With this episode, the final resolution of the conflict over Amidonia seems to be done – at least for now, anyway. Julius isn’t happy about it, but there was no reasonable outcome where he was going to be happy, as the negotiations between Jeanne and Kazuya completely boxed him in (as they were designed to). He at least gets his capital back, at the cost of war reparations designed to eat into his country’s military costs and ransoms for captured nobles, and that at least allows him to salvage some outward dignity even if he’s seething on the inside. Somehow I rather doubt he’ll heed Kazuya’s (literally) Machiavellian warnings, though given how disappointed the populace was to see him leave, the people of Amidonia likely won’t put up with much from him.
In doing so, the story covered its bases quite thoroughly. The geopolitical situation is fully considered, the matter of Julius’s sister (the mercantile princess we’ve seen a few times) is brought up in a context where the reason why Julius cares at all about her is explained, and even the fate of General Margarita (the woman who sang the Amidonian national anthem at the end of episode 12) is addressed. We even get a significant segment showing Jeanne reporting back to Maria, and a party later on to celebrate the role adventurers played in bringing things to this point – one where we learn that Kazuya’s major weakness is, unsurprisingly, alcohol.
I do get the feeling that the series is being a little too thorough and methodical, though. Sure, the Jeanne/Maria scene better clarifies the kind of person Maria is and brings up the matter that Kazuya may well be fulfilling prophecy on a hero even without directly confronting the Demon Lord, so I can largely excuse that scene, but it definitely feels like the story has been moving at a snail’s pace. At least the story has now cleared nearly all of its initial plot threads, so I am curious to see where it will go next. Perhaps return to Tomoe’s revelation that she can talk to the demons and the significance of that? (Kazuya did vaguely probe about this in his dealings with Jeanne in the previous two episodes, but the matter has not been explored beyond that.) As long as the next episode does better than the weak party scene it ended on, things should go fine.
Additional Note: Since hardly anything else this season is looking consistently comment-worthy after two episodes, this will likely be my only full, weekly episode review for the season. Instead, I will do one additional post per week (probably on a Tuesday or Wednesday night) which summarizes reactions to other titles and highlights the one I feel is most doing something interesting.