「混迷の中で」 (Konmei no naka de)
“In the Midst of Turmoil”
It looks like not even the heartfelt pleas of Filo can convince Naofumi to change his mind about trusting Melty. Considering Naofumi’s struck out twice so far when it comes to trusting royalty, it’s not hard to see where he’s coming from, but that doesn’t change the fact that his personal grudges are getting in the way of his judgment. Royalty or not, that was a little girl he refused to help. However, as we soon find out, she does have an ulterior motive. It’s entirely possible that even being separated from her guards was a deliberate gambit on her part to run into Naofumi’s party and gain their trust. Now, having an ulterior motive isn’t always such a terrible thing. Since the Queen of Melromarc (Inoue Kikuko) appears to be on some kind of house arrest, it seems she entrusted her daughter with mending bridges. Despite her intentions, the revelation of her status has definitely put a hamper on Melty’s efforts. For now, the best thing to do might be to let Naofumi cool his head.
Unexpectedly, the knights from Lute returned this episode. They’re so grateful to Naofumi for saving their families during the previous Wave that they want to join him for the next one. I’d imagine this also means they’ve effectively deserted from the king’s army, as there’s no possible way he would have allowed them to join forces with the Shield Hero. For every good turn, though, comes a bad one, as it’s soon revealed that the country of Melromarc is prohibited by royal decree from upgrading the classes of the Shield Hero’s companions. Of course, this doesn’t stop Naofumi. That merchant’s soul of his is indomitable, and it isn’t long before he’s probing the Slave Merchant for information. As it turns out, there are several countries outside of Melromarc that are likely to be sympathetic to his plight. Regarding that, I’ve got good feelings about Shieldfreeden. Let’s call it a hunch.
Now, if we remember how Motoyasu caused poisonous plant monsters to terrorize a village, and Ren (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) left a dragon corpse lying around that caused an epidemic, the chances of the other heroes being greeted warmly into the bordering countries appear to be dwindling by the day. The Bow Hero was truly the only hope left, and if I’m getting this right, he overthrew a despot without taking into account that there was no ruling structure in place to take control of the country once the alleged tyrant was dethroned. This led to the people starving due to exorbitant taxes, leaving them exactly where they started, if not worse.
Part of the problem is simply that these heroes are too strong. Completely changing the political climate of a country means very little to them thanks to the power and influence they wield. Whoever has the heroes’ sympathies could win any war, which makes them game breakers.
Imagine, if you will, that your house is on fire. The firemen rush to put out the flames, but before they get the chance, Superman punches the building into dust. “You’re welcome, citizen,” he says with his magnificently gelled hair, smiles for the camera, and then flies into the sunset. Sure, the fire’s out, so that problem’s solved, but where are you going to live?
To be fair, these are kids we’re talking about, and the Sword Hero appeared truly disturbed when Naofumi informed him of the consequences of his slaying the dragon, but only time will tell if his words have any lasting impact on him.
With the next Wave on the horizon and a new villain making her appearance, the next episode is looking to be action-packed, and hopefully, we’ll get a few answers too.