Maoyuu skips ahead three months, and we get to see the fruits of Maou’s efforts. In terms of time skips, I wouldn’t really consider this one, seeing as its only purpose was to demonstrate Maou’s teachings paying off and presumably her gaining even more reputation in the area without boring us with the minor details and waiting. Pressing on with her success, Maou and Yuusha make a trip to Lake Country to pay a visit to the local convent. The church is apparently the academic center of the Maoyuu universe1, and Maou has come to them in hopes of further spreading her techniques to the surrounding areas. Thus, we are reintroduced to one of Yuusha’s former companions; the Knight, who has taken up a position as prioress in the local convent. It turns out the companions were disbanded after news of Yuusha’s supposed fate, and were offered monetary rewards as compensation. We also learn that the Mage had abandoned the crew in an attempt to pursue Yuusha alone, so the “disbanding” was more a parting of the two remaining companions, but I digress. In any case, Knight was under the impression that Yuusha had died, and so refused to accept the reward on the principle of not profiting from his death (something like selling out, I guess). I also like to think that her refusal of the reward was more a refusal to acknowledge that Yuusha might be dead, seeing as she clearly cares greatly for him.
The Archer2, on the other hand, accepted the reward and went on to work for an intelligence group in the southern countries. Of the three companions, he seems to have the least time in the spotlight so far (beyond making fun of Knight’s lack of plot), but I can see him playing a very important role in the future, what with serving in an intelligence group. It’s possible that he might uncover Maou’s identity later on (perhaps at an inopportune moment in Maou’s plans for further dramatization), which would certainly lead to some very tumultuous developments. Or perhaps, the focus might be on Yuusha convincing him not to reveal Maou’s identity, assuming he does in fact find out. And honestly, I think it’s pretty much guaranteed to happen. Just the mention of an intelligence group is already suggestive enough, not to mention the revelation of secret identities in such a scenario is a rather standard development. A third possible development, though much less likely, is for Maou’s identity to be revealed to the masses, and then for them to not mind. This kind of development would serve to demonstrate the rapport and trust that Maou was able to build in her time in the human world, but would also depend exactly upon the humans being able to forgive her for the suffering the war with the demons has brought about. While this is perhaps the strongest development of the three I’ve envisioned, it’s also the hardest to pull off, so we can only keep speculating for now.
Maoyuu has made a point of the merchants profiting from the war, and in logical extension, the suffering of the people. Now, I’ll admit it feels like a bit of a stretch to say that they’re directly benefiting at the expense of the less fortunate, but that seems to be the card that the show is playing. Anyways, Maoyuu continues to push the merchants as the “bad guys” in this episode. Maou attempts a delicate operation to “use” the merchants to further her plans. To this end, she presents them with a gyroscope, which is rather impressive technology (magic aside) for the apparent technological advancement of the Maoyuu world. As a side note, I’m curious how Maou is in possession of so much knowledge. I can’t imagine it being commonplace in the demon world, seeing as she makes them out to be suffering as much as the humans, and if they were that much more advanced, they would just make short work of the humans during the war. But I guess this will probably be addressed in due time. Going back to the topic at hand, the merchants hatch their own plan to “monopolize” the gyroscope in order to maximize the profits and influence they can derive from the technological marvel. Mainly, this involves silencing, or even killing off the original inventor; Maou.
Seeing the influence that the merchants currently wield over the human world though, I can’t see Maou having to forcefully win them over. That would involve far too much power struggle and also jeopardize an establishment that would better serve Maou intact, so most likely they’ll realize the error of their ways and turn over a new leaf by aiding Maou in her goals. In the meantime however, it looks like Yuusha is off to search for Mage, and at the same time is tasked with ensuring the demons aren’t acting out of line with Maou’s plans.
Oh, and I should also mention that ARMS really seems to be skimping on the budget. I’ve previous mentioned their use of less-than-sightly CG. They’ve also not been shy about recycling scenes, but this episode sees perhaps the greatest number of recycled scenes in one episode yet. I’m not sure if they’re saving their budget for the future, or if they’re really that short on resources, but this doesn’t exactly bode very well for Maoyuu. As shallow as it sounds, appearances do count; especially for a medium such as anime.
1This was also technically true for Europe way back when. At least, until scientific research started contradicting religious teachings. You’ll find a surprising number of “big names” in science were actually associated with (and some subsequently excommunicated from) the church.
2Again, this is by process of elimination from a “standard” party. His “proper” name/position has yet to be revealed, and I really don’t want to refer to him as “Old Pervert”.