Ahoy my noble readers! This is Dio Buccaneer and I welcome you to So Far And Beyond Arc Review! Today is the day I will be reviewing the Werewolf Revolution arc that finished recently. An interesting affair and an improvement over the previous arc in my opinion, it is the point where the Werewolves stop being antagonists and escape the Union 's hands, emerging as less powerful but more united and at peace after having the bad apples killed and their rhetoric on the strong abusing the weak lifted. I will be using a slightly different format than the usual as I am tackling a review here.
While I was bummed by the previous arc 's overall meh approach to most things with little highlights except a few that I have to admit were great such as Edian 's sacrifice and the enraged attack from Rai that resulted from it to the awakening of Raskreia, the fight and death of Rajak, the choice of Claudia and the absorption of Gradeus, the rest were mediocre as things such as Gradeus being kept for too long and oversaturating us with his presence (not to mention his boring personality), Lagus having a "being insufferable" approach to villainy and the Werewolves being there while going no further than the stereotype they were portraying in personality and fighting style. I was optimistic when the war against the Werewolves was announced because for once Lukedonia was on the offensive.
The premise of this arc was to save M-21 but in truth it was to deal with the Werewolves who had grown impatient with their Warriors losing against the Nobles. After Lunark and Kentas learn about the experimentation and its brutality, they defect. Kentas gets captured and manages to get M-21 along for the ride. The Household is worried as days pass without hearing from him only to be informed of his capture by Lunark who came to request help in finding Muzaka for help on this storm, rescue and takeover mission. Upon finding him, Rai, Muzaka and Frankenstein are lead by Lunark to the Werewolf base were alarm rings and Maduke alerts the Warriors to be ready for castle defense. After being experimented upon (read: tortured with syringes and injections) by Ignes "Witch with a B" Kravei, Kentas and M-21 manage to escape with the help of two scientists who also had enough with being tormentors of their people but did not act upon their beliefs until now as they did not believe they would get any Warriors to support them.
Madness Kravei found out but they had gotten away by then and managed to destroy a lab in the process. As the rescue crew arrived on the land, company appeared in the form of Dorant 's Crew who Frankenstein went to deal with while the others moved forward. Frankenstein managed to get one of the side-grunts devoured but facing Dorant, not taking the needed time to tame the Dark Spear after it had absorbed Gradeus (or the new guy) proved to be the reason he lost the Round 1. Luckily, Rael and Karias were there to buy time (while posing epicly on arrival) and after dealing with the other two side-grunts and Franky was in butt-kicking mode once again (it took Rai 's words to give him strength and that was very sweet). Round 2 begins and Franky is in no mood to play and shows Dorant that his power is not to be underestimated and finishes off Dorant with a combined assalt of the Dark Spear and the Blood Spear. Meanwhile, Kentas is surounded by a Crew and Gayare, who had previously fought M-21, while M-21 is now captured by Ignes (but he went down with a fight). The Crew lead by Uzhir allows Gayare to settle the score with Kentas but after being cornered, Kentas uses his last strength to kill Gayare earning respect and contempt by the onlookers who try to take him but Muzaka and Rai arrive and the former Lord decreases the morale by winning soundly. And then saves Dorant as he had chosen him as his successor which Frankenstein takes as Muzaka should stand were he is and be used as stress relief. Rai, on the other hand, finds unexpected help.
After seeing that Muzaka has things covered on the Kentas front, Rai went on his way to only to be attacked by a way-over-his-head Zaiga and Crew only to be saved by Raskreia and Kei as the former had promised the Werewolves retaliation for their invasion and it was due for payment. Rai once again pushes forward as Kei and Zaiga fight while Rozaria gives a radical redesign on Maduke 's Castle and the surrounding area Eleanor Clan style. Zaiga and co. were peeved by this. After a second round of beam from above, Rozaria is found by one of Zaiga 's lackies and kills her confirming her suspision that the second time was excessive. Zaiga and Kei fight and prove right about equal, Raskreia gives a warning shot to the other mage who was under the delusion that she was distracted (read: cut his arm of) and Muzaka appears and finishes Zaiga off because he really never liked him. Muzaka then moves on to Garda and Raskreia leaves to find Rai. Rai himself n the other hand had bigger fish to fry... Also Lunark had a small skirmish with Ignes.
Ignes Crazy has unleashed the Titan, a creature created from the combination of many Werewolves and perfected from the information gained from research into Werewolves, Humans and Nobles. Rai found that creature 's adaptational immunity as its most troubling feature and the attacks from Ignes made things worse. Then Ignes, lost her arm by Frankenstein 's surprise attack and Rai defeated the Titan with his new move that erased the monster from existence. Franky reveals that the research given to the Union by him was trapped as the formulas that they based all of their Modification processes had a weakness to his Dark Spear in case they went after him. Ignes was shortly killed and absorbed by Frankenstein.
While that was going on, M-21 and Lunark found themselves facing the Twins, Mirai and Urne, in tag team duel. M-21, while exhausted, could fight Urne because she was distracted by her sister getting murderised by Lunark giving him a fighting chance despite his condition. Juraki then saves Mirai and now that Urne is no longer distracted destroys M-21. But as the light fades, Dark Aura cables shock Urne. The RK have all gathered. Urne is killed after M-21 was given enough time to recover and and the final strike was given by his new Wolf Phantom. Mirai is also similarly crushed by Seira but is saved by Juraki. Lunark just lost due to being double teamed but the arrival of a pissed Frankenstein causes the tides to turn yet again. Mirai seeks to take out her frustration over the death of her sister on a target she can defeat but since she can 't judge the strength of her enemies, she grows a few new places to bleed from when she goes after Frankenstein. Juraki saves her yet again (no wonder that she thinks he has a crush on her if that has been going on for a while) but when the Clan Leaders and Rai arrive, he takes a page from Monty Python, grabs Mirai and runs away.
Muzaka, on the other hand, had gone to rescue Garda. After finding her, Maduke stops them. And then Garda reveals that she had been brainwashed to hate Muzaka (who would have thought that it was necessary to brainwash someone into hating him). Catching him of guard, Garda is revealed to have been modified with the purpose of regeneration obstruction. Trying but failing to reason with Garda, Muzaka resigns himself to die at her hands so that she stops suffering. Juraki arrives along with Mirai and they are joined by the other Werewolves who took the Monty Python road. Rai and co. arrive shortly and are shocked by this outcome. While Muzaka 's defeat seemed permanent, his wounds heal as he begins to show the regenerative abilities he had considered lost and as he wakes up having gone back to the madness that he was introduced in. Garda puts up a fight but is no match for the fallen Lord. When she was about to be finished off, Rai sacrificed a bit of his power to reason with Muzaka as allowing him to kill her would hurt him further. Muzaka complains but agrees. Right as Muzaka calmed down, Garda tried to get up for Round 3 but Frankenstein pins her down with his Dark Aura Spikes. Maduke begins to scream the superiority of the Werewolves under his command but is informed that many perished. Do not count your chicks before they hatch as they say. Maduke is the only true obstacle now to overcome.
Maduke decides to fight Muzaka 1-on-1 like a man (if we ignore the fact that he had put Muzaka through many enemies up until now while he was sitting and gloating). Muzaka charges at Maduke and tries to end this in one hit. Maduke took it like a champ but received injuries that spell the end to any normal Werewolf. The Modification that he put himself through allow him to regenerate even vital organs in seconds. Maduke then unleashes his second transormation that allows him to turn into a anthropomorphic wolf (American Werewolf in London style rather than the furry variety in case that needs to be stated). This form is not to be downed with half-assed attacks and actually charges through one to make a point of that. Maduke has the upper hand for the most part but gloats that he was responsible for the death of Ashleen. He says that because of their failed attempts of getting Muzaka and Rai to fight through causing wars, the Humans, the Werewolves and the Nobles of the Union conspired to kill Ashleen in order to finally tip Muzaka of the edge. Maduke sent one of his own to do it with a crossbow as to point at the Humans as the ones responsible. Hearing this, Muzaka goes medieval on Maduke and wins the conflict. At that point, Maduke 's Warriors start losing their grip and fall down as he rises. Maduke is absorbing their power through the Blood Stones!
The Modification process used by the Werewolves includes Blood Stones to be implanted on the subject without their knowledge and through a device in the area, all the Blood Stones drain the power of those that have them and sent that power to Maduke causing him to gain an even stronger transformation that overwhelms Muzaka for good. Frantic, the Warriors ask why are they getting drained to which the answer is that their Clan sacrifices the weak and now they are the weak. At this point Rai, Raskreia and Frankenstein decide to assist Muzaka in defeating Maduke while the RK and the Clan Leaders along with Lunark and Kentas go to find the device that fuels Maduke 's powers. Frankenstein 's power barely slows Maduke while Muzaka and Rai are not able to inflict injuries that last due to exhaustion. Raskreia is the only one in optimal condition and has to protect the others as well as deal damage. Raskreia gathers all her power into one attack and after being reassured by Rai that they can handle it and Maduke is just about dead. Just as he is about to regenerate, Rai launches his Blood Phoenix and Maduke is reduced to even smaller parts and when that happens the device that allowed Maduke to drain others is destroyed. However, Maduke had installed a safety mechanism that drained the power of everyone regardless of Blood Stone inside the Werewolf territory and achieves a form that he claims is stronger than the previous one. Rai is about to use the technique he used on Titan but fails due to his failing health. Muzaka arrives there to help and, by touching Rai, manages to share his remaining power with him which gives him the strength to kill Maduke.
The arc ends with Muzaka leaving with Garda, Kentas rallying up the Warriors to save the remaining survivors and Rai and co. go back to school. Kentas became the new Lord and condemned the invasion of Lukedonia in the previous arc while Lunark anounced the withdrawl of all the Werewolves from the Union including herself. Not all are bright though as Rai can barely keep appearences about his weakness and Crombel recovered the data in the Werewolf territory and presumably the Blood Stone research as well.
This arc has shown the Werewolves in a rather interesting light. We were shown a glimpse of the culture that they had in the previous arcs what with the Warriors, the Crews, mass adaptation of Modification and a "Strongest means Leader" mentality. This time we actually went into details on all that and more. At first I was worried that they would be portraying the Asskicking equals Authority as TV Tropes put it in a much better light than it is realistically possible (you know, like everyone else ever!) but my worry was for naught as it was shown to be as dysfunctional as it is in real life. The Nobles can get away with it because they have the Noblesse and the Clan Leaders are taught ethics from are young age (some take the lessons better and others become traitors but it is different than a species wide pandemic). It is a situation not unlike the Comic Code 's downfall. The Comic Code fell, among many other reasons, because of the unrealistic depictions of violence and portrayed it as a consequence-free affair. Unrealisticaly depicting real life problems and their consequences can only result further trouble down the road. When it comes to the mentality of the strong ruling the weak, it was correctly shown that those who are at the top hold no empathy or kindness for you when you are perceived as weak and are slaughtered all the same.
amongst their kind that show promise as Warriors but presumably are for some reason are not able to become throught training alone or are Warriors already and want some extra power. In any case the Modification process has one extra step for them. The creation and implantation of a Blood Stone to the subject. The lie told to Werewolves is that their kinsmen are sacrificed to experimentation but the truth is that their essense is used to make the Blood Stones for the Warriors. Only the scientists knew that the option to suck their life from their body existed as I doubt that Zaiga would have helped push for Modification knowing that he could be killed on a whim. There were only two ways to escape the purge of the weak (before Maduke went for everyone). To be a Warrior or a scientist. I can only imagine the scientists building the machines that were designed to kill them while being unable to talk about it or risk an even worse death. Makes the act of freeing Kentas and M-21 to be seen in a new light.
The Modification techniques used by the Werewolves also deserve a mention. The Werewolves choose members
The best part about this arc was the OH MY GOD YES! momments it had. Let us go over them: M-21 crushing Yuri, Aris and Mark in an 1-on-3 fight, Frankenstein devouring Gorma by making him think he was losing (and traumatising the rest of his Crew in the process), M-21 fighting Ignes despite being tired and injured (getting a few good hits on her too), Kentas punching Gayare 's guts out of his body with his best "I AM A MAN" punch, Frankenstein going berserk on Dorant, Maduke going "Oh crap" when he sees that his house will need renovation after his promised storm arrived (twice!!), Frankenstein 's research being the bane of the Union, Ignes getting her just desserts by Frankenstein begging for her life and screaming all the way to the Dark Spear 's insides, the arrival of the RK turning the tides of the battle and finally Raskreia launching an attack that overpowered Maduke in one of his stronger forms and would have ended the fight had he not have the ability to steal power from others and regenerate. It conclusively proved that Raskreia is a badass in my eyes dispelling any doubt.
On the heartwarming side we had Kentas and M-21 overcoming differences and becoming friends (a concept I want explored), being shown how much Frankenstein needs Rai as he would be lost without him, Lunark being just the right amount of Tsundere for Frankenstein to keep her endearing as well as her willingness to fight for his friends and thinking about him when she thought she would die, the whole fact that Kentas and Lunark were willing to do anything that they could to get rid of the regime killing their people and the best part of the entire arc: confirmation that the household around Rai and Frankenstein is a family. We knew it already but it truly felt like a home now that they all realised they can belong there. That sold me for this arc.
Also we had a lot of progress on the Muzaka plot tumor. We can begin the extraction surgery soon I will assume.
As far as successes go, this arc had so many that deserve their own paragraph that they would make this arc review last much longer still thus preventing me from getting into as much detail as I would like. I recommend that you check out the arc yourself.
While I enjoyed the arc overall I do believe that it had some negative elements that affected how I look back at it. One thing I had a problem with was the underuse of both the Clan Leaders and the Warriors. Many of the Warriors were teased back in the begining of the arc but not all were allowed to shine in any fight. While Muzaka was fighting Maduke, I expected that the Warriors that had been shown before would end up fighting the Clan Leaders rather than have them provide commentary. The story would not have been changed for the worst should that have happened as quite a bit of the fight against Maduke was Muzaka getting thrown around and commenting on his power. If an other fight was shown instead of the repeat of the above till nausea, I think suspence would be created as the Clan Leaders might not make it or be unable to help with Maduke or his life sucking machines as they would have run out of energy after their latest fight. Not to mention that the RK barely got any spotlight on them with the exception of M-21 and Seira meaning that they were at full power. Also, Kei Ru 's fight was interrupted and thus he is owed one more as his fights are always ending with him in need of saving. This was the third time this happened. Allow the strongest of the Clan Leaders to prove his power in a good fight from start to finish already!
Another thing I disliked was how pointless some events were. Muzaka was shown falling and getting up one time too many fighting Maduke in order to create tension while tension was up already after his fight with Garda. The revelation that Ashleen was killed by the Werewolves was in my opinion the event that should have sparked Muzaka 's berserk stage rather than Garda beating him. That would be followed with Frankenstein arriving to stun her with his dark aura spikes before Muzaka beat her senseless avoiding quite a bit of padding and injuries for Rai. The berserk stage was a result of Muzaka finding out his daughter was killed and thus it ought to have been used against the mastermind of the ordeal rather than Maduke 's victim in my opinion. Not to mention the guy who thought it was a good idea to take on Raskreia. Panels were wasted on him attacking and being blasted by her when in the previous arc she sent flying 2 Warriors, a True Warrior and a Clan Leader with one attack. He was not even a True Warrior nor even someone who even tried being sneaky or had any right in believing that the Lord of the Nobles would be so weak as to not counter an attack when she was not even preoccupied. What were the authors trying to show with that except gross delusions amongst the enemy ranks is beyond me. What a waste!
In general, this arc 's main mistake for me was the wrong people fighting each other. As I am not the kind of person who likes not to give examples of what he means and how it could be done better, hear me out. One such example of wrong people fighting, in my eyes, is the fight of Kei vs Zaiga. In my opinion here are some ways it could have gone down better: 1) Kei Ru wins (why have Muzaka come in the first place?), 2) Raskreia fights Zaiga and wins (and Kei fights the noob as he would make a closer match), 3) Muzaka fights Zaiga from the start (if those two have to fight have Zaiga at full power rather than on the ropes as it will look better). Another case of such is Juraki 's fights as a whole. He fought Lunark after she had been double teamed and Seira after she had used up power on Mirai. Kei would have been his opponent instead and have both have a fight from start to finish.
I had hoped that the Werewolves would be practicing martial arts on a wider and more diverse scale. I had seen how they wanted to fight the Clan Leader that most suited their fighting style and considering the fact that they decide who is the Lord by fighting, learning Human martial arts with a Werewolf twist put into them or developing ones that no other than themselves could do due to their unique anatomy would make sense. We got a few that had their own distinct fighting style like the mages and Dorant (and the gimmick of the Twins) but not as much as I would have expected from a race that always seeks the top position. Though that could be blamed on the fact that many of the Warriors were unfought.
I also laughed when the Authors forgot Dorant 's name and renamed him Tantura. It's the little things.
What this arc made me wait for is the Werewolves and Lukedonia working together and interacting. The culture clash that can occur from those two especially in and for the Human world. I also want to see the changes that have and will occur into the Werewolf society. After so many years of tyranny and fascism having a governing body that cares for its people and a majority of guardians that are being (justifiably) distrusted by their countrymen despite remorse on their part, change is going to be rough. I want to see the opinion on Lukedonia and the Humans in like the RK by the rest of the population and even the Warriors who have not expressed their opinion (we know that Lunark was willing to work with them and Kentas condemned the previous invasion but the Warriors that survived and those we did not see a lot have yet to take a position).
I like to see this arc as the conclusion to the storylines of the Roctis arc. Both arcs had two "Bosses" for Rai to fight with Roctis and Muzaka for the Roctis arc and Titan and Maduke for the Werewolf Revolution arc. Ignes was the main scientist in both with her experiments serving as the catalyst of the arc. Kentas was introduced in the Roctis arc and became a friend in this one. The Roctis arc served as our introduction to Muzaka 's revenge and his quest to kill while this arc showed him help kill the guilty party for his daughter 's death. Finally I can draw Roctis and Maduke as the complete opposite of each other. Roctis was not much of a schemer, loved his family and did everything he could to protect them even at his own expense. Maduke cared for no one, made conspiracies that fooled everyone and believed everyone was to sacrifice themselves to benefit him. The pararells are there to be made and were propably on purpose. I like that. Such little things for me to find are a very good way for an easter egg hunt and extended my enjoyment of the arc.
While this arc was about to start I had certain fears about how things would go down. Some came true, some not. There are fears that can exist about any work but I would like to focus on Noblesse exclusive fears. You will see what I mean. One thing that had bugged me about the previous arcs was how they showed the Werewolves fight. Apart from Lunark and Kentas who had to keep their power hidden from the readers to hype up the Werewolves, Grui and Gaitan were meant to finally give us a taste of the new Werewolves and what the main Modified Werewolf Warrior fighting force was all about. Respected by the Unmodified Warriors, this guys were nothing like they were build up even from the drawing table. Their appearence made to be otherworldy and surreal to contrast the plainer Lunark and Kentas, their techniques were obsolete or counter-effective from the get-go. Grui was unable to tell apart the prints of different Werewolves and had to guess while Gaitan had prosthetic limbs while belonging to a species that can regenerate essencially sacrificing their strongest attribute for strength that he could attain otherwise. To round that with generic punches and beams as far as techniques go and you end up with disapointment.
The next Werewolves that we saw were Drakon 's Crew. Drakon was the leader and possessed the highest level of regeneration in the Crew. Kuharu was the fastest of the Crew and his kind in general. Mount was the
physically strongest amongst them. And Kaiyo was a balance between the rest
being more well rounded. And they were total tools! Drakon was just a punching bag that regenerated but would still die if he was beheaded while not being able to deal the damage his enemies could, Kuharu
was slower than his enemy but was crushed when Rajak unveiled his ultimate technique and was killed by him even after the latter lost an arm and was assaulted from all sides and had his feet cut, Mount was predictable and could be killed with a
two-hit combo and Kaiyo was happy to be there and be outmatched in all attributes by enemy and ally alike. When it comes to techniques: Drakon = beam, Kuharu = flamethrower and speed clones, Mount = sonic scream, Kaiyo = nothing. As you can see, while the concept of enemy territory invasion was interesting, the prototypes of Werewolf Warriors had me scared.
The reality however was a bit different. While the jobbers were there and had a lack of variety in attacks, the main combatants had some sweet moves. Even the jobbers had a move that surprised me. One used a mouth beam and an other threw rocks like a machine gun. It is something that is different from the standard slashes and hand blasts. But you must be wondering how did the main enemies fought, right? Those guys had the real variety in combat moves thankfully. The biggest standout for me was Dorant. His signature technique was to turn the aura around his arms into wolf heads and use them to attack. He was capable of using those heads to attack melee as well as releash beams from them with a punching motion. Other attacks included aura spheres and his Ultimate attack: a blue-colored Wolf Phantom. Yeah! The Ultimate skill of the Werewolves is called that and it is rare even amongst the Warriors (this is important so keep it in mind). Uzhir who faced Muzaka also used a similar technique that looked like a cloud and had an Egyptian Cross on its head (Muzaka also accessed that move). Zaiga used spells that included barriers, thunderbolts and a golden Cerberus that appeared to be his Ultimate move. The twins Mirai and Urne used the Wolf Phantom in conjuction and a cubic barrier which only made an appearence once (and it could have been used to save Urne!). Gaura (a member of Zaiga 's Crew) used aura orbs as turrets to attack from many sides as well as lightining. We saw many techniques that put a permanent rest on my doubts on whether or not Werewolves can make an interesting fight. The question is now if they are going to keep the creativity up.
Sidenote: Can you imagine Dorant being a closeted fan of the Shonen manga and anime and basing his moves after them? I can imagine him keeping a stash in his house and now that the Werewolves are not Humanity 's enemies, he might be going into forums and discussing about his favourite series. He might even try to get others into them. It is canon unless stated otherwise for all I care (feel free to suggest fantasy series that the Werewolf mages might be into).
An other fear I had was when we first saw the Titan. I was afraid he might end up being stronger than Maduke due to his regeneration and adaptation abilities. After it was revealed that Maduke could absorb the lifeforce of every person he modified (including the Titan), I was happy with that as the main villain would remain the strongest opponent.
The thought that Crombel has access to the Blood Stone research is terror inspiring given his and the Union 's lack of empathy and access to Human subject with the availability of Humans that can disappear without anyone noticing. The Assassination Squad and the other elite teams, along with the Elders will receive major boost in power (Crombel will present this research as his own and will keep the best parts of it for himself in my opinion). The Human enemies are a threat again!
All in all, this arc had a good start if not begining of the main plot and the conclusion of this arc was one that gave me my heart 's desires such as the Werewolves turning face, Muzaka finding out the truth about his daughter, M-21 being seen in a better light, Raskreia kicking ass, the Divine Judgement delivering a victory, Ignes dies, Seira being a badass and overall a more positive story with more fun. A score system would be in place now would it not? Well, here is what I came up with: I will score the Successes overall on how good they are and moved the plot (10/10 means they helped a lot and were very pleasing while 0/10 means it is a good example to be avoided at least), the Faults on how much they hindered the plot, slowed it or just were bad overall (10/10 means that the plot essentially was halted and long term damage was done that will take a lot to repair if it ever is while 0/10 means that the flaws are nip picks or in the inherent to the genre and thus do not apply), the Thoughts on how interesting and thought-provocking they are (10/10 means that it was a lot of fun uncovering all that I found and there were a lot of interesting things about this arc while 0/10 means that everything is to be taken at face value with not even some subtext being worth looking into) and Potential on how it allows us to see the future in interesting ways and how it allows us to look forward to it (10/10 means that this arc can lead to the next being much better or at least to be able to be while 0/10 means that this arc leaves few roads short of a new game-changing element to change a pretty clear progression in the story leaving the feeling on us being able to accurately guess the future and maybe the ending, though this section is pure speculation). Since a final score is also expected I will score the arc on how it should be read as I believe that all canon arcs should be read in order to make speculations and thoughts with the full picture and with the same knowledge. A 10/10 means that this arc is to be read right now cause you do not know what you are missing as opposed to a 0/10 which means that this arc is to be read once and only unless it is for research purposes and you are supposed to go to the wiki for synopsis for anything further as reading more of it might get you hurt.
Alright, now that we got that out of the way, here is the score:
Successes: 8 , Faults: 4.5 , Thoughts: 7.5 , Potential: , Arc Final Score: 7
Ok guys, that was it. I hope you enjoyed this looooooong blog and did not think it was too long (it is an ARC review afterall). Also, did you like the format and do you think it might need some changes?
Anyway, this is Dio Buccaneer and this has been So Far And Beyond Arc Review.
Live Nobly and take care, everyone!