「偽りの仮面」 (Itsuwari no Kamen)
“Mask of Falsehood”
Like any show Eminence in Shadow has its ups and downs. Some weeks are fantastic and hilarious, others more quaint and quiet transitory moments. This week was most definitely the former, as everything which effectively sums up the good was wrapped in one convenient carnivorous package. Why yes indeed, I might still be chuckling at it.
Although I keep going on about how Eminence in Shadow nails its parodic humour more often than not, it’s moments like Cid’s little secret agent larping affair with Yukime that truly prove the point. Not only does the kid go all in on his
James Bond John Smith fantasies, but it’s paired with a self-admitted superficial knowledge base and a new unwitting player in our multi-tailed foxgirl. Right from the start you know that Cid’s after money, he sees a quick means to lots of it courtesy of shoddy currency design, but when Yukime tries to deflate the balloon she only digs herself – and Cid by design – a deeper hole thanks to the kid’s sheer charismatic stubbornness. Flawed strategy? Please, we just have to think more and get real imaginative. It’s effectively the “Shadow Garden reading too much into things” situation enhanced, because not only is Cid trying to cannibalize his own subordinates’ commercial creation, he’s also ensuring said creation will wind up surviving thanks to serendipitous actions which just so happen to reveal the true bad guys. It’s a hard comedic balancing act to get right, but Eminence in Shadow just keeps on hitting it.
A good chunk of the fun too for me this week came from the quality time Cid shared with Delta. I’ll admit, I still think Eminence in Shadow can do more with its secondary cast and do have a soft spot for Delta (lovable, hyperactive cuties hit me where it hurts), but the latter half of this episode shows some of the complexity (in a sense) of Cid. The kid never stops larping, is always aiming for the next big fantasy flag, but still finds time to hang out with Delta because hey, she asked nicely. Or, well, nicely in wolfgirl terms. That and the continual piggybacking of her was a real treat to see and shows how Cid is more hands off and willing to let things play out than he gives himself credit for. He could be the true mastermind and micromanage every detail – or he can let the girls of Shadow Garden determine their own course of action to often both fulfilling the chuuni urges and being outright hilarious.
It’s a setup ensuring lots of fun yet to come down the pipeline, and considering the Cult of Diabolos is, no surprise, involved in the latest shadowy kerfuffle, best be sure we’re going to see plenty more of it very soon. After all, there’s a pile of money on the line and Cid isn’t about to let the opportunity go.