Alright, admit it, did you really think this season would end any other way? We got the unfortunate villain getting absolutely crushed; the atomic blast was in all its glory; and, oh yes, Rose also found a measure of redemption.
Also let’s not forget that ridiculous (in a good way) twist of an ending since clearly doing the normal isekai experience isn’t enough for Eminence in Shadow. Oh no, we’re doing parallel worlds now (with reasonable explanation to boot!) so the only reasonable question is just what measure of sequel we’re getting – or would be, if not for that movie announcement. Whatever one thinks of the nature of the continuation, there’s no denying this series is a total riot, and I’m fully down to seeing just what comes next. Even if knowing it’s over if only for the moment. Anyways, onto those final impressions!
To be frank I find it hard to majorly hate or criticize Eminence in Shadow. As pure popcorn entertainment it always does the trick, from the comedy to the setups to the sheer unabashed chuuni lifestyle that Cid enthusiastically embraces. It’s not perfect, it’s definitely a mile wide and an inch deep, but it always made for a fun viewing experience which honestly is all you can really hope for. In the end after all we’re here for the fun.
Much like the first season Eminence in Shadow’s strengths remain its parodic comedy. As with Konosuba this one is also about thumbing its nose and winking at the crowd: it knows what it offers is generic, it’s fully aware other series have done it before or have done it better, but it still offers it up and does very well in the execution. The setups for the various arcs are case in point, where mutual misunderstandings and forced intuition yield some very entertaining scenes, whether it be Cid’s money grubbing to Shadow Garden’s girls winding up doing the right thing for the completely wrong reasons. The way it pulls it off and the utter refusal to provide in depth explanation ensures the formula keeps on working, and while a part of me still thinks this arrangement will eventually run out of road, as this season proves that point (if it comes) is far off down the line. There’s still plenty of juice left to squeeze from this over the top concept.
All of that said, however, doesn’t take away from Eminence in Shadow’s continuing troubles in character screentime. Similar to the first season there’s a lot of difficulty in giving key characters the appropriate amount of attention to explain the various comings and goings, especially in terms in antagonists. While the comedy helps in part to cover up the cracks and crevices, it’s still hard not noticing that the likes of one vampiric princess and late season enemy Mordred are basically nameless monsters: they are there for Cid to atomic into the next life, for the Shadow Garden girls to derive humour from, and to ultimately give purpose to the latest arc being animated. The comedic focus means this isn’t a serious problem/concern, but it does enhance the risk of Eminence in Shadow spinning its tires sooner rather than later, particularly if (when) the comedy starts missing more than hitting. Again, I don’t expect this to happen anytime soon, but there will need to be some effort place in thematic diversity eventually to ensure this series does not overstay its welcome.
In the end though this season effectively did everything it had on the tin and succeeded for it. The humour, the girls, Shadow: if you liked the first season you’re bound to love this one, and anyone needing a laugh or three will find themselves at home giving this one a spin. Whatever my own personal reservations it’s definitely a series worth continuing to adapt, and all I can hope is that what comes next is just as enjoyable as this season (and the last) proved to be.