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The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 Episode 26: Favorites

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The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 Episode 26 – Quick Summary

In The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 Episode 26, “John Smith,” Rose and the agents who had confronted John Smith (Cid in super secret agent disguise) reported back to Alpha and Gamma. Of course, the news was bad – they got swatted aside. Sp Alpha made a momentous decision: she decided to send the human form-tornado of destruction named Delta after John Smith. Will Delta fare any better? How will Cid react? And how much damage will the battle between them inflict on the surrounding countryside?

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

Favorite Quote from The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 Episode 26

The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 Episode 26: Delta was a bundle of joy this episode

Delta’s capable of showing such simple joy – for having such a high destructive index! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

As soon as super secret agent John Smith (a.k.a. Cid) saw the form running beside the train, I knew this was going to be an exhilarating scene. And it was. Fresh from receiving the assignment from Alpha, Delta tracked John Smith down. She intended to end him.

She crashed through the window of the speeding train – the expected level of precision from Delta. I wondered if Cid’s wires could contain her. I mean, this is Delta. She’s nature’s fury compressed into human form.

The wires held. In an attempt to break free, she flexed her power. In doing so, she blew the train car completely apart. So Cid just used the wires to collect the shrapnel and tied Delta down. She couldn’t move. She seemed quite irritated about that.

Cid stood over her to monologue. Her rage turned to curiosity. Delta caught a whiff of a familiar scent on the boots. Even as Cid tried to repeat more or less the same spiel that he gave to Rose, Delta, overjoyed at her discovery, shrugged off the wires and wreckage and launched herself at him.

“Boss!” she said in pure animal joy (04:08).

I hope Delta never stops being Delta.

Favorite Moment from The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 Episode 26

The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 Episode 26: Seeing Alpha hurt so badly was hard

Seeing Alpha so reduced hurt like hell. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Setup: Delta’s Relationship to Cid

Want to know more about that after credits scene? You know, the one where Delta was obviously having a great time hunting in the Lawless City? Then the short on YouTube will fill you in. I think they’re canon, too.


In my review for last week’s episode, I talked about how this show shows us different and fascinating perspectives of interacting with an overpowered character like Cid. Last week, Rose ended up in near despair because she fought John Smith and lost. She was comparing herself to Cid, who is, in that world, fate incarnate. Of course she’d come up lacking. I felt bad for her, too.

That’s nothing compared to my favorite moment this week. It’s one of those favorites in the sense it hit so hard it had the greatest impact – because it wasn’t fun at all. For pure fun, it’s hard to beat the exchange between Delta and Cid this episode. I mean, come on! Delta seems to be the only one Cid can just chill with. No overly dramatic voice. No schemes of cool. Just a guy and… 

The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 Episode 26: Delta enjoyed Cid petting her

Delta certainly enjoys Cid’s head pats. Though, they’re more like actual petting, I guess… Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

You know, I think he might think of Delta as an advanced pet. Fun, yes, in a strange little way. But it’s beside the point, so let’s put that aside for now.

My favorite moment was near the end. Alpha, fearing Delta had perished, went on the hunt. She caught up with John Smith. And she prepared to put him down.

Except, well, we know. She was fighting against Cid. In a matter of seconds, she analyzed his techniques and came to that horrifying conclusion. She realized she was actually fighting Cid (14:23). Leaping back, her voice wrenched, she asked why he was doing this.

Cid wasn’t talking to Delta anymore. He went for the cool. He went for the dramatic. Cid said that he had forsaken the name of Shadow. I think a gunshot to the chest would have hurt Alpha less. But she rallied. She thought of Delta, and asked what had happened to her. You could see Cid’s eyes darting back and forth as he tried to come up with a fashionably cool response. The best he could do was say she was in a far off place.

Delivery: Alpha’s Crash

Alpha snapped. I want to give you her full dialogue here, because I found it heartbreaking.

“Maybe you can understand it, but it makes no sense to me! I’m not capable of doing the things you can do!” she said in an anguished voice. Asami Seto, the voice actor, made it sound like her heart was being ripped out. “But despite that… I want to support you. To understand you! I want to be there for the man who saved my life. For you… If it would serve you, I would… But you… Does this mean… You don’t need me anymore?”

The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 Episode 26: Alpha's world imploded in an instant

Alpha’s world imploded in an instant. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

This is The Shadow in Eminence, man. It’s about a chunni on roll. But seeing Alpha reduced to tears felt wrenching. She’s probably the second most powerful person on that planet. No one else could challenge her. Hell, even Delta respected her power. Alpha built Shadow Garden from scratch. But Cid, for the sake of a cool moment, destroyed her entire world.

“Please don’t leave me…” she sobbed after he had tossed her off the train (16:45). 

Whatever happens to Alpha in the future, however she reconciles herself to what Cid just did, he broke her heart. He shattered her spirit. I’m having a hard time with that. Though, you know what? This confrontation was implicit from the start. It’s part of Cid’s journey; Alpha’s too, and it played by the rules of this narrative. The fact I feel so much pain on Alpha’s behalf is a sign of the craftsmanship that went into these characters.

Still. Damn. Seeing Alpha crying like that hurt.

What did you think of the part of Yukime’s backstory that we learned? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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14 thoughts on “The Eminence in Shadow Season 2 Episode 26: Favorites

  1. I feel like his need to be cool and aloof may end up backfiring here. It’s sad that he’s so focused on being the Eminence of Shadow that he can’t tell when he’s hurt a “friend”. I say “friend” because I don’t think he sees them as anything other than tools to get what he wants. Cid is getting harder and harder to like.

    1. That’s honestly the point. The little boy that had this childish dream has devolved into a “shadow” of his former self.

    2. It is hard to like someone who would intentionally hurt Alpha this way.

      More and more often, I find I’m using the parts of my brain that I use to engage with people suffering from mental challenges when I think about Cid.

      I wonder if that means anything?

  2. Prior to this, Cid’s antics has always been beneficial to, at least, Shadow Garden but here, while that still holds up, it clearly gives us a deeper insight into Cid’s mentality.

    Remember, he gave up everything back in his old world to become the Eminence in Shadow. His family, his friends, his future and then, his life. So, it’s not hard to see that he’ll go through great lengths to get what he wants, even hurting Shadow Garden.

    Even if Shadow Garden were to tell him that their war against the Cult was all real, Cid would have done many of the things like what happened here, because he’s a risk taker.

    1. I’m beginning to wonder if this world is Cid’s chance for redemption. Maybe he can begin connecting with Alpha and the others? At the end of a more recent episode, he said some things that made me suspect he’s more aware than I thought he was.

      Or maybe he’s just broken.

  3. You know who id reminds me of? A more childish version of Overlord.

    Both of them isekaied into a world where they are spectacularly overpowered. To them, the people they encounter are just NPCs.

    1. I can see that. Momonga certainly brought a more sophisticated view to the world.

      I’m still trying to get my head around who Cid is and just what he can do. There were some clues in episode 27 (and I’m looking forward to responding to your comment there!) that I’m still trying to process.

      Now that I’m thinking about Momonga, there’s another difference, and it’s probably tied to Cid’s childish tendencies — Momonga tried to understand the world as it was, so he could work with it. That concept is utterly foreign to Cid!

      1. A difference occurs to me that Cid gets to make up the rules as he goes along. If he wants ultimate “Atomic Power” he’s got it.

        In Overlord, the rules of the game still exists and he is constrained by them. He doesn’t get to do things :just because.” I also think the character was older and more mature when he got sucked in.

        1. I’m really curious about the mechanism that allows Cid to make things up. The Cult seemed to pre-exist him telling Alpha about it. Was it? Or did it just come into being when he said something? Is his power the ability to accidentally understand what’s going on, and it just seems to him like BS? Or is he really changing reality with each BS statement?

          I did enjoy Overlord, though I was less comfortable as it went on — primarily because it remained true to its rules that Momonga thinks he’s the only human/sentient being in the game.

          1. Maybe Cid realizes on some level that this is really a fantasy and he’s just writing the script for it. The reason why he’s always right is because being right about everything – even unintentionally – is part of it.

  4. “he broke her heart. He shattered her spirit. I’m having a hard time with that.”

    Me too. More than any previous arcs, this one has me rooting against Cid even though there’s no real way for him to lose.

    ANN’s reviewer has stated that Cid is now operating under pure jealousy and greed, wanting to destroy everything the Garden has built just so he can build it back up and say *he* did it.

    I try to remember that In Cid’s head, this is all still a game, but in the case of Alpha, and Rose, and all the others, it’s not. This is her life and her entire existence. Everything she built was *for* Cid.

    The show is doing something very interesting here in getting us to think of this less as some cool OP kid living out his fantasies wherever they take him. I can’t do that any more, because he’s hurting characters I care about.

    At the same, time, it’s fascinating contrasting Alpha’s despair and Delta’s joy. Cid will always be infallible to Delta and she’ll always be at his service as long as he is stronger than her, and he always will be. HE is her *actual* alpha.

    Delta has no delusions of standing beside Cid, only behind him (or, of course, atop his head). Alpha, who is not only more powerful than Delta but an elf capable of more complex thought, has tied her entire self-worth to serving Cid just as Delta has, but also strived to become someone indispensable.

    Alpha doesn’t serve Cid simply because he’s stronger, but because she believed he also had *moral* authority; that his *cause* was just and right. And I imagine she also strived to stand beside him, if not as a complete equal, then as someone as to an equal as anyone else in the world.

    While it’s not quite as classically “fun” to watch Cid win because of the ones losing, it’s still immensely compelling, and I can’t wait to see how he manages to “fix” his relationship to those he’s hurt deeply, if he can.

    1. Your comment made me wonder: am I not giving the story enough credit? Is it less romp and more personal journey — for Cid? He hasn’t evolved much as a character. In one sense, that’s part of the charm. But now he’s really hurt Alpha. If he were to understand that, how would he react?

      He’s probably too self-absorbed for it to cause him any huge amount of grief — or is he?

      What happens when he comes to understand that the fight between Shadow Garden and the Cult is real?

      Or _can_ he understand it? Does his power really boil down to reality reforming just to implement whatever BS he sprouted? That would mean events had to go backward and forward in time. I don’t think the show’s _that_ ambitious, is it?

      I think you chose a good word here: “compelling.” I care about these characters so much I’m anxious to know what happens to them. I’m emotionally invested in them. And since Cid has some traits that could be considered on the spectrum, I’m rooting for him, too, but in a way that I hope he can better integrate his personality and his perceptions. They’re off.

      And for him, here’s the bottom line: he’s missing out on the camaraderie of some absolutely amazing people.

      1. I thought Alpha’s loss was greatly overblown.

        To Alpha, Cid is like God. When something bad happens, one says God works in mysterious ways and you must have faith that things will work out. In a sense, this is a lightweight version of the story of Job.

        In another sense it is a parody of the Harem genre. These women have a unhealthy and extremely needy love for Cid for no apparent reason other than Cid’s fantasy is to be irresistible to women but not need them in return.

        People often fantasize about things they would never do in real life. Like being a heartless self indulgent harem king with no responsibilities and everything always goes his way. Alpha could be an element in his fantasy and it is hard to feel for someone you made up for a fantasy when their role in the fantasy is to be temporarily heartbroken.

        I get the sense that IRL, in addition to being a hopeless chunibyo he was an “involuntary celibate.” Being indifferent towards women who desperately want to please him might be his fantasy revenge. Would he be so cruel to a real woman IRL?

Please let me know what you think!

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