「凛々しきエルフは同胞が為に舞う」 (Ririshiki Erufu wa Douhou ga Tame ni Mau)
“An Austere Elf Dances for Her Comrades”
Even though we’re now three episodes in it’s honestly hard getting a true read on just what Skeleton Knight intends on being. Sure, it’s well-established this one will be all about that ridiculous skeleton doing human things slice-of-life experience which frankly is far too entertaining for its own good, but beyond that? Are we going to get more of the first episode’s descent into darkness? That surprisingly remains to be seen.
As promised last week this episode finally trotted out the next big member of Arc’s growing party in the dark elf Ariane. Given what we’ve seen of the girl before there should be no great reveal here: she’s gritty, determined, and wholly distrusting of anything without pointy ears and animal familiars at their side. It makes for an interesting setup given Ariane’s straight man to Arc’s jester, because while inevitable she will discover Arc isn’t exactly alive (in the biological sense, drinking be damned), right now it yields some chuckle-worthy fun. Arc must be evil because human, and yet Ponta – gloriously cute cannot help but d’aww Ponta – suggests otherwise. Arc cannot help because human, but all that talent makes turning him down problematic. Hell how can one say no to those faces? It’s the sort of party setup promising a lot of fun down the time (as the OP indicates) and I’m quite looking forward to it.
In terms of what that fun entails, that too will prove intriguing in its own right. While I’m hesitant on Skeleton Knight fully indulging in excessive grittiness given its overall lighthearted feel, an immediate plot of rescuing slaves and overcoming internal conspiracy does admittedly give Arc plenty of opportunity to show off his utterly ludicrous power level. The challenge will naturally be one of balance: going too hard down the Goblin Slayer route will not mesh well with the feel of this series, but not giving enough impetus for power displays will yield more boredom than interest. This is the sort of thing many slice-of-life isekais struggle with (and many also fail with), yet for the moment given what we’ve seen I’m confident it’s something Skeleton Knight will successfully thread the needle of, enough so that I’m down to see what becomes of it.
After all, Ariane has only just been introduced and there’s still two party members outstanding. Just think of the fun to be had once this roaming band of misfits is finally complete.