Subaru hits the floor hard in this episode. It’s not just a game that he’s been thrown in to, there’s a whole country at stake!
“Self-Proclaimed Knight, Natsuki Subaru”
Well this episode was quite the death spiral for Subaru, to the point that he’s probably wishing Julius had killed him in the ring to offer a reset. He also deserves everything that hit him this week, and perhaps he will realize that the world he has been transported to isn’t just an RPG with him as the main character. This is definitely for the best for the series, as he had been lifted up to such extreme heights recently. Yet he doesn’t understand politics, the feelings of others, where strength comes from, or even honor. These are qualities that are generally not required when you’re playing a video game. The goal is merely to be the best, and get ahead.
The girls taking part in the royal selection are, exactly as expected, horrible caricatures of single defining traits. It’s what makes them so obviously wrong for the job. Even including Emilia and Felt, I probably wouldn’t want any of them running a country. Anastasia is the extreme capitalist, Crusch Karsten is the militarist, Priscilla is the egomaniac dictator, Emilia is the socialist, and Felt is the Trump – er, anti-establishment anarchist.
And of all of those Emilia is the most easily accepted, as she strives for equality between all people of the kingdom. Pretty noble, yet also rather self-serving, after years of racial bigotry towards her. Because this isn’t real life though, I would be inclined to hope that Felt wins, because of her hilarious character and the situation she’s been put in. She doesn’t actually care about the whole process. Just as long as nobody that obviously destructive runs for office here on Earth!
The knights of this series are the first in a long while to actually come off as being in the right. Usually the main character of a fantasy series rising up and denouncing their privilege just kind of works out for them. Not this time! Julius might have been built up as a kind of bad-guy rival, but he made good arguments for why these knights are knights at all. They work hard, strive to defend their nation, and have come along way to get to where they are now. Subaru just calling himself a knight would be like you or I just claiming to be a special forces operative. We probably aren’t very well equipped to just jump in to that role.
Despite Subaru’s obvious downfall in this episode, he does have one thing going for him – and that’s the mystery of his curse, or the witch’s scent. He’s been a good person at times, and horrible at others, but that dark power hiding inside is the most likely to define him in the long term. I’m really hoping that he can take advantage of that shadow magic, and do some real damage in the future. We’re likely all wondering what is going to come of the reasoning he is here in this different world at all, and what the witch is planning for him. In the meantime though, pick up those pieces and carry on, Subaru!
8/10 (Very Good)
– Felt is the master of hidden rage.
– If the witch looks just like Emilia, what was she ever jealous about?
– Of course they practiced that move. That’s what knights do.
– Make Lugencia Great Again™
– Injured is now his default state.
– If you’ve made this face, you’re probably doing something wrong.