And thus ends what I deem to be a good series. While the pacing could’ve been done some work, the characters were developed properly to me. Not to rushed, nor was it long and drawn out. Especially nice for a one cour series which might not see the light of a sequel.
Contemplating his next actions, the voice of Tir na Fa congratulates him on finally using the power she gave Tigre, while all he can do is think of Bertrand. Elen comes in and presses Tigre for an answer to what he’ll do next, and refuses to wait till morning, noting that by then he’ll have been influenced to make an improper answer.
Noting that if he waits, the outcome might be different, and that Duke Thernardier might even come to the negotiation table. She notes that all she wants to do is take part in a battle she can proud of. She recounts her time as a mercenary. Without a homeland, and with friends dying in each battle, she had nothing else but her pride, and that’s how she was.
He recounts what he had said earlier, that if she has her pride, then he has his mettle. He realizes it is his commitment to a cause is what makes him. His commitment to a cause. Apologizing to Titta for having worried her, he promises that a proper funeral for Bertrand would happen after the war. Later, he recalls that Bertrand had been concerned over Tigre’s aloofness to anything outside Alsace’s borders.
Elen merely tips his analysis by asking why would Mouzinel attack southern Brune and the port town, thinking about it, he realizes that it would’ve been to secure a trade route through Brune and to Zchted. And thus showing why Brune is such an important nation, being the hub of trade between several countries.
In all of this, he realizes the route would go through Elen’s territory. Elen states that war is not just about land or property, but also to obtain new routes to enrich a nation’s coffers and culture. Leitmeritz would be the in the middle of any route to Zchted through the Vosyes Mountains, and Elen notes that it would also affect Alsace. It might change for the better and for worse, depending on the capability of the person governing the territory’s ability to see beyond his territory.
Everyone seems to have been waiting for his decision, and Tigre thanks them. The next day the Prime Minister arrives at Tigre’s camp, and greets both Tigre and the princess. Remembering Tigre from when he and his father had visited the capital. Lord Mashas asks what the Prime Minister is doing there, he had come to inform them that the King had come around, and it has been revealed that he was poisoned by Duke Ganelon. Asking what Tigre’s intentions are, Tigre intends to fight Duke Thernardier, and then to return to Zchted as their prisoner, having no designs at all on the throne.
Asking if he really is doing this to protect Alsace, Tigre responds yes, though he adds that if it means peace for Alsace, he doesn’t mind if Alsace is ceded to Zchted. The Prime Minster, hearing this, implores Tigre to take Princess Regnas to the capital, as his majesty may not have long to live.
Taking into battle against Lord Thernardier at the battle of Mereville. While Regnas feels odd commanding the battle as the overall commander-in-chief, Lord Mashas reassures her it is rightful for her to take the place since the army is marching to return her to the capital. Lim and Mashas note that Thernardier’s army is unorganized without their leader. Regnas realizes that this means Thernardier is merely challenging Tigre to a duel.
Elsewhere, Elen and Ludmilla join Tigre in facing off against Thernardier. Thernardier states that he could’ve gone and holed up in the Capital to win, but he instead came out here. Asking why he attacked Alsace, it was so he could control the route to Zchted, cutting off Ganelon’s attempt to ask Zchted into the nation. But it was the fact he was the one that did it that most likely made it easier. Neither one is willing to forgive the other for the wrongs they did on each other.
For Tigre, it is for attacking Alsace, for Thernardier, for Tigre killing his son. Giving into his hatred, and Tir na Fa’s voice, Tigre gets sucker punched by Elen who merely states that she’s not asking him to give up vengeance, but for him not to be intoxicated by hate. As if hearing Bertrand’s voice rather than Tir na Fa’s, he discards his quiver, stating he only needs one arrow to finish Thernardier (stating a second one would only weaken his resolve). Calling out the Goddess of the Winds and Storms, Thernardier charges at Tigre, as he fires the arrow.
The arrow embeds itself into Thernardier’s forehead, his last words being ‘Brune’, and the realization that it was the wind working with his swing of the sword that redirected the arrow to his head. Asking her dragonic tool if it had helped him, it seems to be in the negative. Tigre had won this on his own, and this ending the battle.
Meanwhile, Duke Ganelon meets with his Zchted ally, Vanadis Valentina Estes. She notes it’s a bit of homecoming for Tigre. Back in the Capital of Nice, Tigre is treated to a hero’s welcome, and ever the countryman, he is unused to formal clothing and all the attention he’s getting. Titta seems to be annoyed at the princess’ attention on Tigre. At the back of the procession, Elen and Ludmilla are fighting again over who has rights to Tigre while Mashas and Lim can only sigh in their superior’s and friend’s rivalry.
After the festivities, the Prime Minister leads the leaders of the Silver Meteor Storm army and the princess to the king’s chamber, where Sophia is also looking after the king. The king apologizes for dumping the responsibilities he had to their shoulders, and asks Tigre what he wants.
Tigre asks for four provisions, a conventional declaration of victory. The land of Agnes, abandoned during the fight with Mouzinel, was ceded to Zchted, and that Princess Regin would be the signatory to the treaty, signifying her as the next leader of the land. After which, the king gives him the title of Lumiere, Knight of Moonlight, much to the surprise of the Prime Minister. It would be in a few days that the king would die.
During the credits, Titta seems to be making friends with Elen’s pet dragon, while Elen and Lim discuss the highway being built between Leitmeritz and Alsace, noting that the princess, whom co-owns Alsace with Elen, is keeping her end of the bargain, even if it was made on the goodwill of both parties rather than a formal treaty. Ludmilla is out hunting again in her snowy domain. Back in Nice, Prime Minister Badouin, helping the princess with her roles, understands the meaning behind Tigre’s title. It was a title handed down only to the next rules of Brune, indicating that in the future, Tigre might be king. Speaking of which, since it is spring, Tigre is out hunting himself, to which we end the episode.
Overall, I thought it was a good series considering the one cour offering and the amount of material it had to go through. Of course other series has surpassed it in terms of popularity, among other things, and Madan has fallen into the fanservice trap a few times, but it was an enjoyable ride. The amount of fanservice, while excessive, was at least to me, timed properly within the episode.
Failings though, would be the sometimes erratic pacing. They did try to alleviate this by trying to condense what should be massive battles using symbolic chess pieces. The fanservice seemed a little excessive when it did appear, Tigre needs to stop groping all the girls he sees.
On the plus side, I liked the setting. Brune is more or less France and the Low Countries melded together. While there was a Germanic-named country to the west, Zchted seems like a combination of Germany, and feudal Japan. Maybe it’s like a Holy Roman Empire with a stronger central government? Meh, I’m not too enlightened on Middle Ages power structures. Maybe some reader can weigh in.
The series flows well from a viewing perspective. There isn’t too many actual lulls in the show, and those lulls then tend to be fanservice scenes or flashbacks. In retrospect, the erratic pacing only really came about when I was reviewing it before the final episode. I felt a few things could’ve been sped up, or an important plot point could’ve been reached earlier. But each episode really melds together in as seamless of a way possible.
So maybe there isn’t just an erratic pacing, just me complaining about some things being overshadowed by other plot points. Or ‘plot’ curves.
In all, I wouldn’t say I would be out in a rush to buy the BDs or DVDs for Madan like I did for Gunslinger Girl, Crest/Banner of the Stars, or Macross. But it would occupy some hard drive space until I do. Unlike Rail Wars, which by now I’ve conceded my view and to be honest, while it was good, Rail Wars could’ve improved if they actually followed the manga.