The Eminence in Shadow

The Eminence in Shadow

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m pretty sure by now that you are aware that when I start my review with the phrase “Ladies and gentlemen”, it means this one has been a long time coming and finally, I get to give you my thoughts on – The Eminence of Shadow.

The Eminence in Shadow or Japanese translation (Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute!) is a Japanese light novel series written by Daisuke Aizawa and illustrated by Tōzai. It began serialization online in 2018 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō.

The story follows Minoru who reawakens as Cid Kagenou, the second child of the noble Kagenou family, in another world—one where magic is commonplace.

With the power of magic that he so desperately desired finally within his grasp, he dons the moniker “Shadow” and establishes Shadow Garden: a group whose sole purpose is to combat the enigmatic Cult of Diablos, an organization born from Cid’s imagination or for who a better description – lies.

But what is it that makes this anime just so good even though it doesn’t have the prestige animation quality such as your boy’s favorite – One Piece, or emotionally triggering anime such as Attack on Titan?

Buckle up readers as this may very well be my most outrageous review yet. Hope you enjoy it.

Let’s start by first talking about the main reason that this show is so ridiculous, the protagonist Cid Kagenou.

Cid for whatever reason has always had the complex of being a superhero from the moment he could remember, and this wasn’t some stage like an adolescent phase that he would come to outgrow as time went by, no – this is something more defining and profound to him as a character and without it, he’d simply be an empty shell.

So from as young as he was, the boy trained himself in every martial art possible, mastering them all by the time he was in his teens. His always seen carrying a bag of weights along with him everywhere he went, challenging himself, mentally, and physically going so far as to help random people in danger just to test his abilities.

He adores and admires superheroes so much that he even created his vigilante name – Stylish Bandit Slayer. What kind of abomination of a name is that? Nevertheless, Cid is solely focused on becoming a superhero, mimicking their way of approach and behaviors, though there’s one major concern.

Cid is what I’d call, a borderline psychopath with a serious case of personality disorder. I’ll explain why later.

However, one day he thought to himself, what if a nuclear bomb would come his way, what would he possibly do then, that realization of his body having limits sent the boy into an uncontrollable frenzy seeking power that he accidentally ran into an oncoming trunk and dead.

Instead of going to paradise, he reawakens as the second child to the Kagenou Family, in a world where magic is common knowledge but what makes Cid different in this world is that he is born with an abnormal amount of magic and memories of his previous life that it would put even the most powerful person in this world to shame.

With this knowledge he decides to do the unthinkable by taking the role of a background character, playing a humble young brother to his older sister Claire who’s a prodigy with the sword in the day, and at night, he dons his moniker of “Shadow” going around killing bandits, dukes, pretty much anyone he deems evil without a second thought whilst happily taking a load of cash left behind by the bandits.

Though upon one fateful night, during his night of the runs killing frenzy, he finds this grotesque creature carried by the bandits overflowing with magic and decides to take it along with him to experiment on. And this is where things get absurdly weird.

After spending a month experimenting on this creature, the blob transforms into a young beautiful elf and the first thing that comes to Cid’s mind is to make up a whole story about how The Cult of Diablos kidnapped her along with others, turning them into twisted malformed creatures, essentially recruiting her to join his organization – Shadow Garden.

Right of the bat, the elf believes him and immediately goes out and recruits six more of those grotesque blobs, again killing any bandit in near sight of these blobs, and all of them turning into alluring babes, meanwhile, this entire time I don’t know what is going on, where the story is going but the one thing that I do know is that Cid is lying out of his Arss.

The boy is pulling lies after lies one after the other as if he has an abundant amount of toilet paper. This reminds me of the first time Covid-19 struck, the first thing that ran out at any supermarket was toilet paper, what a coincidence lol…

Anyway, back to the review. A day before Claire is supposed to leave for college, is it discovered that she is nowhere to be found and may have been kidnapped by bandits, Cid calls his seven shadows to go out and find the whereabouts of the kidnappers only to find out that the people that took Claire are part of the organization, Cult of Diablos.

This elevates the story in such a crazy way because now, everyone else besides Cid knows what’s going on. Cid is forever making up stories and yet those stories are inevitably the truth, though Cid himself doesn’t believe a word his saying, the people around him believe it.

Cid simply believes that the seven shadows are simply playing along with his kid’s games of Shadow Garden, completely unaware that everything he has said is true and that he is the leader of an organization that has over 600 well-trained fighters.

After everything is said and done, without a doubt the one aspect that makes this show spot-on amazing to watch is his need to be a background character.

I’ve seen a lot of anime in my days but never have I seen a more direct and self-obsessed character that is willing to die all for the sack of being recognized as a background character.

There is a moment during a terrorist attack at their school when a princess is about to be killed as a way of setting an example to the rest of the hostages to stop resisting, and upon this realization, Cid from the back of the classroom runs in a panic to receive the sword attack from the terrorist, all because he believes that background characters should be the first to die, which turns out incredibly well for him because now, the princess has fallen over hills in love with him.

The Eminence in Shadow is convoluted and hilarious, its power scaling is none existent but the story is mesmerizing. I remember after watching the first three episodes, the opening track would not stop playing in my head, I mean it felt like I was lost in trance.


Not to mention, everything about this show is over the top, from the dramatic effects to Cid’s signature move “I am Atomic” which will leave you speechless as to how a person can cause such a devastating attack without thinking twice about the casualties.

I guess in the end, my hardest challenge about comprehending this Isekai, is that, I simply cannot wrap my head around how the most god-forsaken broken character can try so hard to be to stay in the background, it blows my mind every time.

There are no relationships in this story, Cid would rather go out and put his life on the line rather than have a decent conversation with his sister, who strangles him to near death whenever she gets the chance.

The seven shadows seem more like groupies which Cid only views as cosplay characters that are only playing along with him since he saved them.

Each episode makes the previous one seem smaller and non-relevant because you never truly know what is about to happen, who are you going to meet, and how that one new individual is going to steer things up.

I give The Eminence in Shadow a 4.5 out of 5 rating for its complete insanity and lack of fundamentals. You can tell the story is made up but it still flows, taking you down the rabbit hole with it.

Let me know whether you agree or disagree with my review in the comments section below.

Sorry for the long review but this show has stolen what’s left of my heart.

Until next time, stay blessed.The Eminence of Shadow
Star Ratings

Daisuke Aizawa

When I was in junior high school, my thinking was shallow, and it was really [Chūnibyō] or something like that. As I grew older, my perspective broadened and I began to see things from different perspectives and angles, and I thought it was time for me to express [this is how I think]. That’s why the main characters in my work are all like that (laugh). What Cid values this time is a [powerful man behind the scenes]. I myself do not have such a feeling (laugh), but I made that part of my work accordingly.

Minoru reawakens as Cid, the second child of the noble Kagenou family, in another world—one where magic is commonplace. With the power he so desired finally within his grasp, he dons the moniker “Shadow” and establishes Shadow Garden: a group whose sole purpose is to combat the enigmatic Cult of Diablos, an organization born from Cid’s imagination.
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