REVIEW: ‘Scarlet Nexus,’ Episode 4 – “Red Strings”

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Scarlet Nexus Episode 4

Scarlet Nexus is a sci-fi anime from Sunrise, based on the video game by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Having been lured to the Kunad Highway under the guise of a major Others attack, both Kasane and Yuito’s platoons find themselves under attack by Major General Karen and Gemma. As the OSF turns on itself, something even more startling takes shape in Scarlet Nexus Episode 4.

The hits keep coming for our beleaguered OSF troops. Still reeling from Naomi’s transformation into an Other in the last episode, they now find themselves pitted against their comrades, with the why remaining unknown. There are numerous angles to the ensuing conflict, as close friends within the ranks are forced to face each other on the battlefield. While I appreciated the show’s desire to give scope and impact to the event by showing how it was hitting secondary characters as well as Yuito and Kasane, Scarlet Nexus Episode 4 tries to cover far too much for its own good.

For both the emotional moments of this episode to land and serve the Kunad Highway battle justice from an action standpoint, the show really needed to have the event be the full episode. Instead, only roughly the first half of the episode is devoted to what is arguably the most pivotal narrative moment in the series. This rush to completion not only robs the individual moments within it of impact but makes the entire moment feel far less important than it actually is.

While I won’t give details about the second half of Scarlet Nexus Episode 4, the episode slows down as it steps away from the action of the first half and looks at the repercussions of the battle, both for the OSF as well as the people of Suoh in general.

With so much going on during this episode, the visuals struggle to find the time to really deliver any one aspect of the story. As the last episode wrapped, I had high hopes that we would get some spectacular fight moments as the various OSF members got to really cut loose and showcase their signature powers. Instead, we got a few weaker clashes that, while they deliver the action clearly, the intensity never really manages to come through.

This same feeling of half measures comes through in the presentation of Scarlet Nexus Episode 4′s emotional moments as well. There are a couple of moments where some real feeling could’ve been injected into the narrative if the visuals had committed to the pain characters are supposed to be feeling.

So while I appreciate the show’s desire to tell all the stories unfolding in its central event, Its reach comes to far exceed its grasp. While I always love it when shows go out of their way to flesh out secondary cast members, like all aspects of storytelling, it needs to be something that the narrative fully commits to; otherwise, it ultimately hurts the result more than it helps.  I hope as the series moves forward, it can take a little more time with its key moments and characters so they can have the emotional impact they are desperately trying to achieve.

Scarlet Nexus Episode 4 is streaming on Funimation.

Scarlet Nexus Episode 4
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL;DR

So while I appreciate the show’s desire to tell all the stories unfolding in its central event, Its reach comes to far exceed its grasp. While I always love it when shows go out of their way to flesh out secondary cast members, like all aspects of storytelling, it needs to be something that the narrative fully commits to; otherwise, it ultimately hurts the result more than it helps.  I hope as the series moves forward, it can take a little more time with its key moments and characters so they can have the emotional impact they are desperately trying to achieve.