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The Eminence in Shadow Episode 11: Favorites

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The Eminence in Shadow Episode 11 – Quick Summary

In The Eminence in Shadow Episode 11, “The Goddess’ Trial,” Archbishop Jack Nelson pulled a fast one. He used the murder of his predecessor as a pretense to cancel the audit by the Crimson Knights, under Alexia’s leadership. That seemed overly convenient to Alexia. But she didn’t have time to think about it, because the Goddess’ Trial was about to begin. Cid, sitting comfortably in the stands, armed with snacks, settled into watch the games. Except that Rose had plans of her own. Will Cid be able to finish his snacks? Where’s Alpha? And why does Alexia have it in for Beta?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from The Eminence in Shadow Episode 11

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 11: Cid is conflicted

Cid had to argue himself into staying in the background. That explained so much! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

I’ve often wondered why, if Cid really wants to be a background character, he keeps doing things to draw attention to himself. Remember when he kept getting up during his tournament match against Rose back in episode 7? That didn’t seem like the act of someone who wanted to be in the background.

Well, I think this episode just answered why he does that. I found it both enlightening and gratifying. Enlightening because it gave me a clear insight into Cid’s character. Gratifying because this show continues to give me great characterizations!

Cid was sitting in the stands and he was fuming. He wanted in on the action! The idea of sitting there in the stands, like a real background character, chaffed him. He kept trying to figure out a way to get into the action. Finally, he seemed to give up.

“Oh well,” he said (13:26). “Guess I’ll just accept my role as background character this time.”

Seeing how he struggled against his own wishes explained so much. And it was entertaining to watch, too.

Favorite Moment from The Eminence in Shadow Episode 11

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 11: Beta seriously hates Nelson

Beta might have hated Alexia; but she hated Nelson even more. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Oh, the Flashbacks

Am I the only one to have flashbacks to Excalibur from Soul Eater after watching this episode? Especially his way of speaking and his “singing?” I half expected a voice off-screen to suddenly yell “Fool!” at Alexia.

Speaking of Alexia, let me say something important about The Eminence in Shadow: it doesn’t show nudity without a good reason. Remember the previous episode? It could have become a panty-palooza. It would have distracted from the impact of those scenes. Restraint not only helped the drama along (it was particularly fun to see Alexia assert herself over Iris). It also provided a great space for our imaginations to run wild.

Setup: Purposeful Plotting

This episode took a different approach – for the same reason. That opening scene showed us how far Alexia thought she was willing to go, compared to how far she could actually go. Just look at that sneer she adopted when she tried to insult Cid’s manhood (05:37). She thought she had the rhetorical upper hand.

But Cid’s quick-witted reminder about sheaths interrupted her facade. You know what was cool about that? She bounced back. The woman knows what she wants – and in that moment, what she wanted was Cid.

Excalibur and all.

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 11: Alexia considers the "quest for the Garden of Chaos."

I think Alexia was still processing the idea of the “quest for the Garden of Chaos.” Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Do you know who else wants Cid? Besides all of Shadow Garden and Rose (and maybe Sherry, depending on how much she has guessed)? Beta, that’s who. Yes, I know Beta’s one of the women in Shadow Garden – please work with me here. Beta took a severe dislike to Alexia because she tried to insinuate herself into Cid’s life. Well, less “insinuate” and more like “crash into.”

Alexia, for her part, hated Beta’s beauty. Specifically, Alexia hated that Beta had a Significant Volume Advantage (SVA) when it came to bosoms. Now, it needs to be said that in this matter, Alexia is being far too hard on herself. We know she has confidence in her buttocks; she told us in the previous episode! She needs to extend that confidence to her whole self. But she hasn’t yet. So, she “accidentally” stomped on Beta’s foot several times.

I have rarely seen such a brazen attack. But that’s Alexia’s thing, isn’t it? Just ask Cid’s shoulder.

Delivery: The Enemy of My Enemy

During this scene, I didn’t think there was anything that would make Alexia and Beta be anything but antagonistic. But my favorite moment proved otherwise! The slimy Jack Nelson disparaged Cid/Shadow from the instant he showed up in the arena. You could just see that the man tried both Alexia’s and Beta’s patience. Finally, we got to the point Beta had not only had enough. She’d had enough to enlist the help of her enemy to put the guy in his place.

First, Alexia suggested that because Shadow had summoned Aurora, and since the trial tried to match the strength of the summoned to the warrior, that Shadow must be the real deal. I think that’s when Beta warmed up to Alexia — just a bit.

She showed how much after Nelson said that Shadow was clearly on the defensive and that it was only a matter of time before Aurora crushed him. Clearly angry, Beta said (19:41), “But not a single one of her spears has hit him.”

Then, with a sudden bright smile, she added, “Isn’t that right, Princess Alexia?”

“Yes, you’re right,” Alexia said, turning back to watch the match.

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 11: Alexia and Delta forge a truce against Nelson

Alexia played along – because she had had enough of Nelson’s attitude. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

And that’s it! That’s my favorite moment. The two of them went from thinking hateful thoughts about the other (and Alexia trying to inflict real damage to Beta’s metatarsals) to uniting against an even more hateful foe. Look, I’ll admit it: Beta is my favorite among the Shadow Garden warriors (sorry, Alpha – but I doubt Alpha cares what I think!), and Alexia has really grown on me. Seeing their relationship develop, with all of its violence and political astuteness, is turning into yet another reason I’m watching this show.

It’s racking up quite the count!

What did you think of Cid’s battle against Aurora, the Witch of Calamity (and I’m not linking to her on purpose – talk about a spoiler!)? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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9 thoughts on “The Eminence in Shadow Episode 11: Favorites

  1. Still to this day, I regard Aurora as one of the most beautiful women in the Eminence in Shadow. Second being Alpha.

    Alexia is a complicated case. She still has an inferiority complex despite have reconciled most of it after making up with her sister. However, she’s upset and possibly scared that Cid might find someone else. Sherry was interested in him despite just being cute and not beautiful like her. So Alexia’s feelings towards Natsume is partly due to fearing that she might be the one to Cid’s taste.

    1. Beta’s my favorite, but here’s the think I’ve come to understand about this show: almost every one of the female characters is flat-out amazing. Aurora and Alpha included! They’re as capable as they are beautiful and intelligent.

      I’ve found Alexia to be an interesting character, too. Much more so than Sherry (though I did like her — and I still feel sorry for her).

      I wonder if anyone, including Cid, know what Cid’s tastes really are? I have a feeling Alpha knows, and that’s why she’s being so patient with him — while still making her position clear. Aurora, now, has introduced another dimension. I wonder if Beta saw how Cid reached to Aurora? Or if Alexia saw. Because if they did, I could see that prompting a reaction, too.

  2. So many moments in this episode!

    I did not think Cid was nearly so ripped and well-built under his clothing. And I did not expect anything remotely so forward from him, ever.

    Now we know Alexia thinks Cid simply recovered from the grievous injury she did him.

    Alexia and Beta’s mutual hatred of each other was hilarious, each of them thinking, “Girls like her are secretly the worst!”

    Beta has weaponized her boobs in a very successful interrogation tactic.

    I think this is the single most attracted and amorous we’ve ever seen Cid, during his fight with Aurora. I wonder if we’ll see more of her, and if she’ll be freed from whatever it is that’s binding her.

    And what was it Alpha was saying right there at the end? That something is true about Cid. What was it? What did she see, and recognize?

    1. Apparently, exercising with that hand gripper isn’t the only exercise Cid is using.

      I still laugh when I think about Alexia and Beta going after each other.

      Beta’s tactics are without peer. Very impressive. 10/10 (and in this case, it’s two scores!).

      I have a feeling we’ll see more of Aurora. If we don’t, I’ll be disappointed!

      Alpha’s words have me wondering, too. It’s like she expected whatever it was that she saw. I hope she shares!

  3. Actually, the onsen scene left me flat. It felt jarring and out of place. “Hey! Let’s put some ecchi in here to get people’s attention.” Not even interesting ecchi. Irritating ecchi.

    Cid was intentionally being an obnoxious twit. Maybe coed nudity is not a big thing in this world. Maybe he and Alexia’s relationship was more than casual. But otherwise, invading a naked girl’s private space in that manner is way overaggressive. The whole conversation over Cid’s “manhood” was absurd, as was the towel snap. Maybe bragging about your penis to a pretty girl passes for shounen fantasy?

    If the point of the scene is to show what an immature little narcissist Cid really is, it succeeded. That was mirrored in his inability to stay out of the Goddess contest, which I expected would happen.

    1. The scene certainly felt different than what the show’s given us before.

      I had the impression (and I’m trying to remember why) that coed bathing wasn’t unheard of, but clearly Alexia wasn’t immediately comfortable with it. Her recovery was interesting — did she calm down because she thought she was competing with Cid, or was co-ed bathing really okay in that world? Because she didn’t call for help, and as a princess, I think she could have.

      That said. There is a problem I had with the scene that I didn’t mention. Her look of horror when he stood up to face her? That bugged me. There are too many instances where sexual aggression has been used to trigger an expression like that. I don’t know if the visual reference was intentional. I hope it wasn’t!

      Honestly, I do think the scene’s goal was to show that Cid’s view of relationships is really, really not subtle. I agree — his inability to stay out of the competition, or at least his inner dialogue until Rose forced his hand, supports that, too. In fact, so did his fight with Aurora. That’s the first time he responded to another human as a peer.

      I don’t know if the show is really trying to give us that kind of character detail or not. If I were writing it, that would have been my goal.

      I’m still shaking my head over the first towel snap. The second? I have no idea what that was about!

      1. Some people like to be spanked. Or rather the sensation on the location. Doing it with a towel would be kind of autoeroticism. The second towel snap was her trying it out. At least that’s my interpretation.

        I got the sense that she wasn’t looking at his equipment in the water. She couldn’t. He wasn’t close enough, hear head was low to the water, and at that angle all she’d see is the wave reflections. She was looking at him above the water. He was the one who brought up his Excalubur.

        I got the feeling that the look isn’t because she saw his penis but because he was so obviously displaying it. There’s a difference between casual nudity and purposefully hanging your stuff in somebody’s face.

        1. I can only assume that he suspected she had the hots for him. And maybe he did this to deliberately make her hate him. Or maybe he suspected she had the hots for him – and was slightly pervy – and he figured it would make her want him even more. (A reverse cock-tease?) I can’t decide which disturbs me more.

          And who knows what state his equipment was in. I mean, if you are such an exhibitionistic narcissist why not fully brandish the sword? (I understand that most males in Japan are uncircumcised, so there’s the “sheath.”) It might start hitting the sexual aggression button and trigger that look. Or reemphasize the narcissistic a-hole theme.

          Part of me wonders if this isn’t just another teenage boy fantasy injected to perk up viewers’ attention with no deeper purpose. It sure isn’t shounen any more, it lands solidly in the ecchi category.

          1. The more I try to categorize this show in general, and this scene in particular, the less I feel like I get it! But I do think it’s pretty clear you’re right — this isn’t a shonen anymore! I think it was just playing with the tropes before.

Please let me know what you think!

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