Eminence In The Shadow Season 1 Review: Manipulating Stereotypes.
You’ll find out why this anime is one of the best isekai by the end of this review!
So everyone has watched a few isekai when they’re bored. With being way too cringy and the rare few that are phenomenal.
With eminence in the shadow season 1 coming to an end, many may wonder, which category does this anime fit into?
Yeah, that might sound a little weird but you’ll find out why this anime is one of the best isekai by the end of this review!
We’ve all watched many isekai and anime in general that make us cringe at some of the main character’s abilities or just wonder…hey why are they shouting out their attacks? And eminence in the shadow does the same but it deliberately makes fun of these ridiculous cliches like Saiki k does for instance.
It almost breaks the fourth wall with some of these jokes being so on the nose and similar to other isekai that do them but take themselves way too seriously.
Eminence in the shadow gives off the vibe of a super serious show for satire. However, it still manages to make certain moments badass!
I’m not going to lie either, I sometimes get very bored and just want to watch an OP MC just destroy people and this series certainly scratches that itch with Cid Kageno being one of the most absurdly powerful characters in anime history but… he has a different side to him that you wouldn’t expect.
Cid Kageno is possibly the most unique character I’ve seen in a very long time, being introduced as a character completely detached from everything around him when we find out that… he’s just a Chuunibyou. Thinking that he’s destined to be some main character living in the shadows as ‘the eminence in the shadow’.
He’s purposely made out to be insanely cringe whilst having power that no human should possess even before he’s reincarnated.
He trains throughout his life to become this ‘eminence in the shadow’. Meanwhile, others grow out of their hero fantasies he’s still in. This is something he actually acknowledges as well.
This whole persona is flipped on its head when he dies in a very…unceremonious way akin to Kazuma from Konosuba.
He lamented how frustrating it was to be human as he could not overcome his human limitations.
As soon as he’s reincarnated he takes the opportunity of the magic in this new world to become what he always wanted… invincible to everything, even atomic explosions.
Cid is so powerful that it’s actually comedic, but he’s very different from a typical hero protagonist as he isn’t a hero at all. He honestly isn’t a hero or a villain he just does whatever he wants to live out his delusion of becoming ‘the eminence in the shadow’ but in this world, people actually start to believe in him and become as delusional as he is.
In his previous life, he thought everyone to be below him, showcasing an incredulous level of arrogance but now he actually is above everyone. From start to finish he’s never even remotely threatened and because of this he never has any substantial character development.
He actively manipulates those around him in different ways. For example, with his actual family and common folk he acts like a weak child that’s a complete coward. And then, with his army and those he commands, he portrays himself as a godly being that they must follow. And neither is true.
This may sound like a diss to the series but they manipulate it in their favor and it’s perfect in its tone.
When Cid is transported to this new world, he pretty soon wants to develop an army of shadows. With whatever means necessary.
This is where his delusions and lying come to bite him. When he recruits someone they completely believe everything he says like he’s some sort of god.
He recruits Alpha first, who does most of his work without knowing it! Alpha also buys into the world being in danger.
However, it turns out that the world actually is. It’s almost like this reality was created for Cid and whatever ridiculous plan or idea he thinks of…comes to reality.
He believed that no one would ever think the way he does and buy into his anime-like ideals. Yet, many do. He doesn’t seem to realize this the majority of the time and takes advantage of the people around him for his own selfish desires.
So where could they go from here with the series? Without spoiling the manga there are many directions they could go and the primary one is obvious. Have Cid experience more than he already has.
Making Cid a flat character wasn’t a bad thing as he could just continue to affect those around him.
Goku from Dragon Ball was like this, he never changed as a character but changed the world around him. The main difference is that with Goku, it was for the better and with Cid… it’s more morally ambiguous. Chances are that if there isn’t a threat to combat anymore he’ll just fight good people instead. This ends up happening (kinda) at the end of the season.
This series was a breath of fresh air to many including myself! Having a main character that’s neither perfectly good nor evil is a good change of pace.
Cid specifically is fascinating to watch as you never expect some of the stuff he does and comes up with.
The comedy is top tier whilst activity making fun of many isekai as you would’ve noticed whilst reading. I mentioned a lot of isekai and that’s because this series takes the cliches and makes fun of them whilst somehow complimenting them.
The fight scenes are sometimes phenomenal. When you hear Cid say ‘Atomic’ at the start of the series I rolled my eyes and laughed at the stupidity of it!
But, by the end of season 1? I was jumping out of my chair hyped!
Season 1 has everything you want from an isekai and more.
Comedy, Action, an interesting cast of characters, and an engaging plot… they can’t go wrong with the potential this anime holds! I cannot wait for season 2!
This article was written by Ryan from the ABD Team. You can tweet your opinions on the article/anime to him on his Twitter!