February 11th, 2017
So very, very stupid.
The start of this episode was the closest thing to genuine parody from Japan in a while. There's this bit where the ogre dude explains that not fighting ruthlessly is why Team Protagonist lost before, so then it cuts to a flashback. You'd think it'd be to show an example to back that up, but you'd be wrong. It's a flashback to him saying that in the past. It could have been literally anything. "You'll never win if you eat cake." "You'll never win if you don't stretch properly." "You'll never win unless you take a sexy bath." That last part, by the way, is apparently what the pink haired princess was up to. That wouldn't be the only utterly braindead part. We also got part a billion of Yuri's insecurity crap, this time being told how much he's failed his companions while watching his companions hold their own against an army of demons. Not losing. Barely more than breathing heavily. But this would be enough for another five minutes of baldfaced "I'm going to corrupt you now with your self-doubt." "Oh no! My self-doubt!"
Now, granted, they 'salvaged' it a bit with the teleportation of characters to right in front of his sword to stab one of his buddies which was nicely juxtaposed against the princess's coronation and her speech about how noble doofus-head is. It still would've worked a lot better if this hadn't been literally the first time to date he's actually screwed up at all, without all the blatant "I'm evil and gonna evil you up good" nonsense, and especially if Yuri's stabbing victim had been really anybody that he had been shown to particularly care about more than anybody else. I would've especially been a fan of ramping up his relationship with Whose-Its to unhealthy levels and stabbing the hell out of her, just to have given her a point above and beyond "carries book." It also doesn't mesh well with basically any previous episodes of him getting his groove back and "yay friendship" for him to immediately go from Jesus to Sith Lord in approximately 10 seconds, so while it's certainly a direction for the story to go in while things had been badly stagnating in a medium characterized by rank stagnation, and the scene itself could've been worse, it was still definitely kind of a mess.