Plunderer offers a glimpse of a unique world building situated on an island suspended in the sky where the life system depends on a count of numbers. Despite that, the anime is overrun with fanservice.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this fanservice is that it has hijacked a mysterious phenomena of the world : Althing. The article shall delve into what the Althing is and its origins.
1. What is Althing?
Althing is an alien device that allows humanity to alter the laws of the world in a way that is absolute and irrefutable. Althing is a supernatural phenomena or energy that guides the overall functioning of the world.
Althing is derived from two Scandinavian terms, Al which means ‘all’ and thing which means ‘Parliament’. Its meaning alludes to its function.
I. Althing’s Powers
The Althing is used to change the laws of the world or establish a certain kind of governance which the world must abide by. It is the noblest law of the world and nobody can resist it. The establishment or approval of a new law is done through the seven Original Ballots.
With a majority vote, one can pass a new law. This is what triggered the start of the Abandonment War 300 years ago that left the world in ruins. A soldier used the Ballots for the approval of nuclear weapons and kickstarted the event by bombing Japan. Soon, the Red Barons were created to stop the war and collect the 7 Ballots.
The Ballots were then used to stop the war and create a sky island named Althea where resources were available and a new system was put into force. A bizarre side effect of the Althing that is observed is that the person who gets the majority vote stops aging.
It is seen that the natural law of the Althing is so arbitrary that those who go against it receive a Death Penalty. Usually, Ballots are used to access and channel the energies of Althing by a compatible user who can hold the Ballots.
II. Althing in Alcia
Althing is also the phenomena that drags people from Althea to the dreaded Abyss when their count goes to zero. This phenomenon is however not invisible to the eye.
Black hands emerge out of the ground and drag people down into a dark portal that forms beneath them. On a side note, these hands seem to do so in a questionable manner when it comes to women.
2. What are Althing’s True Origins?
It is soon revealed that the Abyss where people are sent to suffer is merely a ruined Japan post the Abandonment War. It is claimed that being taken to the Abyss is a punishment worse than death. This is because of the lack of resources in the Abyss.
Soon, as the history of the world unfolds, the origins of the Althing become clearer. 300 years ago, before the existence of Althea, the world existed in the manner that it does today.
We see a modern-day Japan and a world governed by the United Nations. However similar it is to our world, the conditions are slightly different. The world seems to be tormented with the famine that exists worldwide.
The problem became so dire that the nations began stealing resources and food from each other. The world was in a perpetual state of war. One day, a meteor fell from the sky holding alien technology. This was the Althing.
The origins of this alien intervention is unknown but humans hoped to harness the power of the Althing to protect humanity’s interests. It was seen that the Althing could be used in the form of a voting machine and therefore, 7 Ballots were created.
These ballots were shared between countries to stop the warring state and the deplorable conditions of humans. Soon, Japan realized the extent of the Althing’s powers and sought to transfer the Ballot powers into humans who later turned out to be the Red Barons.
The project however backfired and resulted in war. The war intended to reduce the population with an aim for mankind to survive with the remaining resources. The Red Barons were therefore asked to put an end to the war with their supernatural powers and collect the Ballots.
The Ballots were then used to create Althea where all the resources remained while the Abyss severely lacked. A selected few were transported to prosperous Althea while others remained in the Abyss where the infighting still continues and people live in hunger.
3. How does Althing work?
Althing works as a voting system. The Original Ballots created access and channel the energies of the Althing and are used as instruments for its functioning. There are 7 Ballots created and therefore, a simple majority vote is enough to alter the law of the world.
This factor makes the fragility of the Ballots even more real as access to four Ballots are enough to change the world. However, till now, the Ballots have been used to create Althea, the Abyss and ban nuclear weapons.
*Spoiler* Despite this, Sakai Tokikaze was quite close to unbanning nuclear weapons when he gained access to four Ballots. Althing seems to be an omnipresent supernatural system that approves laws and makes sure they’re upheld.
When Althea was created on the basis of a count system, Althing is the one that makes sure to drag people into the Abyss once their count goes to zero. If anyone tries to attack the abyssal hands that arrive to whisk people away, it results in an unpleasant scuffle.
4. Why is Althing a pervert?
Now, one of the major questions that fans have in mind while watching the show is if Althing is a pervert. True, Plunderer has a lot of fanservice – which is honestly quite a hindrance to what is otherwise a decent show.
This fanservice that is enacted through Plunderer’s world building is quite odd indeed. Fans have accepted Licht’s perverted sexual nature begrudgingly, which is later implied to be his tactic to keep people ‘at a distance’.
The creators also strategically place counts on the girls’ bodies. For example, Hina’s count is on her inner thigh and Nana’s fake count is on her chest (mind you, she’s an extremely voluptuous woman). The placement of Nana’s count seems to have some reasoning behind it. Since it would be rude to stare at her chest, it helps to overlook the fact that her count doesn’t change.
But what fans can’t easily dismiss is the perverted nature of the Althing. It is seen that whenever the black hands or Althing arrive to drag down a woman (possibly busty), it seems to grab at their chest. Moreover, one can’t possibly absolve the show from showing scenes where the Althing is sexually harassing Lyne and Nana.
Of course, any protest against this act would lead to a death penalty or something they are likely to regret. So, they must bear with the groping by protesting verbally. These scenes beg the question of whether Althing has its own will or consciousness.
The notion of Althing being an arbitrary force falters under this light. But, what is exasperating is the constant groping that is laughed off as comedy. Even Althing’s hesitation to grope Hina is basically because of her skinnier frame.
Now, what seems to be the question is whether there is a meaning behind the Althing’s perversion. But even if there is, it would be ridiculous to admit that that is the sole reason behind the inclusion of such behaviour.
The show is riddled with so much fanservice that the whole groping ordeal merely feels like that and should be taken like that.
*Spoilers* Later in the novel, it is seen that Sakai Tokikaze and Licht can access the Althing as they’re strong enough.
But what does that indicate regarding the nature of the Althing? Is it possible that the Althing can be moulded by the nature of the person that has accessed it?
This question comes on stronger when considering the absurd fact that Hina wasn’t groped. These are some of the questions buzzing in the mind of a person exposed to the truth about the Althing and its nature.
5. About Plunderer
Plunderer is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Suu Minazuki. It began serialization in Kadokawa Shoten’s Monthly Shōnen Ace magazine on December 26, 2014.
The story starts in the 305th year of the Alcian calendar. The world is controlled by seemingly random numbers, with every person owning their own “Count.”
On a more in-depth look, it is discovered that a Count is a number decided by an arbitrary logic. If the Count drops to 0, you’re sent into the Abyss.