Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

Maoyuu is an entertaining, remarkably complex anime which features aspects of the romance, adventure, and even gag genres. With little effort, it sucks the audience in with a unique perspective of black and white worlds, but does it with a fairly lighthearted overtone. A piece that appeals to fans of shows such as Spice and Wolf, Maoyuu mixes sociology, religion, and economics into an entertaining package which is easily digestible due to its often side notes of magical whimsy. The show plays upon many forms of social commentary, but the biggest and most important by far is the perspective conundrum, particularly concerning massive bodies of combatants.

It shouldn't take much to understand the Maoyuuu, as the show does a fairly thorough job of developing proper sequences to a determined interpretation. The Demon Lord and Hero find that the worlds they are fighting for are corrupt, and seek to change it for the better. While doing so they face social class conflicts, overcoming racism, and appeal a general condemnation of religion as a justification for violence. The biggest part of the whole series though, is the range with which all the characters eventually find themselves similar to one another; especially those on the opposite sides of the battle-lines. The whole hero/demon ideologies are flipped upside down, with the hero at times playing the monster (although never bloodthirsty) and the demon lord becomes a kind of ideal ruler to a small country. The main characters struggle not with physical battles (which are rather easily won), but far more so their situations and often mistaken assumptions about the world. They are constantly trying to find a balance between the needs of justice and mercy, right and wrong, society and morality. It really does make for a rather impressively entertaining piece of anime, and one with great potentials for further iterations.

The show plays a bit too lightly throughout, quickly disarming any sort of climax or tension which is sometimes attempted to be invoked. Nevertheless, this is highly forgivable, and may rest wholly on personal preference rather than artistic worth. Probably a bit too complicated for younger teens, I recommend maoyuu for anyone who's ever taken an economics or statistics class. It really is a well-rounded show which can be enjoyed by many, but it is my hope that further seasons power-up the good/bad dichotomy to create more tensions and potentially fantastic drama. So far, it's a show to be enjoyed, but not emphatically remembered.
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