Combatants Will Be Dispatched! ‒ Episode 4

3 months ago 45

This episode of Combatants Will Be Dispatched! throws our heroes right into a suicide mission. Ever since Six embarrassed him in a meeting in front of the king, the kingdom's strategist has wanted Six out of the equation. This is doubly true now that Six keeps giving out plans that, while underhanded, might actually achieve victory for the Kingdom. But to the strategist, his own pride and standing are more important than victory.

Of course, Six, being more than a bit familiar with power-tripping middle managers—i.e., himself—knows exactly what is going on the moment he learns of the mission. Despite this, he lets himself get wrapped up in the whole thing and finds himself at the head of an overzealous army who wants to fight the enemy head-on.

It's here that we learn a few things about our heroes and their powers. Grimm really is as powerful as she makes herself out to be, and is able to render one of the five strongest demons completely defenseless for a brief period of time. Rose can't gain the powers of non-demonic beasts (i.e., a griffon). Snow's strength is mostly based on the power of her magic swords. And while Six can gain super-strength through his villain suit, it only lasts one minute and leaves him paralyzed for the subsequent three minutes.

By showing what our heroes can and can't do, the show defines their limitations. For all of Six's success so far, neither he nor his companions are overpowered. Demons like Heine are obviously stronger than them by a wide margin in a straightforward fight. Thus, the only way our heroes can win is through either strategy or luck—and in this episode, it's all about the latter.

By accidentally stealing Heine's magic stone—which acts as the catalyst for her magic—they win the battle. Of course, they achieve this not by incapacitating her when she can no longer use magic, but rather by blackmailling her into doing any number of sexual poses before Six puts the stone in his pants and invites her to come and get it. She flees in embarrassment (and takes her army with her).

But the real interesting part of the episode is its focus on Snow during its closing minutes. Snow is greedy because, growing up, she had nothing. Everything she's obtained has come through her own strength of will. But now, thanks to the arrival of Six and Alice, she's starting to lose the things she's worked so hard for. She's been demoted, had her pay cut, and now even finds herself in debt. However, even with all this, she doesn't hate the pair. While her ego makes her think she'd be the better leader, she recognizes Six's usefulness to her people.

Even when the strategist comes to bribe her—asking her to plant evidence that Six is a spy—she ultimately decides not to go through with it. After all, their success rate so far has been amazing, so it's only a matter of time till fame and fortune favor her once more. (Not to mention that the Strategist lets slip that he doesn't even view Rose and Grimm as human, which Snow obviously doesn't agree with.)

Of course, it's at this moment that she overhears Six talking about how he actually is a spy—meaning that all the goodwill she feels towards him and Alice is built on a lie. Worse still, when he eventually decides to betray Snow and her people, she will be the one held responsible. Her shock and disbelief make for a surprisingly strong emotional cliffhanger—especially coming off of her decision to trust in her friends instead of betraying them for personal benefit. It's more tragic than you'd expect in a shock-comedy filled with racy humor—which is probably why it's so effective.


Random Thoughts:

• While Six may be “evil,” it'd been well established that he does not betray his own. Period. I can't imagine a situation where he'd leave Snow behind to take all the blame. He'd either find her an equally profitable place in Kisaragi or somehow take all the blame himself. Of course, Snow doesn't know Six like we do, so her shock is all the more warranted.

• I really like the next episode preview sections. They give us some insight into the three Kisaragi bosses and their thoughts about Six and his mission.

• I love Alice cheering Six on during the photoshoot. It's easy to forget she's just as bad as Six is and is totally down with him doing whatever it takes to get those evil points.

• The photoshoot scene also shows a vengeful side of Snow that makes even Six a bit worried.

• I do feel for Heine though. All she wants is her big climactic battle with classic heroes but she keeps coming up against a team of villains instead.

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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