After the battle, Yuusha returns to Winter’s Pass Village to spend time with Maou, but Onna-Kishi is competing for Yuusha’s attention. While in the Gate City, he is accosted by the Dragon Archduke’s daughter. Minor earthquakes start cropping up in the village. Maou travels to Iron Country to inspect her prototype for a printing press. While she shares a bed with Yuusha and Onna-Kishi, Maou announces she must return to the demon world to have her king’s license renewed, lest civil war rend the realm. She leaves Yuusha in charge and gives Maid Ane the ability to mimic her appearance.
Maou isn’t about handouts. Better to teach someone how to fish or grow crops or use a printing press than to just supply such things to them already done. After all, if Maou’s plan works out, she won’t be around forever to see it sustained. And so the latest and best weapon in her arsenal is education. The serf girls who became her maids are microcosms of the amazing change education can bring in people. There’s a huge difference between knowing one’s plight but being unable to change it, and not even being aware of said plight, or of the possibility of a better life. The maids didn’t until they were shown and taught.
In this regard, Maou seeks to bring a dark world into the light…but educating the masses is a double-edged sword. The social structure of the current world is a certain, if imperfect, form of stability. Awakening the masses means inviting further conflict. But Maou doesn’t believe keeping one group of people ignorant and subservient to another is the proper way to peace, and in any case, there really is no true peace, as long as people like the disgraced Gate city administrator are plotting in dark rooms. It dawns on us we haven’t mentioned that Yuusha was in bed with two girls this week…but since nothing happened, we didn’t really see the need.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)
Sasami starts seeing her deceased mother in random places. One day while shopping she shows up and they spend the day together like an ordinary mother and daughter. But she has an ulterior motive: she’s made a pact with the god of the underworld and come back to make sure Sasami returns to her training to become a Tsukuyomi princess. The Yagami sisters are powerless against her; Kagami is stabbed and Tsurugi is pushed down the slope of Yomi. Before she can harm Tana, Sasami surrenders, and she and her mom are transported to another place, presumably to resume her training.
This episode was something. It had us thinking the myriad gods created Sasami’s mother as she remembered her to fulfill her wish to hang out with her more like ordinary people, not as Tsukuyomi princesses or nursing her when she was bedridden. And eventually the Yagami sisters would show up and tell her she’s just another wish fulfilled that must be put aside to move forward. Needless to say, we were dead wrong. The formula (such as it is) of previous episodes was roundly subverted this week. The priestess fish-out-of-water story is over, and we’re now in full Serious Mode, where everyone’s lives are at stake.
Put simply: the Moon believes it’s time for the Sun to step aside and let it rule the universe. To that end, Sasami’s mom has been sent to set her back on the path she strayed from. And Sasami’s protectors, virtually invincible up until this point, are dispatched with terrifying speed and ease by the mom, who was no slouch even when she was a human, and possesses a divine, god-slaying sword. (Both Tsurugi and the mom have some awesome dialogue throughout their dealings with each other). Anyone wondering if Sasami was going to one day face the consequences of walking away from her birthright…needn’t wonder any longer.
Rating: 9 (Superior)
When Akane and the girls go to Shikine Island for summer camp, Kenjirou has Mizuha confiscate their keys so he can subject them to a convoluted friendship-building operation that will strengthen them for future Alone battles. He kidnaps Rei (unaware of her connection to the Alones) and takes on a villainous persona, daring the girls to rescue her. Rei escapes captivity and helps defeat the mechanical foes Kenjirou sends at the girls, and Akane in turn saves Rei from the “final boss”, Kenjirou himself piloting a mecha.
As soon as we saw the very literal title, “The Story of How Kenjirou Tries to Strengthen the Power of Friendship Between Akane and the Girls and How It Ends Up a Total Mess”, the thought occurred to us that this would be a bit of a slow one. Indeed, there is not only a scene in which the girls compare their boob sizes, but a scene where the other girls enter Akane’s massive inflatable swimsuit and are mortified that she’s naked from the waist down in there (okay, that was kinda funny). The youngest character, Momo (who doesn’t get a bikini), is the voice of reason, repeatedly pleading with her gramps to quit torturing the girls.
It also features Wakaba asking “what was that sound” when the source of that sound – a giant mechanical teddy bear felled by Aoi with a big rock – is right in front of her face, and Akane (though thankfully not the others) being fooled by Kuroki’s pathetic disguise (i.e., covering her face with the scarf she always wears, even when she’s wearing a bikini). The only moment of significant interest is when Rei briefly fears she’s been detained because they’ve found out about her pro-Alone activities, but alas; it’s just a coincidence. Nothing really moves forward this week, aside from the power of the friendship of the girls. Allegedly.
Rating: 5 (Average)