Title: Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, まおゆう魔王勇者
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy
Romance Duration: 23 min. per episode
After a long and treacherous journey, our Hero finally arrives at the Dark Lady’s castle only to find himself being asked for help. The Hero explains how the war that the demons have brought upon the humans have killed thousands and put more in misery. The queen of demons however argues that this war has made the human society band together as one and showed empirical evidence how it has increased population, increased production, boosted economy and improved society overall. Furthermore, she explains to the Hero that ending this war will result in a civil war that will produce more bloodshed than there ever was. The Hero, convinced that the only way to bring peace, relatively speaking, is to join forces with the Dark Lady, agrees to help with her plans!
Fansubs watched: FFF
This series had anticipation from many viewers since most of the cast is from the lovable Spice and Wolf series- which I have not seen yet, go sue me. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha or henceforth Maoyuu, is an anime about a hero and the Demon King, or Demon Queen, and the struggle between the battle between humans and demons. But having a staff from Spice and Wolf, this isn’t the case. Regardless, the first episode has left me with a pretty good impression. Also, giant boobs are still unneeded in any context.
For over 15 years a war has been waged between humans and demons. It has been a costly war with casualties on both sides. The human king has sent a band of heroes to slay the Demon King himself to stop the war. But, the hero Yuusha arrives at the Demon King’s castle to find out that the king was a queen, a lovely queen. The hero readies his sword but the queen is everything different to what Yuusha has hoped for; she is courteous, kind and has large breasts. The Demon King; Maou, has a red dress, detachable horns and ruby eyes. Yuusha, the hero was set on destroying the leader of the opposing army, but Maou can be pretty persuasive. There is some chemistry between Maou and Yuusha and we know where this will go. Other characters include: three mages/witches who seem rather villainous- albeit one of them fits the hero’s party at the beginning, a female warrior and an old witty man who travelled with Yuusha, the king, prince and some other highly ranked people. Other than that, the majority of the episode is spent between Maou and Yuusha.
Maou has expected Yuusha to come and find her, and has something planned. Yuusha thinks that her defeat will mean victory and peace for the humans, but Maou says otherwise. The entire human kingdom has rallied and come together due to the war, and their economy boosted significantly. The king and other higher ups know that the war brings them money and aid from neighbouring kingdoms allowing them to live better lives. And Maou knows that as well, that ending the war would be disastrous for the humans and the demons as well, since it brought various groups together. Maou tells the hero that killing her will no stop anything, and offers something drastic, that they join forces and escape the war. Yuusha rejects the offer but Maou is insistent on it. She shows him his memories using a device, and tells him that many of the happy and luxurious events he attended were held because of the war. She then shows him one of her memories when she was younger, on a boat that flowed down a river bypassing hills. She asks him about the idea of going to the hilltop and find out what is pass the hill, but Yuusha is still reluctant. But Maou tells him her intentions to save the world and give it hope if he accepts the offer. After some flirtatious moments, Yuusha finally agrees to join forces with Maou. Maou accidentally knocks over the memory device, showing that she had practised hugging and kissing a pillow replica of the hero before. On so, the adventure begins between the hero and the Demon King, with detachable horns.
There have been many surprising themes and notions featured in this episode. The mentions of economy, purpose of war and all that meddlesome stuff is quite surprising that an anime would feature something like this. So the themes are really unique so far, if they pursue it, and there is one thing that catches my mind that may make this anime more mature, the line “Both you and I will have to do many horrible things” may hint that they will do some very dark stuff in the future. But it does seem unlikely that any haunting or traumatic moments may appear in the series, but these kind of twists will make the anime much better. But the economics of war, how war creates funding, jobs and other things are intriguingly done in the episode. Usually in anime, it would be that the demons are evil, war is bad and peace will be attained when war is over. But the episode shows more of a realistic occurrence, since the end of many wars in the real world, does not end in peace. The whole economics and portrayal of a famished nation is also an allusion to the real world, but I may be pushing it a little. It is nice to see more mature themes in anime, even if it is boring in real life.
The majority of the episode is focused on the conservations between Maou and Yuusha, but their conversations are not dull. Talks about the economy, how leaders treat war, the truths behind the war and its continuation are all to help build the premise and backstory of the anime. It has done a good job so far, but it may be slightly ruined by the fact that the Maou seems to be weak and needs Yuusha to protect her. She is the demon king after all, but she does not display any powers during the episode. Regardless, the focus on the remainder of the series seems to be between Yuusha and Maou as they travel through the various kingdoms to escape. The table of high tier douchebags may become villains later on and the prince does seem to be concerned about something. And the three female magicians had a weird scene, it does tell me that they have some part in the series, maybe something sinister. For now, the plot seems pleasant and some order of authority has been established.
But for me, the most enjoyable parts of the episode were the exchanges between Maou and Yuusha. Maybe I’m getting biased since I like Maou’s character and design. Yeah, I guess that’s it. But there are multiple funny moments throughout this episode, which is very nice. Most of it comes from Maou, and that doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is her large boobs, and not in the good manner. Those breasts have more fluid and jiggle animations than, dare I say, Senran Kagura! It is slightly overused- not as much as Senran- and serves no purpose other than to charm Yuusha, which I guess is a big point but something else could’ve been used instead. So their conversations are nice, and her character is sincere. The funny moments do give me a nice chuckle and they are tasteful jokes- to me anyways.
One complete positive note of the first episode thus far, is the visual aspect. The animation of the episode is damn good. The backgrounds are all detailed and colourful, the character designs are all lovely, and those ruby eyes. The artwork is all very pleasing the look at, the demon king’s castle looks stunning and so does the interior, or what we saw of it. And that scene on the boat, with the beautiful river running glistening in the sun, and green hills that look greener on any side, the colours just jump out to give candy to my eyes. Not only is the scenery done well, but the castles, homes and outlook of the kingdom looks very detailed. There are a few scenes with a water brush-like visual effect, and these too are done well. Another amazing visual plus, is the character designs. I have already expressed some of it about Maou, but maybe I will express some more. Her entire face just seems cute, the skin tone, luscious red hair and those god damn ruby eyes. Her demon dress is also quite nicely designed, and the detachable horns? They just want her to be a normal human character. But those large breasts are unneeded; too much jiggle can give some people motion sickness. The hero’s design as well is not too bad, though he looks feminine at times. His clothing represents the typical hero garb, and as for the other characters there isn’t much to comment on. Other than the great character designs, beautiful backgrounds and wonderful art design, there really isn’t much to say. If there’s anything about the animation fluidity, its fluid, so there’s that.
As for the music, most of the BGM gives a nice fantasy tone to it. At the best, it works well in painting a nice serene picture and background of the green hills and river. To my ears, it seems that the music is mostly piano driven. There is an opening and an ending in the anime and both are good. The opening is more of a traditional anime opening with a good J-pop song and multiple scenes detailing future and past events of the anime. The song itself is good and upbeat to listen to, and the visuals during the opening is all beautiful like the rest of the episode, and seems to be more fluid as well. The ending on the other hand, is more mysterious. The song has a slight echo to the vocals, which gives it an alien feeling, and the visuals themselves are historical records featuring Maou and Yuusha. Despite giving some odd vibes, I don’t really enjoy the ending song, since it does give me the odd vibes. The visuals themselves are neat, giving off a medieval vibe with the ye old England style writing and pictures.
Overall, I enjoyed this episode a fair bit. The story and premise seems intriguing, the visuals are drop dead gorgeous, the music isn’t bad and those god damn ruby eyes. The series seems to be headed in a focus on the infrastructure of economy, which isn’t either a bad thing or a great one. Though, it does open up many possibilities for the outcome of the anime. All in all, the first episode is enjoyable and I hope the others will be just as good. But seriously… those god damn ruby eyes!!!