「災厄、再び」 (Saiyaku, Futatabi)
Everyone knows a recap at the beginning of the episode – plus an animation bump – means big things are in store, and sure enough, the next Wave commences. The knights from Lute are onboard this time, so unlike the first Wave, Naofumi and his group don’t need to stay behind to protect the villagers and get the chance to use their new gear, as well as a dragon-possessed Rage Series unlock, to snag a little boss-killing action for themselves. The MVP for the episode was by far and wide the old woman Naofumi saved once upon a time, and she’s as hale as a horse. She’s fighting monsters like she’s at the prime of her life again, which comes in handy when it comes time for Naofumi to find out why the other three heroes aren’t saving the day.
As usual, the answer is a lack of cohesion. The Spear Hero wants to attack the biggest, baddest monster on the ship, the Sword Hero believes they have to kill the zombie pirate to unlock the true boss, and the Bow Hero is basically acting as support because no one’s listening to him, anyway. They’re all very quick to point fingers at each other once Naofumi starts casting blame, but most likely each of them would be right in the game they’re accustomed to, which means the reason behind their inability to cooperate lies in the very simple fact that this world they’re in isn’t a game. Or, maybe, it’s just not the right game. We’re retreading familiar ground here, I know, but it’s worth mentioning again that none of them are precisely wrong in their assumptions. Based off of that, I’m beginning to wonder if the monsters aren’t starting to use the heroes’ prior experience against them. On the other hand, Naofumi skimmed through a novel. Every observation he makes, he’s making based on his own senses, which was how he noticed in a very short amount of time what the Sword Hero didn’t notice in three hours.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the Sword Hero. He was the first to come to the Shield Hero’s defense after Raphtalia called them out for standing around while Naofumi and Filo did all the work, told off Myne for being a bad hype man, and even smiled when Filo started teasing Motoyasu. The Bow Hero smiled, too, so I suppose that’s a point in his favor. One day they will all join Naofumi’s circle of friends, whether they like it or not. (The blacksmith will always be the founder of that particular club, though.)
With all that out of the way, a new villainess has introduced herself. Glass (Han Megumi) made quite an entrance. She defeated the Soul Eater the hero party were having trouble with by impaling it with swords of light that rained from above, and I already like her. Also, as a big plus, she’s recognized Naofumi as a true hero. The real deal. The genuine article. Unfortunately, this comes with the downside of her declaring herself his enemy, but honestly it’d be easier to count the people who don’t consider Naofumi their enemy, so she’s going to have to do more than make a flashy entrance to stand apart from the crowd. And assuming she was around to see Naofumi skewer that Soul Eater with an Iron Maiden, why on earth isn’t she doing the sensible thing and running in the opposite direction?