Note: Been busy with work for the past two months. But now I’m officially back for more anime reviews!
Freedom at last!
Episode 8 sees our party of heroes finally achieving the freedom they sought, escaping from the Infinite Labyrinth in a spectacular manner. Unfortunately, a Wave is approaching fast, and they need to prepare for the inevitable battle.
Penniless, low-leveled, and in need of a good equipment. This is how Naofumi and his party found themselves in the outside world. Unlike the world that had summoned Naofumi’s world, the Dragon Hourglass in Kizuna’s act as a teleporter too, which would allow the Hunting Hero to warp them to her home country.
But first, they need money. And though Kizuna acquired loot drops to earn them some, it’s not enough to get a pass to get into Mikakage, the country that imprisoned Kizuna, where the nearest Dragon Hourglass is located. So what better way to do that than utilizing the skills that Naofumi has acquired during his travels?
As expected, it was easy. Too easy. Naofumi’s shrewd mind, combined with a bit of Raphtalia’s cuteness and a little sacrifice of Rishia’s dignity, filled their pouches with money—more than enough to buy a new set of equipment and passes.
Of course, getting to Mikakage is just a part of the journey. But that’s not the only thing that matters. Kizuna’s world is vast and different than Raphtalia’s, and there are a lot of interesting ‘game mechanics’, like the various races that populate it, and how Naofumi’s items work differently just as Kizuna’s affect him in way that they don’t originally. And it is fun to see the two Heroes interacting like two friends discussing a game.
Unfortunately, just like Raphtalia’s world, the geopolitics in this one is chaotic. Mikakage is seemingly developing various technologies based on the Heroes’ abilities, like teleportation. And judging by the suspicious mage, Kazuki, who has unlocked its secret, the country’s motive for utilizing it is highly dubious.
The episode’s highlight is obviously Raphtalia. She is cute, endearing, and provides a sense of normalcy in their otherwise dangerous situation. Her childish antics act as a substitute for Filo’s absence, which gives us several funny and heartwarming scenes. The thing is, Naofumi’s treatment of her didn’t change much—that is, he treats Raphtalia like a daughter, with none of the romantic subtext present in the previous arcs.
It is no shock, then, that Kyo would target Raphtalia specifically, even going as far as to connive with Kazuki in order to set up a trap for Naofumi’s party—a trap that would eventually separate the two for the very first time. Naofumi’s anguished cries are heartbreaking here, but the worst is seeing Raphtalia willingly attempt to hold back the enemy, fulfilling her promise that she will always be Naofumi’s sword.
Episode 8 is both a fun and sad episode. There are some good fight scenes and worldbuilding, but the main highlight is the interaction between the characters, especially Naofumi and Raphtalia. And with the two separated, it is clear that the story will now have to focus on two plots, which could give each one another round of character development.
Episode score: 7.5/10.