Always a Loser
When I first saw the title of this episode, “Loser x Master”, I assumed that the newly summoned wrestler, Mao, would confront Animal Mask and lose and then we’d go about the usual antics with the group. Turns out that the title didn’t refer to either of the wrestlers but rather the vampire girl who summoned Mao and the dragon girl who is hanging around animal mask. Either that or to dragon girl’s loser of a servant, though it is hard to say.
However, the problem here is that we then launch into an extended flashback which I guess is trying to justify why the vampire girl cares at all about the hero and is going to the effort of summoning a ‘demon king from another world’ and largely it is because of a rivalry she created in her own head. It isn’t that interesting and it certainly isn’t particularly funny. While previous episodes of Kemono Michi haven’t always made me laugh, I’ve at least appreciated that they were trying to be amusing and that other viewers would enjoy it. Here, I’m just wondering if we’re supposed to think smug, rich girl is amusing or not and I just can’t see it.
This type of character shows up a lot in school based anime. The smug elite student who seems to think they are better than others and looks down on them. When written well, despite their always irritating introduction, they can sometimes go through some interesting character arcs, but for the most part they are poorly thought out and poorly realised characters who exist just to add some fairly shallow conflict for awhile before they are swatted out of the way. I fear this character is going to be the latter because so far there’s been no signs that they actually want her to have anything resembling a real character.
The other character who gets a raw deal this week is Carmilla who ends up being the plaything between the two. In order to remain the dragon girl’s servant she needs to win a fight (why is unclear given it doesn’t seem like the dragon girl needs to actually agree to the match in the first place) and it becomes quite obvious that Carmilla is actually just useless. I thought it was because Genzo was unusually strong that Carmilla kept getting shows to be a complete disaster, but it turns out that is just her character. A weepy, pathetic ball of uselessness. I feel kind of bad for her after that.
Really, this episode wasn’t all that fun to watch and was full of characters who aren’t particularly interesting. I’m kind of hoping next week we get back to the wrestlers and then I realised how weird it is that I think those characters make the show better. And yet, they do. Not to mention, no giant ant cameo this week and I’m a little disappointed.
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Images from: Hataage! Kemono Michi. Dir. K Miura. ENGI. 2019.