「迫撃乱舞」 (Hakugeki Ranbu)
“Point-Blank War Dance”
It’s a race against the clock.
Once again, for an isekai series featuring an overpowered protagonist, Isekai Maou is doing a good job of imbuing its conflicts with actual tension. Here, the question is not whether Diablo has the power to defeat the Fallen; as he showed when he cracked out the Grand Magic, he most definitely does. The question was whether he could do it quickly enough, whether Return Magic would work, and whether he would be able to do all of this with enough MP in the tank save everyone. In short, he wasn’t struggling against his opponents’ powers. He was contending with time and resource allocation. He had the tools, but if they weren’t allocated quickly and effectively, people would still die.
Well, they did anyway. But named characters outside of the whiny antagonist would die, which is another level up in storytelling severity.
Of course, he managed it, and Edelgard is definitely a lock for the Maou’s harem now. His “True Demon Lord” bit definitely did the trick, along with the drubbing he gave her and her forces, to convince her that he’s the right horse to back. Which’ll be devastating when it happens, because she’s Lv 80 and the only one who’s been able to damage him so far, which either means she’ll be a delightfully dangerous element to add into his daily life, or will up the requirements of all future challenges accordingly. Which, given he just defeated an invasion by this world’s boogie men, might be hard? We’ll see how it goes.
Definitely a lot of harem hijinks this episode, though for my money the killer moment is when Diablo shrugs off his saving Rem because of the collar, which means she’s his possession—and she clearly doesn’t want that collar off no more, does she? Ditto for Shera. No judgment here, if they wanna do master/slave play that’s their prerogative, I don’t wanna yuck nobody’s yum. It definitely backfired on Diablo, though. In delicious, fantastic ways. Mhm. That’s some yummy fanservice right there, yes siree.
Ending was great too. “Just stop a war, kthkz?” It goes to show that, once again, the challenge will not be power vs power. It’ll be politics. How can Diablo (and Rem, and Shera, and new characters) find the third option that staves off war without surrendering Shera? We’ll find out more next time.
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.
Need more deredere Rem. Her reactions this episode were terrific.
Not even a word of recognition for poor Emile? He really deserved it this time!
Yeah, he was good here. I wasn’t surprised after all the Emile build up last episode, but he held out a long time, and that enabled the victory. Good on him.
I think mad props to the studio and the staff for actually making this show fun and watchable despite it being just being another typical isekai ecchi/comedy/harem that every other named male character in the show is a joke or villan and girls flaunt around the mc.
From what I know the source material was not particularly outstanding compared to some other titles in this genre that turned out with horrible adaptions.
It’s definitely the production team that made this work as a show funny and entertaining enough to make me bypass all the negatives and keep watching.
Everything was done well in this episode: animation, timing, voice acting
were all on point. I even watched it a second time it was so enjoyable
(and probably more down the road).
I like how there’s a real cost to battle; the deaths of the defenders and
the destroyed bridge rebuilding effort as well as the psychological healing
that takes place all add that “real” to the story line. I’m glad the ecchi
doesn’t overshadow those things – yeah, I can’t wait to see how he manages
to prevent a war and keep Shera by his side and looking good doing it…
Of course I expect the climax of the series to be saving Rem (where have I
heard that name before – I’m coming up EMPTY here (0)…)
Doesn’t Celes have any abilities besides maintaining the city barrier? You would think that the head of the magic guild could do something when cornered in an alley by a Fallen.
Ten days of rest and Diablo hasn’t recovered all of his MP yet? Resource management may indeed be more important in this show than first appears.
We’ve already seen that a Fallen can be level 80 and who’s to say there aren’t even more powerful ones out there, so that would have to be some barrier that Celes is maintaining – maybe it just takes every last bit of power she’s got.
Not unusual in games or fiction for a barrier spell to not allow the caster to do anything else, this one allowed her to move at least.
Thank you, Stilts. Thanks to your reviews I decided to give this series a chance, and it was very enjoyable.
I must admit that when I first heard of this story (long before the anime), I discarded it from the beginning. The synopsis and images reminded me of too many isekais full overpowered “edgy” anti-heroes/anti-villains drunk on power fantasies and with a disturbing slavery fetish (too many examples of “since this world accepts it, having slaves is a perfectly valid way of building a harem! They’re happy with me so it’s okay!”). But now I see that this series is basically a parody of such stories. Even the horns are fake! XD
This may not win a “best writing” award, but it knows how to make things entertaining without falling into the usual pitfalls. It’s as you said in these reviews: the protagonist’s social anxiety gives him (hilarious) limitations and avoids a problematic power imbalance with Rem and Shera. You may even find a bit of social commentary in it(being a rude and self-aggrandizing jerk will give you more social success than being awkward and introvert, because your fake boasts will be mistaken for genuine confidence). He’s overpowered, but as seen in this episode even his power is not bottomless. The characters, even guys like Emile, end up being sympathetic, and so far many of the misunderstandings are solved by people talking things through in the end (even if our Not!Demon Lord has to smack some sense into them first). A much better isekai than I expected, indeed!
Oh, it gets worse:
Show Spoiler ▼
It’s not from Japan but this is the Grand Daddy of the genre I think. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guardians_of_the_Flame
Tabletop gamers enter game world and fight the slaver guild.
I don’t think your spoilered example is really quite as bad as you make it out.
Show Spoiler ▼
From what I’ve read of the manga, so far
Show Spoiler ▼
lol, this was just so adorable.
Poor Rem, lol.
I was surprised Celes was not able to take more active part in the fight, though maybe maintaining the barrier kept her magic powers busy?
Props to our blonde-dumb paladin and protector of womanhood… He might be idiot but he has heart of gold and he saved Rem and Celes long enough for the diablo to show up and save the day.
Diablo of course was main star of the show, from taking Edelgard on the chin, to the one-shotting entire Mazoku army (boy did this evoke my memories of Lina Inverse…), to dealing with that upstart fighter-mage Mazoku who infiltrated the city. Ring of Magic Reflection was delicious funny here…
Speaking of delicious, fanservice at the end.
Stuck between the tits and the hard place?
And stopping the war sounds so much like Baldurs Gate 1…
No Rest for the Demon lords!
Anything that reminds of Lina Inverse is a good thing in my book 😀
Same Lina Inverse is great.