The panel for the season two premiere of The Eminence in Shadow started strong with host Jacki Jing stepping on stage wearing robes that looked exactly like everyone’s favorite edgy dark ringleader, Shadow. The hall was full of cheering sounds, with fans ready to see what fate had in store for Shadow Garden. Before that, though, we got a few words from the voice of Shadow himself, who entered the stage with the iconic line “I need more power! “in English.
Seiichirō Yamashita flexed his English speaking skills for a little bit and even praised Jacki’s outfit. However, the rest of the Q&A was handled with an interpreter, though Yamashita would break into English occasionally to show his enthusiasm. He was asked what he thought about Anime Expo, to which he commented on the sheer size of it compared to what you see in Japan and how there are so many cosplayers, particularly those of One Piece, Spy×Family, and Dragon Ball. He was also surprised that The Eminence in Shadow was as popular as it was, especially when Jacki pointed out that it is the most-viewed series on HIDIVE.
When he first saw Cid, Yamashita pointed out that he thought the character was crazy but eventually knew exactly what he was about. There were even moments where he had to record certain lines several times until they got it just right. Jacki explained that her favorite scene was when Cid first wakes up at the beginning of the series as a baby, whereas Yamashita commented that his favorite scene was when Cid pretends to take a dump. There was even a nice conversation about who everyone thought the best girl was, with Jacki and Yamashita asking the audience. Yamashita commented that Cid is so popular with the ladies because he knows when to withdraw and has confidence in everything he does. Cid is a very passionate character, and to Yamashita, it’s similar to what he thinks it means to be a voice actor. When asked if he had any advice for aspiring voice actors, he said that you need to really be in love with the art of acting and do everything you can to keep that passion alive. He never thought he would be here and wants to do his best for everybody who enjoys his work.
On that beautiful note, we drove right into the premiere episode proper, which starts with a zoomed-out ass shot, so I think it’s safe to say we’re in good hands. In all seriousness, though, it’s very on-brand how The Eminence in Shadow is simultaneously one of the most serious and least serious shows I have ever seen. It’s setting the stage for the next arc in a town where crime is running amok with three powerful lords overseeing the land. There is torture and death at every corner. Yet there’s a rapid and brief montage of everything that happened in season one that explains absolutely nothing.
The animation was fluid and explosive as usual, but my favorite part was the running gag towards the end of the episode, where Cid comes across a vampire killer that saves his life while dropping some cool lines. She so enamors him that he runs all over town killing vampires just to deliver the same cool lines to random citizens. I think this episode perfectly sums up the appeal of The Eminence in Shadow, and if you are a fan of season one, then I think you’ll find we’re off to a good start. I can’t wait to continue the series, and with the announcement that this will be HIDIVE’s first simuldub for season two, we fans have plenty of options to enjoy Shadow’s antics.