Previously, Keyaru genderbent himself to take advantage of Blade's sexual predator tendencies and caught the Sword Hero when her guard was down. The previous episode was lukewarm, at best, with the biggest disappointment being the static fight scene.
Something that I forgot to mention is that in the light novel and manga, Blade was much crueler to her victims and would use grotesque sex toys, too. Obviously, I'm not going to show them here because site rules, so search at your own risk. My guess is that the anime took this aspect out because of the depiction of genitals albeit fake ones. If you thought the anime version of Blade is totally degenerate, she's worse in the light novel and manga.
The anime directly picks up where Ep. 10 ended. Keyaru uses his heal powers on the unconscious Blade to extract information about Norn's plans on Buranikka. He takes Blade to a random theater where he subjects her to a cruel and unusual game. Keyaru has drugged up 3 men on a hunger and lust potion and if Blade wants to live, then she needs to pleasure them or otherwise, she will be eaten.
Keyaru (as Keara) swirling his wine as he explains to Blade the rules of his "game".
And so, the game begins as Keyaru (still in his genderbent state, by the way) sits in front of the stage, enjoying some lamb chops and wine. Midway through, he decides to give Blade "support" (more like sabotage) by changing his appearance and voice to Princess Flare. Thinking that the fake Flare is real, Blade's heart breaks and loses her will to keep going. Cannibalized by the 3 men, Blade dies and her sword, Ragnarok, returns to its original state, an orb. Triumphant, Keyaru takes the orb and laughs on his way out.
Blade subjected to Keyaru's "game" for his revenge.
Keyaru meets up with the merchant Karman again, but immediately senses danger when Hawkeye Trist, one of the 3 heroes of Jioral Kingdom, approaches him from behind undetected. Hawkeye reveals that he knew Keyaru was spying on the Jioral army, though the latter plays it off as a mere investigation. The warrior also tries to recruit the protagonist to the kingdom, impressed by his alchemy skills. Keyaru declines and Hawkeye is about to leave before he gives him a stern warning to not meddle.
Keyaru puts his guard up against Hawkeye Trist.
The episode cuts to Keyaru alone in an inn room looking at the orb that used to be Blade's Ragnarok. He touches the orb and demands it to give him the power that he needs to "save" the world. The holy armament grants him the power and transforms into a gauntlet (with a creepy eye) called Georgius. Amazed by its potential, Keyaru breaks out into a maniacal laugh. Just moments later, another sex scene.
Keyaru acquiring Georgius.
The next day, Norn presents herself to the citizens of Buranikka. She claims that the demons are taking advantage of the humans and the humans are brainwashed. Some of the citizens protest against her bogus allegations and it escalates to the point that one of the townspeople attempts to assassinate Norn. It turns out that it was staged so Norn can find the excuse to indiscriminately execute the townspeople.
The Jioral army massacring the citizens of Buranikka.
Unfortunately, among the chaos, the Jioral soldiers kill Karman as he tries to help the others escape. Keyaru finds him, but it is too late and he swears revenge on the soldiers. He summons Georgius, which turns outs to have auto-healing capabilities, and goes on a rampage. Meanwhile, Norn is wondering why the feudal lord of Buranikka still has not surrendered. The episode concludes with a random soldier informing her that a mysterious swordsman is wreaking havoc on the army.
Keyaru devastated by Karman's death.
The anime did Blade's punishment was better than Leonard's punishment. The latter was rushed while Blade's scene brought more sense of cruelty. Compared to how the manga depicted the same scene, the anime version was a lot less graphic with the cannibalism. However, I was mildly entertained when Keyaru enjoyed the "show" with some lamb chops and wine.
I felt that the anime did a good job depicting Hawkeye Trist as a legitimate threat. He managed to sneak up on Keyaru undetected and demonstrated advanced battle sense. The one strength I can give the anime credit for is that it does a good job portraying the antagonists as legitimate threats. This applies to Norn as well with her speaking and manipulation skills.
The weakest part of the episode, in my opinion, is Karman's death. It was not that his death was done in a contrived manner. Rather, in hindsight, the anime telegraphed his death too obviously. In the previous episode, Keyaru warned Karman about the Jioral Kingdom. I'm not a "Manga > Anime" supremacist, but the manga handled Karman's character better. In fact, it was a different character altogether as Karman is anime-only.
Karman's equivalent in the manga is an unnamed demi-human who owns a pastry shop. For simplicity's sake, I'll call her Cake Lady. She made her first appearance (Ch. 20.1) when Keyaru ordered a slice of her cakes as he did some reconnaissance (the Cake Lady's shop was right across the restaurant that the Mad Cow tribe destroyed). Like in the anime, Keyaru was ambushed by members of the tribe to find Eve's location which also wrecked Cake Lady's establishment. However, he later came back to give her a large sum of money as an apology (Ch. 20.2). Cake Lady made another appearance when Keyaru's party enjoyed her cakes before Hawkeye Trist surprised them (Ch. 26.2).
Cake Lady explaining her backstory to a disguised Keyaru. Credit: LH Translation
Even though Cake Lady had no name, she was more relatable than Karman. For one thing, she actually had a backstory when she shared to Keyaru how her shop came to be. Her reaction to Keyaru compensating for the wreckage of her shop was pretty wholesome. Compared to Karman's personal goal, Cake Lady's was more humble. When she died in the manga (Ch. 27.2), I felt really bad for her. Not to mention, there weren't any obvious death flags.
That isn't to say Karman was a bad minor character. He played a pivotal role on tipping Keyaru on Blade's habits and the anime did a decent job developing their relationship. However, I would be lying if I said his death was more impactful than Cake Lady's.