A Chūnibyō since childhood, our hero of The Eminence in Shadow is reborn into a world where his delusions change into reality. An excellent anime series, parodying its genre and not taking itself too seriously, The Eminence in Shadow has become one of the top animes of this season!
The premise of The Eminence in Shadow (Spoiler-free)
Cid Kagenou has spent a long time studying martial arts and life skills to become the ideal hidden protagonist. That was in the real world. Once he is isekai’d by Truck-kun into the kingdom of Midgar, he discovers the existence of magic and proceeds to do what he was destined for, become the ultimate Eminence in Shadow.
The prominence of Isekai and The Eminence in Shadow’s place among them
For the past three to four years, Isekai itself has established itself as the money cow of the anime industry. The rise of web novels, Manhwa and Manhua (Chinese webtoon), also furthered the Isekai with elements of Chinese cultivation and sword arts.
The overpowered protagonist who gets all the women (if romance exists) and cannot be beaten by anyone seems to have been a power trip reading more than the plot and story content. However, many Manga has done well in this troupe, and The Eminence in Shadow is one of them.
The entire plot and how it plays out is crafted in a devious manner. While the protagonist is lost in his power trip, he acts out genuine events in his world as if they were a fun skit amongst friends. Just like the genre’s actual readers!
Animation and Fight Scenes in The Eminence in Shadow
While the animation of The Eminence in Shadow is not applaudable, the director does know when to put in the budget for certain fight scenes. Alongside the sound design and direction, the fights hit just perfectly. Half of the work has already been done in the Manga. The events that lead to the actual encounter with Cid make him a Greek hero who has the fates in his hand.
Moments to notice also is the way magic circles and magic, in general, are drawn. Beautiful renderings and luminous effects give that other-worldly feel. It was least expected from a Manga, which doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The Eminence in Shadow has a bunch of generic characters you would see in every Harem/adventure Manga. The smart one, the half-furry, the clumsy one, Tsunderes, and they even added a Yandere sister character. Nice!
While they do pertain to their clichés, they have their charm. The charm is further increased due to Cid’s delusional mentality surrounding him and his group of Shadows.
The comedy that ensues between the protagonist and the side characters is reminiscent of old Greek comedies in which the audience is aware of the truth. The Human Mind is a place where the presence and the actual truth of another’s world become amusing.
The Ending of Season 1
While the anime stays accurate to the original web novel, there is no jarring difference between the anime and the Manga. The World-building is okay, nothing that has not been done before. We have an academy and a monarchy. Slavery works. You have titles and nobles and stuff.
Season 1 concludes with the tournament arc – the conflict between Iris Midgar, Beatrix, and Cid. Iris Midgar’s truth has been broken, and nothing feels right for her any longer. Only due to one person, Shadow! Desperate to put her reality back together, she joins forces with Beatrix, the war goddess, who merely wants to battle Shadow because he is strong.
Obviously, they both lose! Other than that, Sherry, a potential love interest turned enemy, provides exposition for the future. In addition to that, Rose decides to join Shadow Garden, which sets her up for the next arc, or Season 2.
Should I watch it?
Definitely, The Eminence in Shadow feels true and genuine. Its a fun watch for anyone willing to just sit back and enjoy. The comedy alone is one reason to watch as events unfold to our Chūnibyō’s liking.
While the troupes play out, the protagonist (the problem of many Harem and Isekais) is no joke. His character dynamics play out like the pianissimo of the 1st movement of Moonlight Sonata. His persona in his outward life.
To the upbeat 2nd movement, where his comedic moments shine out the most. To the crescendo of the 3rd movement, where Shadow is one and everything and challenges the truth of the world, he was reborn!