While we are in our sixth episode of non-stop talking, this episode is an important one—and a welcome change of pace. Up until now, we’ve been focusing on Rimuru and his looming confrontation with Clayman. However, Rimuru’s battle looks to be one of words, not brute strength; more importantly, it will play out in front of an audience of demon lords. While we are well-acquainted with Clayman and Milim at this point in the show, the same cannot be said for the other demon lords. Thankfully, this episode spends its entire runtime letting us get to know them—most notably Guy Crimson. But to talk about him, we first need to take a small step back.
One of the best things to come out of the first half of this season was Hinata. For the first time, Rimuru was up against someone he couldn’t simply overpower—hell, surviving the experience took every trick he had. Of course, since their fight, Rimuru has become a True Demon Lord and has set Veldora free from his eternal prison. Honestly, with such a massive power increase, Hinata feels like much less of a threat, which deprives the story of dramatic tension. If no one can realistically oppose Rimuru, then the story becomes boring due to lack of conflict. Thankfully, this episode finally gives us what we’ve needed since Rimuru’s ascension: a potential enemy that outclasses Rimuru in every possible way.
Guy Crimson is a True Demon Lord who has been around as long as Milim and is seemingly of comparable strength. More than that, he also has an ancient dragon as a partner—who just so happens to be Veldora’s elder sister—and rules his own kingdom of monsters. The parallels are obvious: he is basically Rimuru but with 20,000 years more life experience.
While there is little in this episode to suggest Guy has anything against Rimuru, his existence alone is a message that there are some people Rimuru can’t push around. Moreover, Guy’s conversation with Leon makes it quite clear that even if he is not on Clayman’s side, should Rimuru oppose Leon or Milim, he won’t simply stand by and watch things unfold.
The only real unfortunate thing about introducing Guy into the story is that he makes Clayman look like even more of a joke of a villain. Clayman fancies himself a puppet master, which is admittedly a fitting title for one who is literally dominating the souls of his subordinates. However, his puppets are just that—they do not share his ideals nor are they loyal to him by choice (with the exception of Yamza). He has no one around him to speak truth to power, no one who will warn him he is in over his head or when he does something suicidal (like trying to magically control Milim Nava).
Moreover, we see that in his rush to become a True Demon Lord, he has started to make major mistakes. At this point, his intel on his enemies is obviously flawed—entire populations don’t just disappear overnight. Nevertheless, he charges ahead with his plans, obviously tunnel-visioned on his goal that remains just out of reach. No longer is he the mastermind spinning plots within plots while sipping wine from the safety of his castle. At his moment of triumph, he wants everyone to see him for how great he is—to force them all to recognize that he is the superior demon lord. Or to put it another way, it’s not Rimuru, Guy, or Milim who will be the ultimate cause of Clayman’s looming downfall. It’s his out-of-control ego.
• The episode’s first scene is from Frey’s viewpoint, which gives us a peek into her thought process. She is shown to be clever and cautious—much smarter than Clayman gives her credit for. In fact, the way she thinks and acts leads me to suspect that she and Milim are conning Clayman. I can’t imagine a world where Frey would do something as stupid as turning Milim from close friend to sworn enemy.
• Likewise, I can’t believe that someone as weak as Clayman (relatively speaking) could mind control Milim. If such magic could control her, it would have been used long ago—if not on her, then certainly on Veldora.
• This episode acts as our first real introduction to Leon Cromwell—i.e., the person who summoned Shizu to this world. We also get our first hint of his true intentions: he is trying to summon one person specifically.
• The big thing that worries me about Rimuru, in general, is that he suffers from the same basic problem as Clayman—though for different reasons. None of his allies are capable of speaking truth to power. Rimuru is surrounded by yes-men who literally deify him. They believe whatever he says or does is correct by definition. The only person in his inner circle that doesn’t fall into this camp is Dwargo—and the fate of his nation is so closely tied to Tempest now that he has little choice but to go where Rimuru leads.