©KOEI TECMO GAMES/Atelier Ryza Production Committee
After two weeks of hard labor around town, Ryza and friends finally receive the final test to prove that they are capable of protecting Klaudia during their adventure. Luckily, this time around, the aforementioned challenge involves adventure as the three friends are tasked with going to a set location and then back again. In fact, this little adventure does a great job of showing how far the trio have come and how far they still have not.
The old Ryza must have heard the challenge and ran at full speed into danger—desperate to meet Bos by any means possible. However, the new Ryza has learned a profound lesson since the near disaster in the cave. Instead of dashing towards their target, all three move at their usual speed—quickly but carefully. They only fight when necessary—and fully understand that helping those in danger is more important than their little race with Bos. So they easily closed the gap with Bos, even after a break.
Likewise, Lent and Taoism have grown by leaps and bounds. Lent is tiresome, even when others are not, and is always aware of where your friends and enemies are at any given time. He even kills enemies with one hit before anyone else needs to do anything. Meanwhile, Tao complains less and helps more. In the short clip at the beginning of the episode, we even see him take down any enemies alone while Lent and Ryza deal with their threats. Simply put, the three have become a cohesive unit—however, that only means they are capable, not unstoppable.
The appearance of dragons is a simple way to show us that even though they have become big fish in the small pond that is their town, in the larger world they are still guppies. The trick here is that they know they need to run and have very little chance of defeating the dragon. The problem is that they don’t want to let Bos and his gang die. However, even the simple plan for Ryza to distract the dragon while Tao and Lent get everyone out of danger proved to be too much. Ryza hopes she can get the dragon to chase after her, then drops bombs on it and escapes in the chaos. The problem is that Ryza’s most powerful bomb can’t even scratch it. The only reason she survived this encounter was purely by luck.
Fortunately, while the old Ryza didn’t realize it, the new Ryza did. Furthermore, she knew that her town was powerless against the dragon. Her only hope was to create an even more powerful dynamite – pouring all her talents into a destructive alchemy. Meanwhile, Lent realizes that his skill has far outstripped his handheld sword and that he will need a much better weapon if he hopes to fight alongside Ryza if things get worse. worse.
So overall, this is a solid character building episode. Our heroes are both victorious and humble. We also get interesting little hints about their past and relationship with Bos while Klaudia finally joins the group. There’s a bit of tension heading into next week’s episode and while I don’t expect the dragon battle to happen immediately, I’m looking forward to seeing how each of our heroes reacts in the face of annihilation. death—and how they worked to overcome it.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.