Queen’s Blade 2nd season 5
Summoned to their first tournament battle, Cattleya and Airi are surprised to find themselves in Aldra’s palace, their battleground being the queen’s throne room filled with stone columns of petrified warriors. Asking the queen why they’re forced to have their match there, Cattleya only gets a cryptic response from Aldra that all soon will be clear to her.
Although Airi ponders what she’s to do with her real target -the queen- being this close, she decides to fight Cattleya first and berates the blacksmith for bringing Rana along, for her child is surely only to be excess baggage to her.
When Cattleya tells Rana to hang on tight and attacks Airi with her spear, the ghostly maid becomes angry, feeling the blacksmith is taking her lightly. That momentary distraction causes Airi to lower her guard and she soon discovers that Cattleya is a powerful opponent nonetheless.
Driven back by Cattleya’s attacks, Airi launches her own counterattack. Noticing her strike would hit Rana first, the ghostly made stops her scythe and berates Cattleya for using her own child as a shield.
Rebuking Airi, Cattleya reveals Rana will bravely witness his mother’s fate in battle, for they are family. Watching the spectacle, a sneer appears on queen Aldra’s face.
Meanwhile, the battle between Reina and Ymir has erupted to its fullest, the wandering warrior and dwarf princess exchanging blow after blow. Impressed by Ymir’s strength, Reina asks why the dwarf is so talkative about her battle axe’s characteristics, only to realize Ymir is actually using the match broadcast as a way to advertise dwarf weaponry.
Hearing the dwarf princess say her goal is to make her weapons renowned throughout the world as the very best in existence, Reina retorts she herself then must win to prove that Cattleya’s blacksmith skills are second to none.
As the battle progresses, Reina is increasingly exhausted while Ymir still seems fresh. Wondering why this is, Reina learns that being a dwarf, having worked in a dwarf smithy most of her life, small Ymir is accustomed to the hot, air deprived volcanic cavernous environment they’re fighting in.
Swinging the battle axe down with all her might, Yimir is shocked when Reina is able to parry the blow. Going in for a second strike, Ymir is defeated when Reina counterattacks using her powerful dragontail strike which shatters the dwarf’s axe and knocks her down.
Admitting defeat, Ymir cries not so much because she lost to Reina but because Cattleya’s skills that forged Reina’s blade still far surpass her own.
The fight between Cattleya and Airi still rages on. Sensing plain martial skills using her scythe will not bring her victory against Cattleya, Airi has her ghouls drag Rana away from his mother and disarm Cattleya, the blacksmith’s spear falling to the ground.
Launching an attack thinking she has the advantage, Airi is barely able to parry against Cattleya who drew her huge demon slayer sword and knocks the ghostly maid away, sending her flying.
Falling into some of the stone pillars, Airi finds herself in a real pinch when one of the pillars topples over, crushing her. Unable to believe she’s lost the battle when Cattleya asks her to yield, Airi is shocked to see Cattleya’s face contort into sheer horror and break down in tears of agony.
Dragging herself from under the pillar, Airi is unsure what to think when Cattleya holds onto the pillar, crying uncontrollably. Stammering, Cattleya bites through her tears that the one inside the pillar is none other than her missing husband Owen, eternally petrified by the queen.
Intent on winning the match after all, Airi wants to strike at Cattleya, but Rana bravely stands in front of his mother to protect her, even though his own face is stained with tears from seeing his petrified father.
Unable to slash the young boy, Airi starts to wonder what exactly is going. Hearing Cattleya claim that the one inside the pillar is her missing husband Owen, Airi looks to the queen who haughtily starts laughing and says they finally understand why she choose this particular stage for them to fight on.
Seeing Aldra open her demon eye, Airi is barely able to jump aside to see the blacksmith eternally petrified, her son Rana crying against the stone column.
Trying to leave saying she’s won the match now, Airi is shocked when Aldra reveals that she won’t escape either, for the queen knows all about the Swamp Witch’s goal having sent her minions to kill her and Aldra gladly shows Airi the petrified statue of Melona.
Opening her demon eye to petrify Airi, Aldra’s attempt is thwarted by young Rana who attacks her with a spear. Further distracting the queen using her ghouls, Airi makes a quick escape, carrying Rana on her back.
Her energy depleted from the battle against Cattleya, Airi is soon forced to land and suck the life force out of some of the guards that tried to intercept her. Making quick work out of weak opponents like the queen’s guards, Airi is in a pinch when brainwashed Listy appears, ready to strike down the ghostly maid.
Bringing her spiked ball axe down to bludgeon Airi, Listy momentarily recalls the children at the orphanage when Rana stands before Airi, clutching a spear to help her. Grabbing her head in agony, Listy stops her attack which allows Airi to fly off into the city with Rana.
Resting up after her match, Reina is surprised to see Ymir has come to visit her. The dwarf soon reveals she wants to have Reina’s blade to learn more about the incomparable forging skills of Cattleya and Owen.
Dropping off Rana in the city, Airi tells the young boy he is to fend for his own now, but to the maid’s despair the child clings to her so she decides to take him along.
Warning Menace about what she witnessed at queen Aldra’s palace, the ghostly maid sighs when the aloof Egyptian princess pays no heed and instead seems delighted when the queen’s minions come to fetch her for her first match.
Rejoicing in Reina’s victory, Elina sees that it’s now her eldest sister Clodette’s turn when the queen’s minions arrive to take her, the next match hence pitting Clodette against Menace.
Meanwhile in the back alleys of the city, Irma finds herself under attack from queen Aldra’s assassins, led by a blood thirsty Listy, who has have only one goal, to kill her.
After the surprisingly good episode last week that featured the epic battle of Allean and Nowa versus Echidna and Irma, was afraid this week we’d see the level drop again but it actually didn’t.
While the martial combat action may not have been up to par with what we saw in the previous episode, the psychological aspects in the battle and different plot evolutions made this an interesting episode.
Finally we’re seeing some serious plot events, which on a wider scale compared to other anime aren’t novel or grand, but for “Queen’s Blade” are a welcome evolution.
Didn’t think they’d have Cattleya loose, had actually expected Airi to get petrified but love how thy handled it with Owen having long been petrified by Aldra and Cattleya now a victim of the evil queen’s scheming too.
This episode also makes clear that Aldra (or rather demon inside her) is put forth as the evil nemesis in the series that will have to be defeated.
Foresee an ending where either Reina or Tomoe -or perhaps both of them together- defeat the demons inside Aldra, bringing her back, freeing the petrified people and restoring peace.
Actually loved how they portrayed Airi in this episode. While visually always liked the ghostly maid, she was never given much screen time or presented very well, this week she finally got her turn in the spotlight.
Airi fans like otaku comrade Wolfheinrich will rejoice as the maid was quite the character, getting some great humorous scenes next to terrific action and actually not being a bad person at all. She sure went up in my esteem.
Wonder how it will continue and play out, and what will happen to Irma?