Here in the final episode of Skeleton Knight in Another World we get exactly what we’ve come to expect—ie, Arc laughing with joy as he shows off just how overpowered he truly is. In this case, it’s him going pro-wrestler on a literal kaiju before summoning his own kaiju for some tag-team action. While there is little in the way of danger (even after that showcase of Arc’s weaknesses last week), it’s still a fun bit of spectacle.
But the true meet of the episode comes not from Arc and his fight but rather from Ariane’s as she and Chiyome take on Fumba. While we only get a few quick scenes of backstory for Fumba this episode, what we learn completely changes not only how we see him as a character but how he fits in to the story thematically. Up until this point, Fumba has been little more than a clichéd psychopathic thug. He doesn’t respect authority, brainwashes and rapes women, and murders people without a second thought. He’s easy to hate and is a completely dispensable villain. However, behind this violent bravado is a problem that’s all too familiar for our heroine: insecurity.
Thematically, Fumba is a twisted reflection of Ariane. Both of them are from insular societies, both of them are extremely talented, and both are starved for approval from those they respect. But here’s where they differ. Fumba rebelled against his inferiority complex in the unhealthiest way possible. He came to believe that he was so amazing that his elders were jealous—that’s why they wouldn’t acknowledge him. This inflated his ego and made him desperate to prove his strength to the world by beating down others—especially those who looked down on him.
Ariane, on the other hand, was suffering in the shadow cast by her sister and mother. No matter what she accomplished, she felt that it paled in comparison. But then she met Arc—a man with unimaginable power—who found her amazing just as she was. His very existence challenged the worldview that she had trapped herself in. Not only did he make her feel important, but he also showed her that humans were not all evil—despite her constantly being exposed to the worst humanity had to offer. Arc showed her that anyone can be a hero. All they have to do is open up their heart and help those in need.
While Ariane doesn’t know Fumba’s backstory, she easily sees in him who she might have become if it weren’t for Arc—a person seeking physical strength while lacking strength of character. And now that she has found that inner strength thanks to her adventures with Arc, she can see just how pathetic Fumba is. She knows he is a coward at heart and will fight as such. It’s an easy victory for her—especially as Ariane has Chiyome watching her back while Fumba’s twisted personality has left him without any true allies.
This conclusion to Ariane’s arc really serves to elevate this final episode by making it a character piece as much as an action climax. It also works as a great capstone to the series as a whole, making it her story as much as Arc’s. All in all, this episode is an excellent ending to a surprisingly entertaining series.
• I admit, Ifrit just sitting there waiting for his summon timer to run out got a laugh out of me.
• Oh yeah, that town of people is totally going to start worshiping Ifrit.
• Gotta love Arc forgetting he never told Chiyome his secret.
• Interesting. So, there is The Holy Revlon Empire and The Great Revlon Empire—and they used to be a single country. And while Dakares was backed by The Holy Revlon Empire, Sekt is backed by The Great Revlon Empire.
• It’s kind of a letdown that Sekt’s whole reaction to his sister not only being alive but having made peace with the elves is basically “huh.”
• Ariane no longer being tasked with rescuing elves in The Holy Revlon Empire implying that the princess promised to save the elves not only in her own country but in the Revlons as well. I feel like this is a promise she might not be able to keep. I mean, she’s basically promising to start an underground railway in a pair of enemy nations and that sounds like she’d be giving them the prefect excuse to start a war.
• It’s a nice final character note that, upon being freed of her duty, Ariane doesn’t even consider parting ways with Arc.
• If I had any complaints for this series overall, it would be that Chiyome got the short end of the stick as far as character development goes. But something tells me that if we ever get a second season, that will be quickly rectified.
• Thank you all for joining me on this season-long journey. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these reviews—I’ve certainly enjoyed writing them. May we all meet again for Skeleton Knight in Another World 2: The Search for More Money.
Skeleton Knight in Another World 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.