The Eminence in Shadow – 01 (First Impressions) – Bringing a Crowbar to a Gun Fight

After being kidnapped by a stalker, Nishino Akane is chaffeured to school and back, and maintains an eager-to-please mask for both her teachers and peers. There’s just one kid at school who doesn’t remember her name or look her way: Kagenou. That kinda pisses her off. Kagenou doesn’t seem to care.

One night Akane must walk home when her chaffeur doesn’t answer, and she’s swiftly kidnapped again by a pair of bad dudes bent on holding her for random. One of them isn’t even above assaulting her, but thankfully for Akane, Kagenou saw her be abducted, and has come to rescue her. Before he does he removes several extremely heavy weights he’d been wearing all day like they were nothing.

He smashes through the warehouse skylight and announces himself as the “Stylish Ruffian Slayer”, dispatching the gangster-style baddie with ease, then going to town on an ex-military connoisseur of violence. While fighting him, Kagenou goes into great detail about how great crowbars are as a weapon, then demonstrates it by whaling on the guy before untying Akane and vanishing.

Akane realizes that Kagenou, like her, was also wearing a mask around others. She never gets a chance to confirm if he was her savior, however, as he falls victim to Truck-kun and gets—you guessed it—reincarnated in another world full of magic and fantasy.

While in his old world and life there was only so much building muscle and martial arts training could achieve, but here he’s shed those limits, determined not to be the Hero or the Villain of the world, but rather the mastermind behind the scenes controlling everything—the titular Eminence in Shadow, flanked by seven female assassins.

This week is a succinct if somewhat tonally ambiguous prologue for the “fantasy action comedy” to come. Some isekai start with the lad already having been in the new world for a while, others spend several episodes getting him there. I daresay including a scene of attempted sexual assault probably isn’t a great idea if you’re trying to be tongue-in-cheek.

That said, next week we’re surely in for something completely different, as Kagenou’s chuuni tendencies are now perfectly at home in the new world he inhabits. So I’d say it’s worth at least one more look.

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