Dies Irae is slowly paving its way to the final confrontation that is inevitably going to happen between Ren and Heydrich. After all, from what we were able to tell from this episode, Ren exists only to provide the leader of the Nazi round table with a worthy foe that can let him use the full extent of his power. If not for the obvious differences, this episode could have been a filler talk scene (usually 3-7 episodes) from Dragon Ball.
Japanese Title: スワスチカ
Ren’s life takes a weird twist as we viewers learn that he was created in a tube, his sole purpose in life to find a power and rival Heydrich in battle so that the Nazi leader can realize his life’s dream and achieve a wholeness he has never experienced. Of course, like any villain that respects his evilness, in order to achieve that, he must find an opponent that will allow him to unleash the full extent of his power. I don’t even want to know what contributed in creating Ren because Heydrich is completely overpowered. There is some major destruction happening in the opening credits and we still haven’t seen half of it. For the first time in the series I want to learn more about something, and that is Ren’s birth and Karl Krafft’s backstory.
Oh, and that cliffhanger from the last episode resulted in Marie coming back to Ren as a typical Japanese girl. That could happen to French decapitated girls who dance with German Nazi freaks on a boney gold floating castle.
Karl and Heydrich: That last scene where the two do the evil laughter of a proper villain is so bad that I actually laughed. It reminded me of Dr.Evil from Austin Powers. That bad.
Interesting Choice: The chair that Ren chose to sit is the one of Number Two of the Dreizen Order. I don’t remember who that was, even if he was probably mentioned before. Yet, the choice probably means that Ren is going to be the only one with a chance of defeating Number One, Heydrich.
Themes & Trivia
Shambalha: One of the most famous mythical kingdoms, Shambhala is referred in most Hindu and Buddhist traditions as a holy land, a spiritual Utopia similar, but not quite, to the various heavens of major religions. Shambalha has inspired western popular culture as it often appears in science fiction and fantasy stories, video games (Uncharted 3) and superhero movies (Dr. Strange). It is often referred to in anime as well, with the first movie of Fullmetal Alchemist being the first example that comes to mind.
Zarathustra: Ren had to have a fancy name if he was going to be the hero who sacrificed his regular life to save our world from evil Nazis. That name is Zarathustra and it refers to an ancient prophet whose teachings developed into the religion of Zoroastrianism (his other name was Zoroaster). Some scholars believe that Zoroastrianism was the world’s first religion, as it became the dominant religion in the multicultural ancient Persian Empire.
Runes: The symbols found on the chairs of the roundtable are numbers in most of the runic alphabets, which were used to write in various Germanic languages before they adopted Latin. The rune on Heydrich’s chair is Hagall, the name for the h-rune that means ‘hail’. I have no idea why Heydrich refers to it as ‘destruction, however.
Mercurius’ Names: It seems that Karl Kraff has been around long enough to get a few names under his belt. The first one mentioned by Heydrich is Faust, the protagonist of a classic German legend. Faust was a scholar who, even though successful in his discipline, was deeply dissatisfied with his life. In order to achieve unlimited knowledge and access to all known worldly pleasures, he makes a pact with the devil and sells him his soul. The legend has been the basis for many artistic interpretations and has even spawned its own word, Faustian, that is used to describe a person who ‘sells his soul’ (another similar idiom) for success. Probably the most famous reworking is that of Goethe’s.
The second name is Saint Germain. There are so many people with the same name, but after some research, I think that Heydrich refers to Count Saint-Germain, a European adventurer who had an interest in science and the arts. Just like Mercurius himself, the count used many titles and names and also claimed to be more than 500 years old.
The third name is Paracelsus, a Swiss physician alchemist and astrologer of the German Renaissance whose real name was Theophrastus von Hohenheim. He is credited as the father of toxicology.
All three names have a common denominator: they are all German, as is the main theme of the series.
After 7 episodes, I think I have lost all interest in the plot. If I find myself too curious to hold my horses, I will go straight to the visual novel. I hope that there I can find some answers and that the anime’s plot holes will be filled with all the info I need. Is the music the same in the game? I really hope it is.
Ren, You Pervert!
Marie certainly remembers who she and Ren are, but is that abrupt change in her personality important to the plot or did the series need another Kasumi to slowly build the protagonist’s harem? I’m not one to complain (that’s a shameful lie) since Marie-chan is really cute, but I have to wonder if that change is going to affect Ren’s powers.
Did you like Episode 7 of Dies Irae? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to check the rest of our Fall 2017 weekly anime reviews!
NEXT TIME: Promise (約束)
Fall 2017 | Anime Info Page
Official Site: http://diesirae-anime.com/
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