It’s funny. Here we are at the start of the climax that this cour has been building towards—the battle between Rimuru and Clayman, with Rimuru facing a true threat in the form of Milim while Shion dukes it out with Clayman and one of his puppets—yet for all the flashy action going on, the thing that kept my attention this episode wasn’t the battle. It was Guy Crimson. After all, unlike our slimy hero, Guy has figured out what is actually going on.
Rimuru is too close to events to see what’s really happening. He sees the meeting of the Demon Lords as his chance to get revenge and rescue his enslaved friend. He is so caught up in what he thinks is going on that he doesn’t even question his assumptions, even after both Guy and Raphael try to clue him in. Honestly, his only saving grace in this department is that Clayman is equally hyper-focused on his own goal to the point that he doesn’t see the truth either: that Milim is not mind controlled—and likely never has been.
Guy, on the other hand, seems to have understood the situation from the start—which is likely why he didn’t crush Clayman after he hit Milim last episode. There is an obvious level of trust, if not friendship, between Guy, Ramiris, and Milim. If nothing else, he respects Milim enough to not interfere in her plans without being asked to. As he puts it in this episode when talking to Clayman, “If Milim assists you of her own volition, I will not stop her.” (Of course, not only does this prove rather clearly that Milim isn’t mind-controlled, it also implies that if she turns on Clayman to assist Rimuru, he won’t stop that either.)
This is likewise why he tries to stop Ramiris from sending in Beretta to help. “I’m sure Milim has her own plans,” he tells her, trying to explain to Ramiris that by interfering, she may be getting in Milim’s way. It’s only after Ramiris explains how important Rimuru is to her as a friend that Guy allows her to send Beretta into the fight. After all, while he may not particularly care about Rimuru, he does care about the little fairy queen and wants her to be both safe and happy.
All this makes Guy an intriguing character. He’s as powerful as Milim and intelligent enough to figure out what’s really going on. Moreover, despite his strength, he has fostered relationships with those far weaker than himself—namely Ramiris and Leon. In fact, his friendships set him up to be both an ally and enemy to Rimuru. After all, while Rimuru makes both Milim and Ramiris happy, he is still out to get revenge on Leon for summoning and then discarding children from Earth. It’s a real strength of the series that even as it prepares to do away with one foil for Rimuru, it sets up another.
• Why aren’t Mujrran and Diablo at this meeting? Because Mujrran would destroy Clayman’s argument and Diablo would assure Rimuru’s victory in battle. Thus, they need to be kept out of the story for the sake of tension. This is why the Falmuth mission begins at the same time as the Demon Lord meeting—not because of any in-world reason but because the author couldn’t think of any other way to keep them out of the conflict. Contrived writing is something I loathe, and that’s exactly what we have here.
• Rimuru looks so much better with evil-shaped eyes.
• It was satisfying to watch Shion pummel Clayman. I’m glad she got her pound of flesh.
• Man, that “only two retainers per person” rule sure turned out to be a load of crap, didn’t it?
• The other big hint that Milim isn’t mind-controlled? When told to kill Rimuru, she doesn’t go into her warrior form nor does she one-hit-kill him with her ultimate attack.
• If you freeze-frame right after Raphael informs Rimuru that his Judo throw is about to be countered, you can see that Milim’s smiling—her mask slipping in the middle of such a fun fight with her “bestie.”
• Poor Veldora. Here’s his chance to play big damn hero and he gets sucker punched in the back of the head.
• I wonder how Veldora was summoned given that Guy’s barrier is supposed to stop that kind of thing. Perhaps Raphael saw the hole made for Beretta and used it to summon the Storm Dragon?
• Honestly, I’m more excited about Milim versus Veldora than any other potential match-up. It should show us without question if Veldora’s new slime-clone body is a handicap or not.