The Eminence in Shadow (Season One)

The Eminence In Shadow Title

He died trying to live a life in the shadows. So, when he was reborn into a world full of magic and wonder, he continued to walk that path. He would become Shadow, he who lurks in the shadows and hunts the shadows!

The Eminence in Shadow (Season One)

What did you watch?

I’m an absolute sucker for Isekai stories, especially when they have fantasy elements and overpowered protagonists… That’s pretty much all of them then. Anyhow, I also love it when they don’t take themselves too seriously. Shows like Cautious Hero and Konosuba are among my favourites for this reason. So, when I heard about The Eminence in Shadow, I knew that it would be right up my street. The question is not whether I liked it or not, but how much did I like it. I guess we better find out. Also, there will be spoilers and they will not be lurking in the shadows.

The Eminence In Shadow Episode 1 Shadow

What happened?

His dream was not to be in the limelight but to remain in the background. Rather than seek recognition, his goal was to become strong enough to make a change without being noticed. As such, he trained in various martial arts. He perfected his fighting style in the night taking on criminals. He was good. However, with the limitations of this world, he would never be strong enough. He could never stop a bullet or survive a direct hit from a bomb. He needed more. More power. And then, he died. He was hit by a truck, but his story did not end.

He woke up as a baby, reborn into a new world where magic existed. Cid Kagenou retained all of his memories and was able to quickly train his body. He learnt about magic and found that he was suited to it. He could become a powerful and famous mage. A warrior without compare, but that’s not what Cid wanted. He chose to remain a background character so that he could work from the shadows. As he grew stronger, he took on a number of girls that he had rescued from various situations. He trained them and taught them about his past life. Together they formed Shadow Garden so that they could fight the Cult of Diablos. Well, that was the fantasy that Cid invented… or was it?

The Eminence In Shadow Episode 2 Cid Kageno recruits Alpha

What did you think?

Oh my god! I freaking loved this series. I watched all twenty episodes in three days and have reserved the manga at my library. That’s how much I loved it. It’s important to remember that this is more than just an isekai action fantasy. This is also a parody and a homage all at the same time. It does a wonderful job of making fun of itself and the genre while maintaining an incredible level of action and intrigue. Cid is a fascinating character who seems to be both incredibly shrewd and staggeringly oblivious all at the same time. So much goes on that isn’t completely apparent that it definitely deserves a rewatch. I’m going to do that very soon and I usually wait a year or two before watching something again, if at all. This is a wonderful series.

The Eminence In Shadow Episode 1 Cid Kageno is Shadow

What was your favourite moment?

There were so many great moments but this one stood out to me and possibly because I’m a sucker for a good sword fight. Now, I don’t mean the sort of fight where swords are flashing through the air at an impossible speed. I’m talking about the fight between Iris Midgar and Mundane Mann (Cid Kagenou’s disguise). No one had expected Mundane to get past his first opponent such was Cid’s ability to hide his skills. So, when he defeated opponent after opponent in what seemed to be a series of flukes no one knew quite how to handle him.

So, when he came up against Iris, she planned on ending it as quickly as possible, however, as soon as she went to move, she saw her head roll off her body and across the ground. It didn’t actually happen, but she knew it could if she continued that attack. She instinctively leapt back, checking her neck. Then, every time she thought about launching another attack, she felt the horrifying results that would follow. Mundane was barely moving, but the tiniest muscle twitch left her paralyzed with fear.

If you’ve seen any classic samurai shows, you’ll understand that many a fight was won because the opponent submitted. Often before a single attack was made. They analyse the opponent and run through the scenarios in their heads. If they cannot see a chance to win, they submit. Better to live and learn from that experience than throw it all away against an unwinnable fight. Anime can really play with that by showing us their imagined attacks and this was horrific.

The Eminence In Shadow Episode 19 Mundane Mann versus Iris Midgar

What was your least favourite moment?

It’s not a huge criticism as there are lots of things going on in the background that aren’t as apparent, so it’s possible that this was an easy thing to spot to distract from looking deeper. So, there was the one arc where the school was taken over by terrorists, much to Cid’s delight. He faked his own death and then went on a rampage. He ended up helping Sherry Barnett who he had decided was the main character in this situation. She was trying to decipher an artefact that could solve this particular problem. She wanted to do that to save her father Ruslan Barnett. Of course, it was revealed that he killed her mother and adopted her in order that she could continue her mother’s research. That was the most obvious twist in the series and it felt a little cheap by the standards already set. It wasn’t awful and as I said, it could have been intentional.

The Eminence In Shadow Episode 9 Ruslan Barnett killed Sherrys mother

Who was your favourite character?

There are a lot of fascinating characters in this series and you’d think with twenty episodes we would get to know some of them fairly well. We got to know some of them a little, although the focus seemed to be more on the princesses, Iris, Alexia, and Rose, and Sherry. I would have loved to see more of Shadow Garden but I guess it makes sense that they are fighting from the shadows. So, that leaves Cid and honestly, I thought he was a great character. His desire to hide his true potential was fascinating, although it was also great when he did get a chance to go all out. There’s obviously much more going on here than it appears as Cid seems to find his way to the right place or the right conclusion without fail and almost entirely by chance. I don’t think it is chance though, but I’ll get into that in another post. There’s a lot to go over.

The Eminence In Shadow Episode 6 Cid Kageno background character

Who was your least favourite character?

That could literally be any of the villains, but Perv Asshat takes it for me and not least because of his name. I noticed Cid hid a laugh when he found out that Rose was in an arranged marriage with Perv Asshat. I certainly didn’t hide my laughter. Of course, Perv was the first villain that was more devious and sinister. He felt much more like someone that needs to be watched more than the other villains who were fairly ordinary. It showed how much power he had in his region that he could drug the king and force him to be his puppet and no one seemed to care. If anything, the people around them seemed to welcome it. The Cult of Diablos clearly had that nation in the palm of its hand.

The Eminence In Shadow Episode 19 Perv Asshat

Would you like some more?

I’ve already reserved the manga from my library and will be watching this series again very soon. I feel like there are a number of clues that will set up future events that could have been easily missed if you weren’t watching for them. The fact that Cid made up the Cult of Diablos and then it happened to be real is definitely worth revisiting. It feels kind of like Re:Zero where Subaru is being played by the evil witch. I need to see if Cid is aware of things that are going on around him or if he really is oblivious to them. The scene with Aurora is another I need to re-examine. So, yeah, give me more.

The Eminence In Shadow Episode 18 Beatrix offers Cid a sandwich

What have you learnt?

One thing this series does really well is that it’s able to switch between funny moments and serious moments. I think Cid was actually a big part of that with his background character persona. He would often do things to cement that side of things that others would try to avoid. For example, he told his friends that he needed to have a poo and wouldn’t make it back to the dorms in time. He didn’t care that it made him look stupid or that people would make fun of him because that helped to keep up the perception that he was a nobody and wasn’t worth people’s consideration.

Of course, when he was serious things got a little crazy and he showed just how powerful he was. His atomic bomb magic attack was insane and his fighting skills when he was disguised as Mundane Mann was incredible. I think I’d like to see more of Alpha in the second season as she is very much the more serious side of business and hopefully, we’ll find out whether Cid is aware of what’s going on or if he’s being guided by someone that we haven’t met yet. Basically, there is much more to this series than is initially apparent.

The Eminence In Shadow Episode 7 Cid Kageno practicing defeats against Rose Oriana

Other posts in the series

  • Anime
  • Manga
    • Volume 1 – We Lurk in the Darkness and Hunt Down Shadows
    • Volume 2 – I Am Atomic!
    • Volume 3 – Hidden Normie Technique
    • Volume 4 – Battles Are Like a Conversation
    • Volume 5 – A Memory I Never Want to Lose
    • Volume 6 – What Beautiful Swordplay…
  • Analysis
  • Lists

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  1. Making me want to watch it again already.

    Mundane Mann vs. Iris was definitely the highlight of the season, and Mundane Mann was my favourite “character” as he was just the personification of “overpowered character gets underestimated by everyone and shows them up” which is just so satisfying.

    I would have liked to see more of Cid’s sister. She’s often touted as a somewhat famous character due to her success in the previous tournament and whatnot, and there are many references to characters about how Cid is related to her, but we don’t really see all that much of her I felt like.

    • Yeah. His sister is the star of the family which is perfect for him as she overshadowed him constantly. She believes he has amazing talent though but can’t understand why he isn’t improving.

      Mundane Mann is just fantastic and what a name. I’ve got one more volume of the manga to read which should take me past the end of season one. I’m excited to see what happens next.

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