「最強新人」 (Saikyou Shinjin)
“The Strongest Newcomer”
It’s Shera’s turn.
This series is trashy fun in the best of ways. Look no further than our current petty villain for an example of that. Why would he show up at the scene of the crime? Why would he admit it so quickly? If this were a serious show, that would be head scratch or face palm inducing, but this isn’t a serious show, so it’s not. Okay, maybe I felt like face palming a little—I did note how dumb that was of him in my episode notes—but Isekai Maou clearly wants a petty villain for us all to hate, and this ponce does the job. This is not a serious show. It’s trashy fun. That means it should be evaluated on those merits.
And as far as fun goes, I’m still having it. The ecchi is on point. The comedy is both funny and just unexpected enough to keep things spicy. There’s a good balance between Diablo winning (dat groping, him shaking a girl’s hand—that’s a real victory for him, bravo!) and the girls winning (Rem slapping him when he deserves it, Shera getting compliments and assurances). Diablo is still totally imbalanced—he’s a walking ecological disaster—but there’s not a power imbalance in their relationship, and that’s vital to this whole thing working out. When that dies, the series dies with it.
As for the crisis of the episode, Shera is a princess, her nii-san wants her to bear his child (1st: ew, 2nd: keep your hands off the unwilling lady you idiot prince/king/asshole), and Diablo saves the day. The point, clearly, is to put Shera on the same standing as Rem—one needs a Demon Lord slain, the other needs to be protected from being kidnapped back to her kingdom—as well as the requisite ecchi reward scene. Shera getting into it was a nice touch. Rem was on bottom, but Shera was on top. LET THE DOUJINS BEGIN UFUFU~!!
This show is just fun so far. I plan to blog at least a third episode, and then I’ll decide whether I’m taking it the full series after that.
- My least favorite thing about this episode: hints of human vs demi-human racism. I hope it will be done well, but I’m mostly hoping it’ll feed into the trashy fun (more hateable villains) rather than be taken seriously. Racism is serious, and fantasy settings are good places to explore it, b-but trashy fun!
- A thing I really enjoyed about this episode: the reason Diablo is so much stronger is because he grinded like no other (because his character could revive), whereas everyone in this world doesn’t grind as much because perma-death. That’s a good reason for it beyond “Main character is strong because main character!” Respect.
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: Risk Tolerance in the Creative Life.