「聖地・欺瞞の都」 (Seichi Giman no Miyako)
“The Sacred Land, City of Deception”
As far as transitory “filler” episodes go have to say you can definitely do worse than this. Sure, maybe the fan service wasn’t as fan servicey as you might like, potentially the foreshadowing not as strong as could be; but is that really a problem when you’re meshing the very best with, well, the very best? That’s right, didn’t think so.
While the comedy of Shadow in Eminence is a well-established strength at this stage, even I have to admit the variety this time was pretty damn ingenious. And hilarious. Most shows for example would be content in flashing the goods and letting the time-honoured female tradition of jousting jigglies do the duty for funny times, but Eminence in Shadow decided to one-up that with some choice censoring. Playing with the pussy? Giving a physical demonstration of what’s behind the curtain? Probably only topped by Alexia doing the ultimate finisher to her sister and showing that Iris is definitely a sub under that dominant exterior. I’d go and delve into the similar fun and games of Beta going all in on the crazy female writing persona, but honestly the results speak for themselves.
Of course not everything was pure fan service this week – we also got some Cid-isms and upcoming trouble to help round out the picture. Rose falling for the kid was always a given after the tournament for example, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen this fast, to this degree, and in this manner. Noble ojou turning into determined stalker with a seriously overpowered imagination? Yeah that definitely raised an eyebrow. And bust a gut in the process. For all the ubiquity of the tropes and stereotypes Eminence in Shadow is throwing around it keeps doing a very good job of keeping the proceedings entertaining, particularly as they once again relate back to Cid. After all, the whole shtick of overclocked chuuni playing puppet master will eventually grow repetitive, but as long the parodic antics keep up with suitable eagerness that time is likely far off in the future.
Given the latest arc is likely to give Cid a chance to further flex his own imagination courtesy of cloistered demonic arm, it’s a bet I’m willing to make.