The Strongest Sage With The Weakest Crest reaches the halfway mark and decides the wrapping up the whole demons and monsters attack the capital arc is a good idea. So in quick succession the girls defeat a diversionary team of demons, the students of second academy delay the first demons who arrive at the capital, Mathias proves once again he’s potentially the most violent and bloodthirsty character in the show, the barrier goes up, and the monster horde is defeated. All before Mathias decides to pack up and leave to explore the dragon veins.
The thing is, I am wondering why he ever went to the academy. I don’t recall him learning anything in particular there, other than the demons had infiltrated human society, which wasn’t exactly on the curriculum. In terms of plot, he met the girls on his way to the academy so could have just as easily met them on his own journey.
And the headmaster saying Mathias had nothing left to learn just more or less reinforced that he’d learned basically nothing while he was there. He taught quite a bit but that never seemed to be his main goal. That he chooses to leave now more seems like the writer realised the school setting was not exactly exciting and wanted to move on, so why start there at all?
The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest neatly wraps up its first arc.
If I’m being a little less petty, it was kind of nice to see Lurie and Alma facing off against the initial demons alone. The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest has done a pretty decent job of building these two up incrementally. Admittedly, like everything else in this anime, it seems to have happened way too fast, but the girls have gone from learning new techniques, to facing off against lower class enemies, to fighting demons while supervised by Mathias, to now standing alone against at least weaker demons.
Their genuine happiness after they successfully took out those first few demons was actually pretty fun to watch and honestly Lurie and Alma may be the best things about The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest. Except as soon as Mathias comes back onto the scene the two become decidedly more damsel in distress like, often hiding behind him.
So let’s turn our attention back to Mathias, given he is the title character, the actual Strongest Sage.
Mathias is not a nice person. He’s proved this again and again. Basically he’s obsessed with power and getting stronger and that was the catalyst for his reincarnation in the first place. Though as he uses a range of painful and nasty tricks to dispatch his enemies, you have to wonder if he wasn’t the ‘hero’ of the story what your impression would be of him. For demons, Mathias doesn’t just kill them, at times he can be quite awful in trying out new techniques against them.
Even this week, as Mathias makes his dramatic appearance as the students of second academy were about to be overwhelmed. The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest essentially gave the demons two choices and both were to die at his hand. I’ve said it before but it is hard to get behind a main character who is quite this arrogant and cruel at times.
Though at last the barrier is complete and the demons stop coming though that still leaves the horde of monsters. I kind of though The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest had set it up so the monsters would arrive first, distract the city, before they attacked, but in this instance the demon attack came first. It doesn’t make a lot of sense from the point of view of the demons but apparently we shouldn’t worry about that.
I will say the barrier was kind of pretty, though we didn’t actually get to see something trying to get through it so I’m not sure if it physically stops things or not given the students clearly pass in and out of it.
Anyway, halfway along and The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest has been consistently ordinary. It isn’t bad by any means and there’s nothing here to really point to and say it is broken in terms of characters or plot. It just isn’t very exciting and the main character isn’t very likeable.
Images from: The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest. Dir. N Akitaya. J.C.Staff. 2022
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