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The war has began!

Episodes 19 and 20 feature some of the best fight scenes this season as the forces of Tempest finally clash with Clayman’s army. And as expected, it is almost a one-sided battle.

The initial part is pretty much a discussion of Benimaru’s strategy. Thanks to his newly acquired Born Leader unique skill, he can see all the enemy’s movement which is incredibly useful in a fight like this. This is part of his evolution when Rimuru became a Demon Lord, and we can expect that many of Rimuru’s subordinates has received new powers.

An interesting part here is how Benimaru wants to assault Clayman’s castle using Hakuro and Souei, and Shuna volunteers to accompany them as support. We’ve never really seen her participate in a real battle before, and her confidence and resolve are both something to see. Of course, Benimaru and Rimuru would be concern, but Shuna’s reason that only she can prevent Hakuro and Souei from being controlled is valid enough.

Next we move on to the battle at last. Now this is pretty much an assured victory for Tempest, and we see why no country should ever mess with them. While the tactics are simple and typical, it is how everyone seamlessly work as one that make it highly satisfying. We have the high orcs as the main attack force while the dragonnewts provide air support, and Souei’s ninjas striking from the shadows.

Meanwhile, the Three Beastketeers are granted autonomy by Benimaru, and it is their respective battles that are the highlights of these two episodes. First, we have Albis vs Yamza. And this fight is quite short because Albis is simply too powerful for Clayman’s Middle Finger even though Yamza’s skills forced Albis to use her stronger form.

The fun part is how Gobta arrives to briefly help Albis and actually hold his own against Yamza. The fact that he’s unsure of himself despite managing to hold his own, all the while shocking Yamza, is both hilarious and epic; after all, Gobta may often be a comic relief character, but he also defeated Gabiru in a single blow, who is a capable fighter himself. Of course, this is all thanks to Hakuro’s training and Gobta’s own talents.

With that the fight is already won, though Albis chose to fight Yamza alone. Unfortunately, Yamza’s defeat triggers a failsafe that Clayman has implanted on him, turning the poor Middle Finger into a host for Charybdis—the same one that Tempest fought back in season 1. But unlike before, everyone has gotten really stronger, and Benimaru effortlessly defeated Charybdis in a terrifying display of just a portion of his power.

The sad thing here is that Yamza is the only Finger who willingly follows Clayman, making him one of his most loyal subordinate. But this means nothing to the detestable Demon Lord, and he simply treats Yamza like any other tool. Of course, this would not have happened if Yamza had escaped. But such is the fate of those who crosses Rimuru and his friends.

Meanwhile, things are not looking good for Suphia and Gabiru as they fight Middray and the Dragon Faithful. While Gabiru barely broke a sweat defeating Hermes, the rest of his dragonnewts are injured after a vicious fight with Milim’s followers. Middray is a particularly dangerous opponent who managed to wreck Suphia, and even her tag team with Gabiru barely damaged the bald-headed warrior.

Thankfully, the fight didn’t last due to Charybdis’s appearance and the discovery that Middray and his group are Milim’s followers. Still, they are part of the enemy forces, and things would have escalated again if not for Benimaru’s arrival and the agreement of a truce. It also helped that the Dragon Faithful are a kin of Gabiru, born through the union of humans and dragonnewts. This explains their unnatural strength and fortitude.

The last fight is probably the least exciting, and also the most sad part in these two episodes. Geld and Phobio face off against Tear and Footman of the Moderate Harlequin Alliance, and incidentally, these two has every right to fight the two clowns; Geld because of what they did to his father and entire race, and Phobio due to being tricked into becoming a Demon Lord.

However, their vengeance would not be achieved. While Geld has become even more stronger and Phobio is no pushover, Tear and Footman are simply far more powerful, thus escaping unscathed. In the end, the two are the only ones who suffered real defeat, though this should give them the push to become stronger.

With the battle over, Tempest has won one part of the war. But an even greater battle looms as Rimuru prepares to attend Walpurgis. Just what awaits our favorite slime and his allies?

Episodes scores: 8/10 and 8.5/10.

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