A Non-Isekai Fantasy
With A Double Dose Of Adorable
It isn’t all that easy to find a straight fantasy anime that isn’t isekai or shounen action. Finding one that focuses almost entirely on characters and is more in the slice of life category is even harder (then again, finding a slice of life story that I don’t find dull is pretty difficult so maybe I’ve just missed a few key stories that fit the description). However, the ridiculously long and overly descriptively named “If It’s For My Daughter I’d Even Defeat the Demon Lord” or “Uchi no Ko no Tame naraba, Ore wa Moshikashitara Maou mo Taoseru kamo Shirenai.”, hereafter to simply be called Uchinoko, does a fairly good job at delivering a slice of life as Dale, the human adventurer, takes on adding Latina, the lost demon child with a broken horn, into his life.
I will say that this anime is straight up adorable, largely because Latina is that kind of perfect child that only really exists in stories. You know, the one who has been through a hellish experience and rather than being bitter, rebellious, or emotionally shut down, she’s quiet, thoughtful, hardworking and generally the shining light of perfection. It isn’t exactly a realistic depiction of a child who has suffered a traumatic experience, but reality isn’t exactly why someone would watch a fantasy story about a demon girl in the first place, so I guess we can move on from that point.
There are a few moments where Latina’s past and the fact that she is a demon get some attention and these are played relatively seriously and hold enough emotional weight. The early scene where Latina is thoroughly rejected by a teacher, with fairly drastic consequences because of the choice Latina makes following that rejection, is perhaps one of the most memorable moments of the series. However, it isn’t that it is a darker moment that makes it memorable. It is how the moment causes Dale to sit up and re-evaluate what he’d been doing and to see Latina more clearly. Of course, everything ends up mushily cute and almost nauseatingly sweet but that’s more or less the flavour of the show and it does it very well.
Those who have read the source gave some fairly dire warnings when the anime started regarding where Dale and Latina’s relationship would go, and while if you are looking for subtext you will certainly find it, the anime can very much be seen as the two developing a father/daughter (or more realistically an older brother/younger sister) relationship throughout. Having not read the source I’m not going to comment one way or the other about future possibilities, but the current anime series remains fairly wholesome unless you go looking for things to tilt your head at.
Basically Dale brings Latina into the world and introduces her to people, places and things she’d never seen and she flourishes. The two are very attached and we learn early in the show that Dale seems to have changed since picking her up but at the time we didn’t know what Dale had been like prior to Latina. The second half of the season, as Dale returns to his home village with Latina, fills in some of the blanks, as do some conversations with people who’ve known him awhile and it becomes clear that Latina’s influence on his life has been for the better. There are certainly indications that more challenges await the pair in the future but this season at least lets us bask in the sweet and happy as challenges are faced and overcome and the two get to spend plenty of time together.
Clearly the character designs work and Latina in particular is made to be as adorable as possible. The animation however is incredibly lacking at times. Walking animation becomes very poorly done at times and other animation is sometimes almost distracting it is so lacklustre. Given the nature of the show it isn’t a deal breaker, however given there are scenes of Dale adventuring it would have been nice if the rare scenes involving action had been more well put together. It isn’t the focus of the show but it shouldn’t be that much of a detriment either. Either that or they should have had all the action off screen as on more than one occasion they would just cut back to Dale returning and that worked well enough.
This one basically works. Its excessively cute and the key to most scenes is make Latina look cute, however the relationship between Latina and Dale is nicely developed in the episodes given, the supporting cast work well enough, there’s a few moments that get a bit darker and a few hints of a larger story at play though these won’t go all that far in this season, and outside of the poor animation there really isn’t a lot to complain about. All and all, this one was enjoyable enough to watch even if relatively unremarkable.
Though, Latina is most definitely the cutest anime girl of the year even beating out Nezuko from Demon Slayer.
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Images from: Uchi no Musume no Tame Naraba, Ore Wa Moshikashitara Maou mo Taoseru Kamo Shirenai. Dir. T Yanase. Maho Film. 2019.