Combatants Will Be Dispatched!
Episode 10

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 10 of
Combatants Will Be Dispatched! ?

"Downtime" is an important part of any story, anime or not. After their adventures, not only do our heroes need some time to relax, but the viewers need some time to let the story's tension dissipate as well, so it can be built up again as the narrative heads towards its next climax. However, Combatants already had its downtime episode back in episode seven. All that's happened since then is Six whipping his dick out and our heroes having to escape from a desert. Sure, those were important events, but nothing compared to what the team faced when they had to stop the demon army from destroying the Kingdom. So I'm not sure we needed an episode like this, but that's not to say it wasn't a fun enough episode.

This episode flips the script by focusing on what's going on back on Earth, which we've only gotten glimpses of during the next episode previews at the end of each episode. Despite being dead tired after fighting off the remaining heroes last episode, Astaroth, Belial, and Lilith have decided to throw a party for all their henchmen—except for Six, of course, as he is still trapped in the fantasy world.

All in all, there are no real surprises when it comes to Astaroth, Belial, and Lilith's characterization; they're exactly like you'd expect them to be. Astaroth cares deeply for those under her—and for Six romantically—but isn't sure how to express this beyond becoming strict and businesslike. Belial, on the other hand, is strong yet simple-minded. And Lilith's just your average mad scientist who is a bit jealous of her fellow generals' buxom bodies. None of them are particularly good at being evil and the party they're throwing—even with Lilith's antics caused by livestreaming the whole thing in secret—makes for little more than light, enjoyable comedy.

However, there is a running gag this episode that made me question how I view Katsuragi as a whole—though I don't think this was intended. Up until this point, I had assumed that evil points were an arbitrary scoring system designed to indoctrinate henchman into an evil way of thinking while letting the higher-ups know where their limited resources should be allocated. However, this may not be the truth—or at least, the whole truth—given the contents of this episode.

You see, Lilith secretly filming her girl talk with Astaroth and Belial earns her evil points on several occasions, which would've made sense if this were done by Six or anyone of his level. However, Lilith is one of three leaders of Kisaragi. She should have been able to simply demand any resource she wants. Moreover, the morals of the organization are literally dictated by her, Astaroth, and Belial. Lilith has no need for evil points nor any reason to take part in the system at all—unless evil points are more than what they appear to be.

In other words, Lilith's actions suggest that evil points is something tangible rather than just an arbitrary currency. Perhaps Lilith has figured out how to use evilness as a power source for all their technology or something. This would imply that the three girls are only “evil” because they wanted access to the power required to accomplish their goals—which seem to be nothing more than taking over the world. We have no clear idea about what they plan to do after that or why they even set out for world conquest in the first place. For all we know, Astaroth, Belial, and Lilith's goals could even be selfless and noble.

So while this episode was in no way bad, I do wish it had used the limited time with Astaroth, Belial, and Lilith to not just show who they are but why they are the way they are as well—or at least treated us to the spectacle of the girls kicking some serious Kamen Rider butt.

Rating:

Random Thoughts:

• ...the second half of this review probably belongs to the random thoughts section.

• Rose, Snow, and Grimm don't even get a cameo this episode.

• The Popularity Poll Participants:

Flaming Belial
Freezing Astaroth
Black Lilith
Spider Woman
Mantis Woman
Vise Empress
Madam Hot Springs Worm
Tardigrade Woman

• “Lillith is number one, huh? Did you vote for her?”—“Hell no. I'm no lolicon.”

• I'm surprised Alice doesn't have more reverence towards her creator.

• I look forward to the inevitable meeting between Astaroth, Belial, and Lilith and Snow, Rose, and Grimm.

• Looks like we'll be heading into the final arc next week.

Combatants Will Be Dispatched! is currently streaming on Funimation.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.


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