Despite the fact that we have a major airship-versus-monster battle filled with magic and mecha, this episode is more about the melodrama than the action. It’s the emotional turning point for both Livia’s personal growth as well as her relationships with Angie and Leon.
With Angie captured and Leon fighting through hordes of monsters to rescue her, Livia is left alone on the ship playing healer. This finally gives her the chance to step up and prove her worth without Leon’s interference. Only she can save her classmates on the airship, and she does so, finally saving to herself that she is useful to her friends and can be counted on.
Moreover, her massive laser-shooting barrier shows that, while Leon has been hampering her growth by stepping in to save her life, is not a zero-sum game. Her inferiority complex has caused her to be highly motivated, and without needing to worry about external threats and the advances of six men, she’s had plenty of time to study and has become far more powerful than she would have been at this point in the original game.
Proving to herself that she is useful also affords her the courage to confront her friends directly. She finally tells the rescued Angie what has been bothering her and is in turn reassured that neither Angie nor Leon view her as weak or useless. And when Leon catches her after her fall from the airship, she is likewise able to call him on his recent BS.
Just as Livia has overcome her inferiority complex, she forces Leon to overcome his own. He has maintained from the start that he is a background character and someone unimportant to the story. His steadfast belief that everything in this world is predetermined and will eventually self-correct—despite both his and Marie actions proving otherwise time and again—has been a shield to protect him from his own responsibility to the world he finds himself reborn into. At the same time, it also gives him an excuse to not open up emotionally to the two girls he loves.
On the other hand, Livia’s newfound confidence allows her to be far more emotionally vulnerable than Leon’s allowed himself to be. She has truly grown beyond the character created for a C-tier game into an individual in her own right. She loves Leon and is determined to make him see that, and while he may not have been a main character in the game’s story, he is a main character in hers. And when he tries to blatantly steer her affections toward the Prince and his friends, she, in no uncertain terms, explains that she does not see them as potential romantic partners. It’s the first time we’ve seen Livia badmouth anyone, and proves that even though she chooses to believe the best in people, that doesn’t mean she can’t also see the worst in them.
In the end, Leon knows he’s got to re-examine his worldview. And while he can’t respond to her confession (likely due to also having feelings for Angie), he does accept it and removes the arbitrary distance he has created between them by once again calling her “Livia.”
As for Angie, she’s a bit behind in the self-realization department. While she knows she cares deeply for Livia, it’s only when she’s about to die that she realizes she loves Leon—that he has a place in her heart alongside her family, Livia, and the Prince she once lived for. She likewise sees the folly of not acting on her feelings sooner, paralyzed as she was by the hypocrisy of how she treated commoners before she met Livia.
Unfortunately, there’s no time for her to explore these newfound feelings as the battle is far from over. Now, as the Dukedom’s greatest warrior enters the battlefield, it’s time to how endgame loot and a bad personality far against a seasoned warrior with decades of wartime experience.
• Normally I’d be annoyed at all the love-related melodrama happening in the middle of a battle, but since this world is designed around Livia, it makes total sense that nothing bad would happen during her romantic confession scene(s).
• Even in a life-or-death battle, the boys are trying to show off for the girls in the hopes of finding a good bride.
• Roseblade continues to be a class act, praising Livia’s talent in battle.
• The enemy Princess actually cares for the monsters she has turned into weapons. That’s a great bit of nuance to her character.
• I wonder why Leon used rubber bullets. Is it because he wants to sue for peace and is trying to keep things non-lethal so both sides have an easy way out? Or is it simply that he didn’t want to kill people in front of Angie?
Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.