|The Mystic Archives of Rasiel|
Extra Episode 02: Bibliotheca Razielis Archangeli
Rajieru no Shoka
September 24, 2011
"The Mystic Archives of Rasiel" is the 11th episode of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian anime and the thirteenth story shown in the adaptation. It's also known as Extra Episode 02: Bibliotheca Razielis Archangeli. The episode is unique for showing Hugh during the Great War, before the events of the first episode.
Armand excitedly brings the simulated combat between two Allied pilots to the Second Lieutenant’s notice. The superior is surprised, knowing that Welling is being overwhelmed by a rookie that just graduated from flight school. When Hugh lands after his victory, the Second Lieutenant tries to start a conversation while writing poetry, mentioning how the biplane Camel tends to lurch to the right when the control stick is released. The rookie ignores the remark and arrogantly affirms he would beat his score in three months. However, Ilas gains his respect after recognizing Hugh and himself as men unsuitable for war. The Second Lieutenant is able to read someone’s mind based on how they fly. As Hugh shakes hand with his superior, a golden key is shown hanging on his chest.
Months later, the Faceless Phantom is reciting a poem and piloting his German airplane to chase the terrified Allied pilots. The ace writes, inspired after eliminating his targets, until his aircraft is hit. Hugh engages in combat, asking why Ilas was doing that. The Faceless Phantom is almost shooting him down, but Hugh avoids a critical damage when he reaches for his golden key. Because the control stick was released, the Camel escaped to the right.
A man pours whisky to Ilas, who appears in German uniform in a bar. The barkeeper knows about the Allied plans. They discuss about the war and Ilas expresses his wish to keep fighting. He’s writing a collection of poems based on the voices of his enemies that he can hear during the battle. He suffers as a strange image comes to his mind. Ilas sees himself in the middle of a destroyed city and a mysterious girl laughing. A lock hides her left eye.
Soon after, the same girl shows up in his room. Ilas’ memory is fuzzy, but he can tell they have met before. While dancing and floating around the place, Rasiel reveals to be interested in the progress of Ilas’ poetry book. His ability to read the enemies’ minds meant that he was using the power of a Phantom Egg, a Phantom Book about to be born from the powerful human emotions caused by the war. Rasiel enjoys the war for producing the madness that brings forth the Phantom Books. She hopes Ilas’ poems will eventually be worthy to be sealed in The Mystic Archives of Rasiel. Hugh is shown looking at a photo of himself next to Ilas, pondering about him.
Ilas dreams with the recurrent chaotic image. When he wakes up, he can feel that the enemies would come. A flashback shows Hugh and Ilas discussing about their past. When he was a child, Ilas was working in a mine when he found the article about the first successful flight. While playing basketball one-on-one, they appear testing each other with facts about the history of aviation.
The Allies bombard the base below. However, Ilas counterattacks fiercely in his airplane, destroying the enemies while reciting. A giant ghost is shown to represent his brutal offensive. Hugh joins the battle, reading the first poem he heard from Ilas. As Hugh explains, Ilas is supposed to be dead. The latter was in Paris with his beloved when the city was attacked. Ilas doesn’t believe him. His eyes are red and his lips form a deranged smile. With tears in his eyes, Hugh shoots him down.
Rasiel and the barkeeper, referred as “the Professor”, watch the remains of Ilas’ airplane. They didn’t predict the existence of another collection of poems. While piloting the Camel, Hugh notices their presence below. He had used Ilas’ first book as a Phantom Egg. Rasiel wonders if he’s the key-keeper of another library. Ilas appears from the burning wreckage. His compilation of poems was lost, so he wants to start writing again. However, Rasiel affirms he wouldn’t have a second chance. Her soft touch makes him collapse. The Professor reveals himself as the one who raised him from the grave. Failing to complete a Phantom Book, now Ilas had no use for them. His body disappears when the Professor removes a bookmark from between the pages of a Phantom Book.
Hugh burns Ilas’ first book, but he seems frustrated when his photo is also destroyed. Since fire is prohibited, he’s scolded by Armand. Hugh receives a letter from him. Armand is astonished when his superior discards the Victoria Cross before leaving the base. The letter informs about Wesley’s death. Hugh tries to open the main door of the Disward estate using a golden key.
- The introduction is set in Norfolk, England, 1917. A large number of men were called up to join the regiments in the rural county and sent to fight in France during the First World War. Airship hangars and manufacturers of aircraft, shells and electrical motors producing for the war effort were located in Norfolk. The county was one of the first places on earth bombed from the air after raided by German Zeppelin airships.
- 1917 is marked by the involvement of the United States in the Great War, when the country severed diplomatic relations with Germany and declared war on the Empire. The first two SPAD airplanes destroyed by the Faceless Ghost during the episode had the insignia of the United States Air Force.
- That same year, London suffered the first major German bombing raid, Soviet Russia negotiated a peace treaty with the Central Powers after the October Revolution, and Germany adopted a policy of using submarines to sink vessels without warning as response to the Blockade of Europe.
- The scene where Hugh and Ilas first fight is set in Aisne, France, 1918, when Germans carried out a surprise attack, focusing on capturing the Chemin des Dames Ridge, resulting in the Third Battle of the Aisne. The operation was part of the Spring Offensive, an effort to defeat the Allies before the full deployment of the overwhelming resources of the United States.
- 1918 is marked by the ending of Russia's involvement in the Great War after signing a treaty with the Central Powers. That same year, the Red Baron was killed in action, aircraft carriers were used in combat for the first time, and the Second Battle of the Somme began. On November 11, Germany signed an armistice agreement that ended the fighting on the Western Front.
- Armand mentions that Hugh transferred from Eastchurch. Active from 1909 to 1946, it was a Royal Air Force training station near Eastchurch village where an Englishman piloted an airplane in Britain for the first time.
- Hugh, Armand and Ilas were assigned to the Yarmauth station. It's possibly a reference to the Great Yarmouth, a land and seaplane base used by the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) during the First World War, before they merged with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) to form the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1918.
- The bar has a wall showing the French patriotic expression "Vive la France" and the flag of the country painted over with the Iron Cross, a military decoration in the German Empire, and the words "Berachtet mir den Meifter nicht", meaning "Do not disdain the Masters". It's the name of an aria from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, opera by German composer Richard Wagner, premiered in 1868.
- Ilas drinks the Sprin' Bank whisky. Springbank is a real family-owned distillery established in 1828 in Campbeltown, a Scottish town once considered the center of smuggling and illegal production of whisky.
- A bottle of Edrodour whiskey is also shown. Edradour is another Scottish distillery, recognized as one of the smallest, founded in 1825.
- The barkeeper mentions that the French Sixty Army and the British Ninth Army were preparing an attack by marching down the Aisne, a river in northeastern France, where the Third Battle of the Aisne was fought. Formed in 1914, the 6eme Armée contributed three troops to the Battle of the Somme, the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front. The IX Corps, formed in England in 1915, suffered several losses during the Spring Offensive.
- A blackboard is used to record the number of shootdowns made by each member of a Jasta, a fighter squadron of the Luftstreitkräfte, the World War I air arm of the German Army. The blackboard is taken from a scene of The Blue Max, a 1966 British war film about a German fighter pilot during the Great War.
- The article found by Ilas has real publications from The Times, a British daily national newspaper founded in 1785. "A Flying-Machine that Flies" is the title used by the San Francisco Call to report the development of a successful airplane.
- The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, were American inventors and aviation pioneers, generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world's first successful airplane. They made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft on December 17, 1903. They flew the Wright Flyer, powered by a 12 hp engine, at the Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Hugh and Ilas memorized the time and distance of the Wright brothers' first flights.
- The book used by Ilas to decipher the article is the 1828 edition of A Dictionary of the English Language, one of the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language.
- Basketball was introduced in England by the worldwide organization Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), almost immediately after it was invented by Canadian-American physical educator and sports coach James Naismith in 1891. The sport gained more popularity with the arrival of the Americans into the Great War.
- Ilas spent his last moments in a place that resembles part of the Gardens of Versailles. Curiously, the Palace of Versailles is where the Germany and the Allies signed the peace treaty that ended the First World War.
- The Victoria Cross is the highest award of the United Kingdom honours system, introduced in 1856 by Queen Victoria, presented usually at Buckingham Palace to a person of any military rank who shows gallantry in combat. There are 627 recipients that acted in the First World War, 19 of those are airmen.
- The episode ends with the first scenes of Episode 1.