「｢魔王っていい匂いだな｣｢勇者の腕の中はほっとする｣」 (｢Maou tte ii Nioida na｣｢Yuusha no Ude no Naka wa Hotto Suru｣)
“｢You smell good, Maou｣｢And I feel safe in your arms, Yuusha｣”
While last episode felt like it was missing something (and it was – a proper showing of Yuusha’s deeds), this one felt more cohesive. My interest was piqued by Gate City, there was action and unforeseen changes with the fleet’s blunder, and love was in the air as Maou and Yuusha finally see one another again.
Gate City – A Demon City, Controlled by Humans
As if we didn’t need the reminder, humans are dicks. The events in Gate City were a poignant reminder that evil is not confined to demons, and Yuusha proved how far he has come with how readily he accepted that. You want monsters? Look for them in the hearts of your fellow man. There’s enough villainy there without searching out other groups and demonizing them. Erh, literally in this case.
Personally, what struck me in these scenes was how similar demons and humans are, thanks to the introduction of Mazoku Musume (lit: Demon Girl, Eriko Matsui). She looks much more like a demon than Maou or Meido Chou do, but she acts no different than a human girl – no different, in fact, that Meido Ane did when she was first introduced. It’s not that I didn’t understand that the two species are very similar in this world, but more effort has been put into showing how humans are like demons (evil bastards) than showing how demons are like humans (utterly mundane and weak normal people who just don’t want to be hit).
As for Gate City itself, I feel like it’s as important to settling this conflict as Bright Island is. Peace is hard to come by when the other side is squatting on your land, so both sides need to get back to their old borders before peace can be achieved (feel free to draw real world comparisons – hell, I can think of like twelve – but please keep it tame in the comments. Thanks). As Maou’s knight, Yuusha can stomp in and kick the humans out of Gate City and take care of that festering sore on the peace process. Which appears to be his plan in the near future. I do wonder what Yuusha is trying to smuggle into the Northern Fortress, though I suppose we’ll find out in due time. Related: spoiler tags, people. Use em. Just sayin’.
Bright Island – A Human Island, Controlled by Demons
Seriously though, humans are dicks. Or at least some of them are. I cannot understate how much of a pompous, short-sighted asshole the Byakuya Ou (lit: White Night King, Touchi Hiroki) is. He was using his “rousing speech” to snipe at Fuyu Sabi Ou, and then when said king saves his life by sacrificing his own, the bastard has the gall to try to blame the loss on him. And as if that wasn’t enough, he had the temerity to say that the whole disaster didn’t matter because they would get new ships. It doesn’t matter? It doesn’t matter? 200 ships and 6,000 lives don’t matter because you’ll get shiny new ships? If this is humanity, I’ll take the demons, because I don’t see how they can be any worse. Though if they’re really so much like humanity, they’re probably just as bad.
While jackass military commanders getting their asses whopped and brushing it off like no big deal is nothing new in history, I was surprised that Fuyu no Ouji (now the new Winter King…congratulations on your promotion, blondie) wants to tackle Bright Island again. Though really I shouldn’t be…just as Gate City is a sore spot to the demons, Bright Island is one for the humans. What’s more, the Winter Country is beholden to the Chruch, the Alliance, and Maou (thanks to their help with their new farming methods), and the Alliance at least stands to make a lot of money if they can use the shipping routes that go past Bright Island to trade with the West. As for the Church, they just want to exert their influence and remain relevant. My my, the one who wrote this story sure knows their history.
Fortunately, since the former Fuyu no Ouji has decided to bring in Onna Kishi as his commander for the second attack, I’m confident this one will go much better. Or inconsolably angry if she dies. Onna Kishi!!
Friends Among Rivals – Onna Kishi & Maou
Speaking of Onna Kishi, I enjoyed her talk with Maou. How is it that, in a conversation between two women, it’s Yuusha that ends up looking like the best? Actually, all of them impressed me here – Maou for wanting to be honest despite the risk and Onna Kishi for not being prejudiced and accepting Maou as a good person (rather than an evil demon), but Yuusha was the wisest for telling Onna Kishi beforehand, giving her plenty of time to decide how she felt rather than chance her getting swept up in the moment out of duty and surprise. Friends, huh…that gave me a warm and squishy feeling, even as Onna Kishi’s protests that she hadn’t given up on Yuusha made me laugh. Come on, give it up girl. You lost that battle a while ago.
The New Year’s Festival
Massive props go once again go to the meido sisters, this time for being kind, thoughtful, and generally great people. If White Night King and the soldiers of Gate City make me hate humanity, they make me love it again. Not only were their presents sweet, but they even managed to render Meido Chou speechless for a second there. I never thought I’d see the day!
Best of all though, was the scene between Maou and Yuusha. Yuusha’s long absence is still a suspect decision, but it’s undeniable that their reunion was sweet. Yuusha’s casual entrance on the pouting Maou was so fitting for him! I also very much enjoyed Maou wailing on him with her dakimakura. That’s what you get for leaving her alone, buddy!
They really are a baka couple though. Watching them both get jealous and pouty was hilarious, and shows that though they may have come together for strange reasons, they’re actually quite a good pair at the end of the day. And the dance…well, the dance was sweet, but I’m sure I had the same reaction most of you did to the almost-kiss – just kiss dammit, you chickens! No you should not let go! GAH!! Stop making this so painful for me, you baka couple you.
Yuusha has declared he’ll retake Gate City in under a month, Maou intends to go to sea as well, and it looks like Yuusha will be meeting up with his old buddy Rou Yumihei next episode as well. Things are heating up.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – When enemies are on your land, peace is hard to see…even if you’re on theirs too. Also, Maou & Yuusha are such a baka couple! #Maoyuu
- The Papal election might be influencing this sudden militancy on the Church’s part. Hello, echoes of real life.
- Is it just me, or rather than using all those fish for fertilizer, couldn’t they just, ya know, eat them? Though of course, they don’t have refrigeration, so I guess they wouldn’t last long. Still, seems such a waste!
- This is the first episode of Maoyuu I wouldn’t want to have watched around my friends. Not because anything embarrassing happened, but because I can just imagine all the tentacle jokes I’d get. Giant squids destroy ships in Western fiction too, dammit!!
- Props to Yuusha for using teleportation magic exactly how I would. Walk across the room? Walk down to the main hall? Fuck it, teleport! Makes for a better entrance anyway.
- Ohoho, Meido Chou got asked to dance! I don’t know why, but that entertains me a lot. That old man has good taste.