High! This review on Plunderer Contains spoilers. If you have not seen the chapter, we recommend you do it and then go back to read the review.
Chapter 21: Father
In Chapter 21 of Plunderer, Nana, Lynn, Pele and Hina search Licht among the rubble. The fight with Doan that started in the last episode has ended, leaving the place to pieces. Pele finds Licht, and verifies that he is dead. No one can believe it, but there is no reason to doubt. As they mourn the death of their partner and friend, the USE arrives and captures them.
Meanwhile, Jail has arrived in the capital. His intention is to take the position of Supreme Commander by force, challenging his father to a "Star Bet". The fight begins, and former Captain Alan tells Jail his reasons for building Alcia. The fight continues, and the young man in glasses finally manages to deliver a direct blow to the one who was his teacher. However, he was very naive to believe that he would beat the "Ace of Explosive Strikes."
After they were captured, Lynn, Pele, and Hina were found imprisoned and immobilized in front of Doan. He questions them about Sonohara's whereabouts, but the boys hardly realize that she is missing. At any moment, Doan is interrupted by the arrival of Schmerman, who seems more aggressive than 300 years ago. The now general reveals that the entire "Army that does not kill" was a big lie.
General Schmerman withdraws with pleasure from the scene, but not before ordering that the new drug be administered to the prisoners to turn them into "Aces". This new procedure presumes that it does not need compatible genes. But Doan disagrees. You cannot allow an "Ace" to exist that has not gone through "that" war, so you let them go. However, the "Heavy Hitting Ace" discovers that Hina has a certain artifact that could destroy what she built with so much suffering.
The conflict against Alcia's forces begins, and our protagonists start off on the wrong foot. On the one hand, Jail has lost to the head of the militia, and on the other, Licht has been killed on orders from the USE. Nana, Lynn, Pele and Hina have been captured by this latest unit, and it doesn't seem like they have a chance to get out alive. They will need a miracle to help them. Where's Nana? Where is Sonohara?
Chapter 21 of Plunderer It seems like a transition episode. The war has not yet started, but some battles have already been fought in this installment. We can see a defeated Jail and a murdered Licht, but we know that it is still early for us to run out of heroes. It is obvious that both rivals will return in one way or another, even stronger than before (or with a better plan). It is already the final stretch, missing only three episodes to finish.
As we could see, the animation quality has decreased a lot in this installment. We have sequences where the frames are barely able to show movements and many deformed bodies and faces. This kind of fall in animation is already customary in Plunderer as we approach the climax of an arc. Well, maybe we could exclude the student arc, but it did happen when the helicopter made an appearance. Not much to add about it, only it looks lousy.
The defeat of the heroes
As we could see in chapter 21 of Plunderer, our heroes have been defeated. The question now is not what others will do to be victorious in this conflict, but how Licht and Jail will return. Personally, I don't have a compelling theory for this, as there is no clear path where the story can take its course. Let's review a little what we know, and what this defeat implies.
Let's talk about Jail first. The young man with glasses is in the best position now, compared to Licht, since he did not lose his life. However, he lost almost all of his “Count”, leaving only one. Recall that the strength of a "Ballot" is dictated by the "Count" of the user, so Jail is currently completely weakened. This way he could not face the majority of enemies that await them.
On the other hand, we have Licht. He's dead, it's pretty clear, isn't it? Pele might well have lied by detecting the presence of the EUS and giving the "ASE" a chance to recover. Or, we could see some special power of "Ace" that allows Licht to revive. A very Deus Ex Machina situation that is not always well received. He could even number a plan that involves Doan, and he knows that Licht will eventually return.
Be that as it may, our heroes have a very difficult situation to overcome. Whether Licht is revived by divine command, or Jail manages to awaken a great and mysterious force, we do not have many options before us, do we? Well, when you include the ability to travel through time in a story, you can always go back and avoid stumbling (Subaru-style). Although Nana may have to pay a high price.
Memories of war
Doan had already appeared in the previous episode, but it is in chapter 21 of Plunderer that we can see it act. As you might expect, the "Ace" has changed a lot since he was a young man 300 years ago. From being almost a bluff and a bully, he seems to have matured and is a little more focused. The war changed him, and it can be seen that it also caused him great trauma.
For Doan, Alcia is the product of his fight and that of the other "Aces". It seems that he uses the floating country to excuse his own suffering, not to feel that his pain was in vain. This can be seen when he sees that Hina has an "Original Ballot", which can destroy what he has built. However, it should not be ruled out that it is in conflict. Agreeing to a project like Alcia is not easy so you could change your mind eventually; no one has more conviction than Gregorovich.
A detail that caught my attention was the drug to make "Aces". Chapter 21 of Plunderer He revealed to us perhaps the best weapon that the USE has in his favor. However, it seems that the effectiveness of this drug was not proven. If the USE could create "Aces" without genetic compatibility, it would surely have taken over the militia as a whole. Or perhaps they know the success rate well, and it is not 100%, although greater than the traditional procedure.
The intention of giving the drug to Lynn, Pele and Hina would be to prove its effectiveness, or to obtain a powerful soldier among those three. The latter would also imply that the drug has some additive that allows Schmerman to control the new "Aces" (or perhaps he has too much confidence in its strength). Surely we will see this new drug in action later, perhaps with unpleasant side effects. Would Hina have genetic compatibility if she is actually Tokikaze's daughter?
Chapter 21 of Plunderer He has shown us the beginning of the conflict that will decide Alcia's fate. Recall that there are three factions involved in this war: The militia led by Grigorovich, the USE by Schmerman, and the Licht group (with Jail included). What plans will Schmerman have? What will Licht do when he defeats Militia? Only with Gregorovich are we clear what he will do: Continue with Alcia.
And well, nothing, this has been chapter 21 of Plunderer. The story continues, drawing us closer to the end of this animated adaptation. The quality of this and other episodes has left much to be desired, but it is a situation that Geek Toys is not used to with this work. Right now I don't remember any other work from this study to be able to compare it; Feel free to make your comparisons in comments with a series you know and share one or more members of the Plunderer production team.