I mentioned in my episode 2 review that one of the biggest narrative issues that The Strongest Sage With The Weakest Crest seemed to face was an absolute lack of tension. Episode three continues that trend with Mathias more or less indifferent during battle and always supremely confident of the outcome of any given action.
At this point I’m not entirely sure if this series will even given me enough to write about each week as everything is perfectly functional and yet somewhat unremarkable. The viewing experience ends up being one that is pleasant enough but almost instantly forgotten because nothing here was given any particular weight. Even the reveal of how human society initially got set-back through a series of explosions was just a kind of by-the-way comment to which Mathias more or less went ‘huh’ and then continued to go about his business.
The Strongest Sage With The Weakest Crest has more or less nailed going through the motions.
So the third episode of The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest has Mathias and his girls trying to sell some of their loot from the dungeon. Naturally the receptionist makes a snarky comment about the ‘crest of failure’ and asks if Mathias is the porter to which he agrees and proceeds to dump a serpent carcass into the guild room.
You would have thought after all the kerfuffle at the match between schools at least some rumours would have spread and perhaps people wouldn’t be so quick to call something a failure crest. But then again if they did that Mathias would literally have zero set-backs because literally everything goes his way. The snarky comments are about the only kind of adversity he seems to be dealing with, other than the principal wanting him to teach more to others which seems kind of reasonable under the circumstances.
On their way back to the school, Mathias suddenly notes two demonic presences heading their way and quickly deploys Alma and Lurie to distract the weaker one while he dispatches the other. There’s never any doubt here in The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest that Matty is going to do exactly that. Nor is there any thought that perhaps the girls won’t succeed at distracting a demon without getting hurt. There’s zero emotional investment as you watch them go through the motions eventually leading to two downed demons.
Perhaps I’d care a bit more if the reason humans and demons were fighting was clearer? Or maybe if there was even an inkling that somehow the plan was going to go wrong? Or even if the demon attacks were potentially hazardous to those in the town below at least ensuring those fighting them had to be cautious of that?
But there’s really nothing and The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest doesn’t even give these demons basic personality other than indignant that a human is standing up to them and then panicky as they are swiftly defeated. It’s the usual ‘how dare you’ as Mathias literally runs circles around the stronger of the two, even though the demon should probably note he was the one who came to attack and not the other way around.
Of course, the next episode may very swiftly change that. Conveniently a demon was spying on the throne room when Mathias was getting rewarded yet again and from that Mathias has identified the precise location of the demons. Its a bit far so before heading off he has to organise a mode of transport, and the anime needs to introduce the dragon who will clearly become the cute red-haired girl in the OP.
There’s nothing terrible about this episode of The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest however it just doesn’t really manage to be particularly interesting. Weirdly though I’m not inclined to drop this series because it is perfectly watchable, but at the same time it really isn’t something that is going to really stick.
Images from: The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest. Dir. N Akitaya. J.C.Staff. 2022
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