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The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20: Favorites

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The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20 – Quick Summary

In The Eminence in Shadow episode 20, “Advent of the Demon,” Beatrix reveled in her chance to cross swords with Cid. However, there was someone else who wanted in on the action: Iris. Stinging from the humiliating defeat delivered by Mundane Mann, she seemed to be in a state of shock. That is, until she realized that Mundane Mann was actually Lord Shadow. Her rage exploded. Will Beatrix let join the fight? Will Cid? And will the two of them together be able to even scratch Lord Shadow?

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

Favorite Quote from The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20: Iris seemed to think she was doing well.

Iris seemed to think she was making progress. The reality had to hurt her pride! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

This series showed an impressive dedication to its core concept: namely, that Cid regards the world as a stage whose sole purpose is to allow him to craft moments he thinks are cool.

And they ran with it.

My favorite quote in this episode had a lot of competition. But I chose this one because it encapsulates Cid’s perspective. It also emphasizes the difference between his skill and the skill of even someone like Iris. 

The kingdom regards Iris as one of its best warriors. She is practically undefeated. Her expectations for her performance were sky-high. In this episode, she even picked up a magical sword/artifact and seemed to produce magma-style flames. And she swung it with abandon. Buildings fell right and left.

But how did Cid see such a potent combination of weapon and wielder? 

“Not bad,” he said, sounding amused (04:40). “I’ll give you points for stunning visuals.”

Cid saw Iris as a performer. One who could make pretty flashy lights. And no more. 

I guess she should feel flattered he noticed her at all!

Favorite Moment from The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20: Rose found Cid's early work to be inspirational

I wonder if Cid would be happy to know that Rose found his early work inspirational. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Setup: A Target Rich Environment

Choosing a single moment is tough. Of course, it’s a show about a dude who lives to make cool moments. What did I expect?

Cid “LOL JK-ing” about nuking the city was in the running. Beatrix merely sheathing her sword after the fight as Iris lost herself to impotent rage was another. Seeing Alexandria, even briefly, piqued my interest. Hell, Cid stopping Iris’s artifact attack with his freaking fist stood out!

But there was one moment that not only had me on the edge of my seat. It had me talking to the screen. And it had everything to do with Rose.

She had escaped from Asshat. But she’d just killed her father (and I’m still wondering about that). She had nowhere to go. She didn’t know what she should do. Moreover, she didn’t know what she could do. She even wondered if she should (05:13) “join up with the anti-Perv resistance.” Which I guess is a thing.

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20: Rose felt lost; then Alpha visited

Joining the anti-Perv resistance seemed like a decent option! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Then Alpha showed up. 

Now, you need to understand that I freaking adore Alpha. My only real regret about this series is that we didn’t get to see more about her. Maybe the lack of screen time added to her mystery and allure. But even based on what we saw, I love her strength, her attitude, and her drive.

She showed up and gave Rose two choices: continue to try to fight on her own, or (06:42) “fight by our side in Shadow Garden.” 

I kid you not, that made me lean forward. I really, really wanted Rose to say she’d join. Now, you might say I was being rash, and you’d be right. Rose, to her credit, didn’t answer right away. She forced herself to evaluate the options. Alpha’s calm assurance damaged her calm. But she stayed focused. She asked Alpha if Shadow Garden would help her save the kingdom. Alpha answered, no, not as she was now.

Delivery: Rose Makes the Call

Iris or Alexia would have gone on a fury binge. Rose, though, mastered her emotions and asked if her kingdom could be saved – a very astute question. Alpha calmly answered that the answer depended on Rose.

She thought of the Cid she thought of as her boyfriend. She thought of Asshat, and she thought of the father she had killed. But do you know what swayed her? What seemed to be the deciding memory?

The memory of the Stylish Bandit Slayer with his red eyes blazing through the eye-holds in the paper bag on his head.

Around this point, I’m still urging her to go with Shadow Garden. No, I didn’t think that would matter. I’m not Cid; my delusions don’t manufacture reality! But I still rooted for her.

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20: Rose showed more emotional discipline than Iris

Rose is a very different woman than Iris. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

“I pledge to fight alongside you,” Rose said (07:34). They shook on it, and Alpha’s cloak wrapped around both of them.

I’m going to miss this show. I’m going to miss Shadow Garden. Cid’s ability to stage a scene, too. And I’m going to miss characters like Beatrix and Annerose who stole almost every scene they were in. Most of all, I’m going to miss writing about this series. But there’s always hope for another season, isn’t there?

What did you think of the right between Cid, Iris, and Beatrix (or, more accurately, between Cid and Beatrix)? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “The Eminence in Shadow Episode 20: Favorites

  1. What’s terrifying is that this isn’t the full scope of Cid’s power. After blowing the rainstorm away, he’s still being casual and going to school. It’s Godly.

    And one must wonder? Was the reward he got when he arrived on this world is to be a God?

    1. I haven’t read the manga, but it sure looks to me like so far, Cid has just been playing around. In all honesty, I have no idea what his upper limit is.

      Or even if he has one. Unless his limit is his own imagination.

      That’s a great question. It looks like he’s able to convert his BS into reality in real-time. To the point that it extends backwards into the world’s history. So I would not be in the least bit surprised if it turns out Cid is a god.

  2. We were correct, Iris did not take losing well, especially when she saw it was Shadow. And she didn’t take being so powerless well, barking at the top of her lungs about all of the kingdom was now his enemy. (My personal response would have been something along the lines of, “What’s one kingdom to me? The entire WORLD is my enemy, so long as the Cult runs it!” But I suppose that would involve actually acknowledging that this is not some elaborate game, which Cid, in all his madness, does not) And where Beatrix took her loss, even the added defeat of losing alongside Iris, with dignity and grace, Iris is definitely carrying a grudge. I lose a bit of respect for her, in all honesty, and I didn’t have that much to begin with.

    There were a lot of moving parts to this, a lot of things to both tie off and lead into the next season. Of course, it took me completely by surprise that this was the season finale, as I’ve only ever encountered one or two anime which had a twenty-episode season, I think. They certainly did a good job covering a lotta ground! The various schemes of the Seven Shadows, Annerose departing with thoughts of Mundane Mann, Alexia growing stronger, Sherry being obsessed with revenge, and so on. We got a good look at Zeta, finally, if only for a moment. We saw Cid’s gambling friend stuck trying to work off his debt. Heck, we even saw the girl who was eating in that scene from the first episode!

    Rose’s scene with Alpha was powerful, but it was her induction into boot camp which tore at me a bit. She’s lost a lot, and having everything that was left taken away, right down to her clothing and her final memento, her final hope for a love she did not know was doomed from the start… well, it was a lot to lose. Yes, she will be reborn as 666 – what an interesting number for her to be the one to have – but it’s still a very painful moment.

    I like the setup of their HQ, though. So Cid defeated a mist dragon and was given lordship of a domain which seems to be all but impossible to find, let alone touch from the outside, especially since their enemies will have no idea where to begin looking in the first place.

    And, of course, they manage to leave off with Cid having one of his cryptic monologues. Which, yes, it’s just nonsense that he is spouting off the top of his head, but considering how he spontaneously came up with the entire plot of the Cult and turned out to be dead-on right about all of it, well, I think we, the audience, can probably look to his rambling as a pretty decent guide for what is to come.

    1. I lost respect for Iris, too. The contrast between her and Beatrix said a lot. Beatrix saw Cid as a challenge. When he left, she accepted it as an indication she had some growing to do. Her humility let her see and accept the reality. But Iris? She had bought into her own marketing copy.

      I do feel sorry for her. But I think Alexia is the better person all around.

      “Heck, we even saw the girl who was eating in that scene from the first episode!”

      I missed her! She helped me decide to review this series!

      Rose’s last scene got to me, too. It amazes me that a show like this can affect me like that! You’d think it would stop surprising me at some point! It wasn’t only seeing her get torn down. It was the potential for what she’ll be when she gets built up. I have a feeling she’s rival the Seven Shades.

      The way the show just tossed out that “Oh, yeah, Cid defeated a mist dragon and inherited its domain” fit the tone of the show perfectly. Cid might have thought it was a set piece. It probably looked very different from the dragon’s point of view.

      I am so looking forward the another season!

  3. This just struck me very badly. Felt quite unbelievable. If she had killed Asshat first, there’d be no need to “join up with the anti-Perv resistance.”

    It strikes me that if Shakespeare had written this, she’d accidentally kill the king, intentionally kill Perv, and then die from poison she got from a scratch from a poisoned blade. And there’d be an extended death scene with a long discussion with Cid on her way out.

    And what happened to that immense power Cid gave her?

    Cid’s character is displaying a lot of amorality lately. This isn’t the Cid who risked his own life to save another.

    1. I can’t disagree with you at all. And yet, I still enjoyed the series. I’m trying to figure out why!

      It’s not that it has the highest density of beautiful characters of any show currently airing. I’m not even sure High School DxD can compete in that regard, and it was my previous high bar. I think I like it for a different reason.

      Cid is absolutely amoral. I like how you called that out. He isn’t exactly immoral. He’s certainly not moral, in the commonly-accepted sense. He’s like a writer, but instead of a situation like Re:CREATORS, he lives among his creations. He gives no more thought to their well-being than I would give a character in one of my books.

      Which might not be entirely true. I do feel bad for some of the situations I put my characters into.

      Maybe. I’m honestly not sure if he has that kind of power. In earlier episodes, he thought the Women of Shadow Garden were just playing along with him, and he seemed to appreciate it.

      Where’s the Cid who risked his life? As in, from the first episode? Reinterpreting that episode in light of the rest of the series, I wonder if even then, it was less about saving a life and more about setting a scene?

      Others have said this, and I have to wonder: just how sane is Cid? Is he insane and — with the power to turn BS into reality?

      Maybe that’s why I like the series so much. It presents these interesting questions.

      1. My humble opinion is that in reward for protecting that girl when he was alive he is being allowed to be the star of his own anime.

        Or maybe this is all a test to see if he gets into heaven.

Please let me know what you think!

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