「滅亡する帝国」 (Metsubou suru teikoku)
“The Fall of the Empire”
Now that was surprise a 180 wasn’t it? All that musing about lack of super serious plot and barely featured demonoids must’ve been heard because we got that and then some this week. The reasoning behind Schtrom’s little adventure through empire, Schtrom’s backstory, hell even what the next stage of this story is going to be: KnM certainly knows when to spice things up.
While we knew very little about Schtrom’s reasons for being evil before, I got to admit, for how predictable the general backstory was some of it still raised a few eyebrows. The guy’s reason for hating the Empire for example was simple enough to guess, even if the details definitely weren’t known in advance. Good, innocent, hardworking noble falling victim to the petty power play of his fellow landed elite? Nothing shocking there—it is a well-worn premise after all—but it sure isn’t often we get pregnant wives also attracting the fatal attention of mobs gone wild. Yeah hard faulting the guy for losing his cool in that situation. It’s also quite interesting how Schtrom’s mission was only to destroy that which wronged him; once the Empire was eradicated, he had no further objective besides basking in the glory of a job well done. For all KnM is overly simplistic and generic, moments like these show an intelligent bit of realism on its part, acknowledging (in a manner) that not every big bad must have dreams of conquest and world domination. Sometimes the goals can be quite limited, and when executed right, there is nothing wrong with that.
Of course if KnM simply left off with Schtrom showing Communism how dictatorships of the proletariat are supposed to end things would be a little boring, so thus we get the natural progression to that inevitable second round with Shin. No real shocker here either—I mean, you did see this development coming too right?—but the circumstances surrounding it are quite tasty in their own right. Besides the good chance someone winds up kidnapped for the sake of revealing Shin’s full power (*looks at Sicily*), Zest’s manipulation of Schtrom also opens up some serious possibilities for demonoid infighting and the potential emergence of an even greater threat. Schtrom after all apparently wound up spontaneously turning into a demonoid; wouldn’t be a stretch to think the upcoming carnage could do the same to someone else, especially depending on who betrays who for the sake of power. For all the conventionality of KnM’s recent reveals there’s quite a bit of uncertainty over the future, and with only two episodes to go, plenty of ways for this one to leave off.
It simply remains to be seen which path KnM ultimately decides to take.