I’m not too sure who was pulling the strings behind the church’s accusation that Maou (in disguise as the Crimson Scholar) is a heretic. The natural thing to assume is that the two disgruntled fellows from the end of the previous episode are responsible, but I’m not convinced that they can pull off such a feat. All they’ve until now is disgrace themselves by failing at everything, so I can’t imagine them having a lot of influence; especially not if one of them was even supposed to be executed. Whoever is behind this is certainly putting a serious dent in Maou’s plans regardless. What I’m more annoyed about, though, is the exploitation of the church in this scheme. I know that this is the kind of setting we have to work with in Maoyuu, but seeing an attempt to censure someone in the name of religion is really aggravating. And it’s not like this isn’t something that has happened in our world; take Galileo and the Catholic Church, for instance. But the difference here is that the religious authorities supposedly accusing Maou aren’t even directly involved. As far as I’m aware, someone fed them some bullshit about potatoes being a demonic crop (how can a crop even be demonic), and that Maou isn’t praising the Light Spirit with every other word she utters. This is just ridiculous. There isn’t even a remote semblance of a serious accusation. If Maou had actually said something against their beliefs or scripture, I’d be a little more understanding. But all she’s done is better the lives of many. And they’re going to try her on that? How outrageous.
Moving past the absurdity of the accusation, I’m beginning to worry that Maou’s cover might be blown. There’s been no such mention so far, and even the church’s allegation of heresy doesn’t say that she herself is a demon; just that potatoes are demonic, which I still can’t get over. But the thing is, it feels like more and more people have been getting in on Maou’s secret. In fact, it feels like some have learned about it without our knowledge. The merchant is very clearly inducted into the group this episode, but when did the Winter Prince (now king) hear about it? And what about the old Archer? If anything, I thought a bigger deal would have been made about this, considering the implications of working with the “enemy”. Yet, it seems as if almost everyone in her circle is aware of her identity by now, and none of them are batting an eye. How can they all accept it so easily? I guess it is possible that they’ve all only been told that Maou is just a demon, and not the demon lord; as Yuusha did to the merchant. It’s true that with the peaceful coexistence of humans and demons at Gateway City, acceptance of working with a demon might be easier to come by. And it’s also easier to trust someone supposedly from the “other side” if she’s already done so much to help your own kind. But I would think that after many years of long, hard conflict, there would be more mistrust or even hatred between humans and demons. Clearly, that is not the case; and it’s all to the benefit of Maou so I guess it works out.
Finally, I would like to comment on Maou’s title renewal. There’s not exactly anything bad to say about it, but I’ll just write it here rather than place one little tidbit alone in the good section. I had previously thought she might encounter some external challenges while renewing her title (say from other demons), but it’s now hinted that the challenge may be internal. Her words of possibly emerging a different person are more than a little foreboding, and this has me wondering just what the process entails. There’s mention of the spirits of former demon lords, and there’s also that coffin in the center of the chamber. Is she really going to lie in a coffin for two months? What would she do in there? Meditate? Face her inner demons? Or perhaps she has to converse with the former demon lords, and if they’re not pleased with how she’s doing they might possess her? I don’t think we have to be worried about Maou being influenced into changing her goals willingly, since she seems to have been dead-set on them for a long time and she’s pretty smart herself. But it’s a different matter if she’s going to be completely controlled by something else.