Right from the start, this episode made me realize something: I can’t remember the last time we had a Shuna-focused episode. In fact, I don’t remember if there has ever been one before in the main series. For the most part, Shuna’s role so far has been to be competent in all the areas Shion is not—which is to say every area except fighting. She is polite, controlled, diplomatically savvy, and capable of any and all domestic chores. She is the pure innocent that supports Rimuru with her unwavering kindness and stalwart compassion. This episode, however, turns this characterization on its head a bit—and I mean that in the best possible way.
While the majority of this episode is focused on Shuna, Hakuro, and Souei infiltrating Clayman’s castle in an attempt to find Carrion, it’s really more of a character study about what Shuna is like when she’s away from Rimuru. With no need to put up a happy front, Shuna is much more serious and subdued. In her fight against Adalman, she comes off as both arrogant and antagonistic as she lures her opponent into casting a spell so she can take it over and end the fight in one stroke.
The aftermath of the battle gives us a peek into her mind when faced with Adalman’s need to worship Rimuru as his new god: basically, she doesn’t think quite as highly of Rimuru as she normally lets on. It’s clear that she reveres him and is loyal to him, but the idea of him being a “god” is laughable to her. She can’t see the silly slime as anything divine. This means that she has a much more grounded view of Rimuru than many in Tempest. In fact, she might be one of the few characters in Rimuru’s entourage that understands that he is fallible, making her vital to the success of the fledgling nation.
The rest of this episode is spent showing Rimuru and the other Demon Lords’ arrival for the “tea party.” Beyond Rimuru’s inner monologue, there’s a ton of cool visual storytelling going on in this scene. The most obvious is the visual representation of the other Demon Lord’s auras. Guy and Dagruel have auras beyond Rimuru’s while Valentine’s “maid” looks to be on par with him. Then there’s the interesting fact that the other’s auras are monotone—perhaps implying that Rimuru’s multicolor aura is due to a mix of his power and Veldora’s (and maybe Ifrit’s). If this is the case, all the other Demon Lords have to know something odd is going on with Rimuru just by inspecting his aura.
Also in the background are some hints about the interpersonal relationships between the Demon Lords. Ramiris chats happily with Guy—further demonstrating their relationship as the oldest Demon Lords—while the other Demon Lords (save for Dino and Leon) all remain silent, waiting for the meeting to start.
And then comes the scene where Clayman punches Millim in the face. The reactions of all the various Demon Lords say a lot about them and where they stand. Dion and Dagruel are surprised. Rimuru and Ramiris are appalled. Leon and Roy show no reaction other than a blank face. And Guy Crimson? He looks like he’s about murder Clayman where he stands.
I don’t think Clayman’s thought his “cunning plan” all the way through here. By slapping Millim around he’s clearly trying to assert dominance over the other Demon Lords by showing that Millim is under his control. However, this is kind of a useless threat given the company. While Millim is no doubt one of the strongest existences in the world, we already know that Dragons are stronger than her—and Guy’s partner is Veldora’s big sister. Add to this the fact that Guy is both as old as Millim and likely a True Demon Lord in his own right, and suddenly it feels like Clayman has a death wish. His posturing means nothing to many of those before him and he outright antagonizes the most powerful among them—and that’s before Rimuru (backed up by Veldora) even enters the equation.
At this point, I feel that the mystery isn’t, “How will our heroes triumph over Clayman?” but rather, “Who’s actually going to be the one to kill Clayman?” Will it be Rimuru, getting revenge for the attack on Tempest? Will it be Millim, as payback for the mind control shenanigans? Will it be Fray, to show Clayman he’s not half as clever as he thinks he is? Or will it be Guy just in a blind rage for Clayman daring to strike Millim?
Either way, this is a great episode and I’m super-hyped for Rimuru’s “trial” to begin.
• If Veldora is guessing that our vampire Demon Lord’s name is “Luru” or “Milis,” I’m guessing her name is actually “Luminous.”
• Luminous also happens to be the name of the god Adalman worshiped when he was alive. Coincidence? Doubt it!
• Oh sure Rimuru, like your dumb ass knows more than Raphael? Please. If she says the lion head guy is Carrion, it’s Carrion.
• In Adalman, we once again see why Clayman was always doomed to fall. None of his powerful lackeys actually want to serve him or believe in his goals (even Yamza was only interested in being on the winning side). When your top general is actively looking for a loophole to kill himself, you might have a problem.
• It’s interesting that it wasn’t Clayman who bound Adalman originally, but Clayman’s dead master, Kazalim.
• Sometimes I think that English spell names are chosen just because they sound cool to the Japanese ear, and not because they make any sense. I’m pretty sure at some point Shuna’s spell against Adalman was supposed to be “Override” not “Overdrive.”
• Thinking more about how the Dryads dote on Ramiris, I wonder if she is legitimately their god—or at least something close. Like, perhaps basking in her aura literally gives the Dryads pleasure, like angels standing before God.