By Nakaba Suzuki
Despite frequently being the butt of jokes, King is one of the series’ strongest characters, and this chapter shows off his capabilities in an extremely satisfying fashion. While his sacred treasure normally looks like a cute stuffed animal, its transformed form has a powerful presence about it. Not simply because it’s bigger and muscular, but because there is a clear weight and personality to its movements. Even in the first panel, the posture the creature is in shows it slouching, its weight dragging down its long fat arms and squashing its stumpy legs. This is in contrast with Drole’s golem, which stands strong and balanced. By depicting the treasure as more unstable than Drole’s golem, Suzuki implies the King’s reserves of power are so vast he has troubling controlling it, and it puts a strain on him. This subtly sets up how using the treasure’s full power depletes King’s stamina, as shown later in the chapter. While these details imply that Drole is more efficient as a fighter, it still creates the sense that King’s treasure is physically more powerful, a notion proven when it smashes the golem deep into the ground in a following two-page spread.
The most impressive display of King’s power comes when he uses his spirit spear to destroy the vines entangling Diane. The layout of the page is such that we’re shown thick beam of light penetrating the vines in a full page spread, and see King create and direct them from a smaller panel on the left. The contrast in the panel sizes doesn’t simply reflect the relative sizes of both characters, but also visually impresses by giving a sense that something small King does can have a massive, destructive effect. This is done again when King shoots his Chastiefol at the Gloxina servant. The spear is as long as Diane and very thin, but the explosive blast it creates upon hitting the Gloxina servant is shown to completely dwarf Diane’s body in size. Contrasting size is an effective means of showing the scale of a character’s power, and with someone as diminutive as King, it has a great effect in proving how formidable a fighter he is.
But some of the most intriguing bits in the chapter didn’t have to do with the fight itself, rather Gloxina’s reactions to it. As previously noted, Gloxina isn’t an impassive spectator in these fights, but is actively interested and enjoying how they play out. This is especially true of this fight, where Gloxina is essentially fighting King with a proxy. Gloxina moves from being impressed by King, to mocking him, to ultimately being shocked by what he’s capable of. When her proxy is destroyed, she lowers her head with a melancholy expression on her face, clearly disappointed that she lost. By contrast with the other Commandments, who are out for blood, Gloxina seems more invested in having a good fight, and her respect and humility at King’s skills characterizes her as less malevolent than she once seemed. Which adds an interesting layer to her normally malicious acts of violence against those who’ve disappointed her. It’s likely her primary goal is to simply have fun, and anyone who stands in the way or doesn’t provide that is useless to her, which is why she can kill so readily but can be honorable and amiable to those she respects. These new layers to her personality build upon the mystery behind her past and motivations, and after referring to King by the strange name of “Gerard,” the intrigue and possible connection between the two characters has only deepened.
With King exhausted, it looks like it’s up to Diane to finish the battle and defeat the Drole golem. This is a satisfying development: both characters will have equal opportunity to show their strengths, and it’s the combination of their efforts that will secure their victory. Since Diane hasn’t had a notable fight for a longer time than King, this is a good chance for Suzuki to reestablish her as a formidable fighter on par with the rest of her team. Now that Diane is “revved up,” it should be fun to see what new skills she’s developed during the time she was separated from the rest of the group, and seeing her character arc taking another step forward.