Episode 22 -
The setup here was a bit too obvious, with the whole “Monstre Charmant” story a blatant hint at the Victorique x Kujou relationship. While the story was a decent way to represent their relationship, it wasn’t really very necessary, and added a bit of unneeded drama here. Nevertheless, this was a very good buildup episode, where surprisingly enough now Kujou is being hostage so that Victorique is forced to do Albert de Blois’ dirty work. We’ve been wondering for a while what the shady Duke has been up to, and now it’s all starting to make sense; from the looks of it, Albert de Blois may be trying to start a coup de tat and overthrow the king himself. Or at least, cause a lot of internal chaos in the country of Saubure. Either ways, it’s obvious that he is up to no good, and is using Victorique as a figurehead to “spark the flame”, so to speak.
For a Christmas episode, I’m actually rather surprised that this didn’t turn out to be a filler episode. Rather than being all silly fun and games, this episode actually used Christmas events quite well to progress the character relations a little, especially with the giftgiving between the two main characters. Not to mention, it seems that Avril has finally got it through her head that she has lost out to Victorique when it comes to Kujou; we needed that for a while now.
Like I mentioned earlier, the “Monstre Charmant” story was blatant foreshadowing at what was coming up in the episode. As soon as I heard that “when the bunny died, so did the Monstre”, I instantly knew that Kujou (aka the bunny) would somehow be in danger from this episode onwards. While I didn’t quite expect Albert de Blois to use Kujou as a trump card, it looks like his patience has paid off. I do remember quite a few episodes ago where Kujou confronted Albert de Blois about his relationship with Victorique, and as of now it looks like Albert indeed has the upper hand in the ongoing events.
The one thing about this arc that I’m kind of disappointed in, though, is how the actual conflict has little to do with the various “hints” we’ve seen in the previous arcs to this series. I mean, how could we have known that a “Monstre” (aka Victorique) would be forced to be the figurehead for a potential revolution to topple the government? There really was no way to deduce such, which makes this less of a mystery and more of a plot twist. The second “great wind” was vaguely mentioned here, but even that plot event was basically sidelined.
I am liking how the Victorique x Kujou relationship has developed here, with their now strong relationship playing a rather crucial role in the final few episodes. It’s quite something to think about how lukewarm the two were towards each other towards the very beginning, especially in comparison to the “lovely dovey” antics they’re displaying now. It does push the plot forward quite nicely though, and along with the rather huge conflict that seems to be brewing, I wonder how the final few episodes to this series will wrap things up. Hopefully the climactic moments are handled well, though I’m somewhat worried about how the story will wrap up all the loose ends. There’s the Victorique x Kujou relationship, Cordelia and Brian Roscoe, Albert de Blois, the King, the Alchemist, Jupiter (the other gray wolf), the Ministry of occult vs Ministry of science conflict, and so forth; there’s simply a lot of conflicts that still need to be wrapped up here.
Overall Enjoyment: 3.8/5
Screenshots are later in the post.