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Kenja no Mago – 10

「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.

June 12, 2019 at 9:40 pm
13 comments »
  • June 13, 2019 at 12:07 amzztop

    Zest’s manipulation kind of makes sense – their existence as sentient demonoids makes them enemies of the world, and they’ve got to entrench their safety and positions before the other human nations wipe them out. Not to mention Shin, whose magic can stand up to theirs.

  • June 13, 2019 at 12:32 amAngelus

    Unfortunately the abiding memories I have of this episode are the clumsiness of the Schtrom infodump and that something is going seriously off-kilter with the production. Either they are low on budget or having schedule problems, but parts of that episode were virtually PowerPoint-level, and the conscious avoidance of lip flap animation was almost painful to watch. Still, maybe they’re saving everything for the final showdown.

    • June 13, 2019 at 10:29 pmPancakes

      Probably low budget more than scheduling IMO, the show has been pretty deliberate up until now with what is features; I doubt things would suddenly change this close to the end. Likewise we’re probably going to get a cliffhanger more than any satisfying ending for the same reasons unfortunately.

  • June 13, 2019 at 4:19 amAex

    As much as backstory is a good thing, I wish it could’ve happened a bit more organically than “okay kids, put everything else aside for a second, it’s time for the story of Uncle Schtrom’s sad life”. None of which made him any less of an ass since he’s been happily involving innocent people who had nothing to do with his past and weren’t even part of the empire’s nobility for the sake of revenge. You can’t really call him a hypocrite since he never even pretended to care about anyone but himself after he became a demon, but how many happy families do you think he ruined for nothing but his own sake, just like those nobles that killed his wife?

    It also doesn’t help that this effectively ends the villain’s objective, since now everything the demons do really will be “just for the evulz”.

    • June 13, 2019 at 10:30 pmPancakes

      Yeah especially now that we’ve got it it’s easy to see how this could’ve been slotted in between the rest of the material. KnM might be doing it’s SoL stuff right, but it’s almost trying a little too hard to keep that part separate from its more serious side.

  • June 13, 2019 at 7:59 ammac65

    That was the saddest drawing of a pregnant woman I have ever seen –
    there, I’ve said it.

    Sadly, the backstory really lacked credibility, too.

    I mean, would people that have been shown so much kindness from their noble
    be so easily swayed in such a short period of time? And would they easily
    kill an innocent fetus in the process? Were they really that volitale and
    on the edge like that?

    What happened to the good ‘ol days when evil was evil for the sake of evil?
    Do we have to sympathize with every antagonist?

    Oh well… It’s hard to imagine where/how the series is going to end without
    leaving a lot of loose ends…

    • June 13, 2019 at 10:31 pmPancakes

      In the post GoT world every antagonist is going to be morally grey, because complexity :P

  • June 13, 2019 at 9:30 amGreed

    https://randomc.net/image/Kenja%20no%20Mago/Kenja%20no%20Mago%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2021.jpg
    Honestly, I understand the commoners were stupid to be tricked so easily, however, no matter what reason, it is still unforgivable to kill a defenseless pregnant woman and her child. They had no excuse for their actions even if they were tricked. Idiots deserved to be burned with fire.

    Anyway, I understand the point that the author has now allowed schtrom to achieve revenge. But now what does the author plan to do with schtrom? He achieve his objective. If I was the author, I would just make a new antagonist and shelve schtrom for a later time. It would be sensible if it was a case where schtrom “was given power by a Demon King and, after obtaining revenge, schtrom wishes to return the favor for the demon King” type of situation. But now schtrom has no goals. He got revenge, he doesn’t need to do something as great as “world domination.” If he wants, he can continue to hunt down tyrants or live a secluded life. But he basically has no other purpose. So I find it stupid to use schtrom as the “final boss” other than the reason, “I need to make a ‘final boss’ for my main character.”

  • June 13, 2019 at 11:45 amtheirs

    Though I think the back story was good, it still didn’t explain why he did that thing with Sicily’s stalker. Something I think they should’ve shown since it lead to his encounter with Shin. Interestingly, his cover all these years wasn’t a lie. He just conveniently never exposed too much details.

    https://randomc.net/image/Kenja%20no%20Mago/Kenja%20no%20Mago%20-%2010%20-%2030.jpg
    The way Aug messes around with Shin, I can understand why Ellie was jealous off him. XD

    • June 13, 2019 at 11:59 amGreed

      Jealousy is only comedy here thankfully.

    • June 13, 2019 at 10:33 pmPancakes

      I suspect the stalker experimentation was done in the name of Schtrom’s later transformation of the Empire’s people in demonoids, but we definitely need some more information on that lol.

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