I had wondered if the change of environment was going to tone down the worst aspects of Rudeus’s pervy nature. So far, at least, that seems to be the case; the only thing he does in episode 10 which could remotely be called objectionable is leer at an adult, triple-breast demon woman, and that scene seems almost more obligatory than meaningful. Hence this should be the most tolerable episode yet for those turned off by Rudeus’s sexual antics.
This is also the episode where the adventure aspect of the story most truly gets underway, both for better and for worse. The “better” part comes from the awesome world-building elements at play. The badlands are impressive enough, but the city design of Rikarisu – with the austerely elegant fortress of some kind in the middle and the iconography on the surrounding cliffs – is amazing. Anyone who plays fantasy RPGs would want to visit a place like this. Ruijerd having the nickname “Dead-End” is also an inspired choice. I am a bit less keen about the huge variety of animal-themed demon races, however. Yes, Ruijerd does say that there are many different demon tribes, but the series is trying too hard to show a diverse variety. (This is more a general nitpick with anime fantasy series than anything specific to this series, however.)
This does raise the interesting question about where the line is between beast people (who only have ears and tails of their affiliated animal) and demons, who are full-blown humanoid versions of their animals. But some demons – such as the Superd and Roxy’s people – could nearly or fully pass for human, too. If this is not just a random bit of world-building then I am curious about the story behind it. Also, I find it very curious that no one seems to be batting an eye at Rudeus and Eris’s fully-human appearances even though there are no signs of other humans anywhere on the streets of Rikarisu. The two certainly are not trying to hide it, so why aren’t they attracting more attention?
The downside to this new setting is the city’s use of the same Adventurer’s Guild system which populates innumerable isekai titles out there. Yes, I know this one was originally written before a lot of the other isekai (or fantasy worlds in general) titles which use such a device, so this one may have inspired some of the others, but this title coming to anime form later than many others makes this aspect feel like a generic rip-off. The personality types presented so far do not vary much from the norm for more human-based adventurers, either (that horse-headed guy certainly looks like future trouble!) although the absence of conspicuous spellcasters is a little curious.
The episode does offer some fun aspects to counter-balance the more generic elements. Eris may show a bit of homesickness late in the episode, but she is getting into this every bit as much as she looked like she might last episode. She is going to be a melee terror down the road, and she plays along fully with Rudeus’s ridiculous chunibyou airs; the hood with the ears (which is so reminiscent of the one Emilia wears in season 1 of Re:Zero) also somehow suits her. The other new adventuring party who strikes the pose was also good for a chuckle, and Man-God pops up again with better animation than he deserves.
On a more serious note, the incident with the pet thieves scam brings the more moral issues of their situation into play. Ruijerd has an extremely black-and-white view of the world, and zero tolerance for anything he sees as evil. That’s not necessarily bad, but Rudeus is right that such an unflinching attitude is not going to help his cause for redeeming his people’s reputation. However, Rudeus may, ironically, be the odd man out on the conservative morality front here. Eris seemed unfazed by Ruijerd killing the bug adventurer, and was only upset at Ruijerd for disagreeing with Rudeus. This appears to be a harsher setting where a “no killing” morality is impractical at best, so Rudeus has a struggle ahead to either accept that or turn that reality around. Seeing how Rudeus confronts that challenge could be a turning point for him as a person.