「初弟子xめんどくさい人」 (Hatsu Deshi x Medokusai Hito)
“First Student x Pain in the Butt”
This episode of Kemono Michi takes a retrospective look into Genzou’s legacy as he uses his expertise in wrestling and his love for animals to help train a half-lizardman girl named Celes. But as Celes starts to become a formidable fighter of her own, Genzou is roped back into professional wrestling as his passion for showmanship and athleticism reel him into a new opportunity to take part in a public wrestling match.
Celes made the episode all the more worthwhile because of how her normalcy is juxtaposed with the reckless behavior that Genzou’s party embraces. While they teach her to improve her fighting abilities, they also end up overwhelming her with their own baggage that would make their efforts to teach her how to competently fight to be a fool’s errand for them to take on.
Despite Genzou’s prowess for wrestling, he lacks the patience or self-awareness to be able to do much beyond engraining his moves within her skill set and getting revenge on her adversaries. Hanako uses Celes’ training regimen as a way to chomp down on any (read: all) of the scary bugs she attempts to feed her. The worst advice and the one indicative of Celes’ quick absorption of any lessons handed her way, is when Camilla ends up convincing her that she needs to have a sexy pose to do in the middle of a fight. This results in a misguided attempt to implement the skill in the middle of a fight, giving her opponent the right leeway to swipe her weapons away.
But it is still hilarious to see how much Shigure has to carry the team, and Celes in particular as she offers to be the only normal person who is competent enough to be a decent teacher. Similarly, Genzou’s vengeful tantrums turn out to be far more humorous in this episode when he decides to fight the entire hero’s guild after finding out they were harassing Celes. An even if the Camilla-bulling had been mean-spirited in the last episode, it was funny to see her on equal terms with Genzou while the two were at each other’s throats throughout the episode.
Above all else, it’s interesting to see how Genzou reflects on his wrestling career. Past episodes have had him getting nostalgic feelings from fighting other people with his wrestling techniques, especially during his last fight with Wolfgang. However, this episode has him confronting these feelings far more intimately as the decision to take part in the public wrestling match gave him exhilaration the moment it gave him flashbacks of being in the ring and fighting for all of the animals in the world. And with other guild members mentioning their run-in with a mysterious demon who is definitely supposed to be MAO, it gives us a more concrete means of setting up a confrontation between Genzou and MAO now that they’re both in another world.