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Helck – 18

The weather outside is frightful.

I don’t know what the plan is with six episodes left, but Helck sure is leaving itself with an awful lot of ground to cover.  Even not having read this part of the manga I can see there’s way too much story left.  That implies that the flashback has gone on too long, even if the arc itself doesn’t feel like it has.  And it might just have overstayed its welcome in that sense, too, as I was definitely feeling like things were dragging last week.  This was better, and the ending certainly powerful.  But there was still a sense of precious time slipping away.

We’re  obviously close to the end of all this now (though it’s felt like that awhile).  Helck has been branded a traitor, but the zaku out for the bounty on his head barely trouble him. Unlike the wound from the Hero Killer, which continues to bleed out.  Alicia and the others are slated for execution, and Helck uses that as the impetus to keep pushing himself forward.  With the side of humanity we’re seeing here – easily led, inclined to cruelty – it’s hard to muster too much sympathy.  But Helck retains enough of himself not to kill any of the ones trying to stop him.  Or even the noble in charge of Alicia’s execution.

Helck does arrive in time to stop the execution, but in the larger scheme of things he’s too late.  A snow begins falling, and terrible things began happening to the mob surrounding him.  Rafeed slithers in to offer explanations – this is the awakening, and the snow is the carrier for whatever it is that makes it happen.  It effects nobles too, unless you’re one of the chosen few, I suppose.  And Alicia, tragically, who knows what’s about to happen and is only concerned with Helck saving himself and her (though by very different means).

What’s not clear is just how Mikaros’ plan was executed, and Rafeed isn’t offering that answer.  It occurred to me that Helck might prove a suitable substitute for Cless in the plan, but he’s clearly not.  Was Cless not a necessary component of the spell, or did he not need to actually be alive to fulfill his role?  Who knows, and we may not find out anytime soon.  Of course it’s not lost on Helck that this all means Cless died for nothing, which is really kicking a man when he’s down.  Helck may not be susceptible to awakening but he’s having a very rough few days.

What we also don’t know is how – or why – certain humans like Alicia and Edil retained their individuality (which we know they did).  Whether that’s a positive for them is a fair question, but in theory it leaves open the possibility that Helck could save them (though we’ve seen no evidence he believes that’s possible).  With Alicia awakening, there’s not much tying Helck to the human world any longer, and that almost has to mean the story will return to the present timeline next week (and the preview suggests that it will).


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