With Ragnar (Chiaki Kobayashi, Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End) and Crimson (Ayumu Murase) having reached an agreement to slay all of dragonkind, the dup have set out to achieve their goal. But after a fight with a group of dragons leaves Ragnar exhausted and unable to face a nearby superior dragon Disas Trois (Shunsuke Takeuchi, The Tale of Outcasts), Crimson recruits some local dragon hunters to fight alongside him while Ragnar recovers in Ragna Crimson Episode 3 (Raguna Kurimuzon), “Agitation.”
This week’s episode wastes no time in establishing the new foe that will challenge our protagonists. As the episode opens, a tornado engulfs the screen, within which we see numerous people suspended within its winds, each kept aloft in a T pose. As the gentle piano notes of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” play, we hear the musings of Disas Trois, as he observes the suffering of his victims. His ramblings feel thoughtful in tone but mad in content. He wants his victims to believe he has some deep, philosophical mind, while he’s really just a masochist out to hurt people.
From here, Ragna Crimson Episode 3 cuts to a random group of dragon hunters as they struggle to protect some civilians from an attack from a group of standard dragons. Just before the situation completely collapses, Ragnar and Crismon arrive to save the day.
The most noteworthy element of this moment is the manner in which the pair arrive. Instead of horseback or some more magical means, they show up in what appears to be a military-style, flatbed truck. This took me by surprise as I hadn’t noticed any hint of modern technology in the first two episodes. But as none of the hunters the duo rescue seem shocked by this entrance, the audience can assume that such machines must regularly exist in the world, but perhaps they are limited in availability.
This moment is interrupted by a flashback to when Crimson and Ragnar first joined forces. This moment is important as it establishes how much of the future Ragnar can remember, as well as fully introduces Crimson’s servant Slime (Fairouz Ai, Chainsaw Man). Seen briefly before, this full introduction gives the viewer a full impression of the character and the comedic elements the servant will bring to the show.
It feels like Slime may end up being a major contributing factor to the show’s ultimate success or failure. Since Ragnar’s transformation, the series has taken a dark tone it doesn’t seem to be moving away from. Having a comedic presence to break that tension can be important in keeping the show from becoming overbearing. However, poor timing or misuse of such an element can ruin the atmosphere that the series strives to craft.
Once the situation has been secured and the dragons are slain, the leader of the dragon hunters, Michael (Yoshihito Sasaki), informs the pair that a nearby city is being occupied by Trois. While Ragnar is eager to face this new threat, his body ceases to move just as he begins to head out. Crimson informs him that he has pushed his body beyond its limits and must rest. But, thanks to his awesome magical abilities, he convinces the dragon hunters that they can slay Trois themselves with his support.
The first aspect of this support comes in the form of a nearby hidden armory that contains all manner of firearms. While the weapons themselves seem like they would certainly aid the hunters in the coming fight, it is the next step that seems truly critical. While the hunters practice with their new weapons, Crimson has Ragnar imbue clips of bullets with his silverine arts. Presumably, it makes them far more lethal than they already were.
While the pair are alone, Ragna Crimson Episode 3 gives the viewer deeper glimpses into the two main characters and their personalities. With Ragnar, we learn more about his decision to send Leonica (Inori Minase) away and how that choice was motivated more by his fears than his caring for her.
Crimson’s response to Ragnar’s concerns delivers the highlight of this episode’s visual offerings. As he suggests a plot to kidnap Leonica and hold her in a deep sleep till the dragons are gone, the character’s face becomes more and more disturbing. The mouth curls into a U shape of upsetting proportions, and the eyes take a sinister glint to them that combines to reveal a truly unsettling side to Crimson. The intensity that is delivered through the visuals at the moment is impressive and memorable. Coupled with the manic delivery of Crimson’s lines by Murase, the moment is one of a perfect fusion of audio and visual delivery.
Once his offer is immediately rejected, however, Crimson scoffs at Ragnar’s fears. He speaks down to him, undercutting his feelings. Acknowledging how Ragnar sees himself as cursed, he informs him that he knows nothing of being cursed. Then, to emphasize the point, Crimson takes a flintlock-style pistol and shoots himself in the head. Only to appear in a new body standing next to the corpse that moments before was his flesh.
This brutal moment goes a long way to refining many of the questions the first episodes left open about Crimson. Why he would team up with Ragnar to dole out destruction among his own kind, as well as require Ragnar to kill him in order to secure his help, is now clear. The new question now is, what happened that drove Crimson to long for release from this world?
As the episode ends, we see Crimson and the dragon hunter heading out to face off with Trois. Taunting the dragon to draw it to where they want it, the impromptu alliance prepares to face their foe as the credits begin to roll. Ragna Crimson Episode 3 does a great job of exploring its lead characters, fleshing them out for the audience to better understand while still making it clear that there is far more yet to learn.
Ragna Crimson Episode 3 is streaming now on HiDive.
Ragna Crimson Episode 3
Ragna Crimson Episode 3 does a great job of exploring its lead characters, fleshing them out for the audience to better understand while still making it clear that there is far more yet to learn.