Episode 19: Showdown! The Magic Knights Versus Zagato
Review by Peter Laliberte
January 4, 2014
In her prison Emeraude pleads for the Knights to hurry before she makes an irreversible mistake. As the girls fly along they note how strange it feels being inside the Rune-Gods. They reflect back on their journey and all those they'd encountered. Hikaru says once they defeat Zagato it will all be over. Emeraude contacts them through the orbs and asks them to grant her wish and save Cephiro. She uses her powers to point the way to where she is. Zagato appears to Emeraude and she uses her powers to heal the wound Hikaru gave him. Zagato laments that he can only make Emeraude cry even though he wishes for her happiness. Zagato whispers something before he vows to end the Magic Knights' legend. Alcyone asks if the words Zagato whispered were true as he asks what she'd do if they were. She wonders for what reason she did all that she did and Zagato said she fought for herself. Alcyone insists she fought for him, but he just calls her useless. Zagato walks away and summons his own Rune-God.
The Magic Knights make it to a castle in the sky where Zagato is waiting for them. They're surprised to see Zagato has his own Rune-God and conclude that that's the reason why they needed their own Rune-Gods. Zagato says his is something he created with all of his power and his heart for the purpose of defeating them. The battle begins as Emeraude begs for it to stop. Zagato maintains the upper hand while Emeraude suffers. After surviving a particularly powerful attack, the girls muster their resolve and continue the fight. Hikaru asks Zagato why he did what he did when he knows Emeraude is needed to support Cephiro. Zagato asks why Emeraude has to do such a thing. He says the pillar has no freedom and can only pray for Cephiro's peace. He asks why Emeraude has to do it alone before blasting the Knights. The girls refuse to give up and combine their powers into the Spiral Flash attack. Zagato asks Emeraude to be free before the attack kills him. Emeraude screams in grief.
And so Rayearth becomes the only shoujo mecha title in existence (Escaflowne is technically shonen). Despite having the three Rune-Gods on their side, Zagato still stomps their asses until they kill him in one hit (per usual for this show). At least it took a combination of their powers to put him down rather than just Hikaru doing it. For a while now we've been getting hints about Zagato's feelings for Emeraude and the anger he shows towards her being forced to devote herself to her pillar duties really shines through in this episode. You almost want to root for the guy. With him defeated the girls think it's all over, but Emeraude is acting kind of strange...
4 out of 5 stars
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