Episode 17, "Shared Struggle! Journey to the Dangerous Past!"
Synopsis: Duke Gorgon is defeated by Count Brocken explosive bodies, but Kedora continues to menace, going after the Japanium ore under the Photon Power Labs. Reluctantly, Kouji and Tsubasa team up with Ashura to pursue the escaped Kedora into a dream world that it created of its memories, where everything in it can actually hurt those who've entered. There, they see the history of Ashura's former selves, Tristan and Iseult, and their pact with Duke Gorgon to kill Zeus with the help of Hades. Unfortunately, the whole group is found by Gorgon and his team and face the Mechanical Beast Garadoubla.
Eh, I'm a little ambivalent about the plot device used in this episode, the whole "we're in the past, but not really" thing. It's sort of like the Room of Informational Illusion scenes from Life, the Universe, and Everything, except the characters can actually be affected by the things in it. I suppose it's an interesting way of flashing back and still have the characters take actions, but I don't really care, I'd rather just see the flashbacks on their own without Kouji and the others getting involved.
I guess even back when Zeus was around, the "gods" were controlled by Kedora(s). Does that mean that Zeus has a Kedora in him, too? I thought all that Kedora wanted to do was "destroy, destroy, destroy". What the hell is Kedora up to, anyway, by escaping into that dreamworld past? What does it hope to accomplish?
I pretty much guessed right away upon seeing them that Tristan and Iseult were the two halves of Baron Ashura. He/she's reaction and their reaction to him/her were interesting, and made you feel sort of bad for Ashura. It was also interesting to find out the length of Ashura's loyalty to Dr. Hell, even betraying his/her past to assist in his plans.
It was a decent episode, but something seemed a little off about the art and animation. It wasn't nearly as good as previous episodes, and made me wonder if they had finally reached the end of their budget, or are just saving up for the finale. I'll know soon enough.
3 out of 5