REVIEW: ‘Scarlet Nexus,’ Episode 5 – “Karen’s Revolt”

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Scarlet Nexus Episode 5

Scarlet Nexus is a sci-fi anime from Sunrise, based on the video game by Bandai Namco Entertainment. With Kasane’s squad having disappeared at Kunad, Yuito’s squad has returned to Suoh without them to stop the city from being overrun by Others. But why have the city’s defenses been taken down? Why is Major General Karen trying to attack Suoh, its government, and people in Scarlet Nexus Episode 5?

While the last episode struggled with trying to focus on too much, this episode happily reigns in its narrative to fix its focus on Yuito and his platoon. This decision to only follow Yuito, leaving the developing situation Kasane’s platoon finds itself in for later, makes Scarlet Nexus Episode 5’s story far more solid than I was worried it would be.

There is a significant amount of information and new terms thrown around in this episode. How the world of Scarlet Nexus and its larger political situation gets expanded on in this episode is handled well. And while not every new concept is fully fleshed out, the episode does a good job of reaching the happy medium between complete clarity and not bogging down the story with tons of exposition.

While the deteriorating situation is the setting for Scarlet Nexus Episode 5,  Yuito’s reactions to the developing situation are front and center in this episode. As the son of the New Himukan government’s Chairman, Major General Karen’s developing coup is even more personal for him. How the episode delivers the young man’s mental state is a bit of a mixed bag, however.

While it goes out of its way to set up the right moments to display how shaken Yuito is, these moments lack the strength to give them the full punch of what Yuito is going through. The story just doesn’t seem to be willing to fully commit to the emotional side of its tale, and I’m beginning to wonder if the series may be adhering to the original game’s presentation a bit too closely.

Most of the Scarlet Nexus game‘s larger moments are captured through still portraits of the characters accompanied by voiceovers. While this makes it harder to deliver the full visual presentation of moments, for a game, this level of emotional presentation is acceptable. As a medium, such presentation is common, as fully animating the number of interactions a game like Scarlet Nexus has would be unrealistic. Especially when combined with the cost of making the rest of the game. However, television runs on a different style altogether. This series should be doing far more with these characters and the moments they live in. Seeming to settle for the same level of impact as its source material is a huge miss.

While the presentation of Scarlet Nexus Episode 5 emotional presentation continues to be a bit wanting, this episode does deliver some solid moments of action. Various members of the OSF are given moments to step up in combat. It isn’t the most original or intricate action moments, but they do the job.

So, when all is said and done, Scarlet Nexus Episode 5 manages to focus itself a bit, which helps it some. Still, the middle-of-the-road presentation it brings continues to hold the story back from being something exceptional.

Scarlet Nexus Episode 5 is streaming on Funimation.

Scarlet Nexus Episode 5
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

So, when all is said and done, Scarlet Nexus Episode 5 manages to focus itself a bit, which helps it some. Still, the middle-of-the-road presentation it brings continues to hold the story back from being something exceptional.