Sorcerous Stabber Orphen: Battle of Kimluck Review

It’s time to take a look at Orphen season 2, not to be mixed up with the season 2 to the original show. This one delves into the Kimluck battles and I’m always still curious at how the novels played things out. The events in this show compared to the first one are just so massively different on every level that it’s pretty interesting. I am glad that Azalie gets more to do in this version though as she is easily one of the standout characters. It’s a fun show but considerably weaker than the first one mainly due to some slow pacing with new characters that you’ll find it hard to care about and Orphen’s main plot being a little hard to buy into.

So the gang are finally arriving at Kimluck. This is a place that is incredibly dangerous for sorcerers aside from those who are already within the kingdom but Orphen has to go there anyway. Azalie was interested in the place and that’s the best lead that he’s got. Plus, he’s Orphen, what can these guys do to him? Well, he’s about to walk into a situation that’s much bigger than he was expecting as there are some mysteries involving the origins of the dragons, the origins of the sorcerers, and even the legendary sword from season 1. It turns out that pretty much everything has roots within Kimluck and Orphen won’t be able to use his true powers anymore after being traumatized during a fight with one of the villains. Can he escape these tunnels alive?

The heroes are stuck in the tunnels for quite a bit after being betrayed by one of the locals. Of course Orphen did say they couldn’t trust anyone here but the gang ends up following their lead anyway so the warning pretty much didn’t matter. At the end of the day I suppose if they want to find the secrets of this place it’s not like they have a whole lot of say in the matter anyway. This leads into the weakest aspect of the film though.

See, the characters are stuck in this underground passageway where the water could come flooding in at any point. This means they can’t really blast their way out or it could cause a cave in. Usually Orphen could at least try some kind of spell but here’s the kicker. So Orphen murdered this one guy who was in his way because he used too much power accidentally. Orphen blames himself because even in the life or death situation he thinks he should have been able to hold back and just knock the guy out.

I have a lot of issues with this, one of which being that this guy was trying to murder Orphen and had a bunch of steroids so he was moving very fast. Orphen was nearly the one who died there. Even beyond that, Orphen doesn’t strike me as someone who would be traumatized so easily like that. In this world magic is based on your emotions so while he is in a fragile state like this there isn’t a whole lot that he can do. I find it hard to buy into personally. It’s also to such an exaggerated level where he is down in the dumps for almost the whole season from that point.

It’s a shame because Orphen’s usually a lot of fun for being such a confident main character. He’ll talk back to anyone and fight with the best of them. We don’t get to see that version of Orphen for very long here. So I can safely say that the murder guilt plot was just bad. It doesn’t help to enhance the story in any way and instead only serves to hold it back. If you had to do this kind of plot then I think it needed to be a bystander. For example, Orphen didn’t hold back enough and his attack murdered an onlooker or something. That would make a whole lot more sense for why this incident would break Orphen.

Okay so that plot wasn’t great but the show does have a fantastic climax. Azalie’s always a lot of fun like I mentioned before because she’s the tough rival for Orphen. Their relationship is a bit different than the average rival one though as she was also a mentor to him. He doesn’t even know what her true goals are here but she tends to find herself in dangerous spots most of the time. While he did beat her that one time, she is always portrayed as being far more skilled than he is.

This also seems to be the case in the climax as we finally get to see them team up against Quo. Now granted, Orphen is nerfed for the whole guilt thing from before but Azalie is definitely doing the heavy lifting here. The magic fight is a lot of fun because we don’t always get to see these large scale battles in Orphen. The series typically ends up being more about adventure and world building which are both good as well of course but sometimes you just want that big fight to end things off with and the show manages to deliver on that.

The final fight has some super forms and a lot of strategy as well. Quo’s battle style is rather fun as he has a solid defense and offense but isn’t really able to use them at the same time. In that respect it’ll remind you of a video game as the characters have to try and hit him with perfect timing before he resets. There’s also a very memorable part near the end where he pulls out a gun. It’s always very impressive when the villain just pulls out a gun in any kind of show where there are super powers because you just wonder how useful it can possibly be. Well, it comes in clutch here that’s for sure.

In general I thought Quo was a rather fun villain. At first he is more of a minion who just takes orders so he didn’t stand out but he finally realizes that the whole thing is nonsense and makes a move later on. With his level of abilities it makes sense not to just meekly follow orders and the leader did seem rather crazy with how he would murder off his subordinates for no real reason. Quo at least tried to have an honor code and thought he was doing the right thing. Throw in his super forms and he may be the most memorable Orphen villain aside from the clone doll in season 1 or Azalie if she still counts.

Salua is a returning character from season 1 but he definitely does not look very good here. So he was taken down off screen by the Kimluck church and the best you can say for him is that he never talked no matter how much they interrogated him. I’ll give him credit for that but that’s about it. Considering that he was a death instructor who gave Orphen a tough fight in season 1, he’s treated like fodder in this season. He gets wrecked in every fight and just can’t seem to hold his own against everyone. He constantly looks to Orphen for help which tells me that he doesn’t have a ton of confidence in his own abilities either. It’s like without his special sword he’s not as tough as he once was.

In this verse the power levels don’t go too high yet so I get that he has limits but he does not look impressive in the slightest. Volcan and Dortin don’t get a big role in this season but I was cool with that. They’re the comic relief characters who will have a fun scene once in a while but usually don’t really do anything to enhance the scene. They just slow it down and you wait for them to go away. They’re traveling with Azalie for most of the season which is a change of pace but even then they don’t do anything.

Cleao’s role isn’t huge as the main heroine either but she still manages to be helpful quite a few times. It really helps that she has Leki (I always think she’s calling him “Lucky” though) around since that little dragon type creature can take almost anyone out. It’s not always a get out of jail free card but it does work quite a bit. Cleao also isn’t opposed to getting into the field and trying to swing at the enemy either. She has a lot more energy than you would expect and so she’s a lot of fun.

Definitely a big improvement over Majic who I’m still not sold on. He at least tries to fight in Orphen’s place at times here while Orphen is unable to deal any damage. That said, he’s still ineffective at almost all points so it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of improvement there. For every step forward he takes, he seems to fall backwards almost immediately. I look forward to the days when he becomes someone that can be counted on.

Childman’s dead by the time season 2 pops around but he still gets a whole lot of hype. For example he is the only sorcerer to ever break into Kimluck and then escape with his life. We also get a flashback where he is the chosen one able to meet the god who broke away from the other gods to deliver the power of the dragons. The guy really got around so in a way it’s too bad that he couldn’t have fought more in the present before being taken down. I’d have liked to have seen more of his skills.

For example, could Orphen really beat him in a fair fight? It seems like the answer to that may be a no. At least Orphen still has the cool title of being the Razor’s Edge. It’s brought up constantly and I do like it as a title. It’s just got some gravity behind it and makes him really sound like a tough customer. I am still a big fan of Orphen so when he’s not down in the dumps he is usually coming up with some good lines or solid fight scenes.

Madchen is one of the main new characters here. She fights for the resistance and opposes the will of Kimluck. Naturally this means that her whole squad is murdered in the opening episode and she spends the rest of the show getting styled on by all of the villains. In particular the worst appearance for her is when she tries to assassinate Carlotta who is asleep in bed but fails. Of course we learn that Carlotta was awake and would have easily bested Carlotta but it doesn’t help Madchen’s hype. Really the issue for Madchen is that she’s a normal human with a sword who has no magical enhancements. That is really not going to take you far in this kind of show. At least she is on the right side so maybe one day she will get a power up.

Carlotta’s an interesting villain but it’s hard to say exactly what she is thinking. She enjoys being a villain for sure but is quick to walk out on the main villain when the tides turn. She’s just looking after herself but you have to assume she may lose her wealth if she isn’t careful about being so openly rebellious. I’d like to see more of her because there is some potential here but I get the feeling she won’t be returning as the heroes leave Kimluck for good.

Then we have the Pope who is at the head of this and there’s an interesting twist about him. He’s not just some old guy in the chair but can actually fight. The doll in that place may or may not even be the real guy although I like the idea that it is. It’s hard to get a read on him. At first glance he seems like some insane villain who isn’t planning for the long game but maybe there’s more to him. He’s still more interesting than Name who is the villain that only exists to traumatize Orphen.

Name starts rambling on about the Church of Kimluck and trying to be of use to the place. The guy is completely brainwashed by the church to the point where he fills himself with steroids so that he’ll die but is fine with it. He even starts questioning Orphen’s resolve and messing with his mind. I would have liked if Orphen had just laughed all of this off but unfortunately he takes it pretty hard the whole time. The guy is surprisingly skilled so he does last quite a bit. I’ll at least acknowledge that he is powerful considering that the guy’s only human. Those drugs really did the trick.

There’s not much more to say about Azalie as I already explained why she’s so much fun. She has Orphen’s confidence but with an even higher level of skill. She’s always mysterious about her intentions but at the end of the day she still does help Orphen out when he’s in trouble. Azalie’s like an anti-hero in that sense as she is quietly helping Orphen out at every turn. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is leading him somewhere or has some kind of grand plan in the end but we would probably need more seasons for that and I’m not sure what the odds would be on this getting a season 3.

As for the plot with the gods, it is interesting in concept but right now it’s hard to care too much. The series tries a lot of worldbuilding throughout but I’d say it’s just not all really connecting quite yet. We have dragons, gods, humans, sorcerers, and they all mix together with the origins. It seems like it’s possible that the other gods may intervene at some point but what would that really do with the plot? Who knows so we’ll just have to wait. It was impressive that the girl behind the door survived being choked by a god for many years but since they were partially in the other dimension and partially in the real world, I guess this was due to being between realms. I have to say that being choked for years sounds like a pretty awful experience though.

So if they want the gods and dragons (Or they may even be the same thing with how regal the dragons here are. It’s like they’re an elevated life form) to be relevant then I really need season 3 to make this more of a focus. With Sorcerers effectively being humans who have some of the dragon blood within them, I wonder if that means we could get some super forms in the future. I’d definitely be down with that. For the animation, the show looks pretty solid as you’d expect. I liked how vibrant everything was in season 1 and that continues here. I would say it looks just as good and while most of the show is pretty low key so the animators don’t get to show off, the climax is able to go all out.

As for the soundtrack, there aren’t any real new themes that I can remember but it was decent. None of the tracks really stand out in particular. The ending is decent enough and the opening’s good. I wonder if it’s some kind of remix because the opening sounds like one I’ve heard many years ago but it could just be that it’s the same band or something. The visuals in the opening are a lot of fun though and while it may make you think that the show is more action packed than it is, it certainly serves its purpose of getting you hyped to see what’s coming up next.

While the middle of the show may not be the strongest, ultimately Orphen is able to continue to be solid because it did have a strong start and ending. The intro where Orphen shows up to save Madchen and fight off the dolls was a good way to start things off and I already talked about the climax. The show also makes for a pretty easy watch because it’s an upbeat fantasy adventure. I’d also say there is a good amount of replay value for the title as a whole because the writing and banter are good. So while this didn’t match season 1, I would be pretty hyped for a season 3 if we ever get that.

Overall, Battle of Kimluck doesn’t ultimately end up matching up to season 1. Mainly I’d say this is due to the Orphen guilt plot and the underground episodes just not being very exciting. I want to say that way more happened in season 1 than 2 and maybe that’s partially because it was pre arc but the pacing was always on point. Season 2 can be more of a slow boil leading up to the final fight. It’s still a good show though. The writing is on point and I do like the character cast as a whole. The graphics are good and the music is solid enough so that has all of the makings of a good show. It doesn’t make any big mistakes either and will leave you hyped for season 3 to see what Azalie is going to do next and what all of this lore is leading up to. If you want a good fantasy watch then this is up your alley.

Overall 7/10

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