Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi understands how satisfying it is when you take an opponent who is cocky and soundly defeat them.
So is Ysley the real villain here is Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi?
I have to ask purely because he is starting to give me serious Franken Stein vibes from Soul Eater in that he just wants to dissect things and he’s more or less not concerned with morals or ethics. He’s also not above embarrassing his opponent, cheap ploys, and largely doing whatever it takes to get the outcome he wants.
That in this instance he was trying to survive the ambush set by the demons does give him some small measure of leeway. We already know that of the three younger Idaten in Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi, Ysley isn’t that physically strong.
Episode 5 picks up pretty much immediately from where episode 4 left off and we’re more or less straight into the match ups. Prontea’s fight was actually over before it even started though he did play around a little before taking his opponent out.
Far more satisfying was Paula’s contribution to her and Hayato’s fight. While it starts with Hayato pushing Paula out of the way, seemingly making it seem like Paula will once again sit out the action, she actually gets to involve herself in this battle and there’s a particularly cool moment where using a sword supplied by Prontea she basically splits a mountain.
None of that means she gets to be the star of the battle, but at least Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi at least seems like it is interested in letting her occasionally be more involved.
Hayato also gets a pretty solid moment where he chooses not to use the same sword feeling it would kind of be cheating (though that more or less takes any tension out the scene). Between Prontea’s presence and Hayato’s seemingly indestructible body, there’s little chance of one of the Idaten losing that encounter.
The more dicey encounter goes to Ysley who actually gave us a fairly strong showing even if all his tactics were underhanded. Then again, who can blame him. He admits himself that his death is possible given he’s been separated from Prontea and the other Idaten.
I was more disappointed in Piscalat because I felt like she’d been talked up a lot as a villain and her defeat was pretty sad and demoralising really. Between having her top torn off and then Ysley’s use of an aphrodisiac to disarm her, Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi isn’t really looking to play nice here.
Though, that was probably obvious from the sequence earlier in the episode where Miku, another demon, is messing with the nun from the first episode. For those who find sexual violence and rape disturbing this anime is definitely not for them. It at times feels a bit weird that we go from kind of the frothy super-powered silliness in one scene to something that heavy fairly quickly and while such themes were introduced early on so far the majority of the anime has more focused on the silly aspects rather than the serious.
But… Then we have Ysley essentially performing medical experiments on his captured demons and while this does lead to some info-dumping and the answer to a number of questions, it certainly doesn’t make Ysley’s morality any lighter.
Again I have to compliment this show on having a range of characters who are thinking. Sure Hayato is your usual punch everything hard kind of fighter but the other characters, even Paula, are putting bits and pieces together as we go and honestly it’s kind of great to see.
Not to mention the number of villains in Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi who at least try to use their heads. Where another anime might simply have Miku as a dominatrix and do little to expand on that here she’s a valuable member of the demon’s ruling forces and she’s going to be a formidable obstacle for the Idaten.
I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Images from: Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi. Dir. S Kidokoro. MAPPA. 2021
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