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Maou-Sama, Retry! – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「TEMPEST」 by 石原夏織

「魔王降臨」 (Maou Kourin)
“Demon Lord’s Descent”

I have some strong feelings about this first episode.

General Impressions

Having come into this with some high expectations (or maybe high hopes is more accurate), I was a bit baffled by the time we reached the ending sequence. It’s tough for me to really put my finger on exactly what it was, but let me try to hash that out together with you guys through this post.

Kicking things off with the obvious, I was real disappointed about the low quality of the artwork throughout most of the episode. Close up shots weren’t too bad, but I couldn’t ignore just how “bad” things looked most of the time. From the extremely simplistic backgrounds to the real janky administrator windows, the look of things really detracted from the overall experience. It honestly felt like we had real life characters standing in front of fake sets.

That said, nothing was ever that bad that you couldn’t turn off that part of your brain to enjoy the show in-front of you. Because when it came to the overall setup and story, I thought it was pretty okay. With most of your typical isekai fixings with a dash of unexplainable powers and skills, there was enough ambiguity to keep you on your toes as you watched Kunai and Aku do their thing. However, what I thought might have been a big fail was how the story tried to make us care about Kunai without truly giving him something to care about. Aku’s manufactured struggles weren’t the worst, but we have no context behind why Kunai tries to be a good guy to her. All of which sums up to an awkward first episode where a lot of exposition occurred but not much substance came from it.

In any case, I’m holding out for episode two in hopes that it’ll improve on a lot of things. Who knows, maybe this episode was a fluke? That said, the humor in the show is pretty good and at the end of the day, maybe a few good laughs is what makes it all worth it.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「NEW」 by 東城陽奏

Preview

July 10, 2019 at 3:53 am
22 comments »
  • July 10, 2019 at 4:45 amAex

    Aku’s a scared kid and Kunai isn’t a complete and total ass, so he’s nice to her kinda by default. Then he notices that she’s disabled, abused, and literally in a crappy situation, so he figured there’s nothing wrong with being even nicer to her if he gets a guide out of it(child abusers should be killed, anyway). Don’t think it needs to be more complicated than that, at least right now.

    Pretty obvious this show won’t be anything amazing, but it’s got potential.

  • July 10, 2019 at 5:52 amKimberly

    Felt like Aku was trying a bit too hard in the “overpowered villain” aspect. Granted that he never really called himself a demon lord if I recalled correctly, only Kunai called him that.

    Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu had a much better first episode that made Diablo a likeable character from the get go.

  • July 10, 2019 at 6:04 amzztop

    Retry’s a pretty young LN series to get an anime so soon.
    Vol 4 just came out this Jul 28, 2019, with Vol 5 due for Nov 22, 2019.
    https://alert.shop-bell.com/comic/13485/

    You can still read Retry’s original webnovel online, but the author ended it in 2016 in favour of working on the light novel version.
    https://www.novelupdates.com/series/demon-king-retry/

    He states the WN’s a draft version; the revised LN deviating heavily from the original.
    https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2018-09-11/mao-sama-retry-fantasy-light-novels-get-2019-tv-anime/.136672

    He also considered removing the WN, but later decided to keep it for (likely) posterity reasons.

  • July 10, 2019 at 6:06 amzztop

  • July 10, 2019 at 6:22 ammac65

    Yeah, I looked at some of the manga for this, and, how do I say this, the Anime’s
    translation of the artwork was / contained the details in the manga, just very, very
    poorly rendered. Kinda like getting a amateur artist to copy the Mona Lisa. You’ll
    get a picture with a face containing 2 eyes, a mouth, and a person crossing their arms,
    but it won’t be anything like the original; I didn’t think the manga’s art was bad.

    It was kinda sad as I liked the concept of the story.

    Which (I didn’t check the manga) WTF: Why turn invisible and chat with her and let
    her get hit by a couple of rocks; if she knows that she can char with him, why blurt
    out that he’s the demon lord? Why burn the place down without getting her belongings?

    Oh well… Looks like it has the potential to be stupid fun (like smartphone, which
    I really like putting the brain in neutral and “going with it”).

    @Takaii — glad you previewed this though I don’t really expect it to be covered.

  • July 10, 2019 at 7:58 amYanDaMan

    At least the anime actually make Aku look like a girl from the get go. Manga readers was confused about her gender for a long time LOL

  • July 10, 2019 at 8:26 amGreed

  • July 10, 2019 at 9:11 amAapjuh

    As an anime viewer, this show is trash, i can’t spin it any other way.
    Potential? what? how did some people come to that conclusion.
    People are way to generous and forgiving about both quality and initial setup.

    -who was that statue and why didn’t he question its existence.
    -ring? given by unknown talking statue. no exposition.
    how did that statue even assume/predict he would even visit that supposed summoning site.
    he might aswell have run off to some city and thus not getting the ring.
    -no admin privileges > suddenly admin privileges.
    -ring starts talking about game system being a… country? not the whole world? sub error?
    only that specific country?
    -nvm the style quality.

    Its the first ep, its supposed to be the hook, the creme de la creme of what they can produce so you become a fan and eventually buy merch/dvd/novel/manga/etc.

    if a first ep is this bad, it doesn’t have potential, its a flop from the get-go.
    start accepting this as baseline quality and productions cut edges more and more, till we go back to 1990′s gif quality moving pictures and call it a decent anime.

    • July 10, 2019 at 6:07 pmLoliHat

      Honestly, this episode wasn’t bad. Sure, not great, but I didn’t have any major quibbles.

      who was that statue and why didn’t he question its existence.

      The one responsible for granting the wish that brought him over to this world, which is all the MC needs to know to grok his situation. Beyond that I don’t know yet, but then I actually prefer to leave a bit of mystery rather than info-dump everything.

      ring? given by unknown talking statue. no exposition.

      The ring (which comes off as a wearable version of Stormbringer) was given to help fulfill the wishes of the cultists who wanted to bring over a demon lord.

      how did that statue even assume/predict he would even visit that supposed summoning site.

      he might aswell have run off to some city and thus not getting the ring.

      Him going to the wish-statue wasn’t necessary to fulfill the wish, or perhaps it was all part of keikaku? Maybe there is more. It’s a minor quibble at best.

      no admin privileges > suddenly admin privileges.

      Came across as privileges that had been limited or broken. Could have been explained a bit more, but got its point across.

      ring starts talking about game system being a… country? not the whole world? sub error? only that specific country?

      We’ll likely find out. Probably invoking what he did in his actual game world.

      All in all, the MC wasn’t annoying or an idjit, which puts the show above way too many Isekai shows.

    • July 10, 2019 at 9:05 pmhjerry2000

      If you’re looking for good writing, then yeah, this series isn’t it. (Go watch Vinland Saga) Hell, MOST isekai aren’t it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable for what it is. That is, if you like this sort of thing. It’s very much like liking shounen. Some will be more predisposed to forgive tropes if they like that kind of show.

      Personally, I’m at least enjoying this (for what it is), but again, I tend to like this kind of stuff.

  • July 10, 2019 at 10:38 ammac65

    Ep. 2 The spanking scene had me in stitches! There’s a magic about
    this series that’s really endearing – like a comedy-drama-comedy.
    Of course with his OP there’s no tension to anything that comes up
    since he easily sidesteps any conflict (not even realizing how OP he is)!

    It’s really nothing like an adventure-fantasy, at least not yet!
    I dunno if it’ll get more “serious,” but I’m thinking along the
    lines of Endro and I’m liking it so far!

  • July 10, 2019 at 12:06 pmZanber

    Just watched ep 2 to try and give it a chance. I felt that there was some potential but I know this anime won’t deliver. Sadly, I’m gonna have to drop it.

    The isekais this season seem like the weakest batch yet.

    • July 10, 2019 at 12:38 pmmac65

      n.p. — Cheat is the shining isekai star this season for first eps!

      • July 10, 2019 at 6:11 pmLoliHat

        I wasn’t going to watch that one because the summary seemed very generic and I hadn’t seen the source material or manga adaptation, as I have with Maou-Sama, Retry! Might have to check that one out.

        Of course, any other show this season will look like solid gold compared to the hackjob that was Antifureta.

      • July 10, 2019 at 9:10 pmhjerry2000

        Cheat is as generic Isekai as there ever could be.

        Average teenage boy sent to another world for no reason, and granted powers so great that he basically never has any threats or tension whatsoever, while a harem of trope girls throw themselves at him for seeming no other reason than that he’s nice.

        Stay away unless you just like that sort of thing.

      • July 10, 2019 at 11:44 pmLoliHat

        @hjerry2000

        Yup, that show was the most generic Isekai of the season, and then some.

        Still, it doesn’t seem at butchered as compared to Antifureta. Admittedly, I’ve read the Antifureta LN, and know nothing of the “Cheat Magician” source material, so I don’t know how well, or not, that was adapted…

  • July 10, 2019 at 2:29 pmBors

    The Dhalsim reference was the best part of the episode. Take that as you will…

  • July 10, 2019 at 6:14 pmLoliHat

    Honestly, I thought the first episode was fine. Perhaps the animation wasn’t perfect, but there weren’t enough glaring errors to really take me out of the story or distract me. The story is perfectly fine so far, and there really wasn’t anything that made me go “WTF” (either it was minor, a question of luck, or came across as something to be revealed later).

  • July 10, 2019 at 6:28 pmPlayer

    The ED confused me too (but I like it!).

    “However, what I thought might have been a big fail was how the story tried to make us care about Kunai without truly giving him something to care about. Aku’s manufactured struggles weren’t the worst, but we have no context behind why Kunai tries to be a good guy to her.” Wait, you say make us care about Kunai but didn’t give Kunai anything to care about? Is that sentence right? If you mean make him empathetic… yeah, he’s not particularly empathetic, he’s like the MC of Isekai Smartphone or Death March, he’s vaguely trying to get home but picking up girls and sightseeing while he’s at it. I figured that kind of behavior didn’t need an explanation. I think Kunai mainly tries to be a good guy to Aku because she’s super cute and has nowhere else to go, and he’s rich so it costs him little effort.

    Were your expectations high because you read the novel? I didn’t and I at least had fun with this one. (Along with the second episode which I just watched.) I’m sure there’s a lot of characterization that is cut compared to the novel, though. It’d be interesting to hear a comparison with the novel.

  • July 11, 2019 at 2:17 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    Pretty bad… aside from “old man face joke” 2nd ep fairs no better.

    But it has a certain trainwreck quality about it.
    Which i find odd because ive never been a rubbernecker

  • July 18, 2019 at 5:14 ammac65

    Ep. 3 This Anime is so broken it’s like a train wreck I can’t look away from,
    which makes it such a stupid-fun watch. We got zero resolution on Killer Queen,
    only her younger sister sent them home (I guess?) Plot progression is like
    falling down the stairs; you get to your destination but it’s kinda painful.

    Anyway, it’s my guilty pleasure unless it starts to really make sense, in which
    case I’ll seek therapy…

  • July 25, 2019 at 2:27 pmmac65

    Ep. 4 Beyond the questionable artistic interpretation of the source material,
    it’s actually kind of a peculiar watch. You kinda get used to the animation
    shortcomings and realize it would make for a great drinking game to count the
    goofs. With all of that, there’s actually logic and a somewhat decent story.
    There’s character growth and progression; the story seems to advance.

    It’s like you think you wanna drop it, but you’ll give it one more chance…

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