「魔剣大会」 (Maken Taikai)
“Magic Sword Tournament”
Know what’s better than the weekend? What’s that, mad partying and copious drinking? Wrong, it’s spending wholesome time with the family of course! As though Maou Gakuin realized what it was missing, we were back to Anoth family shenanigans alongside a healthy dose of proving why Misha is in fact best girl. Best. Girl. Oh, and some tangible plot developments too, because obviously we want the whole kit and caboodle to boot.
Why there’s plenty of arguments for why Maou Gakuin is objectively utter crap, it’s episodes like this which really highlight how the show knows this and leverages it into a strength. Any other series would have turned circumstances like Anoth’s resurrection and (new) family life into some grandiose plot line with a heaping dollop of secrecy and tension for example, yet here? Not only does everyone know how old he is and how utterly wrong it is, but winks, puts on their best deadpan look, and continues marching firmly ahead. The audacity of the intended comedy surrounding Anoth’s current life really keeps Maou Gakuin on the rails, for while it may not be to everyone’s taste, it significantly helps smoothen the otherwise massive wrinkles of OP character roleplaying god amongst the
peasant demon rabble. We know what Anoth is capable of, we know how every fight and showdown will go, but having the rest of the cast in on the game ensures every inevitable outcome is nothing but fun from start to finish.
Of course, what helps too is that Anoth is not just an OP machine. Scenes like the little saunter through magic model making and Anoth’s tongue in cheek try at it really highlight how he himself knows his power and how quickly it could overshadow everyone else. Is he better skill-wise than Sasha? Obviously, but that doesn’t mean he has to flaunt it. Likewise, with the uncertainty surrounding Anoth’s participation in the tournament. He could’ve skipped as per the original plan, but that would’ve hurt mama and papa Anoth, and I think we know by now how much he cares for both. The self-awareness and willingness of Anoth to sit back and just let circumstances lead him really gives this story some serious legs and ensures (at least to some degree) that it won’t fizzle out or run off the rails before the closing curtain.
Naturally we won’t know until the mastermind of it all and Anoth’s choice of response are known, but given it looks like the main villain’s appearance is on the horizon, I think we won’t have to wait too long. When it comes to this demon king, no trap—and no enemy—is too dangerous to actually run from.