Winner: Samurai-Sky | Magistelle
Although comparatively less complete from a visual standpoint from their previous rounds, Sky and Mags continue to present solid entries that deliver in action and suspense — and in this round, very touching moments. We not only enjoyed the battle, but we also enjoyed the character interactions, subtle hints and callbacks, and more clever fourth-wall breaking. Although their entry remains visually competitive, they should pay particular attention to their non-combat segments as the pacing slows considerably.
With continuing character conflicts and mysterious plot devices, VesperousCrown’s entry looks like it could have been a fairly promising and interesting one from a story perspective. Because the entry is largely incomplete however, we found the entry visually incoherent and difficult to comprehend. That said, we understand that there were various circumstances that prevented this from being a complete entry, and commend his efforts in turning in the entry in its entirety.
This match was a highly contested one with the final votes coming down to 13 vs. 12, with judges taking a long time to check and double-check their respective votes. As usual, both contestants here have beautiful visuals and dynamic combat sequences, as evident from the split in the votes, although Mazaker pulled forward through originality with his setting and a more completed entry.
With shifting dimensions, clashing timelines and conspiracies, Mazaker no doubt has an interesting concept in his overarching plot. However, the execution of his narrative is difficult for some of us to follow from round to round. Some of the judges had a hard time putting the first few pages of his round into any context as it’s difficult to recall the portions (or B-story) from previous matches that they might apply to. This coupled with clumsy dialogue contributed to the close call for this round. Ultimately, he was able to pull ahead by an inch on intrigue and a more visually realized world.
Hragon could have wound up in some serious trouble with the state of finish her entry was in. As her sketches became more sparse, the fight took more time to decipher, but her composition remained solid enough to compensate for that. In spite of the abrupt ending, the story to her comic was more cleanly executed and easy to follow, with shifts in Rex’s demeanor finally coming into play. She also did well to insert herself as a plot device in her opponent’s story-- the way things played out between the teams felt more nuanced this way than they would in a typical fight.
Both participants in this match submitted commendable entries, in terms of completion and entertainment. Zuragon skated ahead primarily by keeping us invested in her team, and though she juggled a substantial B-cast (and their inclusion at times felt a bit rushed and crammed and with little context), it didn’t feel like they were interfering too badly with the core of her story. The way she played out her twist of operating like a character instead of an artist in her own team at least came across as heartfelt, and gives the audience a few more questions to answer about her motivations.
Lulzy’s new character reveal however, felt like it had less punch, and was more like seeing something play out to its natural conclusion. Furthermore, while nobody on the judging panel takes issue with a bit of wanton murder in their comics, the defeat of her opponents ultimately fell a bit flat. The humor from her previous rounds also didn’t seem to carry over as well, and this put a huge dent in the entertainment value of watching someone angry and flippant storm through the Real in search of judges to heck up.
In short, both entries are good, but where Zuragon’s story is still unfolding, we felt that Lulzy’s was reaching a point of diminishing returns on the same note, while attempting to up the volume so to speak with a more dramatic scale and greater damage being done.
Although not without flaws, Siberian had a strong entry story-wise this round, with in-depth character interactions between both her own team and between the opposing team. Other factors that helped with the story were the clever way to dispatch the opposing OC as well as revelation that she may have died. It is unfortunate that the comic ended abruptly; it did seem that there were much more planned for this round. Visually, the entry was comprehensible and there were some dynamic action sequences that we enjoyed. This said, there does not appear to be a variety of shots or perspectives, namely after the first half of the entry; to prevent crowding, be careful not to have too many panels consisting of only headshots.