“Shinchō no Seijin” ( 神鳥の聖人)
Naofumi continues his new business venture with his two trusty sidekicks.
A episode of two halves. One more serious with Naofumi and his duo of bickering children trying to help out a village that were taken over by living plant that the unwitting Motoyasu planted in order to actually help them.
Then you have the second half which saw the two bickering children doing their utmost to basically make Naofumi fall in love with them. It sounds ridiculous but that really is what it was. Just because the Demi-Human physically ages doesn’t make it sit right to have her and then a bird human thing that has only been alive a few days fighting their hardest to make a fully grown adult want to marry them.
I think it is obvious by now for anyone who has read any of my reviews that I just can’t enjoy things like that. No matter how much it is played for laughs or trying to hide behind complex reasoning I just don’t like it. Therefore no matter how much I love all three characters the second half of the episode bugged me in ways I couldn’t even begin to describe to you.
That being said I did appreciate that it did kind of turn into more of a bonding story between Filo and Raphtalia.
Whilst the story was the two were trying to find ways to win Naofumi’s heart they ended up having to work together to just stay alive and get off the mountain. It showed that the two of them are actually a force to be reckoned with and just how frighteningly OP the two of them are.
You’ve seen it in flashes in the battles they’ve had before now but it has always been a little over shadowed by the obvious competitiveness the two of them have trying their hardest to better the other to prove their worth to Naofumi. Of course the joke is that Naofumi, rightfully so, see’s both of them like children, going as far in the other episode as saying that Raphtalia is like a daughter to him, so doesn’t see their obvious attempts at winning his heart or outdoing each other for attention.
So whilst I appreciate the story told the entire “I’m going to make Naofumi see me as a woman” coming from a 11 year old Raccoon girl who just so happened to grow boobs because she leveled up is enough that it could become annoying and knock it down from its lofty height as my favourite thing in the world right now to “could have been better if they took away the creepy storyline and Japan’s ever present need to be creepy at times.”
With the second half kind of nearly ruining it for me I have to say I loved the first half. That competitiveness and jealous was seen throughout the episode but it was on a subtle level that didn’t ruin what was a great little story.
Starting with a wonderful throwback to the previous episode we learn just what that seed that should never be taken from the cave actually was and why it should never be taken.
Of course that is because Motoyasu had taken it and used it, with the best intentions in the world, to help a starving village.
What it actually did was take over the village and probably would have killed everyone in it.
This is why I really like Motoyasu. He isn’t a bad character but he is the main antagonist in a way at the moment. There is a rivalry between Naofumi and Motoyasu that has been deliberately set up by Malty that neither are actually in the wrong for being on whichever side they just so happen to be.
We’ve seen everything from Naofumi’s eyes so we know that Naofumi is innocent but we also saw how Malty twisted him around her little finger to the point that he would buy her stuff randomly and be in a position where he could be accused of doing things he didn’t do. We’ve seen that but Motoyasu hasn’t and whilst the other three heroes looked down on Naofumi a little bit for being the Shield Hero and not being a gamer like they are all four of the heroes are strangers as well as Malty being a stranger to them. Even in our society if a woman ran up to someone and said that a man had been attacking them or whatever if you were inclined to get involved the most likely scenario is that you wouldn’t think twice about siding with the lady and any protests from the guy would fall of deaf ears.
In our society in general that is the standard and acceptable approach to everything.
Motoyasu obviously is a ladies man and he saw Malty give up a place in his, a superior hero because he’s the Spear Hero, team to help Naofumi. He then has her tell him all these horrible things which ALL the heroes believed. Malty then re-joins him and uses the same tactics that she used on Naofumi to become Motoyasu’s right hand woman. His personality makes it even easier for him to just outright believe her but then he also finds out she’s the daughter of the King.
So now he looks at this world like it is a game, think back to just about any of the stupid things he’s done and the way he originally looks at things and how upset and agitated he gets when it gets proved to be different, at the same time he is trying to kind of fit in a little more then the other two. With him struggling to be one or the other he also is taking the advice of the PRINCESS of the country who tells him what he wants to hear.
He is prideful and honestly believes what he is doing is right. When he fights for Raphtalia he truly believed what he was told about slaves by Malty, he started the duel because of her and believed Raphtalia would be better off without Naofumi who he still believes to be a rapist. Whilst the other Heroes might or might not still believe that claim they don’t have Malty as a ever present voice in their head telling them that she’s right and he’s wrong so when he see’s Raphtalia revolt against what he does he is honestly hurt and confused and falls back on hiding the fact it was a blow to his pride that he was wrong. Again with the race he does what Malty tells him to do and believes probably he’s doing what is right. She’s probably spun him a line about how this is the best for the village but in actual fact it was what is best for her, when again it turns out that his team were cheating and even then he lost and the Village cared more for the Shield Hero then the Spear Hero his pride once more meant he put his blinkers on.
By this time him and Naofumi don’t so much have a dislike for each other but their own competition.
This is another one of those times. Motoyasu honestly wants to help the village and plants the seed, probably with Malty telling him it’ll be OK, then leaves without seeing what happens next. His heart was in the right place but he thinks he’s in some easy RPG like Skyrim where he’s the good guy going around beating the bad guys but it is more like Overlord where his guiding voice is telling him to do bad instead of good. Naofumi comes and sorts out his mess, which is probably going to be a running theme, but what is really interesting is that it is going to change the entire narrative on the two heroes.
Motoyasu comes and tries to tax villages to their demise and destroys ones he’s trying to help whilst Naofumi comes along and helps those in need as well as sorting out Motoyasu’s mistakes.
Whilst I doubt Motoyasu is as big a idiot as he comes across his inability to look at the world as a world that he is living in, the easiness in how gullible he is and his pride make him look that way. When Malty finally doesn’t want him anymore or he finally wakes up to what is going to happen I believe it’ll be one of the most emotionally difficult episodes to watch because we’ll see that Motoyasu is actually just a decent guy who can’t see past being brought into a video game. He’s doing what the King and Princess are telling him to do and trying to be the hero he obviously always wanted to be so when it finally crumbles around him and he realises that whilst he might be fighting monsters in the waves and doing all that well enough he’s actually a bigger menace to the world around him out of blind ignorance of what a woman might be able to make him do it is going to be really rather sad.
I can’t wait for it.
I hope they actually do it too and don’t just hand wave it away or something, it will be a interesting story to see come to a conclusion and I hope Naofumi is there to witness it because he’ll have some witty yet probably uplifting in his own way thing to say about it all.