I'm Standing on 1,000,000 Lives. ‒ Episode 6

3 weeks ago 20

In many senses this is a tale of two episodes, with roughly the first half being thematically-focused and the second half being adventure-focused. Though the two halves are basically connected – the heroes get into their second half situation as a result of behavior in the first half – putting the two different foci together in the same episode makes for an odd and uneasy balance.

The first half is by far the weightier one, as Yusuke and the girls talk with both the supposed heretics and the soldiers in charge of them to find out what the circumstances are for the heretics' execution at the heroes' destination. The story sounds relatively simple at first, with a king of a militaristic kingdom practically being worshiped as a god, a religion that he is trying to get rid of because it is in the way (and presumably a distraction from him declaring himself a ruler by divine right), and what essentially amounts to off-continent missionaries from that church getting caught up in the affair. The planned execution is being done on the far west coast, where the missionaries would be coming in from, to discourage them.

But things are not quite that simple. Kahvell's disdain for what they are doing does not have anything to do with them executing heretics per se, but rather with them operating with impunity well outside their kingdom's boundaries (which they are, since the destination city is weeks of travel outside of the kingdom). The king in question seems like a good ruler because he is rewarding those who have lost family members in military campaigns or crippled by their surface, but the rewards themselves – a free slave, presumably from those captured in those military campaigns – is an eyebrow-raiser. Complicating matters further, Yuka interprets the whole religious scenario in terms of bullying; considering how emphatic she is about this, she has likely been subjected to it herself. What part of this involves the heroes' assigned mission is also still in question; is this a moral test for the heroes, and if so, which way are they being tested about going?

Sadly, the whole episode does not stay that interesting, as the second half involves the lead soldier tricking the heroes' party into a “shortcut” that is actually a dungeon-style trap/puzzle fest. The challenges involved will doubtless be familiar to any long-time fantasy RPG player, although it does raise the question of why an ancient civilization would have created something so pointlessly elaborate in the first place. At least the girls finally get to deal with some matters without Yusuke, such as how to bypass one of the traps and, at the end, how to deal with an interesting variation on the standard gargoyle. Even with Kahvell, can they hold up in a fight without Yusuke?

And speaking of Kahvell, she is rapidly becoming my favorite supporting character of the season. Her discussion with Iu about how women have to fight when they can't match men on muscle mass is something you just don't ever hear brought up, and she's fully ready to antagonize the heretic-hunting soldier. I seriously need to model a future RPG character on her.

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I'm Standing on 1,000,000 Lives. is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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