Well- what else can I say about this installment, except that it's Aczelius (Aczeriuth, to be true to the localisation) at last, and man: this was worth the wait. It's payoff time in spades. Am officially spoilt rotten by Asch, of all people (he has so many good scenes in this installment), which is such a joke, considering the love/hate relationship I have with him.
Before the ground falls away beneath your feet:
Luke's standing at the passage ring, and Van has triggered the "Foolish Replica Luke" code word that unleashes Luke's choushindou and spells the end of Aczelius.
Don't Miss Dancing Doushi and His Amazing Cheegle!
Ion and His Oracle Knights, coming Soon to a Coliseum Near You!
It really looked to me as if Ion was engaged in a particularly vigorous breakdancing session with Mieu.
Crack aside, Ion knew what was up, and yelled a warning too late for Luke, "Luke! Don't go there! It's -"
Couldn't help but think of glorious here:
Silly little boy. All trust is foolish.
Suddenly, Sensei's Sinister.
And then suddenly a DIM BULB BRIGHTENS, and Luke realises ... we aren't in Kimlasca anymore, Mieu...
Oh, Sensei. You look so... so... eeeeeevil.
Asch is... greatly displeased.
WELL SO WOULD I BE were I him...
Van realises Tear is there, and says, "Tear... Why are you here?"
HOW COULD YOU DO THIS?
Tear says, essentially, that her fears about Van have been realised. She says the people of Aczelius are doomed.
Van: I like being evil. It makes me... happy.
Okay, okay. Too much Spider-man 3.
Crack aside, Van addresses her by her full name, Mestearica, and says that she hasn't yet realised that this world is foolish, awful, etc.
The Return of the Replica: This year's #1 Horror Flick.
But the poor boy. This is a heartbreaking panel. It's when he finally realises that Van has betrayed him. Luke's thinking back on Van telling him that he was going to be a hero, and himself saying, "I want to be with Van!"
Luke: "This... I did this?!"
When I played this in the game my heart broke for Luke. It was the hardest part in the entire game, even though I had to do absolutely nothing.
But maybe it was that, that this event was utterly unchangeable.
Though, heh. When I first set eyes on this part, I thought of orphen and meimi, especially. ;)
Luke, prepare yourself for Asch's Very Special Brand of TOUGH LOVE.
SAY IT WITH VIOLENCE:
Which basically can be summed up by the motto SCREW UP AND I'LL MAKE YOU SUFFER FOR IT.
And Asch abuses himself. When I saw it, my heart wrenched and I was ohpoorLuke! *cuddles Luke protectively*
Admittedly Luke asked for it, but I am D: ASCH GET YOUR HANDS OFF YOUR REPLICA. If you don't know how to treat him right, AT LEAST GUY WILL.
This part also makes me think of harajukufuuri, because you were once so D: at Luke that you wanted to put him in the first Asch-Luke fight and let him take it, and I saw this and thought you kind of got your wish. xD
Actual translation: Asch is furious at Luke's part in this, and punches him, saying that he's a deteriorating replica:
To which Luke asks, "What's a replica?" - in all innocence.
And as you can see, it breaks Asch's brain:
Asch doesn't go and explain it directly, though. "Don't make me laugh," he says, beyond fury now,
"Let me tell you this, Luke Obocchan" (Young Master Luke - in the manga, he uses this term sarcastically, on Luke)
Though I would completely believe in this alternative scenario. ♥
(warning: crack, and also Asch/Luke implications)
And Asch is given the unenviable task of explaining
Where Do Baby Replicas Come From?
Asch says, "Why do you think you and I have the same face?"
Jade, "This is -" His suspicions about Luke being Asch's replica are true.
You can see Asch struggling not to say, "SENSEI FLIES IN WITH THEM on a GREAT BIG EAGLE."
Asch: "Seven years ago, I was kidnapped by Van. I came from a noble family in Batical. I was the son of a Duke.
My father's name was Fabre."
Finally, he asks Luke what he thinks.
Asch: "You are my look-alike... my copy."
Tear: "STOP IT, ASCH!"
Asch: "You are my deteriorating replica!"
Sensei, I'M FLYING!
I suppose this would make Van/Asch fans happy.
But Asch isn't that easy:
Asch: "Van?! Release me!! Damn it!!"
The look in Tear's eyes says more than any words ever could.