Isekai Quartet 2
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Isekai Quartet 2 ?
Before getting to that point, Class 2 finally manages to pry out of Roswaal that yes, there is a cultural festival coming up and yes, they are supposed to do a couple of things. What's at stake here isn't revealed, and because of the short format of the episode, it cuts corners completely on debating what the class is going to do for a food stall and a play. The former seems to be settled by Viktoriya's obsessions with chocolate bananas; not sure where that's coming from beyond her being the class glutton, but the drool Weiss shows when Demiurge is speaking and his later enthusiasm for chocolate bars in a still shot demonstrates that he's all for it as well.
The play choice is equally odd. The Ugly Duckling made perfect sense for Class 1, though Naofumi being revealed as the duckling threw me for a loop there since they have a near-literal duckling in the class. (That choice does, in a way, make sense if the “ugly duckling to beautiful swan” transformation is viewed in terms of public opinion of the Shield Hero in his setting.) But Cinderella? The casting of Rem and Ram as the prince and Cinderella, respectively, sorta makes sense, as Rem, despite a disposition probably more in line with Cinderella, is definitely the more princely of the two sisters in action, and Ram sort of has fallen into a lowly position because of the loss of her horn like Cinderella has, though her demeanor is totally contrary; this may be meant as irony, I suppose? That the four protagonists are all the horse pulling the carriage is more amusing.
But that's not where the big joke is. After a montage of preparations for the festival, the team comes out the morning before to find their archway torn down. Aqua is throwing a childish fit over how there's not enough time to fix it, while Rem, after briefly flashing her oni nature, calmly tries to convince her that they can do it. But this is all part of the set-up and play-through for one of the series' most elaborate jokes: a full-on parody of the title-defining scene from episode 18 of Re:Zero, down even to the shot selections (and shot angles) of Rem in saying the key line. The doves in the background is a new touch, and adding Chomusuke the demonic cat into that was a good additional joke that I didn't catch on the first view, but even without noticing that, that scene gave me the season's biggest laugh. Subaru lamenting about how a good scene was ruined afterward was a good finishing touch. I also have to wonder if it's coincidence that this specific parody was used right after the replay of episode 18 in the rebroadcast of Re:Zero. The timing seems a little too convenient.
But things aren't going to be so simple for the staff. The Destroyer is now clearly on the move, with both the animal pen and (presumably) the archway having been wrecked by it, so it will presumably be crashing the festival in next week's finale. I also have to wonder what the principals and Roswaal are talking about in the epilogue, but I don't expect we'll ever find out the truth about that. Still, we're all set up now for a slam-bang finish.
Isekai Quartet 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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