And by “bangers” I mean “huge boobs”.
I have to say that this episode was a pleasant surprise for me. I enjoyed it more than episode 2, and I have to admit that it did not follow the course that I was dreading for this anime – well, not entirely at least. There are still issues, and I will discuss those in due time.
The episode begins with our heroes (or rather, our Hero and our Demon King) where we left them: in a small rural village where they have spent three months experimenting with agricultural techniques. Soon, however, they leave, heading for a convent. There’s a little discussion about Anime Christ the Light Spirit, who is apparently the divinity of the main human religion in this world. Little information comes out of it – except the fact that in my subs Hero uses the pronoun “her” when referring to the Spirit, and I find the idea of a monotheistic religion with a female divinty at the very least interesting.
Once arrived at their destination – a convent of nuns – the two arrange a meeting with the Prioress. In a good bit of Middle Ages historical accuracy, the Church is here the main centre of culture and knowledge, and Demon King wants their help. However, we’re in for one hell of a plot twist – the Prioress is no one but Knight, old companion of battles of Hero, and evidently a secret twin to Saber of Fate Stay Night (or they’re both loosely based on the traditional iconography of Joan of Arc)! She rightfully slaps the Hero for having acted as a complete dick by leaving his companions and then doing nothing to reassure them that he wasn’t, I don’t know, killed by that very Demon King he was going to fight. She also seems quite upset by the fact that he reappeared in the company of a beautiful woman, and all of a sudden, even though we’re in a convent, weird harem vibes start emanating from the scene. Then more shocking news arrive – Mage, who was in the Hero’s party as well, after the news of his presumed death left to go looking for him in the Demon World on her own. This leaves Hero surprisingly unimpressed. She’s basically committed suicide – I mean, a Mage going on her own in the middle of enemy territory without even a Tank to take the blows for her? Yeah, by every RPG standard, she’s screwed – and that’s all his fault, but still, the fact does not look like it’s shaking him too much.
Soon the topic goes back to the main point of the show as Demon King presents her new staggering agricultural innovation – potatoes. Her argument in favour of them is sound, and I giggled seeing how they got right even the fact that potatoes are poisonous (which they are. Curiously, turns out death by potato is a thing). It is a mystery though how did Demon King come in possession of these potatoes – unless, of course, the Demon World is actually America, which would explain lots of things. Anyway. An agreement is reached for the nuns to build a convent near the village where the two protagonists live in, so that they can help improving the peasants’ knowledge of agricultural techniques, and Knight announces she’s going to move in the village and…
Oh boy. It’s coming, isn’t it?
So, after a very sensitive remark by Hero who says Knight is masculine (I hear women love to hear that), a silent catfight bursts between Demon King and Knight. If glances could kill, these women would have rendered each other into pieces. All, of course, in the blissful ignorance of Hero, who is not sharp enough to realize that, when a woman decides to become a nun upon being parted by you, maybe she feels something more than friendship towards you. Just sayin’.
The second part of the episode is dedicated to something called the East India Company Alliance of Free Merchants. Demon King needs their help, but it looks like the guys are hard to fool – as opposite to our Hero, who, seemingly, lent himself to helping them rile up the crowds for the war in exchange for a measly payment and a few condescending smiles from some cute girls. Demon King wants to trade something with them in exchange for her newest invention – a compass mounted on a gimbal, which surely will make it more stable and efficient on rolling ships. The Merchants, however, look like they’re just going to syphon as much as possible out of Demon King while giving almost nothing in exchange. Which is basically their job, so I hope Demon King has taken this into account, since she’s no fool. Well, she is no fool when Hero is not involved, at least.
When he is, the music changes. In the last few minutes we get treated to another sweet bit of awkwardness. Hero, it seems, is not as little worried about Mage as it looked like, and understandably wants to go look for her in Demon World. Demon King lets him go, and even supplies him a badass demon armour and some recommendation letters for the most reasonable demon leaders (it’s a pity this series seems to take itself a bit too seriously, or this could be played for many laughs. I mean, a RPG-like Hero who confronts powerful demons with recommendation letters? How awesome is that?). She asks, however, for a kiss. When Hero is embarrassed, following the advice of Maid, who dispensed this and many other pearls of wisdom, she basically proposes that they have sex. Just to break the ice, y’know.
Well, Hero being Hero, he turns her down, and she has to settle for a kiss on her forehead and a promise for more. So next episode we’ll have Hero in the Demon World. That sounds potentially interesting, if a bit cliché.
My opinion of the episode was, overall, rather good. I enjoyed the bits about economy and agriculture, though my favourite one has to be when Hero realizes how he’s been used by the Merchants. He also seemed to demonstrate a bit more personality here and there, even though he still occasionally falls into an abyss of plainness – and does so in the most crucial moments, like during the meeting with Knight.
I do not like, however, the fact that it looks like this show is going towards an harem-like situation. We have Demon King, we will soon have Knight, and if this show will not turn out unexpectedly dark, Hero will find and save Mage and we will have her as well. This seems to indicate that a love triangle (or other regular polygon) is a very real possibility, and sincerely, I don’t care for it, I don’t want it, and I don’t see what would it add to the show. It annoys to me to see than even supposedly strong, independent female characters (Demon King is a ruler, Knight is a badass fighter) will end up letting the pursue of a single man the ultimate driving motive behind their action, as if they could not be defined if not by their love interest. What strikes me the most is that this seems rather unnecessary – the show appears to be much more plot-driven than character-driven, and the characters themselves look like they’re little more than vessels, puppets whose main purpose is to deliver us a series of educational lessons about economy and innovation in medieval societies. Which could also be ok, but then don’t expect us to care about these guys’ uninspired romance.
Overall, the episode was fair. I don’t know what to expect from the next one – the premise makes it look like we’re going to get some action, but I don’t think that would make much sense given the nature of the series, and I’m not sure it would be a good thing. Let’s wait and see.