Overview (Spoilers Below)
Hajime, Yue, and Shea make their way to the Reisen Gorge. Shea happens upon the Reisen Labyrinth, where they quickly discover a trickster voice is pulling the strings. While the gang attempts to navigate their way through the labyrinth, they realize their magic is either very weak, or doesn’t work at all. Luckily, this gives Shea a chance to shine, with her giant hammer that Hajime created for her. They work against a variety of traps and tricks throughout the labyrinth. Meanwhile, back at the kingdom, Yuka tells her classmates that she’s going to join their teacher, Ms. Aiko, in her quest to help protect the other students.
When Hajime, Yue, and Shea finally reach the end of the labyrinth after taking down a bunch of armor knights, they encounter a gigantic, sentient armor being, who they quickly realize has the voice of the trickster. The armor claims to be Miledi Reisen, founder of the labyrinth, but Hajime counters that Miledi was a human who died years ago. They battle against the trickster and end the match by striking into the soul core of the suit. They realize this is the spirit of Miledi Reisen, who warns Hajime that he won’t be able to just go home: he is destined to kill the Gods.
They then discover that Miledi didn’t actually die — her soul just went into another form as a prank. She gifts them a magic artifact that will help Yue, but the gang tries to mug her for more stuff. She flushes them out of her labyrinth and back to the surface, where Yue and Shea argue over Hajime’s penis for the remainder of the episode.
This is one of the first (and only) episodes of the season that seems to have coherent pacing. It’s not perfect, but at least it’s coherent. The bare minimum is basically all we can ask for at this point, especially with the realization that this show is basically just a harem anime. Seriously: if Shea’s outfit wasn’t enough proof that she was designed specifically with the male gaze in mind, then maybe the face/chest shot where Miledi inexplicably covers her in white goo is. There’s also the high frame rate make-out session between Shea and Hajime nearing the end of the episode when he’s giving her CPR. Suddenly, the animation quality goes up by 40% for some reason! It’s only with that scene, though. Wonder why.
On a non-sarcastic note, the 3D models for some of the enemies they encounter (such as the armor knights) look cool. It’s reminiscent of when the show started out good. Like, back when it was about D&D mechanics and gaining new powers from monsters instead of collecting girlfriends.
It’s sad that Shea is such a blatant fan-service character, because she’s also showed more character development as a hero in the two episodes she’s been around than the actual heroes, who continue to be pissy emo kids. This episode seemed like a good turning point for Hajime’s motives, though, because Miledi dosed him with a bit of reality about his destiny.
Speaking of Miledi — it was good to see someone call them out on their attitudes. Her voice acting may have been high-pitched, but it was nice to see a character with a sense of humor and energy.
Anyway, it’s obvious that they’re trying to push something emotional with the classmates, but it’s just not landing because the pacing is so bad. Maybe if they spent more time fleshing things out and less time animating Yue and Shea fighting over Hajime’s Penis™, we could actually feel something.