Dreaming of changing the world for good, Akuto Sai transfers to Constant Magic Academy where he befriends a virtuous ninja clan member, Junko Hattori. On the way to the academy, they vow to make the world a better place together; however, the situation suddenly takes a turn for the worse upon his arrival—it is prophesied that he will become the Demon King!
As word of his destiny spreads, the school begins to fear him, and Junko's trust in him falters. While Akuto is determined to not let his predicted future control his fate, it seems as though everything he says and does only serve to reinforce the fact that he is destined to be the Demon King. Moreover, he is surrounded by a harem of beautiful girls who each have their own plans for him, ranging from bringing him to justice to simply showering him with love. With his newly awakened powers, Akuto must cope with his constantly growing list of misfortune and fight to prove that his fate is not set in stone.
"That's why I decided not to think about anything anymore!"
That's a good one-line summary of this anime taken straight from the last episode. It's safe to say that the enjoyment of this anime is inversely proportional to the amount of plot stuffed into one episode. Simply, the more plot, the less fun. Ichiban is a harem anime. That means it doesn't exist to cater to the brain, and it doesn't. You should be aware that if you're going to watch this anime, then you're watching it for a good laugh, a small smirk, and moments where you can go "Oh Japan!" and laugh at what
makes it onto millions of TV sets across seas. You will like the fight scenes, and you will never learn the characters names - you will refer to them by hair color.
The demon lord, 100 years ago, tried to destroy humanity. The demon lord was killed and peace resumed, and up until our story begins, nothing as terrible has happened since then. Here our protagonist is introduced, Sai Akuto. His goal is be someone of great authority who will lead people to lead righteous lives (the anime alludes to the Pope). He then meets Hattori Junko, or "the Blue one", and she and Sai hit it off and look like they're going to be great friends. Then a tweest. Sai Akuto is designated by the sorting hat, I mean, the Yata-Garasu, as the future demon lord! Oh no! Blue gets mad, challenges Sai to a duel, then tsundere love kicks into effect and then a robot (Green) comes out of nowhere and an invisible girl gets fingered (Red) all in one episode! Actually, the exposition was pretty awesome and I really enjoyed it... But... It is safe to say, that the plot of the anime was almost nil after the first episode. Eventually we have incestuous sibling love, the power rangers, ninja idols, time travel, pseudo-space and all other kinds of crazy stuff coming into the anime. I understand it's anime about magic where 'anything could happen because we are led into a mysterious world whose limits are not ever revealed' but I would like at least some boundaries. When the mysterious man who is awkwardly introduced tried to rape numerous protagonists with giant sea cucumbers, I could safely say that I no longer took the plot seriously. But that's okay. It's a harem.
Think Gurren Lagann fight scenes. Then turn it down a little bit and make sure that there is a lot more OVER 9000 and laser beams and is sped up about fourteen times. You now have a good idea about what fight scenes in Ichiban are like. Animation is superb, art is a little different. The art for me was a little too generic. It felt kind of like fluidity and motion were really nice but left more to desire when someone wasn't kicking ass. If you were to compare this to numerous other harem anime, it just doesn't seem to be much different visually. But that's okay. It has cool fight scenes.
Aki Toysaki does a really awesome job as Soga Keena (Red), but if you don't like her then I recommend turning the volume off, she gets a LOT of screen time, and talks a crap load. Aoi Yuuki (who voiced Mina Tepes from Vampire Bund and Noel from Sora no Woto) had a great voice too. She voiced a monotone character, but did a really job making it sound "not as monotone." I really had no affection toward the OP or the ED. But that's okay. They suited a harem anime very well, and maybe you'll like them because music is a developed taste.
I don't know whether to give this a 1 for about a million bland characters, or a 10 for Peterhausen the dragon who shoots fiery drills. The main cast is a pallet of fun (rimshot). Everyone is a different hair color and a different "dere" so they're easy to tell apart! That's where the harem anime has the most trouble in my opinion. A harem has set archetypal characters and refuses to create an original endearing woman. I'm not saying that any woman in this anime is poorly written. Each one is written with her character in mind, but never strays from what the textbook says. Red is an airhead, Etou (Purple) is masochist, Blue is tsundere, and Green is emotionless. All of them can be summed up in one word.
Sai Akuto is on the other hand, a very interesting character. The setting continually sets him up to be a bad guy, but somehow he always manages to do the right thing, whether people know he's doing it or not. The typical male protagonist in a harem always tries to avoid temptation, but without a clear motive as to why. For example, for some craaaazy reason one of the beautiful ladies has appeared in front of our protagonist naked.Our protagonist, who very often envisions this event happening, suddenly has an over-powering urge to avoid any sexually conduct with this woman. BUT WHY? She's beautiful, naked, and right freaking in front of you! This creates character inconsistencies, but where our protagonist differs, is that when he refuses the woman (which alas he does), he is still in character. In summary, Sai Akuto is a good guy, and no one can tell him otherwise. I like that. As for the rest of the other characters, they're nothing special. But that's okay. Sai is a really cool character you'll love to see on screen, and to boot he isn't a sissy wimp like a lot of other harem protagonists!
Even with so many things working against this anime, there are so many moments where you'll seriously just laugh. I enjoyed a great portion of this anime. The only problem I really had was with the plot. But that's definitely okay! I remembered that it was a harem anime and anyone who forgets this key factor should try to understand that a little bit of mindless humor is good once in a while.
Ichiban is not a memorable anime. It really has nothing worth remembering (except Peterhausen). It just follows a long line of other harem anime into oblivion. But hey, it's only 12 episodes, and it's a fun little anime. I'd say it's worth recommending, but not worth ask feedback on. The response you'll get will be "Well... It was a harem anime... I liked 'X female'" so on and etc.
But that's okay. Because it IS a harem anime and expecting anything more than that is just plain craziness.
'Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou (The Great Demon King in the Very Back)' is set in an elite magic school where aspiring magicians learn to control their mana. The initial setting is very similar to 'To Aru Majutsu no Index'. One day, a transfer student (Akuto Sai) arrives. New students are required to go through an analysis by the "artificial spirit", which predicts future occupation with 100% accuracy. Surprisingly, the artificial spirit predicts Akuto will become the next Demon King. Once dreamed of becoming the High Priest, Akuto must spend his school life with the burden
of becoming the ultimate evil while his true powers awaken, going through one misunderstanding after another.
I actually found the original setting to be very intriguing. My impression after the first two episodes were... it's good enough that it didn't even have to be ecchi. The setting itself had the fantasy, opportunity for interesting story development, and possible obstacles all built in. It even had a super cool background where Akuto's self-introduction sounded like the real demon king that appeared 100 year ago.
I haven't read the light novel or the manga series, but from the anime, it seems like the title "The Great Demon King in the Very Back" comes from the fact that Akuto was given the seat in the very last row of his classroom. Sadly, the title of this anime series foreshadowed the pattern of story development... You would think Akuto will slowly become a dark presence in the back of his classroom while he tries to clear all the misunderstandings right? Think again. If I'm not mistaken, he hasn't sat in his seat since episode two. And so, the story jumped from one direction to another, random new organizations and villains appeared out of nowhere, and it eventually became mindless fights before the series ended, leaving me completely clueless. It actually got so bad at one point that Akuto threw a monster egg out of a window during breakfast, and the next cut was the crew outside at night in front of the monster egg, which grew exponentially. Really, it's one of those 突っ込み所が多すぎて "I don't know where I should begin pointing out the flaws".
Just like that monster egg, the story seemed to have an exponential acceleration in terms of pacing. The first two episodes had good pacing as introduction of the surroundings. Up until episode 7 was fast paced, but acceptable for slapstick comedy, but the final 5 episodes were packed with random events and explanations that seemed to go on and on without giving the audience time to absorb the story. The characters in the latter half actually started verbally describing the situation, and it wasn't even a deliberate slapstick joke.
I have to say the ecchi element was applied very effectively in this series though. Sometimes ecchi scenes were forced, like repetitive explosions stripping Junko or Keina getting naked every time she becomes transparent, but somehow they were funny every single time. Other ones happen more spontaneously, from skirts too short and creative camera angles that seem to focus on their panties. If there was a cameraman for this show, he was a major perv. This show is probably the closest to hentai category as an under-18 show can possibly get. It goes as far as giving a sea cucumber hand job until it squirts sticky white goo on another girl's face in a certain episode, and "classic tentacle hold" (you know the one I'm talking about if you've even seen an action hentai series) where one tentacle almost goes all the way in.
In the end, the story was a mess, and there were way too many loose ends and question marks unanswered.
The character designs are very good. Akuto has the obvious "mark of the Demon King" below his eye, but it keeps his appearance somewhat original, and he has that cool look and badass confidence that will eventually attract all the girls and create his harem. The girls are all hot, and there were abundance of fan service. Action scenes are pretty cool, and early episodes had really nice CG effects with magic circles and spectacular spells.
Unfortunately, they try to be "So bad it's actually good" with Brave and villains similar to something out of "Needless" or even "Scryed" about half way, and fails miserably. Monsters attracted by Akuto's powers looked like they're from late '90s demon hentai anime.
Perhaps it was caused by deadlines or budget, the animation quality noticeably degrades as the show go on.
Voice acting is decent. All the characters sound like they should, and none particularly annoying. Considering the (presumably) low budget they had, they gathered a decent cast as voice actors.
Music score is disastrous. Although none of the pieces were out of place, the back ground music completely lack originality, and made absolutely no impact to the viewing experience.
OP/ED were average. They fit the series pretty well, but not especially catchy.
All the main characters were extremely likable, and had unique backgrounds. However, very few of them actually developed as the show had hazardous pacing problems. Junko remained an archetype tsundere to the end, and Fujiko was a SM queen who we don't know if she was a "S" personality who wanted to control Akuto or a "M" personality who wanted to serve under him. I feel Akuto and his henchman Hiroshi were somewhat well-developed, but the pacing made it impossible to pursue such deep issues such as responsibility, justice, morality, and all those things they wanted to explore.
I really liked Korone's character. An android with sense of humor done right is rare, and the character developed as much as an android could in a 12-episode-long series. She was also a very effective comedic device, and I liked how she gave Akuto the hardest time with her sexual approaches.
'Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou' had a great potential to become something special. The show started out pretty strong, and had the slapstick comedy seemed to be working at first, but it was a downward spiral from there. As mentioned many times before, the pacing is far too fast, even for a slapstick comedy series. They tried to pack 20 episodes worth of material into a 12-episode, 1-season long series. Everything seemed to be twice as fast as they should be. I tend to read subtitle as future reference for fansubbing, but I gave up halfway because the characters were babbling nonsense at an absurd rate. Also, if you blank out for 3 seconds, chances are you missed an important explanation of the plot, a cool action scene, or even worse, a panchira.
Perhaps it would've been better if they added some more material and extended to a 2-season long series, but then again, it would've been even longer painful viewing experience unless they made major modifications to the story. Despite the worthless production value of this show, it's an enjoyable series if you shut down half of your brain because the characters had the charm and it offers good laughs from many ecchi jokes and misunderstandings Akuto had gone through in the first half of the series.
I feel the major problem was that 'Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou' tried to be too many things. There was ecchi, comedy, drama, and tried to tackle the issue of right and wrong. The producers should've simply made it an 12-episode long ecchi-driven slapstick comedy, or 25-episode long action drama with a philosophical touch. Not both.
I started watching this the first week it was aired, so I was following most of this as it was being subbed, apart from the last 4 episodes which I burst through this evening by force.
This anime starts off very strong in my opinion, it is funny, it is reasonably paced, the characters are interesting, and although there are hints of being slightly generic on occassion in the first few episodes, I dismissed them as everything else was great.
The intro hooks you as it starts out at a train station, the main protagonist Sai Akuto is getting on the train to his new school with
hopes of becoming a priest, how wrong his hopes will turn out to be though.
Immediately he meets with one of the female heroines, and gets off to a rocky start, which is quickly remedied, and they quickly become friends, and from that introduction easing you in, it starts throwing scraps of the main plot at you, mixed in with interesting characters and lots of funny moments to keep you interested, it seemed so perfect at first, to me at least, as everything was right, everything fit, it seemed great and I couldn't say a bad word about it.
The main character was likeable, he wasn't a stale, brown haired with glasses "I want to always do the right thing nothing else matters I won't hurt people but I don't want to die" cliché piece of rubbish we've seen a million times. He was a unique character, interesting, likeable. He wasn't afraid to stand up, to get in a fight where necessary, but he tried to avoid it otherwise in a reasonable fashion, a simple first hurdle that so many protagonists in this kind of genre fail at and which anger me every time.
The female heroines had some generic stereotypes thrown in here and there, but overall were a solid set of characters, all unique and different, with different motives for being with the protagonist, different goals in mind, all drawn to him and all playing an important part to the main plot evenly, no girl is completely left out.
On a personal side note I absolutely adored the robot girl and student council president. Especially the president, my lord she was brilliant.
The other 'throwaway' side characters as I like to call them aren't annoying, they're reasonably likeable, they do their job well and don't feel forced.
Overall the cast was very solid and worked together well.
The main problem with this series though, is that it starts to rush things.
REALLY rush things, and it loses a lot of it's charm, especially around the middle sections to near the end.
Before you know it, everything has been introduced for a base to build the main plot on, then suddenly the main plot kicks into overdrive and you're left sitting with your head cocked to one side, confused as to where this all of a sudden came from, who these new people are, what is actually going on. Especially in the build up to the last few episodes.
It was obvious that they had to cram a lot together in the 12 episodes, and it would have been much better as a 24 episode series in my honest opinion, as a lot of it was explained in a rather backhanded manner, "Oh, by the way, x is now x of so and so and does this, this is what is the cause of that, understand what's going on now? no? me either.", at least that is how it felt to me at times.
One thing to note though, when the main serious plot does kick in, while the jokes don't completely dissipate; they are toned down. A lot.
There are probably more jokes and hilarious moments in a single early episode than there is in the last 5.
Another gripe is how it seems to almost change genre episode 5+, at times it suddenly gets rather cheesy, with fighting and action scenes that I can only describe as "a mix between dragonball z and naruto" in some cases, especially the sword in the stone bit, I won't spoil, but that seemed too ludicrous for me to handle.
It almost feels as if it can't decide what it would prefer to do, stick with the way it started in the first few episodes, or switch to a generic fighting anime style, it hovers in-between and it aggravated me somewhat.
Despite it's flaws, and in my opinion becoming very generic and average in the middle areas, the late areas redeemed themselves, with the final two episodes being genuinely enjoyable again, although the ending felt like a slight cop-out to me, it was still enjoyable, so if you do watch, be warned that you might have to force yourself to watch some episodes near the middle.
Anyways, enough with explaining the story, characters and my enjoyment of it, onto the art and sound.
The art was very good, the animation was done to a reasonably good standard, neither were anything to go crazy about, but they were good.
Most of the characters had unique visual properties (I say most) that define them and make them unique, so for the most part there are no copypasted characters, the main protagonist is definitely unique, and in a very good way.
I never found any glaring faults with things like anatomy or the way characters move, which is always a good thing, oh, and I watched it uncensored so I cannot comment on how the censorship was done, sorry there.
In regards to sound, the OP was very nice, I liked it a lot in terms of both the animation and the music, the ED was alright too, but I wasn't a huge fan.
The music in the actual anime wasn't really that memorable except in one or two sections, so it is a solid 5-6 on that front, but I liked the voice acting a lot, so that bumps it up to an 8.
The voice actors were very good in my opinion, they conveyed the emotions, reactions and feelings well, I can't say anything bad about them.
All in all, it gets a 7 in my opinion, it was honestly enjoyable, but it rushed too much and felt like it couldn't decide what it wanted to be as an anime.
It could have been so much more.
Still, I would recommend fans of the comedy/supernatural genre give it a try as it is a good all rounder still, I just don't see it getting any special mention or being considered "amazing" any time soon.
[b]Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou[/b]
This had the potential to be great, but they failed to bring a well paced story.
The story was really interesting, Sai Akuto had a dream, and that dream was to be the Pope but little did he knew that he was destined to become the opposite of that, and that was to be the Demon King, every one in the Academy sees him as a treat and evil, when in reality he's not, he is a good person, who even wants to marry a woman and therefore he doesn't do anything with the girls that follows him, even when they try to
seduce him, the problem with this, is that this was too short to rush the last episodes to be serious and throws you a lot of things that you didn't know and a lot of new factions and people, it was too much for just three or four episodes, it could have work with 24 episodes, but they failed with this, but that doesn't mean the story was bad, it was good, what i didn't get was if he hated god why did he wanted to become Pope, why don't just become the president of the country? if he wanted to help people or anything else related to help people and not something related with what he hates? and the ending was pointless seeing the last scene where he goes to see in which career he's good and following the story logic that can't happen but it did.
[b][u]Art & Sound[/u][/b]
The art was really good for being from 2010, sometimes was odd in some scenes but was good and the sound matched with the art style and the music background was good, the OP was great but the ED song was meh, the VA was fine.
The characters were interesting at some point, but there's little back story for the majority of them they don't go nowhere, they don't have development but the characters are really good or at least Akuto was really interesting and this was because this just only had 12 episodes, they needed more to develop better the characters, Akuto was a badass, and i liked a lot Junko, she was my favorite girl.
I really was enjoying it, but like i said i couldn't because everything felt too rushed and the ending logic was a little disappointing.
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