「幼女覚醒」 (Youjo Kakusei)
“The Young Girl Awakens”

The penultimate episode arrives with a bang.

I feel like this episode presented interesting possibilities, but a lot of the beat-by-beat decisions by almost every character were so obviously flawed as to make it mildly aggravating rather than compelling. This is best illustrated through a contrast between the roadblocks and decisions of every other character, and then that one scene with Diablo.

It was clear almost immediately that Alicia’s plan was to crack Klem open by making her hate mortals. She all but said so herself. And then every single person played right into her plans, from Saddler being such a willing pawn to Rem making Klem promise not to hurt anyone, only for Alicia to leave Klem to watch Rem’s torture. I know Saddler has no conscience, but to let a child watch a brutal torture? Give me that good old fashioned religion, with long knives and blood flowing for miles. I’d call that cliched too, but it has enough basis in history to ring true. Humans can be cruel, without systems in place to restrain them, and when people get in positions of absolute power … they can be cruel all they want. And they always believe they’re the good guy in the story. It’s no wonder Saddler deluded himself into believing he was godly, even if him believing he was a god himself was to the point of absurdity.

I digress. Everyone played into Alicia’s plans by reacting solely based on the options given to them. Were the options only “Klem kills to free herself and Rem, awakening the Demon Lord” or “Klem goes berserk after witnessing the torture and death of Rem, awakening the Demon Lord”? Of course not. Rem should have chosen a third option (trope!), and gotten Klem to break them out via non-lethal means. (Bust the cage and run away real fast, for example.) Decisions like these can be forgiven if they’re for character reasons, but there’s no character reason for Rem being stupid. (Now, if Shera had been captured, that would have been another matter.) Alicia wrote the script, and nobody bothered to second guess it.

And, I mean, stab the mazoku maybe, instead of the demi-human? Jeez!

In contrast, the scene where Diablo enters the adventurer’s guild and tries to ask for help is gold. This is a real, true character-based reason for him not being able to do the smart thing, which is ask for help. He’s deeply socially anxious, and in a situation where he sees his Demon Lord act as inappropriate (even if he’s wrong—he just had to say “Rem is in trouble, let’s go!”), he freezes up. This is a characteristic that has been established since moment one, so it standing in his way not only makes total sense, it’s beautifully done. I’m even okay with the random boy having seen Rem, thereby conveniently getting Diablo out of this jam, because we still got the earnest “Thanks” from Diablo, and his guildmates still heard it. It was a lovely scene, and an impediment done right.

Unfortunately, the rest of the episode was just okay. It was fine. Honestly I’m mostly harping on it because it provides such a good example of what works and what doesn’t, which means it’s still fine to watch if you’re not all up in your own head about these things like I am. We ought to demand better from our anime, but as far as it goes, it’s fine. Plus I have a feeling they’re having to rush it along, because there’s only one episode left and they want to get to some kind of resolution before the end of the season. Fair enough, it just doesn’t allow the episode to breathe much.

Next episode will be the final one, so we’ll see how Diablo and co get out of this jam then—and from the looks of it, Diablo is up to the task. Him in that last moment was the second best scene of the week, by the way. Diablo killin’ it. Way to go, NEET boy.

Random thoughts:

  • Also, if Alicia has doubts and backs away from her plan next time, I’ma be annoyed. She has no compunction about delivering Rem to an evil torturer, but quails when Rem reminds her about her lies to everyone? That’s the wrong place for that moment of doubt. She knew what she was doing when she tricked them all along, whereas delivering a good person to pain and torture shouldn’t be easy. Hopefully she doesn’t get a shallow redemption so she can be added to the harem, but this is a harem anime, so…
  • You gonna need a resurrection spell for this one, y’all. She’s dead, Jim Klem.

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  1. The Frodos were strong in this one. Another example is Diablo running to the church hoping he’s in time – why didn’t he just teleport? Unless that uses a lot of MP and he needed as many as possible to defeat Krebskulm. Yes the guild HQ scene was amusing, but surely wouldn’t a slave collar have some sort of magical locating beacon property? A master would definitely want to know where their property is.

    But anyway, I’ve learned something from this episode, and that’s “T is for biscuiT”.

    1. His teleport spell works like game-based fast-travel system it originally was: meaning it always teleports him to the same location in a city, or town, or dungeon, or other landmark every time he uses it. In Faltra that waypoint is the city plaza.

      In the game that wasn’t a problem, because a player could get from one side of the city to another within five minutes or less. In a real world version of that city, however, the distances are… larger.

  2. Having Rem and Klem able to talk and think was for drama sake but made Rem look stupid and even Klem should have had a good chance of thinking send up a flare or nonkilling escape option. Now the bad guys threating to kill Rem if escape attempted might have reduced a bit of the flaw here but I would have had both in a sack and unable to speak till in the church. Our demon lord’s panic made it a tad more believable that he did not think of options.
    It was a hard episode to watch when it been too light and sweet before.

  3. Regarding Krem potentially taking a non-lethal option to saving Rem, remember from the previous episode that she doesn’t remember how to use her magic. She can use raw power to obliterate everything, or she can not to anything at all, but she doesn’t have much (if anything) in between. She’s effectively a nuclear bomb: she can obliterate a city, or sit there in the armory doing nothing, but there’s no “just slightly blow up” option.

  4. If there’s one trope I hate, it’s the Idiot Ball. Yep, even if I liked Rem’s and Krem’s “not so different” exchange, and Rem in the end realized (too late) that the promise played right into Alicia’s hands, the whole situation was too much.

    I don’t know about the LN, but it was better done in the manga:

    Show Spoiler ▼

  5. Rem being stupid

    I think this was supposed to show Rem’s Jesus mode – that is,
    willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Krem. Now Krem offered
    to help several times, but it always involved killing the “mortals”.

    IMHO, it’s not that Rem was opposed to killing an oppressor (as seen from
    previous episodes), but didn’t want the (overdone in the Anime) childlike
    sweetness of Krem to be tainted. If Diablo had walked in and nuked everybody,
    then Rem would have n.p. Maybe Rem was feeling maternal towards Krem?

    I saw other plot holes (but forgave them) like – how’d they get so separated
    so quickly? And Rem should be dead after a treatment like that, but we know
    she’ll be healed and (probably) be instrumental in calming Krem back to her
    childlike self again.

    But it was pretty decent story telling and proves that the story could be told
    WITHOUT tons of ecchi (I don’t think there was any in this episode). Having said
    that, these events should have happened a few episodes ago instead of that time-
    wasting ecchi and those episodes could have provided some good build-up to the
    events that were just thrown at us in this episode. For example, the sudden
    appearance of the fallen army led by Edelgard. It would have been nice to see
    some world building on the fallen side of the story cause it looked like she
    was going to become a semi-ally of the trio to protect Krem…

    Oh well, it is what it is.

    1. I have a feeling Edelgard will be instrumental in helping save Kelm in some fashion. She certainly ain’t marching in to kill Klem, and Demon Lord-mode Krebskulm is holding her head too much to seem like she’s fully reverted from her Klem persona.

  6. https://randomc.net/image/Isekai%20Maou%20to%20Shoukan%20Shoujo%20no%20Dorei%20Majutsu/Isekai%20Maou%20to%20Shoukan%20Shoujo%20no%20Dorei%20Majutsu%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2004.jpg
    Fun fact, this knight shares the same voice actress as Overlord’s Albedo; I don’t think I have ever saw a “good” character with this voice actress. The animators seem to like the voice actress have characters that can make this facial expression. Anyway, in traditional Hentai, lovely looking knights like Alicia are supposed to be reduced to a slave that pleases someone like Diablo. But, since this anime isn’t a hentai genre, the chances that will happen is zero.

    Honestly, I can’t believe that those idiots would blindly believe and obey someone whose “divine powers” is nothing but a sham. In anime, zealots have always been considered evil.

    1. I mean, iDOLM@STER, Trinity Seven, and Utawarerumono, off the top of my head.

      And zealotry quite often evil leads. You don’t often hear of a good zealot, because fanatical, uncompromising pursuit of an ideal tends to pervert that ideal.

      1. Thanks, appreciate.

        Anyway, I have yet to see any “good” zealots. Even someone like Sigui (Queen’s Blade), even though she is somewhat of a “good” person, I can never see her as someone likable due to her inflexible beliefs.

        honestly, Diablo should have killed this person while he was stoned. IT was good to see this idiot’s pathetic face before he died, but his death was long Overdue. I can’t imagine who would follow someone that keeps ranting “I am god, and I am always right”. That is a first class heretic right there.

  7. Damn you, Saddler, you idiot, you doomed us all! (unless ofc. diablo manages to salvage the situation)
    First, he doesnt recognize true demon worshipper under his nose.
    Then, he doesnt recognize demon lord under his nose.
    Finally, he stabs the morality pet/anchor of said dmeon lord keeping her from becoming violent.
    He was- thankfully, WAS – disgrace to all paladins in the multiverse.

    Alicia is gonna have a huge brakdown if/when her plan fails…

    Re: more nuanced, less-than-lethal escape by Rem and Klem – as much as I loved “nonlethal Termiantor” option from Terminator II, it is rather hard to channel pure chaos/destruction powers of demon lord into “set-for-stun-and-escape” mode… kinda like trying to dial nuke down to flash-bang

  8. akira, arc the lad, slayers, blue seed, 3×3 eyes, karekano, nadia secret of blue water, record of lacross war, escaflowne, flame of recca, crest of the stars, vampire princess miyu and irresponsible captan taylor. want to why these are considered “classic” to this day because there was passion and effort to make stories the best they can be instead of degenerates using stories as a pamphlets to promote their repressed sick fantasies on. not only that characters both male and female were allowed to develop beyond who they were at first glance and they was no gender bias like now.

  9. Saddler’s big mistake was giving into his anti-demihuman prejudices. We already know that he’s willing to slaughter everyone just to make sure, but his willingness to believe Alicia despite her being justly accused of being a Demon Lord worshiper because she was human and Alicia wasn’t led to his big downfall, which was probably magnified by his megalomania.

    However, I don’t think that he should be blamed for his zealous willingness to wipe out any and all actual or suspected Demon Lord worshipers was a failing. After all, there really were Demon Lord worshipers who wanted to resurrect the Demon Lord in the hopes of destroying the mortal races; considering the consequences, the death of some innocents to help prevent the death of everyone is logical and understandable.

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