「｢待たせたな、わたしの勇者｣｢寝坊しすぎだ、おれの魔王｣」 (｢Mata Seta na, Watashi no Yuusha｣｢Nebou Shi Sugida, Ore no Maou｣)
“I’m back, my Hero. You sleep too much, my Demon King.”
My my, that was…rushed. Erh, so it’s over? That didn’t feel like a finale to me.
Maou vs Yuusha–erh, that’s it?
Well, that was fast. This whole battle lacked punch. I thought this was going to be the climax of the show, but they blew their load in the first 5 minutes in a seriously underwhelming confrontation. It was neat seeing Yuusha bend the scythe, but they didn’t get into it enough for me to think Yuusha could possibly lose to possessed Maou. It was just thoroughly underwhelming. Not much else to say on that. I give it a D-, correct your work and see me after all.
On the flip side, the fight between Katame Shirei-kan and Gunjin Shitei was pretty great. Here, there was actually risk of the good guys losing – Katame Shirei-kan was clearly the more experienced swordsman, which showed in how he carved up Gujin Shitei without taking a scratch himself. Gunjin Shitei was more clever though, be it with his wrist armor (I still wonder if that would interfere with wielding a sword, but a damn great moment) or going for the mutual KO to beat a stronger foe. My only qualm was that he saved his life by jamming a sword into the wall while he was grappling with a strong foe, and despite the fact that the sword dropped down the hole before them. Add in the logistics of jamming it into the wall and it not only staying in place, but it first stopping and then holding all of his weight…ugh, I shouldn’t think about it so I can still remember that fight fondly.
I quite enjoyed how Onna Kishi and her troops triumphed over the mercenaries with better discipline and surprise attacks. Them separating them up by enticing them to follow their own dividing forces (despite the fact that the enemy didn’t know the land as well and their horses were already tired) was a smart tactic. Though, since ‘ol General Winter came right after that, it all basically amounted to not a whole helluva lot. A neat fight though.
Maou vs Onna Kishi – I Don’t Buy It
Now, I’m as much of a fan of a good harem plot as the next red-blooded pervert. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional story indulging in the fantasy of one lucky bastard getting all the girls, especially if there is some comedy and ecchi bits thrown in for shits and giggles. My problem is when a harem or love triangle is shoehorned into a story halfheartedly. Maou and Yuusha are clearly a OTP (trope!), and acting like anything else is true is just wasting our time. I was fine with Onna Kishi contesting Yuusha for a while, just as I was fine with Seinen Shounin doing the same with Maou, but the latter only worked because he realized he had no shot and buggered off. Onna Kishi is a great character, but she has overstayed her welcome on the I-want-to-bone-Yuusha train. Yes, I laughed a few times this episode, from the teacup and blushing (seriously, how did she manage to drop the teacup on her head?) to the two of them getting within kissing distance as they argued over Yuusha, but that doesn’t mean it aided the story by being included. I would have much preferred Onna Kishi get over Yuusha and be open to finding love with some other awesome character that could come along later. It’s a thought.
This is the first finale where keeping this section in has been appropriate, because it doesn’t feel like a finale at all!! There’s still so much ahead in the story, and they weren’t shy about making that obvious. A few items:
- Apparently the humans and demons are already working together just fine, even if it’s for ill purposes. It is said that the best way to unite people is to give them something to unite against. It appears that the church is intent on doing this, even if they have to manufacture the enemy. Also, it’s time for guns to enter the fray? That can’t be good for anyone who likes living.
- Though Maou is looking for peace via this Quriltai thing, it doesn’t sound like the demon people are quite as interested in that. She really needs to start changing the culture there if they’re ever going to have a lasting peace. Though of course, that’s easier said than done.
- Nothing was really resolved. Seinen Shounin is still pushing for trade with the demon world, they’re trying to make a smallpox vaccine (for world peace!), everyone’s plans are still in motion…we didn’t even get a kiss between Maou and Yuusha!! Nothing was resolved at all, GAH!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A finale that didn’t feel like it. This story has clearly only just begun. Time to pick up the manga #Maoyuu
- I still have no idea what Onna Mahoutsukai was doing, talking about, or…anything else about her, really.
- Meido Chou no ecchi!
In writing my final impressions for Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, I described it as a work of flawed genius. If I were to describe Maoyuu Maou Yuusha in a similarly pithy way, it would be as a textbook example of adaptation decay (trope!). While the underlying characters and story struck me as very good, the implementation here was decidedly sub par. This was 2-cours (or more!) worth of material squeezed into one, and it suffered greatly for it.
Not all was bad, of course. Some episodes were quite good – episode 1 did a great job of slowly pulling us into the story and getting us interested in the characters, and episode 9 was so fantastic it was damn near worth watching the entire series just to appreciate that one episode alone. You may notice a similarity between these two episodes – they took their time. Very little material was covered, but what was covered was done with attention and care. When Maoyuu luxuriated over the little details, it was wonderful – that is exemplified by the disguised Meido Ane’s stirring speech in episode 9, but it was seen other times as well, especially when Seinen Shounin got in there and started negotiating the fuck out of someone.
The characters were great too. This was especially true of the side character, though not because the main characters were bad – it was just that they were the ones who most got short-changed by the rapid pace of the adaptation, so only certain secondary characters had anything like their full story told. Basically, there was so little of their story that they had to tell the whole thing for it to make sense! Special props go to Gunjin Shitei, Shounin Shitei, Toujaku Ou, and above all else, Meido Ane. Of anyone else, she was the character that grew the most. From a scared peasant to the one who ignited liberalism in the human world…stirring, simply stirring. I may go watch episode 9 again when I’m done with this post.
In the end, I’m forced to conclude that this adaptation was a failure. They rushed while trying to cover all this material, only for us to get to a finale that didn’t feel like a finale at all. If you are to rush, you need to at least give us a payoff to justify the pacing problems, and this anime lacked even that! I will say this though – after watching this, I badly want to read the what I understand is far superior “Kotowaru!” manga adaptation. If success can be counted in getting people interested in the source material (or another adaptation, in this case), then this was a successful anime. Unfortunately, I would have preferred they satisfy me with this adaptation so I didn’t have to seek out another medium to get the proper story. Strength in the source, weakness in the adaptation – for a tale with such interesting underpinnings, sadly that’s a story I’ve heard many times before.