What They Say:
Momonga finds that the attackers of Carne Village were Slane Theocracy soldiers dressed as people from the Baharuth Empire. As the attack to lure and eliminate Gazef Stronoff continues, Momonga takes this chance to continue his tests…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the series continues on, we’ll likely be hearing a lot less of the name “Momonga” and a lot more of “Ains Ooal Gown” to refer to our protagonist. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll stop calling him Momonga anytime soon, half for consistency with how it started and half for how much simpler it is than choosing which part of his mess of a newer name to go with. Perhaps if all references to “Momonga” are removed I won’t be able to avoid switching over, but for now that’s how I see it. In the first few episodes this series seemed to be about this protagonist himself changing more than he could control or even fully comprehend. This continues to a degree, but there’s a greater sense of self-control to his actions compared to the previous episode’s implications of a potential turn to full villainy. If there’s one thing that has been the case since the world changed from that of the game Yggdrasil to the new reality for Momonga and perhaps other former players it’s that Momonga is considered pretty great, with the specific implementation shifting slightly from all those around him simply validating his existence with their every breath to more recent events requiring actual action from him and showing just how overpowered he is.
That’s not necessarily a wholly bad thing. It does reduce some of the tension because there’s rarely a doubt that Momonga will easily subdue any he would come into conflict with, but the most interesting aspects of the series stem from the fact that it’s often not about who will win in a fight, but how Momonga is finding his bearings in a familiar-yet-unfamiliar world and discovering who he is as changes start to overtake him. While the world has certainly changed since its game days, this episode does give him the opportunity to show off how his many years of experience can benefit him against enemies that might’ve seemed more powerful if we didn’t know better.
While Momonga seems to be losing himself less than in the last episode, there’s no shortage of mystery all around him. His desire has been to seek out other former players who may be within this new world among all the NPCs, especially if they happen to be ones he had known before the change. More hints are dropped toward this possibility in this episode, as elements of the game are appearing more explicitly than Momonga had experienced prior. It’s all very unclear at this point, but these are definitely points that Momonga picks up on and looks to explore in greater detail as much as any of us would like to. These stories run a high risk of not reaching any kind of resolution, especially with such a short adaptation, but the concept of being on the same page as the protagonist gives a more personal experience, even if that protagonist is also perpetually on the verge of becoming a villain without any sense of humanity left. In its last moments, the episode also introduces another major point of intrigue; this isn’t always going to be a story about the NPCs lavishing Momonga with affection and support. That’s something that will almost certainly benefit from changing, and will hopefully back Momonga into a corner for once.
Momonga’s bizarre adventure gets more mysteries piled on regarding the nature of the game and its players as they may or may not exist in the current world. It requires Momonga to do a lot of detective work, which is good since the combat is essentially trivial to him, and ups the intrigue.
Streamed By: FUNimation
Roku 3, Sceptre X425BV-FHD 42″ Class LCD HDTV.