The problem with creating a historical anime is frequently similar to that of adapting a manga or video game: oftentimes, the author has to resort to filler or fan-service materials to clumsily meet the airing requirements for shows. However, an axiom that directors ought to familiarize themselves with is that quality is invariably better than quantity.
Thankfully, this inference only applies to certain aspects of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, a recent adaptation of the original light novels under the same name.
Set in a time period of gruesome wars to political corruptions, Maoyuu depicts a fantasy world where humans and devils are fighting for the ultimate authority, while
exploring the infrastructures involved in wars. Despite it falling under the fantasy genre, Maoyuu brings many historical references into play--from the great innovations of the Discovery age (such as the compass, movable type prints, etc.) to the spread of crops like potato and corn into the agriculture industry. Moreover, it is reminiscent of a certain series that many of us could've never forgotten--Spice and Wolf.
Better known for its formula of enchanting romance, Spice and Wolf consists of a very similar antique structure in the way that it handles its plot, drama, world-building, and specifically, the daily lives of merchants. While this may sound bland, Spice and Wolf manages to make it work with a recipe of individual arcs for concentrated purposes, and thus, the viewer can gain a fine viewing of diverse episodes with several delightful, piquant subjects at hand.
If Spice and Wolf is a mix between curry and rice, then Maoyuu would surely be a mix between potatoes and candy bars; since, it is neither a smart combination nor a completely satisfying experience. Still, it's only in comparison that one is weaker than the other. The steady, episodic approach that Maoyuu employs very much stands out on its own.
A scaffolding plot, after all, is better than none at all. The story of Maoyuu starts out with our protagonist Yuusha, a hero siding with the humans, not expecting the beautiful demon queen Maou, whose only wish was to negotiate with him, in the heart of the demons' castle. After their fated meeting, Yuusha then embarks on a journey at Maou's will, and each episode continues with mini-stories about Yuusha's encounters and findings for a seemingly nonexistent reason.
Whereas, it is fairly obvious from the start that Yuusha has difficulties conveying his true intentions for Maou, and oftentimes these misunderstandings are used for comedic purposes as well as entertainment. Although repetitive, the several quirks that Maou and Yuusha begin to form do add onto the character interaction, and definitely made certain arcs more interesting.
However, side characters do abruptly intervene in the capital of romance arcs, usually with very few good reasons for doing so, and thus, some developments can turn out stagnantly without progression. Most side characters also have very little to offer, ranging from a delusive maid to female knights like Onna Kishi. At times, female characters would surround Yuusha in herds, and it becomes questionable whether or not pandering to the audiences was the purpose. And, although some characters were satisfyingly fleshed out with conclusive stories, other individuals had trouble deciphering their prominent role in the series. Such abstruse matters also bring up the lack of characterization or any predisposition to determine the presence of a solid personality for specific characters, since most of the cast only experience trite developments.
Maou, for example, is best described by her acquaintance as "useless meat". Although Maou herself denies this, and claims at all costs the significant deeds that she has achieved and will, the fact of the matter remains that her role embodies a few inconsistent hiccups. At times, she continuously aims to resolve world peace, while the scenes which repeatedly follow her scholarly deliberations are abruptly placed daydreams of Yuusha. Such applies to the grander scale of Maoyuu as it deconstructs historical figures and side characters to bring concerns about the time period being depicted--the medieval ages. Contrarily, the portrayal of the church's public servants during prehistoric times may have exaggerated some of the exploitations, but Maoyuu does extensively illustrate the corruption which overtook officials of feudal societies. Additionally, a charming aspect of Maoyuu resides with how the characters were named after fantasy classes, which effortlessly resonated a lovely core. However, due its enormous cast, Maoyuu couldn’t engender insightful eccentricities for certain characters as it did for others.
Likewise, the character aesthetics in the series stuck with genuinely dull decorations as exemplified by Yuusha, whose character design emits the appeals of a generic, immutable male lead. Similarly, Maou has her own pairs of inflatable balloon issues, which many will see as being hackneyed and unoriginal.
However, the art directing, layouts for many of the map animations and arrangement of urban images are, in comparison, much better. Correspondingly, majority of the background frameworks and presentations also fulfill their duty in making a location look rural, metropolitan, or even appropriately hideous.
Music is undoubtedly one of Maoyuu's greatest assets. The original soundtrack entrances viewers with its vibrant nature, and likewise, the use of many instrumental pieces evokes an indelible atmosphere. With a spirited opening and ending theme, Maoyuu further enlivens its vigor. Correlation between the animation and music also paints an impressionable feeling for the series overall, and the seiyuus all befit their roles perfectly.
On the contrary, good narration doesn’t necessarily equal quality dialogue.
While the conversations in the series do present interesting observations about macroeconomics, some expositions on the networks of commerce can come off as brusque. Not only so, Maoyuu emphatically focuses on the construction of its own fantasy world, rather than the chronological order of its historical references, so some of the mentioned inventions furnish idealized timelines over what's factually correct. This, in turn, produces temporarily engrossing world-building, but it can also repeatedly bore or confuse the viewer with arbitrary elaborations on ultimately flimsy subjects.
From the tone of my writing, it may sound like the majority of Maoyuu is about monotonous history or economics; however, during the latter parts of the series character relationships take center stage, and action scenes transpire more often. As most climaxes do, the story delivers a closing end towards previously unresolved issues, and desolating sides of things take form in both dialogues as well as battles. This, in some ways, may dismay some audiences since the pacing relatively changes, but as a closure, many aspects of the show become a lot more tasteful and digestible even in spite of the several interrelated topics displayed.
Moderately diverse, Maoyuu is a series that really tries to bring something to the table for everyone, and in its mixture of historical references with fantasy themes, some of its themes are marred by oversimplified explanations. Although the stale, generic personalities some characters exhibit are very definite flaws, the majority of Maoyuu can still offer insights on the economic and strategic aspects of war, which shifts towards a manner infrequently attempted in its medium. It is most unfortunate, then, that this unique concept lacks the excitement its influences (Spice & Wolf) had obtained so gracefully. Perhaps if given a second season, the lackluster aspects of Maoyuu can do itself more justice through more concise yet lively handling of its themes, and its character relationships may become even more captivating. If nothing else, this series provides a fascinating outlook on the protocols and systems of commercial economics, but sadly, is a hero crippled by his towering boldness of attempting too many feats.
Despite its unfortunate flaws, Maoyuu can still compensate for its faults by further constructing its dynamic universe, but only if a sequel will be permitted to fully execute the conceptual values.
In any fantasy world, some beings just don't get along. Take for example, demons and humans. In order for two races to co-exist, they have to accept each others' values. Yet that dream is an overwhelming task to achieve because let's all face it, some things just don't mix well. It's been fifteen years since the war waged by the humans and demons have begun. After an awkward meeting and the revelation that the Demon King is in fact a female, the duo forms an alliance after some reluctant arguing. Hence, let the tale of a human male and demon female begin!
(Maoyu Maou Yusha, aka Archenemy and Hero) is an anime adapted series from a light novel that was originally “serialized” on 2ch. The series is written by Mamare Touno who is not well known but has recently made his debut. The LN has sold over 450,000 copies and here we are, the anime adaptation. As one of the first full length series to debut in 2013, it definitely needed to set the bar high. So without further ado, let's see if Maoyu lived up to the hype.
Maoyu follows the story of a hero and queen of demons as they seemingly join forces to bring about a new world. They desire a world of peace, a world without conflict, and a world where values and ideas are accepted without violence. The series begins with a lot of promise as in the format of a preview as to what's to come. In fact, our two main characters (from the poster) takes up most of the tv time as they engage in humorous dialogues and discusses their ways of changing the world. It is actually quite fresh and entertaining as viewers can see that the demons and humans are not so different. For instance, the demons themselves has their own code of ethnics and politics. They have their own ideologies and ways of thinking. To top it off, they also don't have actual or maybe I should say..physical features in the way some people may originally see them as.
To me, the series takes off with strange tropes and turns it into a rather refreshing series at first. I mean, we have an ordinary human and meets a not-so-ordinary demon king. Hero also gets a surprise from the fact that the Demon Queen is actually a female rather than what he originally expected. (a rather big breasted one if I may add...) The Demon Queen herself is shown to be not violent but rather trying to persuasive for her goals. It also sets up a state of prejudice at first between the races but as time goes on, it's shown that the duo can get along quite well. Even from the pilot episode, Hero seems convinced enough to join the Demon Queen despite her rather sophisticated dialogues. The dialogues themselves contains lengthy references to politics, economics, and a historical lesson rather than any violent backgrounds. In a entertaining way, it transforms the tale of struggle between humans and demons into a story of that almost seems to be educational at times. It's almost like watching the fantasy version of the Discovery Channel as the Demon Queen educates about trading and her ways of inventions.
The series maintains as a small cast of characters. Obviously, we have the two main stars of the series, Maou and Yuusha. They often go by their titles, Demon Queen and Hero respectively. In fact, many of the supporting cast seems to follow this trend. We have Onna Kishi known as the Female Knight, Onna Mahoutsukai known as the Female Magician, etc. Their names matches their respective titles and defines the role they play in. But perhaps the most interesting relationship in the series is between Hero and the Demon Queen. This is because they are nearly nothing alike, even in terms of being the same race. Hero seems to be a guy of using action rather than words of persuasion. On the other hand, Demon Queen seems to play the role of a politician and uses her intelligence. Yet upon closer examination, they get along quite well and intimate at times. This brings a problem of their relationship being too rushed. As a matter of fact, there is strong hints of romance between the duo already after the initial episode. To add to this relationship is a strong dose of fan service. The term “useless meat” becomes a recurring joke for the Demon Queen as she takes on the role of an eye candy. With or without horns, she retains her stature as a female that seems to allure viewers. This shouldn't come too much as as surprise though as the production studio Arms handles the series. Arms is known for its rough and sketchy ways of presenting fan service such as in Elfen Lied, Ikkitousen, and Queen's Blade. Their stance of producing lascivious visuals has been a long standing trend. In this case, Maoyu isn't off their charts.
As being labeled as an adventure genre, the series takes the fantasy theme well. There are the old medieval like architectures and maintains that feeling of being in a fantasy world. The way the characters are dressed reflects this theme of being in simple wear in the case of servants, modern in the case of the maids, and fancy in the case of high level authority figures. Hero's design sees him as a warrior and 'hero' as the title suggests him. On the other hand, there is Demon Queen who is dressed in an ornamental way that is elaborate and eye-catching. Unfortunately, some of her appearance is played as a joke like the “horns” on her hand and once again, the useless meat.
Speaking of useless, I find the fan service of this series to be just that. Even with the light humor, romance, and sweet moments, I find the fan service part of the series to be in the way and preventing Maoyu to shine itself. It is distracting and seems manipulative in some of the sweet dialogues that moves away the balance.
Other problems I've ran in to the series is the rather weak story based off the original premise. Some of the preceding episodes from the narrative prequel pilot almost seems like filler. It doesn't also help the fact that some of the jokes made throughout the series becomes a bit stale. Furthermore, Hero seems to attract other female characters of interest and creating some unfriendly rivalry for our Demon Queen. It falls under a track of insubstantial romance with a seemingly love triangle between her, Hero, and the Female Knight.
Maoyu also seems to adapt many of the same themes as another popular title that debuted a few years back. Fans of Spice and Wolf may notice many similarities such as the adventure style storytelling, theme of economics, fantasy setting, and even the main female protagonist shares the same seiyuu. It can make an impression for viewers who once again desire a taste of economics and adventure rather than the typical “save the world with swords and magic”. It does have some of that though but the majority of the series focuses more on the politics, economics, and the interactions between the Hero/Demon Queen.
In terms of artwork, the series did its job right. Despite some of the characters being serialized with the fan-service and presented in a gratuitous way, it maintains its background of the fantasy setting well. There is the elaborate landscapes, the majestic rivers, and plain rural backgrounds. The way the characters are dressed reflects off that old and classic feeling from the Dark Ages. It's the way that an adventure should be and maintains that theme well. At times though, it does look like the visual qualities of the show slows down. Yet, it maintain its fantasy posture well.
For soundtrack, I found the series to be only mediocre. Toshiki Kameyama plays the role of the sound director and he seems to give that feeling of smoothness and melody of the medieval ages. However, it is hardly noticeable or distinguishing itself from other fantasy theme series. The OP and ED songs also presents a style of primitive artwork in the style of the old medieval ages. It is just too simple and not unique enough in my estimation.
Ultimately, Maoyu is an adventure series that I have mixed feelings on. From one standpoint, it is a fun and entertaining series with our lovable duo. Their interactions and dialogues makes a first impression but that later becomes repetitive and stale. The way fan service is presented becomes a source of diversion rather than some comedic fun. It is comedic in some ways though but ultimately, it doesn't achieve its goal. However, there are instances where the series launches itself with its fresh way of adventure story. It is a story about a Hero, a Demon Queen, and the plan they hope to achieve in order to make the world a better place. I just hope they succeed and achieve glory for what they strive for.
The success of "Spice and Wolf" probably came as a surprise to most. Who'd have thought a dialogue-heavy fantasy anime about economics on the surface but powered by the chemistry between the lead characters underneath would sell, right? But sell it did, and someone must have extrapolated that there's a under-tapped market for such an anime, because the next thing you know, along comes "Maoyu Maou Yusha", a show so blatantly similar to "Spice and Wolf" (the fantasy settings, the economic lectures, moe heroine sporting ginger hair and unusual strength of character and intelligence, etc etc) that people immediately started labelling it "Spice and Wolf
with Tits". And yes, the show puts a degree of emphasis on "tits", presumably because someone also extrapolated that the "Spice and Wolf" formula could be improved by providing the heroine with a pair of giant knockers to shake around in front of the cameras at every opportunity.
But an improvement it ain't. And by sharing so many things with "Spice and Wolf" (including a big chunk of the staff), "Spice and Wolf with Tits" - or just SaWT for short - naturally invites comparisons with the material that inspired it. Alas, it's a comparison which ultimately does SaWT no favours because it falls so far short. But perhaps I'm being overly harsh on the show; it does deserve plaudits for putting some interesting twists into the age-old humans vs demons script.
The show starts with humans and demons at war with each other, and the Hero - literally named "Hero" - storming the demon king's castle solo to try and end the war. The demon king (and guess what the demon king is called) surprisingly turned out to be an attractive girl with big bouncy breasts instead of a giant frothing monster with razor fangs. What also surprised Hero was her personality: she spoke a remarkable amount of sense, and, with a few well chosen arguments, demolished the pre-conceptions the Hero had regarding humans, demons, and the nature of the war. Bewitched by Demon King's silver tongue and hypnotised by her jiggling assets, Hero agrees to co-operate with her mission to set the world to rights with wisdom rather than wars.
SaWT started a little rough, but its concept got me interested enough to continue watching. Most of the first half helped maintain my interest, mostly with the way Demon King went about changing the world through education, introducing new technologies, new ways of doing things and new ways of thinking. And it's this, and not the interaction between the main leads that's the focus of SaWT. But that's not a bad thing, because while the nuanced interaction between the protagonists excels as one of the greatest strengths of "Spice and Wolf", that same aspect is one of greatest weaknesses of SaWT. I realise things are supposed to be a bit awkward between the ridiculously shy leads, but the insepid dialogue and overblown romance cliches make a combination cringe-worthy enough to embarrass a 3rd rate romance novelist.
While showing some initial promise, the show soon started falling apart. SaWT has a major problem of being overly self conscious of what it's trying to do, and so very little of what it does feels natural. Speeches about the ways of the world is almost condescendingly delivered through long expositions that's aimed more at the viewer than the other characters. Then there are Demon King's inventions: she starts off introducing things like crop rotations methods, but soon began inventing one major technology after another, like some kind of Thomas Edison raised to the third power. What's more, her contributions span across ludicrously diverse fields, from agriculture to medical science to navigation, to name a few; nearly every episode she conjures up something new. In one episode, someone other than her actually managed to invent something (namely, sparkling orange juice, aka Fanta), and, determined not to be outdone, Demon King invents not one but TWO things during that episode (and no, Coke isn't one of them). By the half way point of the series, I felt like I was watching some game like Civilisation being played, with the Demon King way ahead of the other players in researching the tech tree comprising mankind's greatest ideas and inventions.
If Demon King is guilty of over-performing in her role, Hero is guilty of the opposite: as one half of the central protagonist pair, he simply doesn't carry his weight. While Demon King busied herself with changing the world, Hero spends the first half just tagging along and doing very little beyond admiring her. Though later he does goes off to distant lands and contribute to Demon King's plans there, we rarely see what he does because the story is still mostly focused on Demon King and her endless output of inventions. In fact, the imbalance issue extends to everyone else, too: the Demon King seems so intelligent that she makes the show kind of boring, and everyone else seems so dim that they can't do anything until Demon King bestows onto them her pearls of wisdom; you have to wonder how the human race managed to hold off extinction.
SaWT also has pacing problems. While I enjoyed the gentle strolling pace of world changing used for the first part of the series, the global politics quickly escalated to the point where I struggled to follow. Everything had began changing in all the different nations, half of which the show failed to properly establish in the first place, and I'd also started getting lost in all the economic babble, perhaps due to my own meagre knowledge. The show simply accelerates away during the later parts and finishes in unbeseeming haste, leaving one giant political mess, full of dangling plot strands and badly explained developments, in its wake.
But there I go again, coming down quite hard on the show. I do have a degree of respect for what SaWT tried to do, but the problem is that it simply did not do a good job. While it captured my interest early on, I struggled to get through the series as it progressed. It may not be a show devoid of intelligence, but it needed to be more intelligently written; it may not be a bad show, but it's far from being good. I guess it's just too much to expect a show that sought to improve upon something noted for its writing by throwing in a pair of big tits to amount to anything beyond A Good Try. And A Good Try is all SaWT managed to be.
Fantasy isn't quite like it used to be nowadays, or at least it doesn't want to be. Tolkien-like stories of great heroes and their adventures in the world inspired by Medieval are considered old news; now fantasy likes to be dark, edgy and bitter, showing the "true rough nature" of the world. There are good examples of such "mature" fantasy, the Witcher, for example, much as I dislike its focus on angst over substance. Often, though, it just comes down to buckets of blood and a lot of sex scenes (yeah, so mature) with no depth to it.
This anime's take on modern fantasy and overall
Medieval is different and much more appealing, to me, at least. Oh, it doesn't hesitate to show how rough it can be but it chooses to introduce economics into its world. The premise is that demons are at war with humans, and finally a hero with three sidekicks gets close to stopping the war (of course he does, it's the plot of any party-based RPG ever) and heads off to kill the Satan. Who turns out to hate war herself and, in turn, tells him she actually wants to stop the war. He agrees to help her, and the rest of the show more or less focuses on her plans and their consequences.
Most of these plans revolve around reforming agriculture, economics and so on. In the beginning it felt similar to Spice and Wolf: there are two main characters falling in love, the female is going to introduce some clever schemes, the atmosphere is equally warm, even the two leads are played by the same actors. However, Maou's ideas are all pretty simple, the intrigue comes not from the plans themselves but from the effect they have on people and, ultimately, on the country. The plot is coherent but seems to be episodic at times, partially because of the inevitable time jumps, as such reforms require time to actually take effect.
This one is difficult to talk about, for it's really hard to point out one single element that makes the anime good; it's mostly the little touches. For example, I really enjoyed watching the Hero for many reasons, one of them being that he asks an interesting question: what is there for a hero to do after the war has concluded? He won, awesome, so what's next? This character seeks peace to begin with, and his interactions with Maou only serve to keep him on this path, while he actually can only function in times of war. The question of what war means to different people is an interesting one, and it's explored from different angles throughout the show. There is no clear answer, though, which might irritate people; me, personally, I hate when such questions get a clear answer, ambiguity is what makes the topic interesting to begin with. Many issues are addressed, some in a rather unusual light; for example, merchants tend to place profit before everything else - is this bad? Not necessarily, as this series suggests, one character was turned from an obvious and boring "heartless douche" type almost into someone to root for without any real change whatsoever. I have actually thought of a thing to praise here: the writing.
The characters are good when they are given enough time to shine, I'd like to see more of the Mage with her split personality (for once, it's not a villain who has it), for example. Maou is interesting in that she's clearly wise and cunning but still childish and innocent, which overall makes her all the more appealing. Yuusha is pretty lighthearted and not that smart, though intelligent enough to understand his problems and limited usefulness; to his credit, he doesn't fall into angst, he always tries to help people. So, yeah, he's the Hero, no real surprise there. There obviously is a romance between these two (as usual with the characters voiced by these actors - Lelouch and Kallen, Lawrence and Horo), there is even a love triangle with the Knight lady, though this is the weakest part of the show. Don't get me wrong, the main couple's interactions are mostly nice but it leads to many unnecessary moments, like, say, discussions of boobs, which is always classy. It doesn't feature fanservice, though.
The supporting cast consists of a variety of characters, some of which evolve throughout the series, others are interesting as they are. There are, of course, those who mostly serve as a throwaway joke or are ultimately pointless (the Old Man, the little servant girl, the Dragon Princess) but they almost always are there to complement someone else's personality, so it's not distracting. In the end, they do reflect the world they live in and present interesting possibilities for the writers to take advantage of. More than enough for me.
The art and the score both serve to reinforce the aforementioned warm atmosphere and yeah, they work. It's not the sharp drawing style I usually enjoy but it's justified here. Everyone looks unique, particularly Maou, who is not drawn like your usual anime nice girl but instead opts for a more mild kind of beauty, which is refreshing in a female lead. The voice acting is awesome: practically all significant characters are voiced by someone whom I have heard and liked before (be it in Code Geass or Rozen Maiden), and they do a good job here too.
Overall, I really enjoyed the show. Yeah, it doesn't really pay off in terms of the romance, and the story can feel somewhat unfinished, particularly with the ending being only semi-happy but I really like to see real world economics and serious issues like cultural diversity being brought into fantasy world. It makes for an intelligent plotline with believable outcomes for all actions and allows the creators to show how Medieval actually progressed. This is what I'm going to think of now when I think "Modern Fantasy". A great anime.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is one of those animes where although it is enjoyable to watch there seems to be too many issues to really give it a high recommendation. Maoyuu draws you into its grand plot and characters however they really fail to develop primarily due to it only being a 12 episode anime.
Set in a medieval fantasy world in which the human race and demon race are at war for territory and power, the story follows the human Hero and the female Demon King (They are simply referred to by these titles) who team together to solve the underlying reasons the war;
The Demon King can be seen as the brains of the operation and the Hero as a diplomat to some extent. Their idealistic belief to ending war by ending poverty, and advancing technology is quite a grand idea in that it takes time to really make such significant changes. The Demon Kings new ideas and technology such as new farming techniques and promoting education require lengthy periods of time before results are seen. The anime acknowledges this by numerous time skips, almost a year had past by the 4th episode and despite moving the plot forward it resulted in hardly any character development.
The anime constantly alludes to this magical world where the Hero is off saving Fairy's and helping Dragon type Demons but never dwells into it. It also begins with an almost instant romance between the Hero and the Busty Demon King but again fails to develop it. The show seems to struggle in deciding what is wants to be. It addressees intellectual themes such as economics, religion and social intolerance. Then flirts around with a love triangle between the Hero, Demon King and the Blonde knight. And while they are enjoyable to watch in the end both themes feel rushed and it it fails to conclusively resolve either. I should also add that the fan service seemed out of place.
One of the reasons this show is enjoyable is that it has likable characters. I liked the idealistic main characters The Hero and Demon King, they were powerful around others but so confused around each other, i would have liked to see development into their romance rather than just being forced into accepting it, that being said nothing really happened. The rest of the characters all had a purpose with different backgrounds and seemed to fit well into the Demon Kings plan. The majority of characters were human and it would've been great to see things from the Demon perspective.
The artwork in this anime is mixed. There were times when the background was just great with detail and color, other times it was like looking at blobs of green and brown supposedly resembling a forest or farm. I found the character design to be pretty good, nothing that set it apart but good nonetheless. Overall its highly watchable since this is a dialogue heavy anime but really average in quality. The same can be said for the sound.
Overall this anime was actually quite enjoyable but i can not recommend an anime that leaves its plot so incomplete. The overall feel to the show is somewhat rushed, it needed more time to invest in the characters and plot.
This season seemed to lack a lot of luster for me till i saw the picture for this anime that stirred my curiosity. After watching the first half of this anime i already know where it intends to go and i can see the increase and quality every episode.
The Characters of this anime are all uniquely set in there role and Given names to reflect that. (Eg. Knight,Hero,Mage) I enjoy this method of naming cause it makes everyone really easy to remember and there role apparent from the start. It does away with a lot of formality by establishing the characters early. Then the show
continues to pepper in details and history's of the characters without having to take up large gaps of time in flash backs. All the characters seem to fit and act correctly in the settings and keep me personally very entertained.
The two Main characters are both transparent in there intentions and honest in expression. They convey feelings and thoughts to the viewer well with imagery and just body language alone. The Demon King/Crimson Scholar is by far the most showcased and deep character of the series with many ideologies and a innocent quality that does not leave you frustrated with the character. She maintains a well balanced innocence and maturity that keeps her from getting too preachy or too cold which makes you feel invested in her character more and more. The hero himself is not as much yet and you only are set up for more thing as the series progresses.
Visually the anime is fantastic with nice rural and cityscapes. I also like how the demon realm is kept realistic and not fantastical which makes the settings more engrossing. Every character is well made and clearly a individual with nobody looking recycled or reused for lack of inspiration. Everything looks vibrant and really alive in the color tones and the general lighting of scenes. I wish more anime did what this one did when trying to portray a world instead of recycled walk cycle backgrounds.
Sound quality is fine for this anime, the one thing id like to praise is the voice acting. There is not a single intolerable voice in this anime. Everyone sounds good and not abrasive or out of place. Even the little girl character who's supposed to be cute and adorable doesn't sound too over the top.
The story of this anime is where it shines brightest, after this first episode you realize this anime does not waste your time with unnecessary back story or plot it cuts out all the generic fat and gets down to business. It gives a clear and precise objective and establishes the main characters well and then it peppers in the details about them organically episode to episode so you actually get to know the character instead of entire episodes dedicated to back story. This also creates interest in many minor and major characters cause your shown bits and pieces of them and you start eagerly wanting more.
The story is actually pretty intelligent it uses fantasy elements in a almost realistic world only to enhance the story. It uses these enhancements well too considering how much of the show is based on the politics,economics and public perception on war. Though it uses really mature plot points like that it isn't above normal understanding, the show keeps it easily understandable for anyone. The show often surprises me with just how unexpected and original it can be with the progression and i am eager to see more of this series every week.
I enjoy this anime thoroughly and while it may not be a masterpiece it surely is worth a watch if you want to see something new and intelligent instead of rehashed and recycled plots. It is a pity that it will only be 12 episodes long and i hope they develop a second season with just a strong a value as the first.
[b]Maoyuu Maou Yuusha[/b]
Maoyuu was a great anime, at least the first episode and not because i didn't get the story, i got the story and i found it refreshing and really relatable to real life (Economy) but it's because this promise you that there will be romance but the romance only existed the first 3 or 4 episodes and it was a light romance, this anime was perfect to be romantic too but they wasted the oportunity and the story was rushed and it can be confusing for a lot of people when they talk about economy and how they use it and i was
entertained by that.
The story was good, it's in fact a little complicated if you don't pay attention or else you will lose the idea of what the story is about; It's really about economy politics most of the time, mixed with war between heroes and demons or between countries and i found that combination very good the ending was an open ending where you can clearly see they wanted to make a 2nd season and leaves you with intrigue, and the romance, don't expect romance, not even in the end, that end was WTF happened that they don't act like if they love each other and that was annoying, so overall was good.
[b][u]Art & Animation[/u][/b]
The art style on this was beautiful and very good, it really felt like a fantasy world, with a palette of colors that matched the story and the theme, but there were some flaws that you clearly will see.
The sound was just amazing the background music was great the OP and ED were amazing, they really fit the theme, the voice acting was very good but i expected more for some reason, overall very good art style.
The characters were ok, i liked the fact that they didn't have a name, their names were their range like Heroe or Demon King, Prince, etc. i really liked a lot Maou she was almost well developed, she was really smart, she is unique for me, Yuusha was ok, just didn't felt that he had a lot on screen time even being one of the two MC he wasn't there a lot and that bothered me, for just 1 season, they couldn't developed more than Maou but Maou was out for like 4 episodes just like Yuusha, this needed more episodes to be better, overall was good.
I really enjoyed it, because of the animation and the music, they were great, i was expecting romance, but i was disappointed, the characters and the story were getting just ok because of the absence of both main characters that combined disappeared for 8 episodes of 12, and the ending got me mad.
“Original and different yet wanting. A well-founded mythological world that reveals a very interesting concept and focus within it, but lacks that something to become something transcending”
REVIEW FREE OF SPOILERS!
To set this show as just a typical adventure/fantasy anime would be a shortsighted description of it; after all, this show has more potential than just that. “MAOYUU…” grasps into things –more complex- such as politics and economics –although they are observed from a very basic and simplistic point of view and nothing more complicated, probably for the sake of the aimed viewers -. But let’s not get carried away, this show isn’t a masterpiece
either, although it has potential to be bigger, by this I mean that the show doesn’t reach its fullest potential but let’s not forget it’s made into a 12 episode format show.
Even though being an original show –mostly by the focus shown- the show falls sometimes into the typical dull and repetitive routine shown in many other shows. Although, the characters make you forget this stalemate and those repetitive moments don’t last long.
So to tell the truth, besides the fact that this is a fantasy anime something else caught my attention/interest too, and that “something” was the art. The art is neither the “state-of-the-art” nor something antiquated; it was pleasing to put it bluntly.
Now, the fact that the art in the show is pleasing it doesn’t mean that it’s one of those arts that immerse into the show after all; the art in the show is a mixture of the old –shown mostly on the scenery- and the new –shown mostly on the character.
The palette is amazing ranging from dark oriented colors to bright and beautiful.
The ART team did a remarkable job.
One of the main goals of voice acting is to stimulate and transmit feelings through voice and sounds, sadly the voice acting in this show didn’t achieve such a thin., The voice acting isn’t bad, but it isn’t great, it isn’t transcending and thus it isn’t memorable.
There is a quote by William Shakespeare that says: “If music be the food of love, play on”. The context in which the character –Duke Orsino- says this words is because he’s infatuated with Olivia, and she’s not interested in him, so he asks his musicians to play some music, so he can surpass -or “overdose”- his appetite and let such feeling –love- die.
My point here is that there’s a reason within a soundtrack or the ambient shown in a show, and it isn’t having music for the sake of JUST having music within a show, it is because you want your audience/viewers to experience the feelings of the characters in an “enhanced” way, through music. Regretfully that’s a potential that they couldn’t fulfill, a potential that they couldn’t squeeze right.
There’s a thing that I dislike and find boring about short anime shows and it’s the fact that most of them lack something essential in a story –every story- and it’s the character development. Blame it on the lack of time; blame it on the writers or whatever… If you want a character to be memorable you need to make him or her transcend, and not just by giving him a cool sword or bad-ass armor, I mean by making him/her relate to us the viewers whether by making him mature through the show or change or have some new goals and most importantly by making them have a believe as their foundation, those are the character that are remembered in the hearts of people.
Sadly this is the aspect in which the show fails –tremendously if I may add-.
The characters are well done –yes- and some are cute but nothing else was achieved.
-ENJOYMENT: 8 & OVERALL: 7-
So to put things shortly. The show is enjoyable? Yes. It IS original and it has an appealing and easy on the eye art, and it has a sweet –but not amazing nor memorable- soundtrack.
There’s some “fan-service” focus shown on this show –for those interested in such things-.
If you ever wondered why there are wars, how the economy goes, political corruptions, lust for power and alike. Then this anime would be for you. A Hero/Warrior made his way through the castle of the Demon lord to confront him. It turns out that the Demon lord was a woman, that needs the help of the hero to reach peace, prosperity, and independence of the people from the support of other countries, and to end pointless wars against the humans and demons.
The plot flow is just perfect. The actions of the characters to the plot is well planned. Hiding from the high officials,
and starting new identities, slowly making bonds from different kinds of people(Merchants, Priests/Priestesses, Locals, Generals.). Yet, the story still finds a way to reveal the big problems although everything seemed like all went smoothly. This anime can be related to real life wars nowadays, real life economics. I just can't say the right words for this anime, but it surely does make me view the world in a new way.
At first i find the animation a bit too crappy for my standards. But as time goes by i noticed that a grew a liking for this kind of animation. I noticed this, mainly maybe because for an anime that took place before the advancements in technology like electricity and such, it just kinda synced with the animation.
Awesome, the background musics were medieval like, matching the plot of the anime. As you listen to the OP/ED, I really felt the aura emanating while watching, we all have those moments, to be honest. Anyways, the sound effects were great, matched and synced perfectly. I admire the voice actors specially when some romantic scenes are made, it just makes me giggle every time, and i mean every time.
Characters are well planned. Mages, Warriors, Scholars etc. All of them do what they have to do, a dash of comedy in some parts, and a bit of meaningful words to reflect on in heart warming conversations. And may i add, all the characters here seemed to have a main role in the anime, which i find very amusing.
I enjoyed watching the anime. The ideas being pointed out here that can make you think about life of the people nowadays made me enjoy it the most. 1 week is too rough for the next episode, signifying my excitement for the next episode. But as the week goes by, we are already half-way through the series. And i suppose right now, I'm hoping for a second season. If not, then an ending that I'll never forget.
Hey why not a 9/10? Story is outstanding, art matches it's medieval war like setting, characters are well oriented, and can be related to the current events in our human lives. But the better question is, why not a 10/10? Mainly because to give a 10/10 anime, i must first finish the series, giving 9/10's is reserving a space for further improvements in this overwhelming anime.
I'll return soon when the anime is finished airing, and we'll see if this deserves a wopping 10/10 score.
What happens when you take the writer, director, and voice actors from the beloved series Spice and Wolf and add executive meddling, fan pandering, and have it produced by Studio ARMS? You get...a massive disappointment.
The human and demon worlds have been at war for 15 years, but the humans have gained the upper hand and an elite squad is sent deep into the demon world to assassinate the Demon King and end the war. However, for poorly explained reasons our main character, who is just named Hero, goes on ahead of his squad to undertake the assassination himself. When he arrives at the
Demon King's castle, he learns that the Demon "King" is actually a Queen...with G cup breasts. The busty queen doesn't fight back, but instead calmly explains that the war is actually a good thing and far more people would die during peace time from famine and plague as a result of the booming war economy coming to an end. This would be an interesting utilitarian argument similar to the Real Politik espoused by Otto Von Bismarck and Henry Kissinger...if it wasn't a piss poor oversimplification of the original argument that completely ignores reality.
Warning! the following paragraph contains history!!! If you don't like history, skip ahead!
In reality FAR, FAR more people die of hunger and plague during war time than peace time. The more backwards the setting (like the medieval setting of this series) the more true this is. During the Great African War fought between 7 African nations in the late 1990s, 6 million people died of hunger and disease in just a few years. Although this region has always had famine and plague, this death rate was far higher than ever before or since for that region. One of the worst peace time famines was the Soviet Famine of 1932 caused by forced collectivization and the wildly idiotic farming methods enforced by Joseph Stalin. 7 million people including 4 million Ukrainians, 2 million Kazakhs, and 1 million Russians died of hunger. However, even the brutality of Stalin wasn't as bad as the wartime Soviet famine of 1921. During that famine a shocking 10 million people died as a direct result of WW1 and the Russian Civil War. During a brutal war, all sides tend to use scorched Earth tactics and deliberately destroy farmland to starve the enemy. In addition, all armies involved stole HUGE amounts of crops from the farmers and peasants and gave them nothing in return. In an ass backward medieval setting like Maoyuu, the army would NOT be paying the farmers more money during war time. They would steal all the crops for themselves and give the farmers nothing. That is what always tends to happen when war comes to a non-industrialized country. Another HUGE cause of starvation and plague during war that makes it MUCH worse than peace time is blockade. Nearly the entire city of Athens died of plague and starvation after the Spartans blockaded the city during the Peloponnesian War. During World War 2, 500,000 Greeks, and no less than 5 million Soviets starved to death as a result of the blockade tactics employed by the Germans.
The entire argument on which this story stands is complete bullshit! When Maoyuu isn't making an idiotic attempt to explain the life saving nature of war, it is talking non-stop about crop production and agricultural theory. This comes across as a completely random tangent that doesn't really add anything to the story. If I wanted farming theory tangents out of nowhere, I would go re-read Anna Karenina thank you very much! (I hope you all heard that last sentence in the "Cinema Snob's" sexy voice!) At least the Demon King has foresight and wishes to ultimately end the war when the military industrial complex has been dealt with and peace will be meaningful. She actually has a strategy that is far less divorced from history and logic than some other idiotic anime series I have seen. Can you imagine how stupid it would be if the Demon King thought she could end the war by taking over the Demon and Human worlds and getting everyone to hate her, then having Hero kill her and just assume that a massive power vacuum following the death of a hated tyrant would somehow cause world peace?! Now THAT would be stupid! Fortunately even Maoyuu is a better anime than that!
Although the Demon King herself is a fairly interesting character, the main male lead "Hero" is as boring and generic as hell! What made Spice and Wolf work is that both Holo and Lawrence were complex, interesting characters. You can't have a great, memorable romance if one of the characters is about as interesting as watching paint dry! The other characters besides the main 2 are basically worthless and add nothing to the series. So essentially the entire series is carried on the back of one character: The Demon King. Unfortunately, she is not THAT strong a character and her silly outbursts and fanservice moments often undermine her alleged strategic and inventive genius. She is the world's greatest scientist and military strategist, but she randomly acts like an airhead at random intervals. This doesn't come across as a character quirk like a mad genius, but instead lazy writing that changes the character whenever the situation calls for a comedy moment. I realize what they were going for I guess. Holo was old and wise, but could act childish at times and it was funny. However, Spice and Wolf was a longer series with MUCH better developed characters, so with Holo it felt far more natural and less forced than when the Demon King would have a random comedy moment.
One thing you NEVER want to see on your anime is "produced by Studio ARMS". It is the unholy stamp of death similar to the LJN rainbow on old NES games. The only decent anime ever produced by ARMS was Elfen Lied back in 2004, and the only reason the Elfen Lied staff chose ARMS for the project was out of desperation after a dozen superior animation studios refused to work on it. Unlike Elfen Lied, Maoyuu is not a super risque anime that nearly every studio would refuse. Maoyuu COULD have chosen a vastly superior studio, but actually went with Studio ARMS. I am not a puritanical twat that goes ballistic whenever an anime features nudity or fanservice. However, I do have a basic sense of artistic aesthetics, and I appreciate female characters NOT having tits larger than their heads. I don't want to watch an anime version of a fucking Rob Liefeld comic!!! The director of Maoyuu should have hit the animators with a rolled up newspaper like a dog when he saw the character designs. "NO!" NOO!" If Elfen Lied was made by ARMS and had realistic breast to body ratios, then we know it is possible if you hit the animators enough times.
As much as I relentlessly ripped this series a new asshole, I actually don't think it is the worst series in the world. It is NOT a good series and it is a HORRIBLE spiritual successor to Spice and Wolf, but Maoyuu at least has some instances of decent dialogue and tries to tell an unconventional tale with unconventional morals and lessons. It was horribly executed, but I feel like this actually could have been good with less executive meddling and less fanservice bullshit! I see untapped potential here. The soundtrack is also decent and as much as I bagged on the art, it often isn't THAT bad. Overall, this series is very average and deserves an average to mediocre 5/10.
It goes without saying that life seems more enjoyable when those around you share similar traits, but more importantly, Interests. In anime, many shows of whichever genre they derive from are often formulaic; many of which the stories of each share common and highly similar premises and themes. Unfortunately, this tires many dedicated fans of such genres and leads to a "I've seen this all happen before.." Kind of situation when watching or reading one such story.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha appears to be no more than your typical "fantasy" taking place in medieval-ish times with a few hints of modern ideas floating about and incorporated into
civilization. However, my initial thoughts and expectations excitingly shot down and I came to love Maoyuu Maou Yuusha a great deal. While the score may not show it, it is highly enjoyable despite its shortcomings.
This is where it all shines.
Our story begins in an all too familiar setting of many fantasy-like stories; a Continent/land divided into multiple factions/countries/nations etc. Much to my chagrin, initially, the story did come off as formulaic with some chosen hero ready to fight off the "evil" of his world to obtain years of peace to come...
At least, That's what I thought for the first seven minutes of the first episode...
Yes, our story starts with the unison of what seems to defy all preconceptions of good and evil. A hero who comes to behead the "evil" Demon king joins her instead. This is where it all gets interesting.
Unlike many officially aired shows I've thus far seen, few have actually depicted the "evil" side as not so horrid as they are made out to be. While this idea isn't new, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha takes this premise and refreshingly tells the tale through a more romantic tale of our Hero and a Demon King whose beauty is as pure as the colored Crimson of her whole appearance. The story, instead of solely focusing on the action of things, approaches the viewer with a more complex philosophical (logistics of civilization?) stance on war, reasons for it, and other standpoints you'd not expect. Additionally, the show emphasizes a focus on components that keep civilization going besides war; example being agriculture. Of course for those of you who are in it for the action, you'll find yourself a tad disappointed, but don't worry, it's still there. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is a show that tries to show the viewer all the cogs/gears that make up your view of the demon/human society.
Pacing of the show, in terms of speed, seems exponential once momentum starts to take over. Initially, the show is slow paced, trying to establish a setting and differentiating the initial preconceptions of conflict and the "Good vs Evil" dealio. After that is established, the show is a tad too fast for its own good, but still paces itself accordingly from the rising action into the climax of the story. If you're not a fan of unforeseen time skips from episode to episode, you might feel a tad uncomfortable.
Moving along, the story itself, as mentioned before, is unique in its own right, even if the premise has been done before. Admittedly, at times it feels as though too much seems to be happening at once I the later development of the overall plot. At times, I feel the plot got a tad complicated and I didn't understand fully what was going on. On a brighter note, the story has many moving moments and the creativity of the story is almost boundless, and the show isn't obviously predictable nor too outrageous.
The story wasn't bad, more on the good side of things. It simply can be hard to get into due to common preconceptions of "evil vs good" and some other little holes that don't seem to add up, example being an establishment of how the humans view the demons. It is much easier to come into this show with an open mind as you'll find that the characters and civilization aren't all that relatable.
The designs are nothing fancy, nor ugly or dull. The art more or less seems to be a bit half-baked at times, but there are benefits to a simplistic approach in terms of design, detail, and animation. For starters, the show is easy on the eyes, and the characters are still easily identifiable and even attractive. Background wise, nothing is extraordinarily outstanding or horridly misconfigured. The animation is sometimes choppy, but annoyingly so. The art is just a head above average, and arguably, that's all it really needs to be. After all, the art isn't where the show really shines.
Nothing spectacular and memorable comes to mind in the soundtrack nor the character's voicing. The Opening sequence is pretty catchy, and the Ending can be hit or miss. On a brighter note, everything fits the situation, and I really couldn't ask for more since, again, this isn't where the show really shines. Sure, it could have been better, but it could have been far worse.
Honestly, I really wanted more, I wanted to delve into the pasts and the vast experiences that make up how the characters came to be. Our protagonists are well developed to a degree, but I felt a lack of any real significant change in many, this includes Maou and the hero. That said it isn't all that bad even if only fragments of our characters' pasts actually reveals a small degree of the character themselves.
To be fair, much more emphasis is placed on the story's focus on the necessary components that support and make up the demon and human civilization. Whether it be more beneficial than harmful, the supporting characters and mains themselves serve as symbols that represent each influential component of civilization, so it is arguable that the characters served their purpose. Of course, this isn't true when things get a tad lovey-dovey. It's simply unfortunate that many stories with broad casts seem to suffer familiar consequences.
Despite my little rants, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha was well worth the watch. I felt a sense of originality and got excited over this fact. The show had components excepted of the fantasy genre; romance and action included, the show tried to portray the best of these while trying to keep the story original and entertaining. To my delight, this was a success and I have no real issues with the show besides the show's episode count which did put me in an awkward mood in the end. Had a more satisfying ending been drawn, this could have gone down as an all time favorite, but alas, the world is cruel.
Yeah, it's well worth a run through. Would I rewatch this? Probably not. If you're looking for something unique and original, you'll find this story to be a delightful one. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a must watch, but It definitely deserves much needed recognition.
It's a series that had potential, but ruined it by doing too much.
[mild spoilers pertaining to storyline progression and general point-of-view]
A third season of Spice and Wolf is perhaps the most desired adaptation among fans of the franchise. When announcement came through that a similar series, with similar staff members, was going to be released, fans were ecstatic. Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple to live up to the name of the predecessor, and it's even more difficult to satiate an entirely new crowd. Maoyū Maō Yūsha suffers from a variety of debilitating features that not only make it a shitty, half-assed 'successor', but
an awfully trite,mundane standalone.
Maoyū Maō Yūsha doesn't have the world's most amazing storyline. In fact, it's relatively archetypal -- the king of demons and the hero of humanity wish to team up to ultimately better the world. Sounds relatively creative right? It's not. But it could have been. We're given two main characters, Maou, and Yuusha [translated to Devil and Hero]. Their names are titular of their roles. During each episode, humanity attains a new invention that may better life [e.g. new farming techniques, agriculture]; and during each episode, a mild time skip is applied [typically a few months]. What does this do? It advances the plot. But does it do anything more than that? Probably not. Is it bad because it's simple? Not necessarily. Is it bad if they advance the plot over developing the characters/mood/every other aspect of the show? Probably.
A certain series revolving around a travelling merchant and a wolf goddess revolved around the characters -- every episode moved at a snail's pace, and the characters were developed accordingly; in Maoyū Maō Yūsha, it isn't uncommon for several months to move in one episode. The characters aren't developed. There's a romance between Maou and Yuusha. But the romance between the two are magnetic. They're only together for the storyline. A magnet doesn't need a reason to attract the opposite charge, neither does Maou to Yuusha, and Yuusha to Maou. They're together, but there's no semblance or inclination that would insinuate anything outside of being together for the storyline. Love? What's that. 12 episodes, or several years, resulted in a half-assed display of affection at the end. No discourse implying anything significant, and no actions outside the cursory depicted a sort of love outside of obligation.
The art and animation in Maoyū Maō Yūsha was fantastic? You mean the art and animation during Maoyū Maō Yūsha's first episode was fantastic. Arms was tasked with animating the series -- Arms did a really nice job during the former half of the series. The latter half, they kinda just gave up on maintaining consistent quality. Surprisingly, Arms, a studio, known for their integration of ecchi into everything, didn't put that much ecchi into Maoyū Maō Yūsha. That's a bright side. How about the soundtrack? The soundtrack's probably one of the best, redeeming features of the series. The track titled 'Beyond the Hill' by Takeshi Hama [composer of the original Devil May Cry soundtrack]would on its own, bump the score up by at least a point. The series contained a fantastic soundtrack, albeit, it wasn't exactly applied that well. The general soundtrack is perhaps one of the few things that Maoyū Maō Yūsha does better than its related series. It may not have been used as well [the soundtrack in the former was heavily ambient, but that ambience was integral in developing the mood], but it's certainly noteworthy [the main theme really is good].
So, we're given a series with generic characters that are seldom developed, the noble goal to save the world, time skips for plot, alongside a fantastic soundtrack, inconsistent animation, and a predictable, archetypal plot progression. Oh, and don't forget the romance. Everybody loves romance. So to sum it up, we're given a series that attempts to do too much within 12 episodes, that's understandable right? Well, it probably would be if it attempted to do something difficult. Every other development and concept explored in Maoyū Maō Yūsha isn't exactly novel, or avant-garde; it's not even a rendition of generic concepts. They're really just generic concepts without any sort of application. Economics? Spice and Wolf had more economics within a single episode than this did in 12. The notion that opposite sides often have a lot in common and that they probably shouldn't kill each other? That's clearly edgy and new.
It's not as enjoyable as it could be to watch because the series tried to do too much. When you introduce a romance, actually develop it. When you attempt to mirror a similar series, at least compliment it. The series doesn't revolve around combat and the mechanics of the world? Then don't dedicate an entire episode to combat. There wasn't enough time to do what we wanted? Then don't do so much.
Okay, about this anime, first story is good, it has some kind of an unique vibe that wants you to open the next episode after every episode, it's also kind of role-switched, hero the one who should be doing good is the one who goes around and fights with others meanwhile the demon who should be doing the greater harm is actually teaching and helping the society.
Art is good, you cannot ask better, personally nothing bothered me about this art style or so. Newer style if you are looking for something old school like older anime art then you are not obviously going to find
I don't exactly remember there being something wrong with the sound or so but picking the music for certain part could have been better.
Demon being demon who does good while hero being hero whose task is to fight, nothing else to say
About enjoyment, it was marked as a romance, I cannot exactly say it's a romance because they didn't see each other exactly much and during that time hero was just being childish or so, rejecting. So getting that vibe of anime including romance was hard.
But in general a great anime, teaches new things, mostly economics and equality that difference is part of being unique that fighting is bad for both sides, and that everything is controlled by bigger parties.
Here we are at the end of another historically based series that focuses mainly on the same problem as the real world at that time. So when you watch this series you are more likely to encounter economic dilemmas that intend to solve or ruin people's lives. Whats the point you ask? well for us maybe there is none or maybe they just wanted to show us how hard it was living back then.
After this you have a nice romance story evolving on the background of a war that is not based on conquest but on survival. All these while adding various comedy scenes
to release some of the tension you've built up until then.
It has always been a pleasure for me watching strategy based decision turn the tide of a war which seems to happen often, decisions possible only through the courage of many.
Also seeing many people profit from the little or large schemes they've come up with also provides good amounts of amusement for me only to see them fail miserably or end up unable to enjoy the spoils.
So if you have a thing for medieval warfare this series is a very good example.
At certain points I disliked the artwork but perhaps I was asking too much, still I believe we can overlook some flaws for the sake of a good story.
First of all, this is not your typical fantasy series. If you're looking for some grand quest with a cool hero and a funny heroine...keep searching.
That said, there is a clear plot here. And the characters are totally fun. The hero is the stereotypical fighter with a strong belief in justice and a kind heart. But you love him almost instantly because he's not brash, only a little reckless, and willing to learn whatever he doesn't know. The Demon Queen (the other protagonist) is intelligent, calculating, and strangely naive when it comes to men and relationships. She's totally funny, too, because you never know
what she's going to say or do next.
If you enjoyed Spice and Wolf, you'll enjoy this. This fantasy makes you think--about agriculture, economy, politics and what motivates people. But it's entertaining as well. I'm five episodes in and it's fast becoming a favorite.
But, like I said, if you're looking for an anime where the hero brashly rushes in to slay the dragon and rescue the damsel in distress...yeah, you're probably not going to like it much. It's not that type of fantasy.
Story about the hero who kills the demon king is become classic or maybe mainstream story for all of us, Usually we see this concepts in video games or maybe films. but what if the hero become a partner with demon king itself for the peace of the world?
A short explanation above is maybe enough to describe what this anime about, but if you think this anime was like any adventure romance anime, then you're totally wrong. The story from this anime itself is kinda complex for some people. why? this anime was not about slash-and-kill or lovey-dovey things (its not like SAO), but its
more deep than that. You will see a lot of dialogue dan less action, so whats so good about this anime if an adventure is less action and more dialogue? for me, is the details for the concept to anime itself.
[contains minor spoiler]
The meaning of details that i said before is about explaining the whole things that happen in the anime itself, in this anime were focussing on HOW to bring the peace. i give a suppresion on HOW because many of the scene were focussing on this, like about how standard farming practice for boosting the food production can be useful to bring a peace (I am not gonna spoil it why it can like that), its not like any typical adventure action anime which battle is always the best way to bring the peace. If i can compare, then this anime was more like using "soft" way than coersive way to bring peace. Its make this anime more "rich" than any adventure anime. [end spoiler]
The course of this story is more proggresing which means its more about the present and not to take many backflash or past of each character and more, the story goes fast (time-skips), and for me its really a good thinking, since it will take many times and hamper the storyline, after all, this anime was an adventure which focussing on "how to achieve the goal". But, of course there was a consequence for not bring the past, it will makes us (the viewer) hard to get attached with the main character (as we know, the first impression of the hero (Yuusha) is like a doll for achieving the demon king (Maou) goal, its make the Hero is not so appealing for us) and more, we didnt really know who our main character is, which make us more harder to get attached.
But despite of all that potentials, that there is something that makes this anime is become more "cheapo", beside of all that serious matters become useless with useless jokes and unnecessary fanservice (bouncing, any kinds like that) but its forgiveable since as we know ARMS, known as the H-anime and Ecchi anime (Samurai girls and Himawari) and we cant ignore they make some good anime (like Elfen Lied). Its not like i hate fanservice but sometimes this anime was more prominent in Maou's boobs, honestly i more prefer something like Spice and Wolf which is same as like this anime (Maoyuu Maou Yuusha), they more focussing on storyline than fanservices.
For the art and sound, there isnt something really amazing. Focus on the art first, pale coloring that they used in Maoyuu Maou Yuusha were really present the medieval era, it really blends well with the scenery and the background. But, at the sometimes, people who arent used in medieval setting will find it dull and boring. But for those who had watching something like this before (like Spice and wold) will find this were interesting. and for the sound section, the only one i aware was the opening song "Yohko - Mukai Kaze", its a good song and yet its quite attaching.
Since this anime isnt finished airing until i write this review, i cant conclude yet if this anime were good or not, but as far i have seen until now (episode 5) , i find this anime is quite catchy yet i realize this anime was not-for-all-anime since some of people will find it boring since so many dialogues, but i recommend this one for those who appreciate a good and deep story
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha has an interesting concept. It takes a look at economic and social issues during a medieval themed period, and it focuses on the "behind the scenes" sort of events. Again, it's an interesting concept, and at times I really liked it a lot. The ending was very disappointing, and it dropped my opinion of it dramatically. I simply want to warn that this story really doesn't have an ending and will most likely leave you expecting more (notice I didn't say wanting, but expecting). I did like this story (I figured I should say that much). I did look forward to it
each week, and I was intrigued by the concept. I wonder if I was more intrigued by my speculation of where it was going as opposed to where the story actually went.
Now for the basics. It looked good so I can't complain there. The music was ok, not very memorable, but it worked. The voice acting was good (probably one of it's strongest points). I did like all of the basic details, and I don't feel it really let me down in any of these areas. The problem is that it attempted to create a fantasy tale that wasn't a fantasy tale. There were demons, knights, mages, castles, kingdoms, and churches. There was a long standing war that was at the center of this story as well. Holy crusades are talked about during this story. Detach yourself from these facts immediately. They are simply background to what is actually taking place. What you get with Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is a love story between a superhuman and a demon that are attempting to end their war (long term mind you) by correcting the social, economic, and political issues of their time. The methods they choose are the story. It's not much of one, but that's it.
Despite the lack of something substantial, this story is interesting. I enjoyed watching the demons introduce new ideas and technologies to a world full of dumbfounded sheep-like people. It had a lot of good moments, but the story was ultimately flawed. I made a lot of speculation during my viewing of the show that probably carried over into my opinion. This is not an extremely exciting nor a game changing anime series. It does have some good things to offer, but do beware that it is filled with a lot of plot holes and bad logic. The potential is there, but it is never fully realized, so I feel it should have been a lot better.
Now for the best part of this show... the characters. So what if it's filled with stereotypical fantasy characters. I liked the characters in this series. I enjoyed the weird love story that was in there too. I wanted to see different events transpire, and I wanted to see a little more of the action, but we don't get too see too much of that. There's a lot of setup and not a lot of execution, but the characters are still fun to watch regardless.
There's mild relationship humor and some interesting friendships are born throughout the journey. It's filled with character interaction and reaction. It's the reactionary behavior that I enjoyed the most. The self conscious main characters with low self esteem created a sort of fun awkwardness that I thought brightened the show. Without that, I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much.
I know I have both rued and complimented this series, but my overall feelings are that this was interesting, yet it was very flawed. It is a 7 for me, even though I was left a little confused as to my reasoning. Sometimes liking something doesn't have to make perfect sense, and this series is an example of that for me. With only 12 episodes it's an easy watch, and I do recommend it.
Though I think it's worth watching, it is hard to say who exactly will like it or hate it. Some people will like it because it's different, while others will hang on its many flaws. All in all, I suggest you try a couple of episodes to get a feel for the story, and if you don't like it after the first couple of episodes then you probably won't like it at all. Do expect a lot of dialogue, and do expect to watch more of the mundane than you may be used to.
In 'Spice and Wolf' many people try to rip-off Holo and Lawrence, but it inevitably backfires because they aren't as clever as they like to think. 'Maoyuu Maou Yuusha' failed to learn this lesson and tried to do just that... with the exact same result. Inferior to 'Spice and Wolf' in every way, and not even decent on its own, I dropped this badly written wannabe like a hot potato. Stupid potato.
'Maoyuu Maou Yuusha' can be legally steamed on Crunchyroll and the DVDs can be purchased from Sentai Filmworks.
If medieval economics can create a cult hit, why not medieval agriculture? Well, first you have
to understand the basics of agriculture. The central plot is that humanity can't afford to have peace with the demon races, because if the war ended there would be mass starvation, so the Hero and the Demon King have to work together to improve agricultural output. Which might be a feasible premise if it weren't full of more BS than a fertilizer factory. Short version: war means fewer farmers (due to military conscription and recruitment), most of whom are not top-quality workers (because military forces naturally select the youngest and healthiest people), are working to feed more people (more soldiers means fewer farmers) while under constant threat of attack (raids were a central part of medieval warfare- admittedly MMY knows THAT much), and should such a raid come there would be large-scale destruction of supplies, stores, and livestock- leading to food shortages that would cause starvation and disease and FURTHER reduce agricultural output (you can't grow crops if you're too hungry to get out of bed or too sick to see straight). These problems are compounded when farming is as labor-intensive as it was until the 20th century. Go read about the Hundred Years War and see if France had an agricultural boom thanks to all the political chaos, English raids, and wandering bands of out-of-work mercenary bandits. The return of peace would mean the end of Demon attacks and the human soldiers could go back to farming- so how does this mean less food to go around?
And even excusing MMY's badly flawed premise, the execution is dreadful as well. Most of the dialogue is shameless info-dumping (the first episode is nearly all one expository conversation), made worse by the fact that Maou (the Demon King) is telling Yuusha (the Human Hero) how the human world works- she goes so far as to describe the basic structure and functions of some of the largest religious and commercial organizations in the land to him (because apparently he never learned that the Church of the Light Spirit is the largest and most influential religious group in his homeland). There are 2 time-skips just in the first 3 episodes alone, creating a disjointed feeling as the show skips from plot point to plot point. And most of the dialogue that isn't expository is cheap jokes about Maou's exceedingly ample bosom (apparently demon culture doesn't consider large-chested women highly desirable, and the fact that human culture does seems to be the one thing about humans Maou conveniently doesn't know) or 'ship-tease' scenarios where Maou and Yuusha almost kiss only to be interrupted by something (they're adults living alone together for MONTHS and Maou clearly wants Yuusha to take her all night long, so why exactly are they still acting like shy 8th-grade crushes?) And what little conflict does appear is almost instantly solved by Maou, so there isn't even meaningful struggle to get attached to. The story is a masterclass in how NOT to hook an audience- I ENJOY medieval history and economics and this plot still couldn't hook me, how bad must it be for the 99% percent who don't share that niche interest? If you absolutely need your medieval agriculture fix just read the 5th US volume of 'Vinland Saga'.
-Art & Sound-
Thoroughly mediocre and they're still the high point of MMY. The aesthetic has no glaring faults simply because it settles for being so blandly average, with production values to match (for comparison, 2013 was the year MMY, Attack on Titan, and Psycho-Pass all aired- one of these is not like the others.) The sound is generic as well, the OP, ED, and OST are all standard fare with nothing to distinguish them. I can't complain about the voice actors, but given that this series is English sub only I have little means to judge them.
Take the most generic, bland, clueless, and aimless male anime character you can think of- he'll be Edward FREAKING Elric compared to Yuusha. He does little more than follow Maou around while she info-dumps on him, at one point even he realizes he has very little to do with what's going on. The story is hinting he'll start doing more things in upcoming episodes, but given his lack of development and motivation they don't promise to be more than empty action scenes to shake things up. His design could have been copy-pasted from any number of fantasy series as he lacks a single unique visual feature. Maou the Demon King isn't any better: a shameless blob of boob-joke fan-service who adores Yuusha for no clear reason, wants peace for no clear reason despite being from a culture that clearly favors continuing the war, and solves everything with an info-dump. The other cast members? Empty cliches. MMY relies on its main two and they stink.
For comparison to the series MMY was clearly trying so hard to be, 'Spice and Wolf' uses a near-identical set-up and pulls it off beautifully because its main 2 are handled exceptionally well. First off, S&W was balanced. Holo had charisma and special abilities Lawrence lacked (being able to tell when a person is lying is useful for a travelling merchant, and being able to turn into an unstoppable giant wolf has pretty obvious benefits), while Lawrence was far more worldly-wise and his rock-steady personality served as a counterbalance to Holo's negative character traits and mood swings. You saw that they truly needed each other. In MMY Yuusha is effectively useless as Maou has to guide him around his own world. Also, the S&W mains had distinct personalites. Holo would snark and tease as a way of dealing with her own loneliness and to hide her developing feelings for Lawrence- feelings her pride didn't want her to admit. Lawrence was more of a 'straight man' to Holo's outlandish personality, he rarely tries to compete with her in snark-to-snark combat but does like to take the occasional shot just to keep her honest. He hides his own loneliness with silence and doesn't want to admit his developing attachment out fear as he assumes Holo will 'inevitably' leave him. In MMY, Maou is cheap fan-service and Yuusha has even less personality than that. I want to clarify that I'm not 'hating' on the MMY cast, nor am I a S&W fanboy just bashing one show to make my personal favorite look good (I've yet to finish S&W season 2 and am in no hurry to do so), I'm criticizing it heavily because it makes numerous basic character writing mistakes and because there's a clear example of how to make practically the exact same cast dynamic under nearly identical conditions work beautifully.
Back in Jr. High I had a brief desire to be a ventriloquist, so I bought a book on the subject. One of its tips was "Open with your 2nd best joke". A basic rule of good entertainment in any medium is to strike early with a good hook to get the audience interested quickly. All this to say that MMY doesn't open with a hook but with a train wreck. I almost never drop a series, I tend to get hooked fairly easily even if I know the series is objectively nothing special (I completed 'Samurai 7' and 'Romeo X Juliet' for Pete's sake). The fact that I dropped MMY should say plenty. I only stuck around for 3 episodes so that nobody would pull the '3 episode rule' on me, and even if it does somehow manage to get good later that still means MMY will have wasted at least the first 25% of its run time- that's not exactly a positive either.
A poor man's 'Spice and Wolf'. A VERY poor man's. Story and characters are terribly written, and utterly mediocre production values can't distract from that for a minute. It's clear what MMY was trying to be and it's even more clear that it failed. I can't even recommend this series to people like me who might be interested in its look into medieval farming techniques, never mind a mass audience. Skip it.
I'll be short. I've gone into this show at first with great hopes. It was quite hyped and seemed the most original pick of the season. The very idea of a Demon King and a Hero signing an alliance to put an end to the reliance of the world's economy on eternal war was original and interesting. So what did go wrong?
The final result is a unique example of total blandness. This anime is, there's no other way to put it, boring. Horribly so. The characters are generic as they can be, starting with the Demon King, who's got bouncy boobs and is inexplicably
in love with the Hero since when he was a newborn, and continuing with the Hero himself (a walking Deus Ex Machina), the Head Maid, every single villain, and on, and on. The story is aimless: there's a bit of plot but it's all serviceable to the thesis of the show, consisting in demonstrating how feudalism is bound to lose its match against mercantilism/capitalism. This is basically the history of Europe in the 16th century, only much more boring, because every invention which changed our style of life springs in some way from the Demon King, who discovers potatoes, corn, the printing press and gunpowder without breaking a sweat. Things happen because they need to, not because it makes sense; whenever some miracle is needed, either the Hero or the Mage pull off some new convenient power, and overall there's never any sense of struggle. This could be excused if the anime was aiming at teaching some relevant economic concept or putting forward some original, compelling thesis. But it does neither, as the economy is trivial and the thesis is even less interesting. I had to watch this series in order to blog it and by the end I hated every moment of it. Don't watch.
Summary: The biggest compliment I can give an anime adaptation is that it makes me want to read the source material. This is without a doubt the case for Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. Instead of going into a long winded review I'll put together a quick highlight the pros and cons and who would enjoy this.
Excellent Art - this is a good looking anime with unique character designs and set pieces.
Excellent Sound - The soundtrack was diverse and solid. The voice actors were also spectacular (Akeno from Dxd's voice actress plays a minor role, to give you the kind of talent they got for this anime).
story - There is romance, adventure, politics, trade, war, philosophy. It isn't as deep as something like Legend of the Legendary Heros; it tends to be fairly up beat.
Interesting Philosophy - This anime is what I would consider extremely pro capitalism. You might not get that from the surface but digging in deep you see the Merchant as a strong central character who is using his "greed" to spread wealth and prosperity to the world. Only through this trade are most of the conflictssolvable.
Cute love story - The Demon King and Hero have a really cute love story.
Lack of resolution - The story stops kind of abruptly... clearly this was meant for a season 2 that never same.
Haremish? - The Hero is loved by several female lead characters and even though they aren't annoying about it that angle kind of detracted for me. Should have been Demon King and Hero and the other female leads should have only been friends.
Epic plot unfolding that got cut short - I guess I'll never really know who the Magician was or what she was all about. She seemed really interesting but you can tell she would be a major part of season 2 and now I'll never know. This is WAY worse in Legend of the Legendary Heros but the cut off story is annoying here as well.
Who will like this:
If you want a nice 1 season anime that deals with medieval times you can't go wrong with this one. Politics, romance, religion, fighting, demons/humans... it is an interesting premise. If it inspires you then read the light novel; there is an epic and fantastic story in here if you give it a chance.
Story 9/10 / Art 9/10 Sound 8/10 Character 8/10 Enjoyment 8/10 Overall 8/10