Queen’s Blade Utsukushiki Toushi-tachi OVA 3
Punished by the swamp witch for her failure at the tournament, Melona suffers under the unrelenting torture, even though her shapeshifter body is able to heal itself.
Lamenting the injustice that she alone is being punished, Melona chuckles at the thought Airi will soon undergo similar torture for the ghostly maid will surely have to return one day.
In contrast to Melona’s suffering, Airi lives carefree days with blacksmiths Cattleya, Owen and their son Rana with whom she bonded during the tournament. Proudly showing the ghostly maid a sword he forged, Rana says he wishes for Airi to remain with them forever, as there should be no more need for her to fight.
However, dark shadows loom over Airi’s happiness. Most acutely the fact she still needs to feed on people’s life force to sustain herself which prompts the ghostly maid to go out at night in search of prey.
When Rana catches Airi trying to sneak out, the young boy expresses how conflicted he feels, not wanting Airi to disappear but also not wanting her to take people’s life force.
Rana determinedly offers Airi to take the necessary life force from him instead, the ghostly maid is unable to resist the lure. Struggling with the her own conflicting emotions, the exhilaration at feeling the very essence of boy she so cherishes flow through her is juxtaposed against the guilt at having taken advantage of him.
Feeling obligated to return to the swamp witch she had sworn to serve, Airi returns to the swamp, much to the chagrin of Rana who tries to after the ghostly maid but is stopped short by Cattleya.
Met by Melona, Airi is tortured by the grudge bearing shapeshifter who has the ghostly maid tickled for days on end. Unable to understand Airi’s sense of duty, Melona eventually looses interest and settles back into their previous entente.
Commanded by Nanael to reconnoiter the swamp witch’s lands to uncover what the witch is up to, the good natured but gullible Melpha heads into the witch’s territory.
Hoping to bring life back to the desolate and barren lands, Melpha uses the powers of her holy poses to have life sprout again from the ground and cover the infertile soil with lavish green plants.
Sensing the intruder, Airi attacks and with a swift strike of her scythe renders the ground dead and barren again. Facing Melpha, Airi’s carefree life seems to have dulled her skills as the ghostly maid is no match for the busty cleric’s power and soon finds herself drained of all energy.
Using her last trump card, Airi commands her ghouls to seize Melpha and prepares to suck the very life force from her opponent. Before she proceeds, Melpha scores a mental strike by observing that Airi seems like a lost lamb, like someone who is looking for her path in a place she doesn’t really belong.
Struck by Melpha’s words, Airi still sucks the life force from the cleric but soon discovers the energy doesn’t sit well with her and she is forced to flee.
Their battle a stalemate, Melpha returns to the church while Airi remains with Melona in the swamp.
Thoughts on this episode~
Although it offers a bit more on Melona, the swamp witch and the relationship dynamic they have with Airi, this episode is really all about the ghostly maid, delving quite a bit into her character. Considering Airi is one of my favorite “Queen’s Blade” characters together with Allean and Echidna, was quite glad to see a full OVA episode focused on her.
Airi’s character is fleshed out, she proves to be a dutiful, moral persona that struggles with having taken life force from Rana and who still feels obligated to fulfill her duties to the swamp witch even though she knows that will not lead her to happiness.
Alas, regardless of all those Airi moments and her battle with Melpha, do feel this episode lacked good pacing throughout, this made it feel unduly long during some scenes.
Had heard that in the original story, Airi is punished by the swamp witch for disobeying, but here in the OVA so far her sole punishment has been grueling tickle torture at the hands of Melona’s magic.
From the preview it looks like Airi will be back in the next OVA where she and Melona will go after Menace to bring the Egyptian princess back into servitude of the swamp witch.