Dies Irae

May 4, 2018

Imagine an alternate reality where the Nazis got superhuman powers and tried to destroy the entire world. At least that was what I summarized from the synopsis of Dies Irae. I thought it would be a lot fun to see that happen seeing that in this age and era where politically correct is what everyone is striving to be. At least in the west. Not that this series aims to set everything right in the first place.

Episode 0
Karl Ernst Krafft AKA Mercurius is being held captive by Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich, director of the main security office over suspicion of treason as he predicted the assassination of the Fuhrer. However Heydrich will ‘save’ his life in exchange to use his clairvoyance to further his propaganda. On Christmas Eve in 1939, Heydrich attends a party in which many high ranking officials praise him for his efforts of turning the Reich’s tides to their favour. As he leaves, he is met by 3 women known as the Three Valkyries, Eleonore Von Wittenburg, Beatrice Waltrud Von Kircheisen and Riza Brenner. They want to join his cause. Heydrich allows them to do what they like but warns them they are responsible for their own safety. At the same time, there is some priest giving some cursed item to a sexy prostitute (I think) while talking about the heresy of clairvoyance. There is also a chaotic fight going on between a mad guy and an equally mad woman. They are destroying everything around them and killing those getting in their way. The Valkyries have a tough time trying to stop the madness. Heydrich talks to Mercurius about not having any particular ambition and just completes the duty he is given. It is the only meaning of his life. Mercurius believes he is directing his efforts the wrong way and trying to spend his life trying to avoid using his full power that would have destroyed the world in an instant. He has done what he could but the war continues to expand. Thus he closed his heart as if to feel nothing. Mercurius remembers meeting him like this and discuss about this many times before. He knows Heydrich loves the world but love and destruction doesn’t necessarily contradict one another. For the sake of love, he will destroy. Heydrich ponders about his boring life that no matter what he does, he doesn’t feel any sense of accomplishment. He shoves the Valkyries aside and easily subdues the mad people. Some sort of emotion stirs in his heart and Heydrich decides to go along with Mercurius’ words. Wow. Suddenly he turns into some super badass villain and with his motley crew of superhuman weirdoes, they literally paint the battlefield with blood. And WTF is this shiny pointy golden flying cathedral as his base?! It enters some portal, supposedly a place Mercurius has prepared for him to unleash his full power and obtain complete victory and create a new world.

Episode 1
Ren Fujii fights his eternal friend-cum-rival, Shirou Yusa. The latter always claims he is his opposite and hence loves doing things the opposite of him. After Ren is discharged from the hospital, his mad ‘girlfriend’, Kasumi Ayase calls him out in the middle of public in which he tries to ignore. Anyway he can’t and somehow it is his fault so he has to accompany her to some blade exhibition. Oddly Ren has a fear of blades so I wonder if Kasumi is trying to get even with him. Ren thought he saw a ghost! It leads him to a guillotine and a ghost girl pops up to hug him!!! It is no surprise he passed out. Not sure how he is brought back to his room but Kasumi feels sorry for all that. Apparently their rooms are connected because there is a big hole in the wall and Kasumi loves using it instead of the door. The next connecting room is Shirou. Ren is sure he has quit school and left but Kasumi is confident he will come back. Ren dreams a weird guillotine nightmare because ghost girl is singing about blood to quench the guillotine’s thirst! Freaky as hell as Ren becomes King Louis XVI being executed in public like the French revolution! Oh, next morning there are news reports that a decapitated head of a man was found nearby. At school, Ren hangs out with senior, Rea Himuro. She tries to console him about Shirou’s departure and wonders if he would like to talk with Sister Riza (sister with big boobs?! I didn’t know there was some sort of hentai here). She was the one who found the decapitated body. With ‘wife’ Kasumi calling for Ren, Rea goes into naughty mode making it sound they were making out. Because of that, Ren can’t return to class and spends the rest of the day on the rooftop?! WTF?! He overslept and it is night time?! You mean nobody came looking for him?! He prepares to go home but sees Kasumi practising at the dojo. So she waited for him instead of going to find him?! Oh yeah. She really believed in him. On the way back, they see Rea giving directions to a strange woman. We now shift to father Valeria Trifa meeting up with Rusalka Maria Schwagerin and Wilhelm “Kaziklu Bey” Ehrenburg. They talk about almost everyone has already arrived at Shambhala. He blesses them to destroy everyone and everything. Killing in the name of God and He allows it? Is it too late to convert now?

Episode 2
Ever since, Ren has been dreaming of those murders and it always ends up with someone being beheaded by the guillotine. While walking back with Kasumi, they see Trifa being slapped by a woman for harassment. Not sure how he was asking for directions to the church, though. Our kind duo help guide the way as they learn he is connected to Theresia (Rea’s real name) as her guardian. He is like her father figure as he ‘praises’ all the fatherly things he has done to her as a child. I don’t think it constitutes to child abuse or molestation but how creepy he says all of it that Rea too doesn’t really like him. Riza tells Ren some details about Rea like her birthday is on Christmas. He tries to be mindful and get her a present as Rea trolls everyone by proposing to Ren! As they leave, Trifa asks about Ren’s parents. They died since he was young (flashbacks of him hinting he murdered them?) and Kasumi’s family took him in but her dad too died. Trifa adds if he would like to see the dead so Ren brushes that off as crazy talk. Trifa then asks the opinion of Kei “Leonhart August” Sakurai about that but she doesn’t care. Ren has another of those nightmares. But this time it feels real. Because he is the one who killed her?! Bey and Rusalka pop up before him and beat the crap out of him while accusing him of doing the killing because Mercurius told him to. Ren denies and continues to be beaten up. Before they kill him, Ren hears Mercurius’ words to show him the way and suddenly Ren powers up with speed? Ren fights back but gets owned each time by Bey. Before Bey could kill him, Leonhart stops him to remind this was supposed to be a test. He will be of no use if he is dead. Well, that’s precisely what this test is for because if he is dead he wouldn’t be of use anyway. Bey agrees but now turns to fight Leonhart because he didn’t like she touched him. Oh boy. Rusalka ends it for Ren and puts him to sleep. He wakes up on the park bench and you can’t blame him if all that sh*t was just a dream. Maybe. He goes to school next day and he thinks it is going to be another usual boring day, how wrong he would be. Because Leonhart and Rusalka are new transfer students in his class. Yoroshiku ne.

Episode 3
Ren wants to know their plan. Rusalka hints there is something they want and they are going to make it come true in this town. If Ren thinks he can threaten her, think again because he can’t go up against her whatever creepy powers. Ren watches Kasumi in kendo practice. Something feels wrong. Because suddenly her thrust is so strong that she decimated the practice doll and visible scars that she could split the dojo in half! Kasumi doesn’t remember what was going on. So they hang out as part of their way to ‘preserve’ their normal life. She gives him a cross and reminds she would like to help him out in any way she can. Trifa and Leonhart watch a guillotine that is accumulating souls to open the swastika. Ren dreams of that ghost girl, Marie again who refers to him as Cagliostro. He wakes up in the park. The bridge is burning and Kasumi is missing. How did he get past the police lines to look for her? Lax security… He is afraid to call her so Leonhart mocks him about it because he already knows the answer and explains about Mercurius controlling the army of a certain nation behind the scenes and changing them into inhuman things. He tells her to shut up but she continues and hints that Kasumi is the serial killer and he knew it all along, that’s why he unconsciously chased after her. She hopes he will gain his power soon or their game cannot start as they have come to war. Ren stumbles upon a pool of blood. Dead people. Bloodied Kasumi. There’s your answer. He blames himself and won’t let anyone else blame her. This is all just a bad dream. Too bad she attacks him. She starts breaking down about not being able to do anything despite constant reminders she wanted to help him. So is this her own fault? When she started thinking what to do, then this murder thingy happened. Ren fights back as his injuries healed. Her attacks are less effective as he tells her it’s because he doesn’t want her to do this anymore. So listen to his words and not hers. She has always helped him and without her, he would have gone crazy a long time ago. The guillotine activates and opens one of the seven swastikas. Rot Spinne reports to Trifa about his investigation that Johann is still alive and here.

Episode 4
As part of the plan to make the enemy stronger so it will be worth defeating, Leonhart is tasked to teach Ren the basics and turn him stronger. Starting off with a little bit of history. They are known as the Longinus Dreizehn Orden black round table and there are 13 of them, soldiers and criminals who gained power with Mercurius’ help during World War II. Some of its members are gone and replaced but some are still unfilled. Each of them has their dreams to fulfil in this fight and as Mercurius proclaimed, he will prepare the stage and opponent to fight and defeat for that. Ren is that opponent. The power bestowed by Mercurius is also a curse. They need to eat souls in order to make them stronger. This is why Ren couldn’t beat Bey who killed so many. Now that Ren is just like them, he has a weapon that turns souls into power called relic. But his power is low and unstable. He needs to take it to the next level called formation where his relic has a physical form. He must achieve this form to at least stand a fighting chance. Since Ren has been avoiding Kasumi and to avoid that nagging ‘wife’ whenever she finds him, he cooks up this excuse that he and Leonhart are dating! That’s a fake sigh of relief you got there, Kasumi. Later that night, Ren bumps into Riza and Rea looking for Trifa. Ren thought he saw Trifa and follows him. However he got spooked seeing his own shadow in some monster form but thinks it is his imagination. He gets a call from Kasumi pleading for help. She is kidnapped by Spinne. Angry Ren rushes down to kill him but gets trapped in his web relic. He claims if Leonhart gives lectures, he gives the practical and beats him up. But Spinne says he isn’t here to make enemies with him and wants to be his ally. Only, if he is good enough. To make him show his true worth, he cuts up Kasumi before his eyes! Obviously a fake but Ren is so mad that he lets the web cut through his limbs to break free! But don’t worry, his limbs regenerates and into blades. Mad Ren is going to cut him up and Spinne is now scared sh*t. He pleads for Trifa to help but he remains silent. Spinne attempts to use his ‘insurance’ by killing the real Kasumi but Trifa intercepts and lets Ren kill him. Ren returns to his place only to see Kasumi turning it upside down. Well, she was panicky trying to look for her missing handphone. Ren just hugs her and is happy she is still alive. Don’t know what’s going on but just go with the flow.

Episode 5
During the French Revolution, a peasant volunteered to behead some noble via guillotine. At the same time, his wife gave birth to a daughter, Marguerite Breuil AKA Marie. But she grew up to be a strange one as she is always singing about blood and guillotine. This has her ostracized. But anybody who touches her has their heads blown off! Eventually she was beheaded and that was when Mercurius fell in love with her and vowed to create a goddess in this world. Ren might see Marie’s past life but it is no dream when he wakes up next to a naked Marie! Oh boy, is the guillotine a better option than being grilled by the ‘angry’ wife? Thankfully Kasumi decides to believe in him. So to help find out who she is, they spend the day having fun together? At the end of the day, Eri Honjou interrupts their outing to bring Ren and Marie to see Shirou. He is making some disco his base. As he has been watching Ren for some time, he wants to play a part in the mess he is currently in. Although he too was involved with this after he fled from hospital and is willing to exchange some information on Longinus Dreizehn Orden. Ren refuses. He will not allow Shirou to get involved. Something about suicide? Shirou thinks he is saying so because he has a different trump card. Eri threatens to shoot Ren but he destroys it with his wind blades. Ren adds that he is only here to thank him for taking care of Kasumi. That’s why he can’t let him die. Later Marie asks Ren more about Shirou. Ren wanted to be like him but couldn’t and ended up hating himself. Maybe he just wants to destroy himself like that. Eventually he believes he wants them to be in a relationship where they would proudly be as themselves. Leonhart is to bring Ren to Trifa but Bey attacks him. Ren defends himself better this time. The fight is interrupted with Shirou joining in.

Episode 6
Shirou narrates something about déjà vu. That’s why he does crazy things and if he can do that, he doesn’t care if he dies. So far he isn’t able to die. He thinks he is God’s toy. Ren disapproves of Shirou getting involved. Like he gives a damn. Bey decides to fight Shirou while Leonhart takes Ren away. We now see the epic power fight between Bey and Shirou (is Bey’s power some sort of sea urchin spikes?). It ends with some well-timed liquid nitrogen truck exploding over Bey. But don’t worry. He still lives. Meanwhile Ren won’t go quietly with Leonhart and fights her. Not sure whose giant face he saw because he really got spooked by it. It makes him desperate. When Trifa appears before him, he is shocked to learn his identity. He asks if Ren loves Rea and is willing to kill her. Ren still doesn’t understand what is going on (so do I) but he will beat the crap out of him. So funny that Trifa starts crying blood over how Ren will defeat them in the name of love? This makes Heydrich appear before him for the first time. Marie feels terrified so Ren feels the need to defeat this evil monster and transforms into some dark bladed monster? A giant hand smashes him. It belongs to what is believed to be Heydrich’s soul, a giant golden skeleton. Even though its power is devastating, this is only part of it. Just his shadow. Who how far the destruction he will do if he gets even more serious. Ren fights off the undead Nazi army to reach Heydrich. Unfortunately he is unable to kill him. Because Heydrich notes he lacks the love for war. Unlike him who loves everything equally including his love for destruction. Until he finds something he has not destroyed and the day he overcomes this déjà vu, he will wait for Dies Irae. Ren returns to his human form as Marie is separated from him. While free falling, Heydrich pierces Marie in the heart.

Episode 7
Marie realizes she is dancing with Heydrich. Asking her opinion of him, she thinks he is frightening person to have killed all around him. He finds it odd she has feelings since she has no heart. He lets her taste a little pain and will teach her how to love and conquer all. She still feels his world is wrong so he claims they will not receive heaven together and declares war. Meanwhile flashback shows Ren was created in a test tube supposedly a bastard child of Mercurius. He always knew he would never lead a normal life. Looks like that time has come. Finding himself locked underneath the church’s dungeon, Rea comes to free him. She too talks about not living a normal life. Don’t understand why she is so sad about. She asks him if he would make love to her otherwise kill her. Huh? Trifa then leads Ren to see Heydrich. He assures him that Rea knows nothing about this and now Rea hates the priest. Inside the round table room, Ren meets Heydrich for the first time. Heydrich’s goal is to just talk to him. Don’t really understand about this conversation. Something about always testing the unknown, making a pact with Mercurius and how he was being born in the wrong world and hence restraining himself is not really him so he should go forth and destroy. Thus he wants satisfaction. But 2 things are required specifically. A situation that needs him to use his full power and that which ensues is unknown to him. He will destroy everything and end his déjà vu. He once sacrificed Berlin but that wasn’t enough so he moved to another dimension. It seems this place is called Shambhala and both of them created this eastern paradise. There are 8 leylines in which 8 battles must be fought and sacrifice many souls. The result is a city sized relic that a golden alchemical circle will grant his wish. 2 have already opened and 6 remain. This is where Ren comes in. He must conquer the battles here to allow Heydrich to manifest or else risk meaningless deaths. Ren wants Marie back and vows to show him the unknown that will be his end. Heydrich returns Marie and will await the day he will defeat him. Marie is back with Ren. Her stab wounds are gone but she is embarrassed Ren is starring at her so closely? After all that they’ve been through?

Episode 8
Kasumi decides to skip school and look for Ren. Too bad she got tasered by Eri. She leaves a note for Ren to call him. It’s good to hear Kasumi is fine as she is arguing with Shirou but that delinquent plays it cool and doesn’t give a damn. Ren and Eri discuss the possible places of the remaining swastikas. Ren guessed the hospital, church and school. The remaining half Eri tells him are at the tower, amusement park and civic hall. All these places except the church are where large numbers of people gather. There will be no shortage of sacrifices. As Ren cannot protect all these places simultaneously, he plans to head to the school first as this is the most important place to him. At school, Ren realizes that the important ones like Rea, Leonhart and Rusalka aren’t around. Every other student is hypnotized to attend. So what will they do now? Marie has Ren lie on her lap and tell her about his friends. Yeah, I’m sure those were fun days. Meanwhile at a disco, I guess the stripper was too hot that everybody starts exploding and bleed from every hole in their body. Yikes. The worst kind of nose bleed? Turns out to be Rusalka in disguise. Shirou and Eri enter to fight her. They mock and make her mad and even though they are one step away from being killed, they aren’t scared. Rusalka finishes them off. Meanwhile Bey knows Trifa has been tailing him. He wants to know what he and Spinne was plotting because it seems as though Trifa killed Spinne to shut him up. He explains they were looking into the Sonnenkind bloodline. Isaak once activated the Berlin swastika and was absorbed by Heydrich to become to core of Valhalla. His mother was Riza and had a twin brother, Johann. It is believed Johann is dead but it seemed Riza lied about his death to prevent him from being a sacrifice. In other words, there is another Sonnenkind bloodline. Guess where? I don’t know. Tell me. But Bey seems to know and understand the whole thing now.

Episode 9
This weird horror nightmare from Riza. Can’t make out what it is. All the children die with blood bleeding out from every hole in their body. Her baby son crawled out of her womb as he gradually transforms into an adult?! WTF?! Creepy!!! Then there is this weird flashback supposedly Ren’s past life I think. He made his dad angry because instead of continuing the family tradition of being a guillotine executioner, he went on to become a soldier since it is both the same in terms of killing people. Now we have Marie talking to Ren about how she has changed ever since Heydrich stabbed her. Something about how she understands about feelings and wants to be part of Ren’s groupie. Huh? Ren prepares to face off with Riza. They give each other a chance to back down. None taken. Riza then sends Leonhart to stall Ren while she opens the swastika. Inside, Riza is confronted with Trifa. She tells him her dilemma that she doesn’t want to kill but is forced to. At least she doesn’t want to end up like him. She is shocked when he knows she let one of her sons escaped. He is curious to know how she ended up choosing which. Was it because one resembled father so much and the reason she continued trying to abandon Rea? Trifa likes Rea but is uncertain of her origins. As Johann’s bloodline exists in Shambhala, if he offers it up, he can prove his love for Rea is his own. Only putting an end to that bloodline would ascertain he is not driven by such things. Riza is willing to let him live at the expense of Rea’s death. Riza prepares to fight him. While Ren and Leonhart slug it out, Bey has already opened another swastika. Leonhart is pleased that a few more and her wish of bringing back the dead will come true. It might seem insane but it was a deal too good to be passed up. Ren calls it crap because if the dead are important to her, then no amount of sacrifice would be enough. This deal only lowers the value of the things she loves. Leonhart becomes mad and like any cornered mad people, they always exclaim the you-don’t-know-me excuse. Eleonore claims Leonhart has lost and disposes of her. She praises Ren’s fine speech and dares him to challenge her.

Episode 10
Leonhart narrates her great grandfather was invited to Germany to forge swords. He also forged fake ones as protection. But a fake became more than a fake, possessed and killed him. It became a curse for the family’s bloodline as it will suck the soul out but still let the corpse move. When that is no longer capable, it will move on to the next family member. Leonhart was in line for that but her brother Kai and his girlfriend, Beatrice vowed not to let that happen. Leonhart was naïve at that time and believed but they perished. She wants to see them again no matter how much she will sacrifice. Trifa wants to put their fight on hold as Eleonore will kill them if she senses them. He hopes Riza will protect Johann’s grandchild but she refuses. She is disappointed in him. She liked him better when he was weak and pathetic but he was human. She lets her familiar guard him while she makes her way out. Eleonore tests Ren as she shoots fire from the ground. Unfortunately Ren is knocked out but can weak Marie protect him now? Riza doesn’t want Eleonore to go through with this as she is already an immortal after having her wish granted. Hence all the human souls here are hers. Eleonore notes that is true but Heydrich wants her to open the next swastika. Eleonore commands Leonhart to watch over Riza and if Riza wants the swastika badly, they can kill each other. Marie talks about how she wants to stay with Ren and co. However she gets beaten up as a test of resolve. Yup, this is pain alright. She now know how much Ren has been enduring. The beating lasts long enough until Ren wakes up and is mad for the abuse of his girl. As they fight, Eleonore is charging up and when she does, Riza pulls off some move to let Ren save Kasumi. Disappointed Eleonore burns the entire area as Ren becomes The Flash (even to a point of stopping time?) and runs as fast as he could to save themselves. Eleonore is told to stop by Goetz Von Berlichingen as she has completed her mission. He tells her Heydrich has plans to open the next swastika. Ren is safe from the inferno as Trifa meets up with him. He never liked Eleonore and Goetz who are close to Heydrich. They are his mortal enemies. He proposes forming an alliance and get revenge on Riza who is dead.

Episode 11
We see Kasumi’s dad adopting Ren and his wife agreed thinking she needed a brother. Well, they didn’t get along. Shirou is forced to listen to Mercurius’ crap because as long as he still feels déjà vu, he will not allow him to die. Shirou’s ‘story’ begins when Ren started living with Kasumi. Kasumi’s dad is some mad scientist who conducted experiments on Ren. One night, Shirou snuck in and killed him. That was the start of his déjà vu. He wasn’t supposed to be a central character in this story but is now one. If Heydrich is the love of everything, then Shirou is the self-destruction of all. Hence this is why he is not allowed to die until he shows him the unknown conclusion. Rusalka mocks Rea that she will soon die. Because it seems for every swastika that opened, Rea’s stomach aches like as though she is going to give birth. Rusalka gets mad and beats her up when Rea is confident she won’t die. And then here comes Bey to fight Rusalka as he wants revenge for killing his prey AKA Shirou. He doesn’t believe she killed him because if he couldn’t kill him, how could she? Therefore he is inside her! In this sick twisted scene, Rusalka’s stomach suddenly feels pain as Shirou bursts out Alien style! OMFG!!! HORROR!!! Shirou has stolen Rusalka’s moves and uses it to fight Bey. Another freaky horror move by Bey as he summons Helga, his sister AND mother to help fight Shirou! WTF is going on???!!! Meanwhile Rusalka is damn afraid of dying. But look who is here? Wolfgang Schreiber. She pleads him to save her and plays the love card. So how does he return her love? He kills her! Because his logic is that he will avenge her death! He then interrupts Bey and Shirou’s fight and kills Bey! Rusalka is half dead so he continues beating her up and gives Shirou a head start to run. Because once she is dead, he will hunt him down and kill him. Sick

Dead Irate: Nazis Gone Wild
I am guessing because the series isn’t technically finished as the remaining 6 episodes will be aired via ONA online instead of the usual TV broadcast, hence even if I call this series confusing and bad isn’t going to be as reasonable of calling a series that has actually finished its run as confusing and bad. Because it isn’t finished so your opinions and conclusions aren’t solidly valid as of this point. Because it is not really finished. Yeah well… But still, it still doesn’t take away the fact for the last dozen of episodes, this series is still confusing and bad in conclusion. Are they trying to experiment with this déjà vu thingy? It will not end (so soon) until you overcome your déjà vu by continuing to watch this a few months later? Oh f*ck it. I don’t even know what I’m saying.

Hence we are left with this very confusing and unsatisfying ‘ending’ for the TV series. Yeah, watching a few episodes in I knew this show was going to be weird but they really pulled one over me with the ‘final’ episode by making it sick and twisted. Character bursting out of one’s stomach as well as a family member popping out of your back to help fight is all just screaming creepy weird horror. And they had the nerve to introduce a new character in this ‘final’ TV episode who beats his woman in the name of love that would have the political correctness of the western world scream misogynistic patriarchy Nazi scum. Doesn’t it make you frustrated in wanting to know more and what happens next or just chuck this series aside? If this is their tactic to sustain interest in the series in some way or another, well it isn’t working for me.

I have admitted many times in the past that I am not the brightest nor the sharpest tool in the shed. Therefore I surmise that it takes a genius or at least an intellect to actual understand and hence enjoy what is going on. I didn’t at almost every level. All I understand is that some Nazis want to achieve some sort of ultimate victory with all the right conditions and in order to do that, they have this wuss Japanese high school kid be that obstacle and the opening of swastikas all over the place. They try to whip him up into the formidable opponent to be defeated. Say what? Hmm… Kinda reminds me of that Milky Holmes series whereby the main heroines are so clumsy and bungling that their arch enemies go out all of their way to try and bring them back to that level of worthiness again. But even that they failed. However Milky Holmes was more of a comedy and it was hilarious. This series on the other hand is dark and serious. There is more than meets the eye than what I just mentioned and with other plots and mini plots inside, it sure makes one hell of a confusing series. And making wishes come true… Is that Fate style kind of Holy Grail plot they borrowed from?

Somehow I feel deceived when I go back to read the synopsis that made me feel interested to watch this series. It mentioned about a group of Nazi officers doing some slaughtering ritual that would bring back some order that would lead to the end of the world. The results of this group was never known. Well, they must have failed, right? Seeing the world is still around. Then the synopsis added about Ren and his odd relationship with Shirou. What is it they said about weird dreams, killing each other and Ren’s desperation to have a normal life but the caution from Shirou about everyone in this city is losing their minds? Even if I didn’t fully understand all that, the enigmatic narration was enough to pique my interest. Unfortunately it didn’t translate well for me in the anime. So I guess I already lost my mind when I lost the plot of this series, huh?

Confusing and disappointing me even further are the characters. Ren as the protagonist is weak and worse, not really likeable. Heck, he wasn’t even in the ‘final’ episode of the TV series and reduced to a mere flashback while Shirou makes his comeback. It feels like he is trying to avert his eyes and force his normal life but you know, as the main character he can’t do that. It is because of that label I believe he is still alive and ‘relevant’ in the series. He can’t really die because of the Nazis needing him to be stronger. Whatever. It gets weirder when he befriends Marie because in a short time it is like they become friends and if she isn’t a tool for fighting, she serves as a possible love triangle with Kasumi and Rea or whoever else. Not that this love comedy would ever happen but it’s a possibility. On second thought, it might just make everything more confusing and worse.

Personally I thought the closest character that came to be likeable and the ‘best’ of this series is Shirou. He is cool and badass, going at his own pace rather than sticking to the norm. However with the lack of screen time and being usurped by Ren just because he is the main character, I guess he falls short of becoming that cool character. Not that the ‘final’ TV episode did it any justice but I suppose it is a slight change of pace not needing to see Ren’s pathetic face. It is also hard to understand Heydrich and Mercurius. The former looking worthy of being the big boss but it makes you wonder going through all this trouble was worth it. It should be. Having things too easily achieved isn’t what he wants so I suppose all this confusion and drama that I couldn’t get. I am also unsure what Mercurius wants seeing he has some of connection or love with Marie and he feels like the puppeteer pulling the strings in the background.

There are a few other characters especially from the order but unfortunately they lack any proper development. We get pieces and hints from a few of them but nothing much. With the plot and story in a mess, I can hardly understand what the hell it is going on with them. Each have their own goals and agendas but a dozen episodes aren’t enough to cover even the basics. Heck, I can’t even see how they are connected to the main plot at all. Some are even as useless and irrelevant at least for this season. The biggest offender is Rea. She looks like she might be a big connection and link to something big but she falls flat as the series goes by and you might remember her as just some flirty emotionless chick giving Kasumi a run for her money over Ren’s attention. Is it me or do I feel that Kasumi’s role (other than being Ren’s nagging ‘wife’) is to become the damsel in distress so that Ren can evolve to his next level of Super Saiyan-ness? Whatever. And another annoying thing are the nicknames. It seems almost every character especially the Nazis have several nicknames to go by. I’m confused whenever they call somebody by that. Yeah, screw all that. Whatever. Thank goodness a few of them died in the end. Unless they get revived again then it’s a different story and everything is back to being screwed up.

The action parts are just average at best. We see Nazis having superhuman powers and some even summoning huge gigantic skeletons from another dimension. Well, it looks cool at first but sometimes it gets a little bit exaggerated because they all look so overpowered. And this is just the low level officers. Imagine if Heydrich and his top ranking officers go into action like as seen with Eleonore, it would be just overkill. Especially when they can summon giant undead creatures at their bidding. I wonder if there would be any fun in seeing that. Well, at least they don’t portray Nazis as stupid and dispensable weaklings like in many other shows. It gets irritating to see Ren getting owned but eventually he gets back up because he can’t give up. Because Marie is inside him. Whatever.

One of the other irritating things for me in this series are the real German words used. It is also funny for me because for example when some of the Nazi characters are introduced, I was wondering why the hell their first names are so long. Then I soon realized that isn’t their first name but their officer title! OMG! So freaking long?! What the f*ck is an Obersturmfuhrer or a Sturmscharfuhrer?! I don’t know how many times I have typed that wrongly and had to relook and relook again to spell that right. Oh damn it, I should have copied and paste. Yeah, I think I even had a hard time trying to pronounce that. I know German has very long words, that’s why it’s a nightmare for them to play Scrabble. Heh. And there was one scene where the ritual was spoken in German. Damn translation didn’t translate that to English but rather display the entire speech in German. Oh well. I guess I won’t even understand if it was translated into English. I did try translate that few lines taken from Goethe’s Faust literature in the opening credits but not that I understand it in the context of this anime either.

Art and animation also feels mediocre. There might be some freaky and creepy designs like all those skeletons and skulls in the shadows of the Nazis that is supposed to be some way to tell this is what they are made up. After all, many of them are already at a very old age. During battle scenes especially when they use their super power, they use some weird toning or whatever that odd contrast style is. Because I sometimes feel that it is to cover up to poor animation quality. There are also lots of blood and gore but I guess with me being so confused, I didn’t feel scared or spooked at all. There is also CGI animation but that feel mediocre too. Especially that ‘extravagant’ floating golden castle of Heydrich. It’s not creepy with all the skulls and spikes. Just feels like overload of goldenness.

Surprisingly one of the more enjoyable aspects of the series is the opening and ending themes. While not necessarily my top favourite but they sound interesting enough. Like the opening theme, Kadenz by Yui Sakakibara (voice of Marie) is a hard rock outfit but I get this feeling that the tune they based it on some classical piece although I may be wrong. But the ending theme is even more amusing, Opera by Phero Men. Even with that name of the group, I can’t help get this vision out of my head that a group of macho gay men are singing this piece. That group is after all made up of Junichi Suwabe and Kousuke Toriumi (voices of Heydrich and Mercurius respectively). But the piece has this manly feel in it most probably because of the heavy and deep drum beats like as though the big taiko drums are the main driving force of this song. I thought they were saying “Wasshoi! Wasshoi!” but it is “Kassai! Kassai!” (Applause, cheer) instead. All hail the Fuhrer! Yeah, this song is not bad actually.

Let me also add that the ending credits animation of this series has got to be one of the laziest ever. What do I mean? There are no animations whatsoever for this series! This means all you see are the credits as they scroll up the black blank screen. Wow. Just like in the movies, eh? On one hand it is good because it is refreshing as every other anime has an ending animation for you to watch. Hence you won’t be distracted as you ‘enjoy’ the song. It is bad because it gives an impression that the production team has no money or they couldn’t come up with one in time and hence saving money, time and energy when anime opening and ending animations are considered works of art to many. Not that I really mind but having just a blank black screen as an anime credits animation just feels odd. Maybe it is the cure after seeing all the crazy bizarre things in that episode so a blank screen is just the right tonic to balance out all that.

Overall, the messy and disastrous plot takes out the enjoyment of the series. I also read that they tried to cram many contents from the light novel that this series is based on into a dozen episodes so I guess that is where the injustice comes from. Incoherent, disjointed and confusing plotlines worsened things and even spelling more doom are the uninteresting and lacklustre characters. Who ever knew that destroying the world could be so hard and complicated? Like as though the disastrous outing of this series came first before the disaster to befall on mankind. To complete the insult, the remaining episodes are to be broadcasted many months later. Yeah, like 6 months later! Are they trying to make us think that we will forget it all in that time and renew our interests to find out the true ending? Maybe. Given our short attention span thanks to the fast internet these days. I guess we don’t need Heydrich and his Longinus Dreizehn Orden to set up elaborate setups and destroy mankind as we are already on that path at this rate. I’m sure many of us did Nazi (not see) that coming.

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