Maoyuu Maou Yuusha (TV) – Episode 1
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha – one of my most awaited series of the season. It’s like a gem in a mountain of generally mediocre anime. With these thoughts in mind, I watched the first episode. It seemed so familiar, yet so refreshing.
One anime that I really liked was Spice and Wolf. Seemingly a very ordinary setting, but it managed to keep me watching through both seasons and all the OVAs. Upon seeing the trailer of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha for the first time, I immeadiately felt the similarity to Spice and Wolf. At first it was just the companionship of the two main characters.
However, as I watched this episode, I noticed there was much more to it. Mainly the dialogues. Instead of fast-paced action or humour-filled short phrases, this anime throws lines after lines of structured dialogues, often filled with complex words. Damn, this is exactly what I’ve been missing for a while. A series that let’s you listen (or read the subs, in my case) to characters talking to each-other, and discussing their future plans. Really refreshing.
The animation seemed to be of high quality to me, but that’s not the best about the series. The artistic style is quite original in a positive sense – as if drawn with actual paint. However, that type of design doesn’t take away any quality of detail from all the characters, objects or landscapes, and instead enhances everything.
I didn’t like the opening song, but the visuals in it were good. On the other hand, the ending song, which was sung by the same person as the opening of Spice and Wolf 2, was great, while lacking in the visual category. About voice actors: Hero’s voice was very fitting in my opinion, as expected of Fukuyama Jun. Demon King’s voice surprised me at first (since I rarely look up the voice actors before watching an anime), and I didn’t like it being the same as Horo’s at first (too strong), but during the 24-minute episode, I grew quite fond of it.
Now, shortly about the story: The anime takes place in a fantasy world, where two races live: humans and demons. As expected the two are constantly at war. One day, the kingdom of humans sends a Hero to slay the Demon King. Upon his arrival, the young man meets the “terrible” leader of the demon race – a beautiful, big-breasted, red-haired young lady. She greets the guest, and offers him a deal. Together they would stop the war between the two races without the negative consequences of its end: famine, unemployment, corruption etc. The war is actually beneficial to both sides in stopping these problems, but it costs thousands of lives – something that both, Hero and Demon King wish to stop.
The Hero, who has been thoroughly brainwashed prior to the series, listens to all the intelligent arguments of the demon ruler, and still doubts whether he should accept the offer to unite with her. If he was to accept – the two would become each-other’s (pretty much like marriage?). In case of success, the Demon King would give her partner all of her land, thus making the two kingdoms into one, and most likely bringing real peace into the world. In return, she wants a companion with whom to travel in the peaceful world, exploring unknown things and locations.
Though this was only the first episode of the anime, I have great expectations of it. It’s not rare for a series to flop after a very successful start, and I would really hope that doesn’t happen to Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. Perhaps it will be a successor of the popular Spice and Wolf franchise, while maintaining its originality. The mix of seriousness and humour will probably be key to a good run, and I’ll stay with this anime till the end.
PS. Thatturn-around with the horns at the end…