「破滅の魔女」 (Hametsu no Majo)
“The Witch of Destruction”
Typically I’d be inclined to rail against series like Maou Gakuin which are the epitome of wish fulfillment gone overboard, but I’ll damned if I’m having a hard time so far. Sure, we may only be two weeks in, but two weeks has been more than enough to go from OP to pea shooter annihilating magical Dora railway gun and hearing the lamentations of humiliated women OP. It’s definitely going to be as objectively bad as you could imagine—and arguably benefits all the more because of it.
As expected after last episode, Maou Gakuin mostly filled in the missing blanks concerning backstory. Anoth did the usual demon thing of fighting the heroes for world (multi-world?) domination, came to the unusual agreement of peace through race separation via his magic, and after fully recovering two millennia later woke up as a fresh-faced baby with a voice. Yeah, we went places alright. It’s honestly nothing special once you combine it with the current battle academy setting (now with demonic flavour) and Anoth’s drive to recover fame, fortune, and notoriety, although it starts growing teeth once you realize this show knows exactly what it is and makes no excuses for it.
Case in point is our MC who wastes little time in taking last week’s antics and kicking them up a notch. Shocking teachers; effortlessly overcoming special abilities; literally twirling stone castles; anything you could ever think possible was done, and you know full well this isn’t half of what this guy is capable of. While undeniably a Gary Stu power-wise at this point (seriously), what largely keeps Anoth from becoming annoying as hell is that no-sh*ts-given attitude where he never so much as bats an eye at anything, no matter how serious it may seem. Whereas other Stu candidates (especially the isekai variety) would lament, monologue, and super seriously call out stuff like wrong names and beatdowns of friends (all the while wagging fingers and indulging in harem romance), here Anoth just casually crushes face and collects babes without breaking a sweat. Such blatant invincibility and full understanding of what is going on here is actually kind of refreshing in a way, as it dispenses with a lot of the usual (and annoying) wish fulfillment contrivances to leave the main material we’re all here to dig into. Don’t think many thought our OP machine would reach second base with new harem initiate Sasha so soon after all—even the family was not expecting that!
Going forward, however, the key for Maou Gakuin will be the story complementing its exploration of OP badass-ery. While the first hint of conflict (and potential hero origins) exists with Misha’s and Sasha’s family situation, there’ll need to be some sort of challenge to keep Anoth from lounging around too much, or just like many a comedic slice-of-life, boredom may soon overwhelm any sense of fun emanating from all that demonic power. We’ll just have to wait and see what’s waiting in the wings next time.
ED: 「ハミダシモノ」 (Hamidashimono) by Tomori Kusunoki