「魔王学院の不適合者」 (Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha)
“The Misfit of Demon King Academy”
Ah summer, we can all rest easy knowing it’s finally arrived—summer anime is now here after all! While concern may persist about the strength of this season or how many of those spring restarts will actually restart (because Corono-chan), at least we have one of our first in Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha, and I dare say it’s a good fit for the times at hand. Sure, this one isn’t particularly special, but at least it’s got some fire in its belly. Well, at least its hands.
As the always handy RC Preview indicates, Maou Gakuin is your paint-by-numbers light novel battle academy story. Our lead MC Anoth (Suzuki Tatsuhisa) is the OP machine who winds up being the ugly duckling for certain reasons, and through moxie, ability, or just sheer badass-ery (repeatedly killing a guy and resurrecting him to get him to surrender certainly is a hot take) gets to work his way to the top and prove everyone wrong. We have the usual cookie cutter enemies thrown in to prove essential roadblocks, and (as always) the array of girls with dartboard-determined personalities whom ensure Anoth is never left wanting in waifu options.
The defining feature of Maou Gakuin, however, is its premise. Effectively taking a page from Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 2 while giggling at those thinking this is an isekai (it’s not) and revelling in its Harry Potter aesthetics, Anoth is literally the king of demons resurrected, a guy who decided to time skip two millennia into the future for reasons currently unknown. Thus rather than a largely neutered MC who must rely on smarts and one dangerous ability (e.g. Rakudai’s Ikki), we get the effective opposite in a kid (literally, he’s only a month old!) who starts with all the powers and no conceivable opponent capable of matching him. Yes, those are definitely Gary Stu sirens you hear in the background. To be fair to Maou Gakuin though, there’s a lot of unknowns regarding its plot and characters right now, as this episode rushed hard through its opening material and cut a lot of the source material’s initial exposition. Wish fulfillment, while rightfully frowned upon, can be done right with proper writing, and considering Anoth already has a leg up personality-wise compared to the likes of
Jesus-kun Tatsuya, there’s some decent hope this one will (if truly going the Gary Stu route) nail narratively what its fellow genre mates struggle with.
Overall while Maou Gakuin is highly unlikely to change collective opinions on battle academy series or find itself topping ranking charts, there’s enough here which if built on successfully stands a good chance at turning this into a fun bit of summer weekend entertainment. We’ll know more once the rest of the cast is introduced and motives are revealed, but don’t believe for a moment this one has fully revealed all its cards. After all, this demon king is in the mood for some educating.
OP: 「正解不正解」 (Seikai Fuseikai) by CIVILIAN