Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi has taken a few surprising turns.
There’s something very pleasant about sitting down to watch Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi each week. Largely because I’m never entirely sure what I’m going to get. Sure, I expect that Hayato will throw some punches and Ysley is going to say something clever, but the overall plot continues to makes moves outside of my expectations. What could have easily been a demon of the week story before a final confrontation against a big-bad is turning into something far more interesting because it plays with tropes we know but gives them a unique spin.
One of the things I’ve continued to enjoy throughout these episodes is the way Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi delivers its exposition.
There’s a lot of history for this world and demons as well as Idaten involved in the fight at this point. There’s speculations about who the demon lord actually is as well as what each side might be planning. All of this could be really dry and dull viewing if the characters were just sitting around sipping cups of tea and talking in monotone until the entire lot was laid out.
Instead, Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi gets that viewers get bored by this. Exposition is necessary. Stories that skip right over it confuse their viewers and leave us feeling like we missed something. But the way you deliver it matters. Scattered throughout the episodes we get short conversations between characters that do serve as exposition but each one of these scenes is brief before we cut away to something more action or comedy focused.
The expository scenes that threaten to go longer or are recapping events are usually humorously sped up as though we decided to play it in double time to get through it quicker.
While this approach wouldn’t work in a serious dramatic piece, for the manic tone of Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi it actually feels just right.
Hayato learns to hit.
Another interesting thing this week was Hayato did some more training. And I know already you are thinking he does this every week and usually gets beaten to a pulp, queue some laughs at his mangled body, and then rinse and repeat.
What I liked about the training session this week in Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi was that they did address that Hayato is pretty young for an Idaten. More than that, while he has trained a lot, he doesn’t know much about how his body works as an Idaten. And so we introduce an idea that connects with Paula’s skill of moving quietly and that is that Idaten can manipulate their own weight. Make themselves lighter and they can move very quickly and quietly. Make themselves heavier at the point of impact in a fight and they can really pack a punch.
While Hayato definitely doesn’t get the overall theory and the training method doesn’t exactly work for him, with the idea planted he finds he can in-fact utilise this to improve his attacks. If you thought he was a weapon of mass-destruction before, wait until he finally learns how to use his abilities to the fullest.
Smart villains make surprising moves.
But perhaps the most remarkable moment that came from this episode of Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi, outside of Miku being fairly explicit with her tongue and saliva, was Brandy’s decision. In the face of losing contact with three other demons and being told that the demons were relying on her when the Idaten came she made a rational decision that more villains really should learn to make.
She gathered her three biological children, who are also demonkind, and told them to take another demon each and run.
Naturally this leaves you wondering who is going to be left to fight by the time the Idaten do decide to take the fight to the demonkind and whether the demons actually need to be defeated at all, but it was definitely a surprise.
I’m very curious as to where this will all go and I’m looking forward to the next colourful episode of Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi.
Images from: Heion Sedai no Idaten-Tachi. Dir. S Kidokoro. MAPPA. 2021
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