One of my issues with The Strongest Sage With The Weakest Crest so far has been that its advanced through huge chunks of potential story and character development without actually developing any of it. It has been moving forward through events so fast it is hard to care about any of them. So why then do we have an episode that seems like a re-run of resolved issues and then filler as the characters end up ‘training’ together?
The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest seems to have settled on being just kind of ‘meh’.
Though, credit where it is due, the principal of first academy was your standard idiotic villain getting in the way for the sake of it and they at least dealt with this issue this episode rather than letting it drag on. He refused to help second academy even though it was ordered by the king and by not helping them he was leaving the city vulnerable to demon attack. There was no logic behind it and given his cackling laugh we weren’t really supposed to believe he had a valid point (or even consider him an actual character given how absurd he was).
He could have hung around in The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest like a bad smell for most of the rest of the season just continuing to one-up his own idiocy yet they cut it off here. Why they let it happen this episode I’m still a little on the fence about but at least it is now resolved. After he refuses to accept the results of the tournament (because that matters when you learn you have demons hiding in your own school), he demands a rematch (again, because that matters when demons are coming to destroy your city).
Preparations for the impending demon invasion more or less go on hold for two days and then first academy students face off against second academy. Only the first academy brought half their student body by the looks and they are still using incantations and not wordless casting as was ordered by the king. In true The Strongest Sage fashion, the five students from second academy wipe them out in short order.
That still isn’t actually enough for the Principal of first academy to accept the loss or understand that everything he’s been doing is just wasting time. Even when asked why he hadn’t switched to teaching wordless casting, as ordered by the king, he defends his actions and declares they must protect their method (even though it has been proven ineffectual and was probably strongly influenced by infiltrating demons).
Enter the King who correctly points out he ordered the switch and fortunately the idiot is dragged away to interfere no more. We don’t actually see any of the students from the first academy after this but are told by the main characters that they have now just gotten on with the job. Those two days lost surely won’t make any difference.
Which is kind of why it is hard to buy into anything happening in The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest. Despite the potential demonic invasion no one in this story seems to be all that concerned or taking the threat all that seriously. Matty I could understand but the other characters are just so chill about something that previously would have spelled death for literally everyone in the city. And might still do so.
Equally I have to wonder about Iris’ feelings about fighting another dragon to steal its magistone for the barrier. I mean, sure she likes Matty and has joined up with Alma and Lurie to fight with him after flying them about in the previous episodes, but she is a dragon. Is there no concern with slaughtering one of her own kind for resources? Clearly not.
That the final act of this episode of The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest then just has the main four training and trying out weapons speaks volumes for what this story values. It isn’t looking deeper at any of the aforementioned plot points. It is just going to roll through events at the same speed and somehow hope the cute cast land and maybe some of the comedic moments amuse.
And weirdly the end result is watchable but The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest is very much an anime that will pretty much be instantly forgotten after its airing season because there’s just nothing particularly good or bad about it and nothing that is going to stick.
Images from: The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest. Dir. N Akitaya. J.C.Staff. 2022
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