「凡人の剣」 (Bonjin no Ken)
While I always knew I’d cover Eminence in Shadow, I do also enjoy knowing I made the right choice. Three weeks in and one weird introductory progression later and things are finally settling down into the usual isekai routine, though as you should know by now this one won’t be entirely your grandmother’s isekai. Oh no, we’re going places here boys and girls, no matter how imaginary they may seem.
The one thing I’m quite liking about Eminence in Shadow at the moment is how unconcerned and blasé it is about its story, in part because of the trappings covering it all up. Cid’s current school life is case in point: we’re doing the magical training thing, the starting at bottom with dweeby friends shtick, and – oh yes – the whole finding romance in the least likely of locations. Except the characters know the training is bullshit, the friends are metaphorically rolling over dead, and Cid’s new girlfriend in Princess Alexia turns all convention on its head. I got to admit, for all I saw the flipped script of coerced confession yielding actual relationship (and the reason behind it) coming from a mile away, the resulting chaos was still pretty damn fun to watch unfold. The ability to poke fun at tropes and leverage the ridiculous is always a useful skill to have, and given how it’s worked so far, I’m quite eager seeing just what this series has up its sleeve next.
Case in point in this regard is the whole matter of the Cult of Diabolos and the inevitability Alexia was captured by it. This isn’t even a major leap, not between Cid’s compatriots running off to pursue them (all the while Cid thinks they’re just being nice and trying to not hurt his feelings) and the previous discovery the very real cult is after hero descendants for their nefarious plans. Alexia’s sister Iris is likely such a descendant after all, would make perfect sense to get to her via Alexia, and doubly so if the kidnapping can occur where a poor dumb fool (in the cult’s mind) can be blamed for it. Might be up for debate if Alexia’s betrothed Zenon is part of the cult (since a purported lack of flaws is a major flag), but there’s no denying who’s responsible for this incident and the likely course of upcoming events.
One way or another, Cid is about to be reunited with his merry band of cutie pies as one princess is rescued in the process. At least, you know, once he can figure out how to talk himself out of royal kidnapping.