「すぐに戻れる、すぐにまた会えるさ」 (Sugu ni Modoru, Sugu ni Mata Aeru sa)
“I’ll be back soon, we’ll see each other soon”
Change of pace this week! Stilts is off drinking (probably – that’s usually a fair guess) with friends so I’ll be taking on coverage of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha for this one week. My posting style is generally fairly different but bear with me, I’ll try to contain my ranting! Probably. Alright I won’t, but there isn’t much of it – just a few things here and there I want to address while I have the opportunity.
There’s always an ill omen in the air, a hint of foreshadowing, whenever someone writes something along the lines of ‘I like how peaceful things are right now’. It’s one of those obvious flags that means the peaceful days are coming to an end and disaster will soon strike. And strike it does. Or rather, begins to strike – the strike appears to be on its way in upcoming episodes. The conflicts with demons aren’t the only ones, as a shamed general, now willing to do anything for revenge under the guidance of one of the more corrupt central kings make preparations to crush the Winter Nation. It’s a continuation of the themes Maoyuu so greatly favours – good and evil aren’t dictated by species, but by the individuals themselves. Demons are not inherently evil; humans are not inherently good.
Conflict is always a pretty big theme in this series which is kind of a given when ending the war is its central driving premise. War itself cannot truly bring about peace – there will always be dissent from the losing side, having their freedom of choice snatched away from them by others. The conflict remains, quieter but still present until something sets it off and fighting breaks out once more. Knowing this, and with Maou’s desire to save everyone on both sides of the war, Yuusha is obviously going to be left feeling useless when his skillset only allows him to kill. But the fact of the matter is that he isn’t useless, his clever use of scare tactics aside, no matter how idealistically they want to go about creating peace, fighting is going to be unavoidable. It’s a damn war after all. Even after it’s over, some semblance of force will need to remain, as the old adage says: Si vis pacem, para bellum (If you wish for peace, prepare for war). In a world where conflict has played such a large role for so long, expecting things to work out without some show of force would be naive.
I could probably go on for ages about some of the concepts Maoyuu Maou Yuusha brings up, but I’ll restrain myself and talk only a little about the one that I think is most relevant even in present times. You need education to know you need it. It’s hard to find something more true and it applies so greatly even now. There’s still so much we don’t know about our universe and yet we consider ourselves to be highly intelligent and knowledgeable beings. This is only because we don’t know. We don’t know what more there is out there, we don’t know what secrets life might hold. Information may be far more easily accessible in this day and age so we don’t suffer problems as widespread as those present in Maoyuu, but it remains something that will continue to apply as time goes on. For their world, the printing press is but the first step forwards on that journey.
The accelerated history is perhaps one of the things that draws me most to Maoyuu. Maou is basically one of us, a being ‘from the internet’ with such a wide range of knowledge that could be applied to the world, thrust into the middle of a traditional fantasy video game setting with the opportunity to do what she can to fix things. It’s fun to try and imagine what one would do in that situation and equally as entertaining to watch a character go through those very motions.
As a reader of the manga I have my issues with the adaptation. It’s no surprise really, adaptations almost never quite live up to expectations, they always fall just short of our hopes for them. I love the music, it’s perhaps one of the things that draws me to this adaptation most. But coming from the Ishida Akira manga (which I highly recommend to those who enjoy the show) I continuously find myself disappointed by the comparatively bland light novel designs used in the anime. Karyuu Koujo (Itou Shizuka) is a particularly strong offender in this category. I also find that the pace is moving extremely rapidly for no solid reason, with many awesome scenes skipped completely. The battle scenes, rare though they are, also lack impact. Combat may not be the main focus of the series, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be spectacular when they do come up. One of the big draws to the manga came from some of those slice of life scenes that have been cut entirely. I wanted to see Yuusha’s hilarious attempts at teaching swordsmanship!
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – Education, accelerated history, and the birth of a new conflict. #Maoyu
- Yuusha has it right – in warfare there isn’t really a ‘fair‘. War is not a sport and death is death, whether chivalrous or not.
- And then Yuusha had a boner so powerful the whole world shook. Do you tell me that’s not what happened? Lies! The timing was too perfect!
- Meido Chou knows what to do!
Random aside: I released an awesome eight track sci-fi electronic video-game-inspired album! You should listen to it, buy it, and spread the word or something!