Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou – 01
「魔王が誕生しちゃった！」 (Maou ga Tanjou Shichatta!)
“A Demon King is Born!”
Ecchi high school comedy with a magical twist makes its way into the lineup this season with “The Farthest Back Demon King”. Oddly enough, the title of the series seems to stem from the fact that male protagonist Sai Akuto’s (Worst Evil) seat in class is in the very last row. The story on the other hand takes place in far into the future in 31st century, where magic is as common as technology. Akuto (Kondou Takashi), who was abandoned as a baby by his mother and left at a church, grows up aspiring to be a high priest. To that end, he transfers to Constant Magic Academy and runs into one of its students, Hattori Junko (Hikasa Youko), on his first day there. She initially mistakes Akuto for a thug trying to mug her grandmother, but once that’s all cleared up and she hears of his righteous aspirations, she makes a vow of friendship with him in accordance to her Suhara family traditions.
Aside from a kick to the face, things couldn’t have gone better for Akuto for his first day. He befriends a beautiful fundoshi-wearing girl, meets the attractive yet slightly creepy school physician/teacher Torii Mitsuko (Takahashi Chiaki), and receives a clean bill of health from the artificial chain-smoking spirit Yata Garasu. However, everything goes south shortly afterward, with Yata Garasu’ aptitude test declaring that Akuto’s future occupation is that of a Demon King. Seeing as this test has never been wrong, a school-wide uproar results, with the one feeling most betrayed being his new classmate Junko. Akuto tries to calm the commotion, but the students soon realize that his declaration downplaying the test is similar to how the demon king declared war on mankind a hundred of years ago. What can go wrong, continues to go wrong (akin to Murphy’s law).
Surprisingly, Akuto draws the support of one Miwa Hiroshi (Yonaga Tsubasa), who compounds his problems by nominating him as class representative over Junko. As further damage control, Akuto declines the nomination and offers to do something meager like being part on cleaning committee instead, only to find out that the “cleaning committee” at Constant is responsible for silencing those who discover the school’s secrets—with force. This results in Junko challenging him to a duel for “playing with” her emotions, which results in Akuto’s hidden powers inadvertently causing an explosion. He tries to apologize to Junko later that night, but climbing up to her window and tapping on it three times for a booty call doesn’t go so well. Before round two is all said and done with another explosion, Akuto runs into a beautiful redhead (Toyosaki Aki) who tries to protect him and a green-haired girl named Korone (Yuuki Aoi) who introduces herself as an observer.
As you can see from the screenshots, there’s a fair bit of cleavage and fundoshi (panty) shots in this series, but no full exposure. I was actually hoping that this is all there would be, as I like what I read in the manga and didn’t want to see this series pigeonholed as a “trashy hentai show”. As I mentioned in the Spring 2010 Preview, I found the whole high school magic premise entertaining and compared it to Kampfer. Kampfer wasn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a fun series to follow due to the attractive character designs and the unique personalities that went with them. There was a good level of fan-service too, but nothing overly excessive. So far, it looks like Artland (producers of Mushishi) has provided just that in this adaptation, so with the possibility that Akuto’s back-story may amount to something meaningful, I’m looking forward to seeing more of this one.
Those aren’t my only reasons for following this series however, as I really enjoyed the new anime cast that replaced the drama CD’s. Kondou Takashi is really fun to watch, as his portrayal of Akuto is reminiscent of the logical side of Sugisaki Ken in last year’s Seitokai no Ichizon. Bringing all the tsundere goodness in Junko on the other hand is Hikasa Youko, whose roles I’ve been keeping an eye out the most lately. (She’s my latest seiyuu of interest.) Alongside her is fellow K-ON co-star Toyosaki Aki playing the red-head dojikko Soga Keena and kurenai star Yuuki Aoi as the green-haired android Korone. Plus there are Itou Shizuka, Tomatsu Haruka, Hirohashi Ryou, and other K-ON co-stars Kotobuki Minako and Taketatsu Ayana‘s characters whom we haven’t seen a lot of yet. In short, this is ecchi comedic fun with an awesome cast which probably won’t turn out to be anything special in the end, but I plan to enjoy the ride all the way through. I’m not going to make recommendations one way or another, but is anyone with me?
* This post is later than I would’ve liked because a local storm knocked out my Internet access for half a day.
* The opening sequence featuring sphere‘s new song REALOVE;REALIFE was shown as an ending sequence for this first episode.
* In addition to HEROMAN, this series is another one of Crunchyroll‘s new simulcasts for the season.
* Full-length shots of the lovely Junko can be seen here and here. Mmm…