「汝の名は侵略者」 (Nanji no na wa Shinryaku-sha)
“You are an Invader”
Invaders don’t always come howling in on horseback, and sometimes the most dangerous weapon of all are ideas.
Education Can Change the World
This was mentioned in the comments last week, but for an underdeveloped nation like the Holy Eldant Empire, there is nothing more dangerous to the status quo than education. Humans currently rule the country, but that’s only because they beat the elves, dwarves, and the other races – races with gifts the humans are jealous of – to creating a government. The whole scheme rests on the other races not realizing they can do the same thing, just as the formerly primitive people of Earth had to learn they could do the same things the seafaring Europeans with their big guns and fancy decrees could do. What impressed me was that Shinichi does realize what he’s doing could upset the entire power structure, and he’s doing it anyway because it’s what he feels is right. I’m not sure this is wise from Japan’s standpoint – a country battling upheaval caused by one of your people isn’t liable to shower you with gifts – but it’s what Shinichi feels is right, and that’s what matters right now. Plus it’s not like Japan couldn’t probably own them in a fight. Magic is cool, but I’ll put my money on guns and missiles any day.
A True Believer
This show gives me so many opportunities to go off on tangents, and this episode provides another one. This time I’ll be talking about marketing, i.e. what I do during the day to support my writing habit. Petrarca mentioned that all the past representatives were clearly after something – fame, fortune, power, etc – but that Shinichi is different. He’s a true believer, one who actually loves the product (culture) he’s preaching. Shinichi is, in fact, marketing otaku culture to Eldant, and the Japanese government was wise (or lucky) to finally figure out that the best person to market an idea is someone who truly believes in it. You can all tell when a company, politician, or spokesperson doesn’t believe in what they’re saying, can’t you? I can, and I know most people can too. It’s those that truly believe in their vision that suck you in.
Intermission: Myuseru Kawaii Yo
Pardon me while I fangirl…Myuseru wants to go back to Japan with Shinichi HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG!! I like that Shinichi doesn’t immediately waifu her because of his past trauma, but I think he’ll find that she truly does like him for who he is, because his acts of kindness are a reflection of his character. But when Shinichi geeked out because Myuseru delivered his forgotten lunch…ohhh man, I laughed so hard. Seriously, she’s perfect! Marry her on the spot you doofus!
A Dangerous Enemy, and Dangerous Allies
Props to this Alessio chap for being far smarter than the average racist terrorist villain. First of all, he was not wrong in his accusations of Shinichi, nor in his predictions of what Shinichi’s school would do to the status quo, as previously discussed. What really earned my respect (and continued loathing) is when Shinichi accused him (and humans in general) of subjugating the elves and others because they were jealous, and he agreed. He understands that humans have a ponzi scheme going that will fall apart when enough people figure out what’s going on, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to try to keep the merry-go-round spinning for as long as possible. And when he called Shinichi out on bluffing because there wasn’t any magic coming from him? Seriously, take this guy down. He’s way too dangerous.
As for allies, Minori. Just Minori! First of all, telling Shinichi to insert himself as far as he can (hur hur hur) to get the pen-knife she stored in her bra ala Fujiko? Minori is flying up the rankings! She was also a badass when she owned the mook terrorists with nothing but her hands and feet, though I always question the wisdom of a normal human (physically…her skills and intelligence are anything but normal) going up against people wielding weapons, even if they apparently suck with them.
Next is Myuseru. It was really impressive that she could translate so much of what Alessio and the others were saying already, but the real jewel was her nuking the fuck out of the baddies, a skill which was foreshadowed last episode and did not disappoint this time. And of course, there’s when she–but more on that soon.
Petrarca deserves kudos as well. As Shinichi noted, she finally seemed like a ruler instead of a spoiled little rich girl, and it was her words that saved Shinichi from losing his head (literally) long enough for them to turn the tide. As an aside, I also liked how Garius and Jinzaburou seem to get along. I think those two understand each other well.
Finally, Shinichi. First he sacrifices his pride to get everyone out in the hallway (hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go), which was a nice touch, but I totally lost it when he bluffed the mooks with his Madoka-tan alarm! It takes balls to bluff with a two and a seven and make it seem like you’ve got pocket rockets. That, his 530,000 power level comment, and capping it off with the fire extinguisher…ohhh man, that fire extinguisher! I totally lost it on that again. They did a really good job of building that magical device up to be unstoppable, and then Shinichi uses Earth-logic to do stop it flat. I mean, it operated with fire, right? It makes sense. But I can’t say I would have thought of that. Shinichi proves himself once again to be an excellent protagonist.
Petrarca Can’t Understand Equality…Until Now
It’s understandable that Shinichi keeps pissing off Petrarca, because he keeps putting her and Myuseru on the same level when this is something Petrarca cannot understand. I mean really just cannot fathom – it goes against everything she has learned and been taught in her entire life up until now. It’s truly alien reasoning, and she’s not necessarily being cruel by thinking she’s better than Myuseru, anymore than Myuseru has low self-esteem by thinking she’s less. That’s just how their culture works, and as with all of us, they are products of the culture they grew up in.
Until now. It’s a well-known fact that the best way to cure a bigot is to put a member of the people they hate / think less of near them, preferably in their family. A parent suddenly becoming fine with homosexuals because their child is one? People becoming fine with other races when a nice family of that race moves next door? It’s a story as old as humanity, and it works even when we’re dealing with elves and dwarves. Proximity makes it hard to hate, but it’s usually a slow grinding down process, where the discriminated wears down the bigot’s prior assumptions by consistently being a good person near them…but sometimes great acts can accelerate the process. My breath caught in my throat when the blood flew, because I knew it wasn’t Petrarca’s, and I knew whose it was. After this I think Petrarca will be a lot more receptive to the idea of equality, at least where Myuseru is concerned. But once she accepts Myuseru, it’s only a matter of time.
Myuseru better not be dead!! Normally I would be annoyed that the preview appears to have spoiled this, but I honestly don’t think I could have taken a week of wondering. It doesn’t seem like she should be, that would be totally unexpected and kill the show’s tone…but what can I say, I worry. If Myuseru dies… No, I will not consider such a thing! It’s too horrible to contemplate!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Ideas, education, & dangerous enemies collide. Fortunately our heroes are dangerous as well. They’re up to the challenge. Myuseru!! #ob_c 03
- Myuseru bit her tongue on that tongue twister, d’aaawww!
- Still with the Shingeki, eh? Shinichi can pull off a pretty good Eren.
- Seriously, I’m not one to be prejudiced against a loli, but I would waifu Myuseru on the spot. Selfless & kind half-elf meido who wants to go back to my world with me? Done. Just so done. Too bad she’s a thief, because she’s STOLEN MY HEART!
Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: It’s all about the characters, Beer does the spirit good, Convenient, and The four levels of consuming art.
Full-length images: 15.