This episode felt like filler in every sense of the word. When Helck and Vermilion boarded their ship and started heading back for the main continent, I figured that about half of the episode would be spent on the journey but that it wouldn’t take long for us to reach land and hopefully continue back to the main demon kingdom. I was half right because what we ended up getting was an episode that felt like pit stops to pad out the runtime before we got some semblance of a plot revelation at the end. Even then, depending on how the next episode plays out, this might not have even been a plot revelation and instead, just something done for the sake of ending the episode on a cliffhanger. I haven’t read this far in the manga so it’s hard to say.
The comedy carried this episode because it wasn’t doing much for me, narratively and visually. I liked the joke of how Helck out-swam the boats Vermilion was using to get to the mainland. The monster-looking village priestess with a high-pitched cute voice was pretty funny, especially the whole bit with the wooden shackles being pointless. Helck beating the barbarians by literally bitch slapping them was great. But aside from that, there was nothing impressive about this episode visually, and the overall speed of the animation felt mind-numbingly slow.
Helck fighting that giant sea creature was probably only five minutes, but it felt like fifteen. Then, the battle with the barbarians at the end was still shot after still shot after still shot. I could understand if we had come off the heels of a very intensely animated episode, but we’ve barely gotten anything even close to noteworthy animation before this point, which makes the presentation even worse. I hope this is the only detour we’re taking and that next week gets us back on track.