First Look: The Eminence in Shadow


Alternative title: Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute!
Light Novel Adaptation by Nexus
Streaming on HIDIVE


The Stylish Ruffian Slayer is a teenage boy who goes around with a bag of crowbars because it makes him feel strong. After playing out his hero fantasy and saving the girl, he quickly becomes acquainted with truck-kun.

Euri’s verdict: No

Minoru Kageno is a kid who is obsessed with becoming, in his own words, the Eminence in Shadow. To achieve this, he sets out to do everything in his power to become stronger – be that in sports, fitness or martial arts. He makes use of this power by attacking biker gangs, armed only with a balaclava and two crowbars. Late in the episode, he saves a classmate from being captured and sexually assaulted, beating two men with guns with his speed and crowbar skills.

If it wasn’t already apparent, The Eminence in Shadow is just a teenage power fantasy. Kageno refers to his classmate as an NPC, he hangs out on the school roof reading books about magic and muttering ‘more power’ to himself in English, and he’s sad that his cool crowbar vigilante skills are no good because at the end of the day, he wouldn’t win a fight against a nuke. The episode ends with a news report that he’s been hit by a truck, and we get an early credits sequence set to, and I shit you not, Liberace’s Moonlight Sonata.


I have to admit, as someone who knew nothing about this show ahead of time, I did not expect Kageno’s truck encounter to actually lead him to another world. As such, the post-credits scene where he’s stood atop a clock tower dressed like Lelouch Lamperouge with his animal-eared companions was quite the whiplash.

I’m sure some people will argue that you can’t judge this one based on the first episode, given the entire damn setting changes in the last five minutes, but nonetheless it has done nothing to get me on board. Kageno is pure teenage power fantasy and little else, so I’m more than happy spending my time on other shows.


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