Episode 9: The Magic Knights' Greatest Crisis
Review by Peter Laliberte
June 19, 2013
Umi wakes up after having a dream about losing her fencing competition. She thinks about how she wished her being in Cephiro was a dream because she really wants to be in the competition. In Zagato's lair, Alcyone is sure she can beat the Knights if she had the chance. She overhears Ascot being comforted by another of Zagato's minions, Caldina. When Caldina leaves Alcyone offers her help to Ascot, saying that only those who have fought the Knights can understand. She offers him a medicine she claims will make Ascot's monsters stronger if he agrees to let her out. She eventually convinces him to do so. The Magic Knights continue their travels and Umi wonders if they'll ever get back to Tokyo, especially when their guide is acting silly. Hikaru reassures Umi that she'll make it to her tournament especially if they all wish for it. Nearby Ascot summons a snail like monster and gives it Alcyone's medicine. It starts acting weird and Ascot accuses Alcyone of tricking him. She says she didn't because the monster will be stronger, but that power is fuelled by its own body. Everything in the surrounding area, Ascot included, gets frozen by a wave of ice. The wave reaches the girls and they're engulfed in a bright light. Umi wakes up to find herself back in Tokyo Tower. In Cephiro, Hikaru and Fuu look for Umi and Mokona. Fuu concludes the sudden cold weather must be magic in nature and suggests Hikaru use her magic against it. Hikaru casts Ruby Lightning to no avail. They find Mokona frozen in ice and decide to go to town to find tools to free it. Alcyone watches them as they go.
Umi draws her sword, thinking it's a trap by Zagato, but she starts to wonder if it's real. She runs around but sees that no one is moving. She finds the former captain of her fencing team and thinks back on their time together. She wonders why they won't move and she hears Hikaru and Fuu's voices. Hikaru and Fuu continue their trek through the blizzard but they find themselves back where they left the frozen Mokona. That confirms to them that magic is behind everything so they stand ready for battle. Eventually both of them collapse. Alcyone then appears to finish them off but notices Umi is missing. Umi wonders where the other two are but assures herself that they must be alive in Cephiro. She hears Hikaru cry out for her and her surroundings turn into a dark forest. She realizes she's in a world her heart created from her indecision. She revolves to go back to Hikaru and Fuu where she's supposed to be. She appears in front of Alcyone and they do battle. Alcyone gains the upper hand but Umi's sword evolves, allowing Umi to win. Ascot's monster is destroyed with Alcyone's defeat. Everything goes back to normal and Umi to reunited with the others. She says they'll return to Tokyo after they save Cephiro. Inouva scolds Ascot for being tricked but Zagato lets him off to hook when Caldina asks him to. Ascot vows to definitely succeed next time.
This episode is far better than the previous ones for various reasons. For one it deals with an issue that has been around since the start. Umi was always the one more concerned with going home than anything else. We get some light shed on why that tournament is so important to her but she finally decides that it can wait until after they save Cephiro. While a sudden power up saved the day again, at least this time it wasn't after a long, drawn out ass kicking. Alcyone returns for some reason (in the manga she's killed by Zagato after her second loss), and she still hasn't learned her lesson. After so many failures what makes her think she'll succeed if she just had one more chance? That's standard villain logic for you. Ascot's no different.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Buy the collection (eps 1-49) on Blu-ray from Amazon