REVIEW: ‘Noblesse’ Episode 9 – “Blood Pact/Devote”

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Noblesse Episode 9

It was implied last week that Noblesse Episode 9 would give answers to the questions raised…but alas. The series continuously expects the viewer to do all the heavy lifting as it jumps between plots. The anime comes from Production I.G. is a Crunchyroll Original, based on the long-running webtoon of the same name. Last week, the show flashed back to before Raizel went into his long slumber, giving a glimpse into the politics of nobles. Frankenstein is the “Noble Hunter,” a human with mysteriously acquired powers. He unintentionally takes shelter from his pursuers in Raizel’s mansion, and that is where this week begins and promptly ends.

Frankenstein is quickly caught in a lie by Raizel as his pursuers show up. Gejutel informs Raizel that the Lord wishes to meet Frankenstein. Raizel shuts this down by stating that Frankenstein works for him (a lie), and the nobles depart. Noblesse Episode 9 then makes perhaps the most frustrating choice it has all season: it flashes forward five years. There is no conversation between Frankenstein and Raizel about why the latter saved the former. Frankenstein, who hates nobles, has now been serving Raizel for five years. He also begins to show care for Raizel, but absolutely zero internal monologue or scene is shown to give any sort of justification for this behavior.

The closest viewers get is Frankenstein wondering if Raizel is lonely. It is near infuriating. What was supposed to give context to a major duo of the show feels left out to dry in favor of somewhat forward plot progression. This would have been one of the times where Noblesse should have slowed down.

Noblesse Episode 9 gets more frustrating from there. Frankenstein keeps getting summoned by the Lord. The Lord wants to see Raizel, and is curious if he and Frankenstein are planning to form a blood pact. The Lord also “explains” his relationship to Raizel. Which isn’t really an explanation at all, but a bizarre analogy. That would be fine, if more information about The Lord and the Noblesse had been given elsewhere. Raizel chooses to be isolated due to being the Noblesse, according to The Lord, as he is a near god among nobles. He is the only one who can enforce and subjugate nobles if they defy The Lord.

For an episode that has a lot of people debating Raizel’s feelings, no one seems to ask him, even Frankenstein. Also, if you were hoping for anyone to ask Frankenstein how he acquired his supernatural abilities, or why he has a grudge against nobles, you would be out of luck. That point seems to have been near forgotten aside from some nobles holding a grudge.

The animation in Noblesse Episode 9 goes big on color when supernatural powers are being used, with vibrant reds, purples and even goldenrods. However, when characters engage in more hand-to-hand combat it looks awkward and flat, making the characters’ movements feel stiff. There is one moment, timed perfect with the music, that actually gave me chills from an audience perspective (a first for this anime). It is purely due to the combination of music, cuts, and positioning of The Lord and Raizel. Unfortunately, this is followed up by a build up to Raizel unleashing his power, which turns into a big flash that shows nothing and we just see the results. It has the same effect as the time jump at the beginning of the episode.

Noblesse Episode 9 was perhaps the most frustrating yet. The show skips everything it had built up last week, and foregoes moments that could have been key for character development. Consistent even in the ending, the choices made are abrupt and unjustified. It is disheartening.

Noblesse is streaming now on Crunchyroll.


Noblesse Episode 9 - "Blood Pact/Devote"
  • 3.5/10
    Rating - 3.5/10
3.5/10

TL;DR

Noblesse Episode 9 was perhaps the most frustrating yet. The show skips everything it had built up last week, and foregoes moments that could have been key for character development. Consistent even in the ending, the choices made are abrupt and unjustified. It is disheartening.