「縦横、成らず」 (Tateyoko, Narazu)
“Contrary to Wishes”
Now that’s what I’m talking about. Mostly. Dancing around the elephant in the isekai room? Thoroughly eliminated this week as the enemies finally come into focus. Doing so far beyond the point when such stuff should’ve been teased? You’re damn right. Is Pancakes just a perpetual bitching machine? Could be – but deep down you know there’s truth to the words I speak.
Much as highlighted before the major part of Genjitsu’s problem is the lack of opponent. Everything Kazuya has done to date has largely been in a void: he’s developed, built up, and otherwise created systems devoid of any pushback typically associated with any sort of major change. Sure, there have been hints of such opposition over the weeks, but nothing tangible has ever presented itself, at least until this week. Part of me is relieved knowing we’re now getting to what has been nearly a month in anticipation, however I’m more inclined to side with incredulity; why are we only getting to this now, why wasn’t this teased better beforehand? Any political thriller worth its salt is going to highlight and build up the opponents to progression, and so far Genjitsu has done precious little in meeting that requirement.
To Genjitsu’s credit though, what we have now is at least in line with expectations. A rebellion on the part of the three dukes – i.e. Elfrieden’s true power brokers – was inevitable considering their overbearing influence, and while I’m dubious that honour and pride is enough of an excuse for the circumstances (seriously, how hard is it to just admit you don’t like change?), I can certainly approve of characters holding true to the confines of their positions. Duke Carmine for example is your quintessential conservative lord, adhering strongly to the principle of change being bad no matter the context, while Duke Vargas is simple opportunism wrapped up pretty for all to see. Both aren’t rebelling over any sense of saving Elfrieden, they’re doing so because their control over Elfrieden is threatened and think they can secure a stronger power base by taking out Kazuya in favour of their own puppet. It’s pure Machiavelli at its finest (heh), and though fairly obvious how this battle will turn out (losing a third of your strength immediately isn’t a good sign), it’s at least a decent struggle to help flesh out this season.
One way or another Kazuya is now set to get a challenge worth his time, and you best be sure overcoming it won’t be a simple walk in the park.
About the three Dukes, control over Elfrieden, and securing a stronger power.
We are finally getting some juicy DIPLOMACY!––COUGH! I have to say I kind of expected Duke Excel Walter to side with Souma. The BIG dead give away was with the small meeting she had with the other Dukes. This meeting between Excel to Castor and Carmine resembled that of a mother or teacher trying to explain to children the outcome of their action(s) and to not be so short sighted. Excel seems like the only adult in this little meeting and the meeting with Souma. (No I am not saying this reflects her age, I would never be so rude…)
Castor and Carmine, I am not impressed with them. They don’t exude the essence of a Duke or leader with military might (Neither does Excel…) but they are completely stubborn right out of the gecko. These two Dukes are a far cry compared to Gazel Dwargo from “Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken” who has shown what a male in leadership position looks like in Anime
Commander of the Air Corps is more or less sticking to the traditional partition of power, and his concerns are quite valid (it is not unlike we have in modern times partition of executive, judicial and legislative branches). Souma will have to adress future problems with possible absolute monarchy…
Meanwhile Land Forces commander simplly is glory hound, looking for battlefield action.
My highest praise goes to Lady Walter Excel. She not only does make sound judgement of situation based on good of both country and her city, she had the acumen to place agent -own daughter, no less! – in Souma’s direct vicinity. Yes our miss Bard was the potential enemy hiding in plain sight.
Good points regarding Castor and Carmine.
There’s certainly a lot more intrigue now. Been wondering what the three generals wear up to. Wouldn’t really say the rebels lost a third of their strength though. The air force general agreed to having most of the air force remain neutral. With the navy on the other side, they really need to pick their battles. All this while the former king is enjoying himself being pampered by the former queen. Poor Carmine, if only he knew….
Biggest surprise was actually the fact that Juna is Excel’s GRANDdaughter. I wonder what her mother is like.
Yea, I don’t really get your impatience. From what I’ve heard this has only been adapting the first novel so far. Clearly the author was going for a more introduction to the characters and some smaller issues before deciding to bring out the “bad guys” which they decided would be better to save for the next volume. Maybe the pacing feels more drawn out in the anime vs the light novel, but I have no qualms about not having a opponent until now.