‘Record of Ragnorak’ or ‘Shuumatsu no Walküre,’ the original net animation based on the manga series written by Shinya Umemura and Takumi Fukui and illustrated by Ajichika, is the perfect representation of anime as a medium of entertainment and art. It’s absurdly larger than life and defies traditional creative logic to the point of mockery. The anime revolves around a tournament in which 13 legendary humans fight 13 gods to decide the fate of humanity. Here is everything you need to know about the ‘Record of Ragnarok’ season 1 ending. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Record of Ragnarok Season 1 Recap
Humanity has existed on Earth for 7 million years. During this period, humans have grown strong, and their numbers have increased exponentially. But sometime along the way, they began to misuse the gifts that the gods gave them, abusing nature, polluting the world, and causing the extinction of numerous species. Every 1000 years, the gods of various pantheons gather in the Council of Valhalla to decide the fate of humanity. Until the last Valhalla Council, the gods voted in favor of letting the humans live. But when the gods assemble again, they unanimously decide to permanently end humanity for all their crimes against the world they reside in.
However, Brunhilde, the 1st among the 13 Valkyrie sisters, steps forward and asks the gods to reconsider. She accepts that the sins and atrocities of humans have been appalling but then declares that she finds the idea of simply exterminating the humans to be crude. She then suggests that they should hold a tournament between the humans and their creators to see if the mortal beings are worthy of living for another 1,000 years. She appeals to the vanity and arrogance of the gods to get them to agree to her proposal. Zeus, the Chairman of the Council, accepts it on behalf of all gods and charges the Valkyrie to find the 13 contestants who will represent humans in the coming tournament.
Brunhilde digs deep into world history to build the vanguard for humanity, but she is well aware that humans can never match the gods and their divine weapons no matter who they are. So, she plans to bond the human fighters with Valkyries so that the latter group will turn into weapons that can match the ones that the gods wield.
The first fight is between Thor, the Norse god of thunder, and Lu Bu, the legendary Flying General from the Three Kingdoms period of China. The second match in the tournament is between Zeus and Adam, the First Man and the progenitor of all humanity. The third fight is fought between Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, and Kojirou Sasaki, the talented swordsman from the Azuchi–Momoyama and early Edo periods of Japan. In the season 1 finale, Kojirou defeats Poseidon, winning humanity’s first match in the tournament.
Record of Ragnarok Season 1 Ending: What’s the Current Score?
At the end of the inaugural season, the score stands at 2-1 in favor of the gods. Thor wins his fight against Lu Bu by smashing his opponent’s upper body with Mjölnir. After the end of match 1, Zeus decides that he will fight in match 2. However, Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, is supposed to take part in that round. Zeus threatens Shiva to concede the latter’s position to him. Shiva eventually agrees on the condition that Zeus will owe him a favor.
In match 2, Adam initially proves to be more than a match for even Zeus, who is arguably the most powerful of all gods. Ultimately, Zeus uses his final form, the Adamas, to defeat Adam by sheer endurance. After the third fight and Poseidon’s death, Zeus again forces Shiva to concede his position in the tournament to another Greek deity, this time to Hercules. He just can’t accept that a God, a Greek one no less, would lose to a human. So, he sends the greatest hero of Greek mythology to avenge his fallen brother.
What Is Ragnarok?
In Norse mythology, Ragnarok or Ragnarök represents the end of the old and the beginning of the new. Most of the Norse gods, including Odin, Thor, Heimdallr, and Loki, are killed during this cataclysmic event. In the anime, Ragnarok is a tournament between men and gods. Originally, it was put in the Constitution of Valhalla as a divine jest, as none of the gods thought that humans would ever be able to fight them. But the Ultra-Special Clause of Article 62 (paragraph 18) does exist, and it allows Brunhilde to give humanity a literal fighting chance.
In the 13-match tournament, the side that scores 7 wins the earliest wins. If the gods win Ragnarok, they will wipe out humanity. And if humans win, they can exist for another 1,000 years. The participants that die during the matches, be it gods or humans, are dead permanently. As Brunhilde reveals to Göll, the fights in the Valhalla arena are battles between souls. The defeated fighters get turned into dust, fated to float forever in Niflheimr. These souls can never be reformed, nor can they reincarnate.
What is the Significance of the Post-credits Scene?
In the post-credits scene, the Valhalla arena is changed to make it look like Victorian London at the request of the fourth human fighter, Jack the Ripper. His godly opponent is Hercules, the Greek hero who ascended to godhood. Brunhilde knows that they have to keep up the winning momentum after Kojirou’s victory in the third match. As Loki recognizes, Brunhilde is not beyond playing dirty tricks to secure victory for humanity. So, she sends in Jack the Ripper, arguably the most reprehensible human in history, to fight against the most honorable and valiant of all gods, knowing if anyone among her fighters has a chance against Hercules, it’s Jack.
What is Völundr?
In Norse mythology, Völundr or Wayland the Smith is a renowned blacksmith who appears in the poem ‘Völundarkviða’ in the Poetic Edda. In the anime, Völundr is the pact that the Valkyries form with the human fighters to level the field against their divine opponents. Traditionally, it is believed that the Valkyries guide the souls of human warriors to Valhalla so they can serve the gods in their army. But as Zeus muses, there is a rumor that the Valkyries build a connection with their selected humans and prepare them for Ragnarok. However, because of the pact, the Valkyries also perish when their humans die during Ragnarok. Both Randgriz and Reginleif die with Lu Bu and Adam, respectively.
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