Synduality: Noir Ep 2 Review: A New Bond

Episode 2 of Synduality: Noir continue to preserve the quality of episode 1 with some very decent character development. There are nothing too ground-breaking but we’re still early in the series, it is okay to spend some time establishing the characters, their motivations and goals. And in this episode, Kanata and Noir finally found theirs, with the help of a very cliché trope: a dispensable bad guy.

At first, we saw Kanata being quite insecure about himself. Even after beating an intermediate level Ender, he isn’t sure if that’s his ability or Noir’s , and believe that he isn’t good enough to be her master. In episode 1, we learn that his aptitude test for Drifter was super duper bad, and his only talent is actually just fixing up things, and that’s not really a rare skills. So for a change of pace, we get a main character that doesn’t excel at any given skills. He’s determined and brave all right, but he isn’t a genius pilot or a prodigy mechanic. He’s just…a regular guy.

Noir is basically a blank slate. She doesn’t understand most things and how to interact with other human. Well, that makes sense since she only just woke up after who knows how many years being deactivated. One thing I like about the series is its link towards current human society, but they treat it as some sort of Dark Ages – kinda like Diebuster but worse. Being an “empty” shell can have its advantage and disadvantages, but so far the series hasn’t screwed it up yet, so hopefully they’ll get it right.

Then we are introduced to our “villain” of the week. To be honest, anyone can see that Range is just an asshole for the sake of driving the plot forward. He’s written with all the worst traits possible for a human being, and his Magus also has a complementary personality to his as well. They made him sorta a big deal in some big family to show that at least he has some skills. He also exposed Kanata’s secret test result in front of his friends to humiliate him, further raising the stakes against him and make Kanata’s eventual victory all the more satisfying. But yes, he’s just a boring villain acting as a stepping stone for Kanata.

What stands out from this episode is Tokio and Ellie. They got Kanata’s back majorly in this episode. Well, Ellie sorta self-destructed at first, but she evened it up by giving Kanata an amazing pep talk. Well, Noir is her “love rival”, but she understands that Noir is important to Kanata even though they just met. And she knows that with Noir, Kanata can rise even further, and that is for his own good, so Ellie was able to set aside her personal feelings to encourage Kanata to do the right thing. Tokio, as always, being the best of the best bros anyone could ask for. Dude’s looking even more Gary Stu by the minute.

And then came the eventual showdown. Of course Kanata struggle against Range at first due to not having a Magus and Range having much more experience. However, when Noir reunited with Kanata, it’s pretty much a done deal. It’s not just that Daisy Orge get a performance boost due to having Noir on-board, it’s also Kanata and Noir being in-sync emotionally. Both of them want to be at each other’s side. They need each other to head to the future together. This basically grant them plot armor invincibility and they dispatched Range in just a few seconds. The combat looks smooth and very well animated. So far, there’s not much we can complain about production quality wise, which is great!

After the ass-kicking, we can see Kanata vindicated from his past and has grown into his role as a Drifter. And a new bond between Noir and Kanata was formed. From now on, they will weather the storm together, and surely they will only grow closer as time goes on. Obviously there will be many challenges ahead for their relationship, but I believe the scriptwriter will handle it decently (please!). One thing they’ve kept mentioning is Noir’s original owner. I’m sure it will be revealed in due time and maybe a major plot twist but we’ll cross that bridge when the time comes.

We also meet one of the significant Magus of the series – Ciel. She doesn’t seem like she was tricked by Range and can probably operate on her own. She seems to have expert control of her Magus abilities, so we can expect to see her being in a Magus-mentor role for Noir. Even though she didn’t join the party, we can probably see her popping up in latter episodes.

So far Synduality has maintain a decent quality. There’s nothing ground-breaking in the story or animation, but the development of the plot and character is just enough to keep the series interesting. There are also some comedic moment to relief us from the darker undertones of the series. Hopefully we’ll get to some real deal soon! Can’t wait to meet the Char clone of the series – Kurokamen!

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