「大切なもの」 (Taisetsu na Mono)
When it comes to Eminence in Shadow every week is the week which keeps on giving – and quite literally at that. Whether you’re a pointy eared cutie pie desperate for validation, good doggo in need of a reward, or newfound allies out for a better life, everyone wins in this story. Well, except possibly the man of the hour. Sometimes the larp can cut just a little too close to the bone.
As often delved into, the main thing when it comes to Eminence in Shadow is knowing that every major development will somehow serendipitiously result in the best outcome possible for Shadow Garden, whether as a whole or for certain characters. There’s a rich sense of irony continually permeating through each arc, something we got in spades again for this one as Alpha and Beta managed to fully rationalize Cid’s actions courtesy of encrypted message revealed in the nick of time. Does it mean Cid actually intended for them to both fix the credit problem and wind up with a pile of cash? Of course not (the whole message was a larp to begin with), but combination of secret agent roleplaying and the gameplan leading to the veritable pot of gold more or less did the trick to keep
John Smith Shadow on the path to supposed glory. The fact it ultimately didn’t for Cid is what makes it all the funnier because it helps reinforce just where this series’ strength lies. In the end a good chunk of the fun comes down to figuring out where Cid’s chuuni dreams wind up converting into alternate world memes – and just what the kid winds up overlooking in that desire to be the perfect mastermind.
Part in parcel of this too are some of the secondary developments shaking off the money tree. Yukime’s perfect (and hilarious) misreading of Cid’s true desire is case in point, establishing her as yet another girl brought under the Shadow Garden banner wholly because mysterious mastermind man did a critical hit’s worth of charisma damage. Unlike Rose Yukime is more an ally than subordinate, but still expect some interesting tangents to come from this in later arcs. Likewise comes the recurring one-two running theme of Cid royally screwing with Cult of Diabolos schemes while being the sole cause for many an evil recruit’s dreams of making things right. We’re still in effective monster of the week territory when it comes to the Cult itself, but Cid (via Shadow Garden) has offed enough of the rank and file to start drawing out the bigwigs, and considering the financial hit the Cult took as well, there’s added reason for them to consider a more prominent move.
It’s just a matter of what sort of move, and how Cid’s latest larping desires wind up unleashing it.