“In which our heroes go to war and make new friends.”
For the second week in a row, we have an action-heavy episode—and that’s not a complaint. Despite the battle being overwhelmingly one-sided, the show continues to generate some decent drama by pairing the weaker of our supporting cast with the strongest of those on Clayman’s side. While last episode focused mainly on 1) Albis and Gobta versus Yamza and 2) Phobio and Geld versus the clowns, this episode puts the focus on Suphia and Gabiru versus Milim’s priests.
What we have here is an interesting battle on several levels. To start with, Suphia and Gabiru are unaware of who they are fighting—that their enemies are priests loyal to Milim, not Clayman. Even so, as the battle goes on, they are able to discern that something isn’t normal about this fight. While Suphia struggles with the beatdown Middray is giving her, Gabiru is able to notice what she hasn’t: Despite the bodies strewn about the area, no one on either side is dead. Thus, when he has the chance to kill Hermes, he knocks the boy out instead.
Of course, even to the fight-loving tiger-girl, it soon becomes obvious that there is a massive lack of hostility on the part of their enemies. Despite her ego, she knows that Middray could finish off both her and Gabiru easily—and that their fight is more like a friendly sparring match than a life-or-death battle. Thus when Charybdis suddenly resurrects on the battlefield, both sides team up with little hesitation in the face of the greater threat—and later try to stop Middray and Benimaru from pointlessly fighting when it becomes clear that neither Milim nor Rimuru would want such a fight.
All this is a cool way of showing that our heroes are far more than just battle junkies. While they may love a good scrap, they’d rather not kill people if given the chance, even on the battlefield. Perhaps this is who they’ve always been at heart, or perhaps they’ve learned from (Season 1) Rimuru’s example and would rather make friends than pointlessly spill blood.
This fight between the Dragon Faithful and Suphia/Gabiru’s forces is also a further hint that Milim is not mind-controlled but is simply pretending she is. Whatever the orders that she sent to the Dragon Faithful were, they were clearly acting more along the lines of assisting Clayman’s army rather than winning the war for them—and most certainly didn’t involve killing the people of Tempest. By the end of the battle, they seem perfectly fine siding with our heroes, even though they were aiding in the invasion of the Beast Kingdom just moments before.
Another interesting revelation of this episode is that Clayman was able to control Yamza’s actions at any time without Yamza even being aware of it. The implications of this are more than a bit worrisome. If Clayman can secretly control people, this means that any and all of Clayman’s surrendering soldiers could be a Manchurian Candidate-style assassin—with Clayman just waiting for the time to strike. Along the same lines, this means that every one of them is a potential, unknowing spy.
If nothing else, we know for sure that Clayman is aware of the state of the battle (and who is participating in it) up until the point that Yamza is killed. Framed in the right way, this information could be used against Rimuru in the Demon Lord conference by painting Rimuru as a warmonger who is conquering the lands of the other Demon Lords without hesitation while Clayman and Milim’s forces were only there to “protect the people of the Beast Kingdom.” Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see how Clayman’s failure to become a True Demon Lord is affecting his state of mind in his battle of wits with Rimuru in front of the other Demon Lords—whenever we get to see that side of what’s going on, that is.
• It looks like we have at least one more week of action before we get back to the talking, as next week seems to be about the Onis’ raid on Clayman’s castle if the title is to be believed.
• I like that the clowns were able to beat Phobio and Geld. It shows that they are still a credible threat—even if Clayman himself is not.
• While her final form looks awesome, the fact that Albis wasn’t going all out against Yamza from the start makes her seem like a bit of a fool. While she could have beat him without any trouble, that doesn’t change the fact that she would have died last episode if not for Gobta hanging out in her shadow.
• Despite Yamza being loyal to Clayman and joining the Demon Lord of his own free will, Clayman didn’t trust his general and made sure he couldn’t be betrayed. I wonder if he has secretly made it so he can control the clowns as well (despite them apparently being his friends).
• Was anyone else disappointed that Charybdis—i.e., a threat so big even Rimuru couldn’t beat him—gets killed in one shot just to show us that Benimaru is super strong now?