With one episode of Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi to go I still think this probably the anime I’ve enjoyed most during the Summer 2021 season. That’s even as I wonder about how it intends to actually conclude the season because it feels like there’s a lot of loose ends here. Then again, given how much content this anime can pack into an episode without it feeling rushed, maybe they’ll manage to bring it to some kind of conclusion (or maybe they are leaving it open for sequel bait – time will tell).
Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi isn’t afraid to throw characters under a bus.
One thing I’ve found kind of delightful about this anime is that it isn’t so attached to characters that they just keep surviving. Sure the Idaten have proven resilient to almost everything, the demons and even humans are all kind of fair game for short introductions and being abruptly cut-off (or even having slightly longer introductions and still ending).
What Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi doesn’t do is repeat over and over. Characters like Piscalat who felt like they should have been killed survive and take on a new role whereas Nickel, who seemed to be being built up early on died almost immediately after introduction. Brandy survived longer but ultimately the story happily removed her.
Actually, the only character still lingering around the edges of this story who feels somewhat superfluous is the nun (or at least the Idaten form, Gil). While her training sequence with Hayato made for some amusement this week as well as a good throw-back to the earlier episodes, I’m still not sure how she fits into this story or with the rest of the cast.
But while the Idaten get some screen time this week, the lion’s share of episode 10 of Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi is given to Miku, Oobami and the other surviving demons who are most definitely not defeated yet even if Zoble was overthrown and the majority of their brethren taken out by the Idaten.
Even while this anime is setting up some uncomfortable viewing with Miku’s current plan of breeding with the last two demon children (and wow that is actually uncomfortable if you think about it in any real-world context so try not to) it also balances that with some genuinely solid humour. Oobami possessing a small green robot to interact with Miku is one laugh out loud worthy moment.
I find it quite interesting that even in this moment where the demon race has been reduced to such a small number of humanoid demons, Miku is still pretty happy to discard anything that isn’t of use to her. Actually, Miku remains a pretty interesting character even if her overt over-sexualised nature might put some viewers off. The cold logic she used in making the decision to flee Zoble and now her equally cold demeanour as she determines which demons to even make contact with and who is just useless definitely leave you wondering who the real evil of Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi is.
Arguably, I’m still thinking Ysley, our glasses wearing Idaten.
Though maybe an argument of good and evil is entirely irrelevant here when neither the Idaten nor the demons are particularly concerned about doing what is right and merely serve their own purposes.
If I put all that aside, this episode does bring real demons (non-humanoid ones) into the action. While they are mere brutes, forces of nature, and at the moment largely a distraction more than a real threat, you have to admit if you were a human in this world these things would be pretty terrifying.
Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi remains very violent, with language that isn’t going to suit everyone, sexual references and imagery that may put some viewers off, and themes that are a little on the disturbing side, all packaged in a brightly coloured and flamboyant wrapping, and somehow it continues to work being consistently entertaining and full of energy. Very much looking forward to the final episode.
Images from: Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi. Dir. S Kidokoro. MAPPA. 2021
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