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The Eminence in Shadow Episode 3 Review – Best In Show

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The Eminence in Shadow Episode 3 – Quick Summary

In The Eminence in Shadow Episode 3, “Fencer Ordinaire,” Cid Kagenou had to adjust to the departure of Alpha, Beta, and the rest. He didn’t believe Alpha’s stated reason for leaving. He thought they had grown out of their shared game and had left to pursue adulthood. Trying to put that behind him, he enrolled in a prestigious school where he planned to remain a background character. Unfortunately, he lost a bet, and the result was he had to ask the most popular girl in school to date him. How did he get into that situation? Does he stand any chance of her saying yes? And is Alpha really gone for good?

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

Favorite Quote from The Eminence in Shadow Episode 3

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 3: Alexia seemed to enjoy messing with Cid

I think Alexia enjoyed needling Cid. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

When Cid commits to an idea, he really commits. He had no inkling that Alexia Midgar would say yes when he so perfectly destroyed his “confession.” But once she said yes, he had an idea.

He wanted to break up as quickly as possible.

So when she joined him and his friends for lunch the next day, he acted as rude and boarish as he could. He ate her food. He ate it messily. In general, he did not treat her very well.

It didn’t work. In fact, she told him she was looking forward to their fencing class together – a class she had to pull strings to get him into. 

Admitting defeat (even if temporarily), he thought (09:15), “And thus my lunch and Operation ‘Dump Me Already, Dammit!’ came to an end.”

He hadn’t given up, but he certainly recognized that he’d lost this battle.

Best in Show Moment for The Eminence in Shadow Episode 3

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 3: Cid took a big risk praising Alexia

I think he trusted her not to skewer him. I hope so, anyway! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Setup: Cid and Alexia, Two Distinct People

Have you ever heard a bit of dialogue and thought, “Well, that’s interesting. Glad they said something or I might have missed that!” Or, “Wow, that really moved the plot forward!” There’s nothing wrong with that kind of dialogue. Heck, the voice actors might have done such an exceptional job that I might praise the musical notes in their voices!

But if I can see the purpose of a bit of dialogue, doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Doesn’t that inch towards piercing my suspension of disbelief? I think truly good dialogue shouldn’t call attention to itself. It should flow so naturally from the character and the circumstances that far from harming your suspension of disbelief, it enhances it through immersion.

My favorite moment in this episode delivered exactly that.

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 3: Alexia wasn't happy her plan wasn't working

Alexia wasn’t happy that her plan wasn’t working to scare off her betrothed. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Alexia tried to use Cid to convince her betrothed to give up on her. While she waited for her ploy to work, she discovered that she could amuse herself by making Cid act like a dog for gold coins. I won’t judge. It’s not something that would appeal to me, but hey, he got paid, she had a few laughs, and no one got hurt.

As time wore on, I can’t say they got closer. But they achieved a certain level of mutual snarky respect. She had criticized his sword style as soon as she saw it. On a train ride home, she spoke ill of it again. This time, though, she gave an explanation: it reminded her of her own. 

Delivery: Cid’s Moment of Honesty

Her technique showed technical perfection, but no inspiration. It earned her the nickname “Fencer Ordinaire.” She said she detested her own style.

I’m not sure what possessed Cid to say this. At the time, I thought he was taking a risk – almost like he was being a little too honest. He said that not a lot bothered him, but there were some things that did. “They might be things that other people would see as worthless, but to me, they are the most precious things in life. That’s why I like your fencing style,” he said (19:25).

Well, I was right. He was taking a risk. Because she drew her sword and pointed it straight at him. She demanded to know what he meant by saying that.

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 3: Alexia didn't know how to take Cid's compliment

It seems Alexia didn’t quite know how to take Cid’s compliment! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Not moving, keeping his chin resting on his knuckles, he said (19:52), “Nothing. But if I did mean anything, it’s just that I get pissed off when people diss the things I like. That’s how I feel.”

The whole scene just clicked. But only in retrospect did I realize this, because their words had drawn me into the moment. I didn’t feel like I was watching animation and voice actors and an audio track. I felt like I was listening to Cid and Alexia, each with their own perspectives, talking to each other. It felt like they actually communicated and came to an understanding. I’m not sure what it was, but the scene felt authentic.

I feel my hopes for this show creeping upward!

What did you think of Cid’s confession? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to share in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “The Eminence in Shadow Episode 3 Review – Best In Show

  1. Yes, this anime is definitely improving! I like how we’re slowly seeing the characters gain depth. It’s nice to not get everything about a character all at once. I agree, I don’t think Alpha gone for good.

    1. I like your point about giving the characters a chance to show more depth. Cid’s really growing on me. I really liked Alpha and Alexia, too. I’m more and more curious to see where the show’s heading!

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