Jyu-oh-sei episode 4: was the OP always this bad?

Posted out of sequence; my very first rant, written way back when Jyu-oh-sei episode 4 had recently aired.

It’s hard to believe that a scant few weeks ago I thought Jyu-oh-sei had such potential. First it was reminiscent of Star Ocean 3, then it went the way of Jak III and Arc: Twilight of the Spirits, and then it reached a point where I just couldn’t be bothered to make videogame comparisons.

First off, let’s get the whole Chen/Third thing out of the way; he refused her during the mating season (yes, you read it correctly, Chimera has a mating season) but it was just because he’s infertile. Cue some out of season intimacy and the phrase ‘my woman’, and Chen turns from “typical hardass bitch” to “typical hardass bitch who’s pining for a man”.

Anyway, moving on to the ‘meat’ of the episode, and yep, that’s about Third too. First off, Thor and Tiz happen to mention that they’ve created their own Ring, only they lack a Third, so surprise surprise, Third says he’ll pull double shifts as Thirds of both Ochre and “Thor” rings. And since Colin was mentioned last episode, first order of the day is to take Thor and Tiz to see him.

Conveniently for the plot, Colin is your average hermit living in a cave who somehow manages to keep up with galactic affairs. He’s got all the answers as to why Thor’s parents were killed, and why the boys ended up on Chimera, and I’d have the answers too, only I was too bored to retain much of that information. Anyway, the upshot of it all is that Thor that goes outside for a good cry (get it out of your system now, boy, you’re destined to be a REAL MAN), Tiz tells him to become the Jyu-oh/Beast King for about the fiftieth time, and someone shoots at Third. Just as well that Third was wearing a bullet proof vest, although I’ve scrutinised his attire and I’m not sure exactly where he’s keeping it.

Now for the one interesting bit of the plot- for reasons that aren’t too clear at this time, anyone who wants to live a comfortable life past the age of 20 needs to undergo life extension surgery, and guess what- Thor never had the required operation before he was dumped on Chimera. Yes, it’s yet another reason for him to become Jyu-oh, and on balance I suppose I should care that Thor will die so young, but in the timeline of the series that’s still 7-8 years away. Colin, however, doesn’t even have that long- with his exposition role over, he gets killed by Verasonar plants in what appears to be more than a simple accident (what a surprise).

Finally, it’s off to a feast held by Ochre Top; who’s understandably pissed off that Third is not only in the OP, but on balance more popular and better looking than he is. In traditional “petty character we’re supposed to hate mode”, Top tries to put Third in his place, doing little to affect the man himself, but rousing our main character of “justice and cyclewear”, Thor. It’s only after Third deliberately misinterprets his complaints against Top as a Try that Thor realises he was set up, and oh what a shame, he can’t get out of the challenge. Yep, Third turns out to be a manipulating bastard, but hey, that’s what the plot needs.

Next week: Duel- Top with a big sword and Thor seemingly getting owned. Will our main character make an expected comeback and gain the resources of Ochre Ring, or will he lose, face exile along with Tiz and Third, and gather followers? Do we even care anymore?