「友よ、なぜおまえは……？」 (Tomo yo, Naze Omae wa ……?)
“My Old Friend, Why ……?”
As Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka? gets closer to the finale, it begins its initiative to wrap up its main conflicts. More specifically, it shifts attention away from Hugo as we are now contending with Sophia and Ariel planning to mow through the elves and the elves alone.
It was pretty funny that, with all the build-up they gave to Hugo for being an underhanded warrior imbued by demonic energy, he went down fast. As soon as Shun entered into the picture with a one-on-one fight, Shun daydreamed through the entire fight as Hugo got the tar beaten out of him. For anyone that was fed up with all the big talk and tall tales that Hugo was dishing out, it was a treat to see him get kneed in the gut as Sophia sasses him about suddenly wanting help for his one-on-one fight.
With Hugo being revealed to be a pawn for Sophia to use to get closer to slaughtering the elves though, it brought perspective to the idea that this is ultimately part of a larger feud between demons and elves that sees reincarnations more or less like an inconvenience. At the moment, details are still fuzzy about what either army wants to get out of the battle, or how it factors into the prophecy about the reincarnations being removed.
Your mind defaults to the idea of the demons being the worst, but the elves in Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka? are consistently unsympathetic. It makes it easy to overlook the bad that the demon army provides to the world when Potimas is consistently plotting behind everyone’s backs and is now currently in command of a mecha-elf army. Kyouya solidifies this notion with how baffled he is that anyone would side with the elves knowing how shady they’ve been since everyone was reincarnated. Even though he’s just as sketchy, it’s hard to root for anyone in this back-and-forth when the only characters that seem to be on the right side of history are Shun and his friends, and they’re not even certain what side they’re fighting for.
But with how much of the episode was built around Shun fighting Sophia in a drawn-out and one-sided fight, it was a bummer to watch. The episodes without Kumoko tend to be, but ever since the battle between Shun and Hugo’s armies began, the stink of Millepensee’s CGI wafted even more into the air. It’s simple to tune out with Kumoko since she’s just as animated as Yuuki Aoi’s performance. But when CG Shun and CG Sophia are crossing swords, it’s a painful reminder Millepensee still has a long way to go to create 3D animation that replicates the 2D anime style as well as Guilty Gear Strive or Dragon Ball FighterZ.