Combatants Will Be Dispatched! ‒ Episode 5

3 months ago 50

“In which our hero gains a humiliating alias.”

In last week's cliffhanger, Snow discovered that Six and Alice were spies. What makes this revelation all the more devastating is that it comes immediately after her decision to side with them over her own self-interests. However, despite her disappointment and emotional confusion, she doesn't arrest him. She simply exiles him and Alice and tells them to never return.

This says a lot about Snow and her friendship with Six. While the two don't often get along—their goals and values are too different—she does see him as a companion in arms. We see the significance of this as she returns to what her day-to-day life was like before Six and Alice came into it. Simply put, Snow's life is a rather lonely one. Yes, she's head of the royal guard, but she doesn't have any close companions there—she basically just trains them. It's only Rose and Grimm that speak to her on friendlier terms—and the only reason she got to know them was because of Six.

Even when Snow later encounters Six sexually harassing a woman on the street—a woman who seems surprisingly into it given the fact that his evil points don't increase—she lets him go after a stern talking to. In fact, we learn that she never disclosed to anyone the truth of why Six left the Kingdom's army—even after Six tells Rose it was because Snow sexually harassed him. While greedy, Snow is loyal to a fault—not just to the Princess or the Kingdom but to her friends as well. And, of course, loyalty to those closest to him is Six's main redeeming virtue. This one shared value is why neither is able to truly abandon the other—which leads us to Six's actions in this episode.

Being kicked out of the army is actually a boon for Six and Alice. They already have all the data they wanted. From here on, all they need to do is sit back and wait for a month for the Kisaragi army to come through the teleporter they've set up. Even if the demon army invades, they'll likely be safe from it. The same cannot be said for Snow, Rose, and Grimm who would be fighting to protect the Kingdom. Despite them no longer technically being his subordinates, Six is just searching for a reason to intervene and help them out. So Alice gives him one: why let the demons wreak the place Kisaragi is about to invade?

Of course, to stop an army, Six is going to need a lot of evil points. So he heads out into the streets night after night, flashing any woman he encounters. While it goes without saying that sexual harassment of this nature is an evil act, this episode shows us clearly that Six is all bark and no bite. While he definitely threatens these women, he would never go through with it; hell, if he really wanted to rack up the evil points, there is a lot of truly dark and evil shit he could do.

His actions leave no lasting physical damage, and seemingly little in the way of mental scars either. After all, the townspeople have long since figured out that his threats are BS; not only do they know that he is behind the flashing incidents, but mock him openly in the street for his actions as well. They treat him as nothing more than an annoying-yet-harmless kook.

He's basically publicly humiliated himself in order to gain the power to help his friends—and as a result, will likely be saving the lives of the townspeople who mock him as well. From a strictly consequentialist standpoint, that could almost be called heroic.


Random Thoughts:

• Honestly, this episode felt like it treaded water a bit throughout so that it ended at the start of the big battle instead of mid-way through it.

• I liked the bit about the world being ruled by a stereotypical fantasy narrative structure—a structure that Six has messed up by winning battles the hero was supposed to win. This also implies that Six may have usurped the role of “hero” as far as the world is concerned.

• This episode also sets up the rule that if you have consent to do something evil, even if its not directly stated, then you don't get evil points for it.

• If 300 evil points can buy a minefield, I wonder what Alice is saving those remaining 200 points for.

• Poor Heine—once again falling into a trap by thinking that Six is nobler than he is.

• Man, the next episode preview sure drops a bombshell on us with Flaming Belial telling us about her two newest agents: the hero and the missing demon lord general.

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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