesting as we learn of a certain girl Julis used to hang out with a lot. It’s still a very sore subject for her to talk about as when Ayato makes a comment about a greenhouse being on the property of the orphanage, it brings back memories for Julis, ones she doesn’t like thinking about. Following their visit to the orphanage Julis and Ayato take a walk through the slums, talking about the problems at hand, but as they are a car passes and inside is the very girl Julis used to spend time with.

Childhood friend. Following after the car, Julis and Ayato arrive at a clearing in the woods where ruins of an old building used to stand. There waiting for them is this girl, Orphelia Landlufen. It doesn’t take long to connect the dots that Orphelia is the Erenshkigal person who was mentioned briefly in ep 14 by Irene. After a quick bit of research, without diving too much into spoilers, Orphelia was taken from the orphanage to Rewolf and seemingly had something bad happen to her as she’s not the cheery girl Julis once knew as a child. As much as I’d like to say “I’m sure we’ll learn more about Orphelia soon” with 1 ep left I’m not sure we will.

The meet and greet with Orphelia turns violent quickly as she and Julis open up with their powers, but it’s clear that Orphelia is far superior to Julis. To put that into perspective, Julis is Rank 5 at Seidoukan Academy and Orphelia is Rank 1 at Rewolf. I liked the art style used during the fight scene between these two girls, it was something very different from most battles and for some reason it reminded me of something you’d see in Madoka Magica. Julis is soon down and out, leaving Ayato to hold his own against this extremely powerful girl. Even though he blocks a few attacks with his Ser-Vesta, he’s still no match for Orphelia.

As if things weren’t bad enough, the old dude who attacked them last week showed up outta nowhere and wanted to go another round. We learn a bit about this old guy, Gustave Marlowe, and how he’s seemingly working with the Jade Dusk for some reason. Anyways, Orphelia lets him have his way as a call from Dirk to return home is enough to make her stand down. Battered and bruised, Ayato prepares to fight off two more monsters this guy summons, but in the nick of time Claudia saves the day. This marks the third time we’ve seen Claudia actually using her weapons. The first occurrence was ep 4 and the second time was ep 11.

All in all this ep had a lot going on and it just furthers my desire to see this show finish the story it set out to tell. I really don’t want this to be a ‘read the light novel’ ending, but at this point I should start preparing for it to happen. Honestly I find myself enjoying Asterisk War more each week even though on paper it’s something I would normally write off without a second thought.

Alright then, that’s going to be all for my thoughts on this week’s ep. I’d love to hear what you thought of it so be sure to leave a comment below. As always if you’ve read the light novel please don’t spoil anything for me or any other people reading this. Thank you!

I will be out next Saturday so I’m not sure if I’ll have the ep 24 review posted on that day, but I’ll try very hard to make it happen. I’ve had a solid streak going here for weeks, I’d hate to break it on the last ep. We’ll see how it goes though!

[HorribleSubs] Gakusen Toshi Asterisk - 23 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_23.35_[2016.06.11_15.21.55]

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you back here for the final ep!


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