Winter 2013 Anime Preview: Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Romance, Politics
Director: Takahashi Takeo
Series Composition: Arakawa Naruhisa
Character Design: Kudo Masashi
Original Creator: Mamare Touno
Starring: Ami Koshimizu as Maou, Jun Fukuyama as Yuusha
The story is set in a world embroiled by war between Humans and Demons. The Humans' greatest hero invades the Demon Queen's castle determined to vanquish her. However, instead of fighting back, the Queen proposes an alliance with the Hero. She explains how a sudden end to the war can bring further chaos to the world as the Humans once united to stand against their common enemies would eventually begin fighting among themselves, with similar issues already occurring at the Demon Realm. Convinced by her words, the Hero joins forces with the Queen and together they execute a plan to bring prosperity and a lasting peace to both Humans and Demons alike.
New From the Director of Spice and Wolf
- Preview by Doraku: Let’s be honest, I’m not really a fan of fantasy genre. When I knew about Maou Yuusa, I did not expect it’s going to be quite entertaining; I did not even bother to read the plot preview. Judging only from the promotions which have been floated on the internet, they gave me the same vibe with Sword Art Online. What attracted me to watch this anime in the end is the fact that studio Arms make it. Arms is best known as the studio which made Elfen Lied anime adaptation, and I love Elfen Lied.
The first episode was full of surprise. The twist kicks in since early part of the first episode. When I finally noticed that there is something unusual about how the plot is unfolded, I was hooked. The animation quality, especially when it comes to the setting (castle, snowy land in the middle of nowhere, etc), is top-noch and smooth, something which is also surprised me. The humors are laughable, though they are not really that funny. Fanservices are also shown several times throughout the first episode, for those who care about that stuff. One thing that irked me is the first episode was slow in terms of plot building. I believe there are some unnecessary scenes which become drag for me to focus on the storyline. The first episode could reveal more about the plot. In the end, the main reason I watch Maou Yuusa is because its surprises, and unfortunately nothing more. If this series fails to amuse me by several episodes later, I will drop this series as soon as I can.
- Preview by naruto-niichan: To be honest I wasn't particularly interested in Maou Yuusha but the success of the novels in Japan made me curious. After watching the first episode I don't really know what to think. It sure is different compared to other fantasy series, it skips the usual trope of demons = evil and humans = good. One could say that it actually makes fun of the whole concept, which makes the series worthwhile... or so you would expect. The funny parts weren't particularly funny though and it focused too much on the unusual premise, leading to a very slow progressing plot.
Now that makes it sound like I am bashing the first episode but it wasn't that bad. The characters were okay and the jokes mildly entertaining. I will probably continue watching the series because of it's potential but the first episode was rather subpar because of the slow plot and just too much focus on the premise, which wasn't funny enough to make up for the plot.
- Preview by Drmke: The word to keep in mind here is generic because that's what Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, I found the lead characters to have bland personalities, and even the world it takes place in suffers from the all too familiar "war between humans and demons" with no attempt to even spice up the aesthetics of it by calling the two groups something other than just "humans" and "demons". Of course, even with a generic setting and names, this story could have potential and evolve into something more. It's hard to tell, especially since the first episode gives you almost no clues to go on as to how the story will progress from here.
My biggest problem though would be just one too many bad sex jokes than I can handle. There is a chance this series could stop incorporating large breast-related jokes all the time, but past experiences tell me it most likely will. That plus what I mentioned before have me passing on Maoyuu Maou Yuusha for now.
- Preview by Farfalla: This serie mixes two genres that I love: fantasy and comedy. For a quick moment, it made me think of Record of Lodoss War because of that. And also due to that, I had a quite good impression of it! In Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, instead of heros fighting evil, the serie starts talking about a hero and "the evil side" joining forces to fight against a common enemy: the war between them. Not saying that this concept is new, but I like the idea of a medieval serie talking about realistic, relevant and atemporal issues, such as the benefits of the war and its economical aspects.
But if you compare the anime series with the manga, you'll get the feeling that things happen a bit faster in the anime. The background and the decisions that the characters make are better explained in the manga, what makes the course of action more believable. The anime is still very good, though. The art is beautiful (although a bit different from the manga one) and the OST is really good (I love the instrumental part of the opening song). In the anime, you can also check some characters that would only be introduced later in the manga series, and although it's a shonen story, it's good to see some hints of a soft romance (although it starts out of the blue and the hero has that same profile we're used to see in all fantasy heroes, which, from my point of view, could maybe represent the writer mocking hero stereotypes, since this one even lacks a name). Let's keep in mind that this anime is based on a light novel (focused on teens and young adults), and that means that we'll prolly see a plot that gets deeper with time, and a lot of fanservice, hehe.
- Preview by Kaiten: What first drew me to Maoyuu Maou Yuusha was the ridiculous number of manga adaptions, five by my count. I have not read any, rather I was curious what could warrant so many adaptions. Much to my surprise, episode one of my Maou was extremely good, and promises only to get better. Maou reminds me a little of Wolf and Spice, with it's mix of bishoujo, fantasy, adventure, romance and humor, with realistic politics and economics. It also happens that both anime were directed by Takahashi Takeo, while seiyuu Koshimizu Ami voiced both Wolf and Spice heroine Holo, and Maou's Demon Queen.
Politics are the heart of the story, Maou is ultimately about the economics of war, and power of the military-industrial complex. Episode one succeeds by treating war not as a childish matter of right and wrong, but a complex subject. Steeped in realpolitik, the show does not attempt to draw moral boundaries, but seems more interested in explaining cold, hard truths. Maou also succeeds in turning action tropes on their head. Victory is not as simple as defeating the villain, peace potentially can be as deadly as war. Episode one is mostly exposition, and does drag in parts. The background animation is lovely, but the character design is anime stock. But Maou does promise to be an outstanding, intelligent series. I am really looking forward to the next episode.
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