The battle continues!
Episode 23 is packed with action and twists as Veldora joins the fray. But contrary to what we expected, he arrived at the right time in the right place, just for a very hilarious reason: to ask Rimuru for the continuation of the manga he was reading.
This is very much played for laughs, and the tone is what we would expect from an interaction between these two. But Rimuru, being Rimuru, decided to let Veldora fight Milim in exchange for that manga volume. And that is only natural; after all, both are dragons, and there is no one better fit to fight Milim than Veldora himself.
Coincidentally, it is finally revealed that Milim is Veldora’s niece, which is a nice and fun twist. And it seems Veldora knows Milim may not really be under control, but the interesting part here is that he agrees to fight her.
Meanwhile, Rimuru goes to help his subordinates, though it is obvious that there’s really not much he needs to do. Nine Head is an unwilling member of the Five Fingers, so Rimuru saving her from Clayman’s control is expected, much to Ranga’s jealousy. As for Viola, supposedly the Demon Lord’s masterpiece, Berreta tore it into literal pieces with surgical precision. While the fight was not shown, seeing Beretta casually polishing all the body parts in front of Rimuru speaks much about his strength.
With his minions defeated and Shion bullying him, Clayman finally transforms into a more powerful form. And indeed, it does look terrifying and strong. However, even that is not enough to fully defeat an evolved and even stronger Shion, who defeated him effortlessly.
Clayman’s loss is indeed pathetic, and it is even more apparent when he realizes that Veldora is in a whole level after witnessing his fight with Milim. The spar between these two dragons are a lot of fun with Veldora going full otaku mode and spamming skills from popular video game and anime series, including the iconic Kamehameha from Dragon Ball. He literally did play with Milim, and we can tell that even his niece enjoyed it after a brief frame where she is seen smiling in excitement.
Seeing his plans crumble with Frey unable to support him, Clayman finally snaps and orders Milim to go on a rampage. And here is the biggest twist of the episode, though one we already suspected: Milim was never mind-controlled. In fact, Frey and Carrion, who is really alive and has disguised himself as Frey’s attendant, know about the whole plan from the start.
Rimuru’s reactions to these revelations are really hilarious, particularly because he could have known about it from the start if only he had listened to Raphael. Then again, it did serve to let Milim do as she had planned, and it just shows that she is not just a brute force warrior. The interesting part here is that even the other Demon Lords aside from Guy had fallen prey to her acting, further emphasizing Milim’s intelligence. Another thing to note is that Milim really did destroy Eurazania’s capital in her own volition, and the city is simply collateral damage to fool Clayman.
As for Clayman, it is no shock that it is indeed Yuuki who recruited him and made him do all the schemes he had done, all for the sole goal of taking over the world. But the saddest thing about Clayman is that he truly cherished his friends, and he agreed to Yuuki simply because he didn’t want to be a burden to the Moderate Harlequin Alliance; after all, he is the weakest of the four clowns.
With this, the Demon Lord finally awakens to his full power using the souls of those he had killed. But this is all according to plan, and now Demon Lord Rimuru prepares to face off against the enemy who that had always been a thorn to his side.
Overall, episode 23 is an epic and fun penultimate episode for season 2. The fight scenes are awesome, and the revelations and twists are really exciting.
Episode score: 9.5/10.