OP: 「SEIEN」by Lenny code fiction
「魔王の知恵比べ」 (Maou no chie kurabe)
“The Demon King in a Battle of Wits”
In between AOTY post preparation (did I mention that’s coming in a few days?) and first episode disappointment I didn’t think I’d wind up covering any more of Maou Gakuin’s second season, but figured why the hell not. Sunday is free, I’m half drunk, and goddammit it I still love this series. I may not be fully convinced in hindsight that it was the right choice – but it certainly wasn’t a bad one.
Much as discussed back in the opener last week, the main irk with Maou Gakuin’s return right now is the horrendous pacing and material hacking and slashing. In almost the blink of an eye we got character (re)introductions galore, the reveal of some important backstory and setup for the current arc, and major developments which at any other time would take a few episodes to properly get going. This episode didn’t really correct for these issues, however it did at least manage to smoothen some of the edges. We now know for example that one of Anoth’s set of
adorable cuties subordinates happens to be the child of a god, and that some unsavoury elements are looking to both monopolize said child for their own purposes and constrain Anoth’s considerable power. Or if you will, just another day in the life of the reincarnated demon king. As Eleanor and Zeshia so wonderfully put it, no damn idea what’s going on and who’s all involved, but I know I’m not minding it!
Of course for all these improvements there’s still a noticeable degree of uncertainty, particularly given these past couple of weeks can be considered a refresher to Maou Gakuin’s world. The big thing I’m waiting for is the comedy and slice-of-life moments: these facets were what elevated the first season so much in a lot of people’s eyes and until we can see how they now fare with Anoth VA change we’re still arguably only looking at half a show right now. Likewise comes certain focus on previous characters; it’s one thing to flash the familiar faces back at us for a few seconds at a time, totally another to give some proper fleshing out and remind everyone of just what each of these girls (and alright, Lay too) is about. Considering though that there’s a godly presence in the crowd I don’t expect this bit to be that troublesome, because if there’s one thing series like this enjoy it’s explaining things down the line, and there’s certainly lots already worthy of some additional screentime.
It’s only a question of what this arc’s (and by extension this season’s) big twist winds up being.
ED: 「エソア」 (Esoa) by Momosu Momosu