Sat 19 Jan 2013
It’s about three months after Maou started her crop rotation experiments and the fields are starting to bear metaphorical fruit. Maou is now respected as a scholar and as a member of the village, as signified by some of the other villagers paying various tributes to her and her estate. Now that she’s established herself and her ethos in the human world, she and Yuusha set off to request help from a convent of the church.
We haven’t seen much about how the church does things, but so far, it and its followers seem relatively benevolent. In fact, in the Maoyuu world, the church is viewed as a bastion of education and learning, and a party that more intellectually inclined nobels favor over their own kings. The Christian church served a similar function during our own middle ages, keeping learning and intellectual values alive in monasteries while kings and nobles warred on one another for land and resources.
This may seem counter-intuitive, since the church has appeared time and time again as an antagonist in the face of the work by of Galileo and Copernicus and well as various other scientific discoveries. These instances crop up around the time of The Renaissance, when the church’s authority was being threatened more and more. It could be argued that the Christian church’s rise to power was thanks to the religion’s ability to control the masses. People are much more willing to learn and follow a moral code when they are terrified of being punished by divine power. Fear is an effective teaching tool, and while the Precures are able to teach morals and understanding in a much less intimidating way, the church didn’t exactly have access to the power of magical girls. Once learning and intellectualism was adopted by more of the general public, however, the church’s power and authority waned, leading them to take a more conservative stance on the things that made people less inclined to pay attention to them.
I digress; so Maou approaches a convent in order to have them spread the knowledge of her crop rotation system as well as the miraculous crop of potatoes. Surprisingly (for them, not us), Maou and Yuusha run into a companion Yuusha had on his journey into the demon world. We learn more about why Yuusha showed up at Maou’s castle by himself and what happened to the rest of his party in the meantime. I like that the show is elaborating on these characters that were only briefly introduced. Mostly, I want to hear more about the old guy. I immediately liked him after hearing his pervy snark in the first episode and now that he’s working for an intelligence organization, I’m interested even more. Basically I like anyone who reminds me of Mordin from Mass Effect 2.
Turns out the little mage girl went off into the demon world, looking for Yuusha (i.e. welcome to the next plot point). More importantly, potatoes. Maou knows the fastest way into a person’s heart is through theis stomach, so she has mashed potatoes prepared. Maou, being a paragon of tact, chooses to mention that potatoes are poisonous…as she’s eating…before explaining that they only become poisonous once they sprout. Nevertheless, she gains the support and teaching power of the convent, somehow.
From here, there’s some exposition about the power held by the Merchant’s Alliance. Due to their significant investment in wheat, I’m pretty sure they’re not going to be pleased by Maou’s
Irish propaganda push to make potato farming a thing. Maou has also apparently been working on building compasses and has sent one to the Alliance. It’ll be cool to see how Old Guy’s work in the intelligence organization and the machinations of the Alliance play out eventually.
The episode ends with Yuusha heading off into the demon world to look for his mage girl companion and a somewhat clumsy romantic scene. I wish these were handled better, but I guess I can’t expect too much from ARMS. After all, they felt having Head Maid grope Maou’s chest was necessary. Regardless, I like seeing Maou embarrassed and flustered, so I thought the scene was fine. I’m a little put off by Yuusha telling Maou that they’ll “do the rest” when he gets back, though. Last time I watched a male main character tell something like that to his lover, it resulted in Giga Drill Breaker and then his death.
Overall, it was a good episode. They thickened the plot by introducing a few new points of intrigue and continued building the world while maintaining the intellectual and reconstructive themes established by the previous two episodes. Here’s to next week.