First Impressions – Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

A new story begins at the end of a fairy tale

This week marks the beginning of the winter season, wohoo! I have to say, Maoyuu is not a bad start for this season. I haven’t read the manga/novels, but the story sounds interesting enough for me to watch the premise and gives some impression with Fosh and Kara.
Finally the start of a new anime series that is longer than five minutes! I mean so far winter has failed to blow me away with anything new, but I have to admit Maoyuu Maou Yuusha actually looks quite interesting based off the cover art and I hope it does something awesome because I usually pass on fantasy based anime.
Here to start off the new season is Maoyuu! I’ve read the manga (not the novels) and I was definitely worried about how the adaption was going to go since it’s mostly talking. However, it looks like my fears were for naught (or at least for now) since they seemed to have handled this well. At least with a show that’s 90% dialogue, the animation budget can go to important things like Maou’s boobs. …Yep.

Production

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“Unique” Studio // From the makers of Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, Samrurai Girls, and countless hentai episodes? Yes, Arms is all over the ecchi and hentai market…which makes me question why are they doing making Maoyuu Maou Yuusha?! Well, they do know their way around fan-service and uncensored anime. So, how was the animation? Character designs by Masashi Kudo worked really well for me thanks to his work on Bleach, which took me by surprise and I know where most of the budget went…straight to Maou’s boobs? The physics man oh my the physics! While the character design works, I have to say the use of CGI made me facepalm because I always thought the first episodes mean’t that the animation was suppose to blow us away right? Not so much here; however, most of the episode centered around Yuusha and Maou’s chat about the world of humans and demons.

Fabulous Seiyuu // So many people compare Maoyuu to Spice and Wolf, and the voice cast probably doesn’t help. The voice of the Demon King (I’m just going to refer to her as Maou from here on) shares the same voice actress (Koshimizu Ami) as Holo. It’s been so long since I’ve watched Wolf, so I can’t comment on the voices used in both anime, but I have absolutely no complaints Maou’s voice. It fits her pretty well. Yuusha might not be a Dark Flame Master, but at least his voice seems to be in good hands with Fukuyama Jun. I see that he’s using the same type of voice he did in Chuu2Koi, which fits since the Hero is still kind of an awkward adolescent (or at least around Mao). Fun fact: Fukuyama was also in Spice and Wolf as the main character and Holo’s counterpart, Lawrence Kraft. …It’s like they used this casting on purpose. At least we know that both seiyuu are competent when it comes to long lengths of dialogue. As for everyone else in the series, I’m rather happy to see Kamiya Hiroshi (recently in Nekomonogatari as Araragi) in there as the Merchant. There need to be more anime with him in it. I’m looking also forward to seeing Sawashiro (Hakaze in Zetsuen no Tempest, Inaba in Kokoro Connect) do her thing as the Female Knight.

2channel Origin // While the CG for the anime does make me want to choke someone, the manga/novel gets a better treatment from me. True to its fame, Maoyuu was first posted on 2channel before getting itself officially published. As it can be expected, not a lot of Mamare Touno can be seen in his/her list, so nothing can guarantee the stability of Maoyuu‘s plot. But from something this interesting, no guarantee is needed to confirm Maoyuu’s greatness, right? I hope. He does makes a story similar to SAO though, Log Horizon. I’d rather read that than SAO. Anyhow, the illustrator of the novel is Toi8, and the illustrator of the manga is Ishida Akira (not the VA). Toi8 haven’t created many works but s/he illustrated Sakasama no Patema‘s side story. Meanwhile, Ishida Akira drew for Canaan manga version. Truly beautiful artworks both Toi8 and Ishida Akira create. Now if only the anime doesn’t screw up the character design… *sigh*

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

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Story // Maoyuu‘s basic plot is simple enough for those who are simple-minded (like me) but is also intriguing enough for those who love to talk about politic, world peace, and other things like that. Impatient Hero sets out to seek and confront the Demon King alone. What happens then after that? Yeah, the beginning is almost the same with Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, without ladykiller and crappy characters and confusing plot. Er… Anyhow, instead of confronting the Demon King, Hero decided that he’s going to help Demon King’s plan to find the proper and final solution to the endless cycle of war in their world. Hagure Yuusha and Maoyuu are almost the same. Almost. Hagure Yuusha‘s characters are caught up in the post-war internal conflicts while trying to save the demon race, while Maoyuu focuses more on the Demon King trying to solve the internal conflicts, etc., and to save both the human and demon race. Similar plots, but Maoyuu is 1000x better than Hagure Yuusha. Even though episode one is just a conversation, it was executed perfectly where the politic, comedy, fantasy, and romance were able to blend into one perfect conversation without any feeling of awkwardness. While the story focuses more on the solution (heavy political stuff I bet), those who enjoy Adventure, fantasy, and romance can enjoy this anime. Seriously, whoever writes the conversation between Hero and Demon King is amazing. All kinds of genre were fused into one without any fuss, and this makes the whole conversation fun and enjoyable. Let’s hope that it stays this way until the last episode.

Comedic Entertainment // While the main genres of romance, adventure and fantasy take center stage for the theme of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, but I found myself laughing a hell of a lot thanks to the fantastic character interaction between Yuusha and Maou as they chatted back and forth for the majority of this first episode. I suppose it helps that the main hero is voiced by the very talented Jun Fukuyama who I think plays some of the best comedic characters in anime, just take a look at his backlog of amazing roles. So, what about Maou? I think she was successful at pulling off “I am just the cute girl” quite well and sure she might have used her special assets to gain the attention of Yuusha, but I still found their chat to be very interesting and her funny reactions helped keep it very entertaining for me. Also did anyone else die laughing when Maou pulled off her horns? Wow I had no idea they were just for looks…damn that was easily the best! Seriously I literary could not stop laughing after that scene or the part where she was kissing that pillow thing? I can’t wait for more of this.

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Characters // …Nobody has names in this thing. Only job titles. Anyways, so we have the stereotypical hero and the not so stereotypical demon king (…and then all of the other characters, but they barely had any screen time). Yuusha is definitely a close fit to the stereotype of the hero where he does what he thinks is right and is a straightforward character, but it’s refreshing that Maoyuu had other aspects to his character. I’m not talking about his nervousness towards Maou’s sex appeal, but they did mention briefly that he couldn’t read or understand difficult things. He’s far from an all around perfect guy. As for Maou, she’s obviously the fanservice for the show, but she’s also the brains to Yuusha’s brawn. She’s obviously thought hard and long about this world beyond war and as you’ll see in later episodes, she’s extremely wise and insightful when it comes to solving problems long term. Other then that, I can’t really comment on the other characters yet. The merchant is obviously very money oriented and the female knight is worried about Yuusha (as is the magician), but there’s not much else to them yet.

Fosh’s Hidden Lair:

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 So far, so good for this anime! I talked at length about the seiyuu in this, but I’m also quite taken with the OP and ED songs. Also, I quite likes the OST I heard (like that track when Maou picked up that memory lantern thing) and animation style. In short, I liked the production as a whole. There wasn’t too much dialogue for me, since I was expecting the conversation to be a lot more monotone and drawn out. Gradually introducing the characters like they did seemed like a good move as well since they’ll all be making more appearances as the story goes on. Anyways, the plot itself is intriguing. So many anime talk about changing the world (like Jormungand) or if it has to do with a war, the plot is always to stop it. In both cases, the characters just assume that world peace will follow after the war is done. Nobody ever really seems to think about what happens after. Maoyuu will be interesting because Maou and Yuusha are trying to fix the very root of the problems. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

This episode was so fantastic, but part of me was thinking that this is going to be so damn generic! The whole hero character meeting the demon/ monster girl setup that we have seen over and over again? That said I was pleased that Yuusha didn’t agree right away to join up with Maou. However, I sort of guessed he would eventually come around to her side of things. The opening sort of gave us a preview of all the characters and damn there are a lot of characters in this series and I assume each of them were at one time in the same party as Yuusha? Besides the main characters I can’t wait to learn more about the wizard girl Onna Mahoutsukai and the blonde knight looking girl Onna Kishi I guess they are sisters? The only complaint I have would be the strange use of CGI, but since this is the first episode I am willing to let that slide…now to wait for the second episode! I need more…

When I first heard Fosh on the episode, I was all “Damn, it’s going to be boring.” Half an hour of conversation? That sounds extremely dull, seriously. I was surprised at the amount of entertainment I had while watching this episode. It was so good. And they were only conversing. Okay, not really. I was charmed with the strong personality of Demon King. She’s very charismatic, so I guess that explains why she’s what she is? She really is amazing. She has been locked up in her castle with nobody (why is there nobody in the castle? I’m still baffled at that), and yet she has such great dreams despite the fact that half of the world is against her on the surface. Charismatic, but her innocence can be seen when when she has romantic conversation with the Hero. The mix of charisma and innocence just makes her so NGGHHH. The Hero himself is something fresh since most heroes are usually lady killers with gazillion experiences, so his virgin attitude didn’t annoy me somehow. That and probably the fact that Fukuyama Jun is voicing him. Seriously, 2013 is definitely FukuJun’s year. Anyhow, the first episode gave me a good impression, except the CG. Seriously man, what the hell was that? It’s so… out of place. Everything was all good, then BAM! Suddenly weird-looking CG for the plains, and it was extremely disturbing because the CG looked like lumps of dirt. I also noticed that minor characters (such as passerby) move very awkwardly when they walk. Not liking the CG so far. The other thing I want to complain is the character design. What in the world, the characters look so fabulous in the light novel and manga, but they look so generic in the anime. I am satisfied with the story execution, but I wish something can be done about the CG and character design. At least in the next episode.

Preview: The Maids are doing their counterattack!

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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31 Responses to “First Impressions – Maoyuu Maou Yuusha”

  1. Highway says:

    I really liked the show, and thought it was well executed. How are so many shows getting so good at just yakety-yak talking? Just thinking of things in the past couple *weeks*, Shin Sekai Yori, Zetsuen no Tempest, and now Maoyuu manage to have captivating episodes where it’s mostly two or three characters talking at each other. The use of cutaways to show what they’re talking about and give a short breather with a different character worked really well. And Koshimizu Ami’s voice, while not particularly distinctive, is very nice to listen to for long periods of time (side opinion – of all the people who sang the ED song for TWGOK II, her version is my favorite).

    I didn’t have a problem with the characters, and thought they were all pretty nice to look at. As for why Maou was all by herself in the castle, isn’t it because it’s a setup? She doesn’t want to have anyone fight and die, any more than necessary, and the whole point of getting together with Yuusha is to try to find a way out of the war. She really wasn’t ‘locked up’ there, just waiting for him. And the horns were definitely telegraphed with that headband the whole time.

    There were only two minor problems I had with the episode. The first is that I was wondering why it’s not called “Maoyuu Maou Yuuta”, because the hero really feels like a direct expy of Togashi Yuuta / Dark Flame Master: Brown shaggy hair, exact same FukuJun voice, same blushy reactions, sword, bombastic actions…

    The second was all that Broken Windows Fallacy / Military Keynsianism. So much wealth destruction going to transfer payments in the name of war. And I hope it stays on the path of “This is not good, but we have to figure out how to get from here (wasting lives and production in order to prop up those who aren’t self-sufficient) to there (self-sufficiency for all)” as well a way to keep the humans from attacking each other if they have no external enemy to attack.

    • Foshizzel says:

      You know what? I think everyone feels the same thing about Yuusha and Yuuta! Hell he is basically the dark flame master and Maou is totally Rikka…well…sort of…

      The main theme = “war is good cause war makes us rich” kind of crazy, but I have seen that theme before in TV shows and movies! I mean the first Iron man movie hints at that xD

      Gotta watch this for the plot and economics…

      • Highway says:

        The problem with boiling it down to ‘war is good because war makes us rich’ is that it’s a broken windows fallacy, like I said. War is first and foremost destruction of things. When things are needed, some will profit (and frequently be ostracized as ‘war profiteers’), but ultimately, it’s diverting productivity from something lasting to something that will be destroyed.

    • anaaga says:

      Gaah, that Chuu anime reference. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

      From the things we’ve seen so far, it seems as if the humans were the only ones that are taking advantage of the situation. Won’t some demon take advantage too?
      from that perspective, it somehow baffles me how the Demon Lady has so much control over her territory. I’m so used with military and political intervention that her control over territory feels so weird

      • AllenAndArth says:

        how! you should’ve to know…it’s like not knowing hellsing…ok that’s a bit too much…but how don’t you know CHUU -.-
        Look at me i’m shoocked —> -.-’/

      • Highway says:

        Maou does mention that she can’t just have the humans end the war, because the Demons would capture and enslave humans, just like Humans would if Maou unilaterally surrendered. And she also mentions that she can’t just quit fighting and abdicate, because they’ll just appoint another Demon King and keep fighting.

    • Entrav says:

      Did notice the fallacy as well. Some people just can’t come to terms with it though. *sigh

      • Highway says:

        Well, I think they did present enough extenuating circumstances that balance it out, and those extenuating circumstances are the ones that are usually what encourages broken windows spending: uniting people, justification of wealth transfer. It’s stupid, but it’s a lot harder to convince people to send starving people enough money to live on when they’re just suffering from location, rather than suffering from location + war.

  2. PrimeHector says:

    Head maid was suppose to show up in this episode. They moved her to episode 2.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I guess they didn’t want to show everything in the first episode and so they decided to strech things out.

    • Foshizzel says:

      She wasn’t maid enough for the first episode~

      • AllenAndArth says:

        i see…i see…no really i see

        guest01: that was horrible, this is why people should never try to make jokes on sight!

        anyway…now that i’m ALONE! i’ve got to say… I’m BACK for you my fans, please no tearing clothes…these are new :P

  3. CarVac says:

    I thought it was a bit too slow, personally. But then again I’ve read the some of the mangas before and so knew what would happen, and I find lots of shows too slow.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Not a bad start for Winter. Maoyuu gets my vote of approval so maybe the three episode test won’t be needed here if it continues to enjoyable as the first episode. For a studio that specializes in ecchi like Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, the environment of the anime feels similar to Sword Art Online, especially considering this is in the fantasy genre.

    This wins praise because it was entertaining by actually talking things out instead of all out, mindless action. Zetsuen no Tempest, Psycho-Pass, Shinsekai Yori, Jormungand: Perfect Order and Hyouka, looks like you have competition. Maou was very convincing in her speech. Then again, demon/monster characters are smooth talkers by nature and they do what they can to seduce the humans. The interesting part is the talk about war and what it contributes to both sides (war profiteering) which actually brings some shocking real world relevance along with lessons on politics, economics and human nature.

    It doesn’t seem it’ll be a problem liking the characters. Hopefully, they’ll be as good as those from Oda Nobuna no Yabou. I already like Maou for her cheerful, carefree attitude along with the way she makes herself serious when it comes to negotiating for peace. She does, however, show signs of being possessive when she said the Hero belongs to her right on their first meeting. It was face palm worthy when she took her horns off. Since she’s a demon, I expected her to be a monster girl with the obvious features (Same thoughts previously on Hagure’s Miu). As for the Hero, there’s not much to say about him that I would about Chuu2Koi’s Yuuta so I’ll just say he escaped from that anime, ended up here, left his Dark Flame Master outfit and donned a knight’s ensemble.

    • Highway says:

      People give Arms a bit of a bad rep (“BOOBS”), but especially in the other shows listed that they did, I enjoyed both Hagure Yuusha no Sexual Harassment and Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls (which had an excellent visual style, possibly the most distinctive style I’ve ever seen in an anime). I haven’t seen Queens Blade anything, and I have heard that Zettai Shougeki (“Master of Martial Hearts”) is just out and out terrible, so I’m not going to watch it, but people like the source material here, and that might have been the downfall of their poor shows. I really don’t mind their visual styles, tho.

      • anaaga says:

        *high five* I enjoyed Hagure Yuusha no Estetica and Hyakka Ryouran too. I really enjoyed the unique animation style Hyakka Ryouran has. Especially them ink

        • BlackBriar says:

          Hagure Yuusha no Estetica for the win! Akatsuki is the ideal role model for these weak hearted and cowardly male leads swarming in anime.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Curse you, Spammy, you gluttonous beast! I spent a good amount of time making my comment. Give it back!

    • Foshizzel says:

      your spam gives Metanorn more POWERRRRRRRRRRR

      • BlackBriar says:

        If it’s to help you guys, I’m willing to be a little more lenient with Spammy’s insatiable comment attacks.

        • Highway says:

          I know Spammy’s helped me get to the 1000 Comment Club. There’s gotta be at least a dozen or two “Can you rescue my comment from Spammy?” comments in that count.

          • BlackBriar says:

            Speaking of which, I forgot to say this. Congratulations on becoming part of the 1000 Comment Club, Highway! Here’s a cigar for the occasion.

  6. Joojoobees says:

    I wasn’t overly impressed by this one. I guess all of the talking started to go over my head, because I didn’t really understand how they were going to put an end to war. I was following most of it, some people like the war, you might even say NEED the war, etc. then they decided to hook up, but I didn’t really catch the middle bit.

    I hope future episodes don’t have this much talking.

    • anaaga says:

      I don’t think they found the solution yet. They were discussing about the effect of war, and now they’re set to find the solution for the war
      Unfortunately, this anime will have lots and lots of talking

  7. KLACMAN says:

    well give one ep in yea bit remind of spice & wolf with same voice for 3rd time of jun fuku & ami kosh as leads.

    besides it give more to show it & more hmm to watch.

    • anaaga says:

      I haven’t watched Spice & Wolf yet ;________; I’m planning to though. It seems that FukuJun works together often with KoshAmi. Shipping their voices now

      • akagami says:

        The subject material is very dry (middle-age economics) but the interactions between Lawrence and Holo make the show interesting.

  8. AllenAndArth says:

    it’s great, the manga is better…of course but, it’s how to say…new

  9. Gecko says:

    I agree with AllenAndArth, the manga has its charms that make it a bit better than this anime. But I will give the anime quite a few points for doing a good job so far.
    The job titles instead of names will probably offset a few people, but what I get from that is that the people are simply examples of what people may wish to do in this kind of situation. They are the somewhat generic but still unique case of this kind of story.
    And yeah, the pace is a bit slow, oh well. The manga has slowed down a bit in some of the chapters I’m at right now… :P But this is the kind of show that can’t go too fast or else everything really goes over your head.
    The one main issue I have is with the eye coloring. The manga did it so well and this… is just yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Give me back the manga coloring. The characters do feel a bit flat overall as well, compared to the great detail of the manga. And yeah, some of that CG was a little funky.

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