Maoyu Maou Yuusha Series Review: Understanding the Economics of War

maoyu

Maoyu Maou Yuusha Overview:

In Maoyu Maou Yuusha, fifteen years have passed since the war between humans and demons began. The hero seeks to end the conflict by killing the demon king but discovers its a hot girl who actually wants to make peace and help both demons and humans thrive economically. It is an interesting set up as the two form an alliance to stop the war and change the world, hindered by those who are quite content with the status quo.

Maoyu Maou Yuusha Review:

Maoyu is a strange little anime that kind of came out, got a little bit of attention and then disappeared from sight. I’d like to pull it back out from under the bed, dust it off, and remind people that this gem exists. Certainly it isn’t going to make any of the big anime titles tremble in fear because the audience for this is going to remain fairly small, but I have a deep respect for an anime that sets out to achieve a goal and succeeds admirably even if the story here is decidedly unfinished and there’s a number of obvious fan-service choices cluttering up some of the screen time.



It is actually easier to describe Maoyu by talking about what it isn’t. It isn’t a good vs evil fantasy fight between a demon king and a hero. It isn’t really focused on action at all despite the war setting. It also isn’t an actual introduction to Economics though I’ve seen it described as such. Certainly war and good and evil and Economics all come into play in this story, but while you might gain an appreciation for why war and Economics are intrinsically linked, you aren’t going to walk out the other side of this anime able to have a conversation on Economic theory.

Maoyu5

Maoyu, for me, felt like a critique of war stories and how these stories all end with the heroes overthrowing the villains and then declaring peace and happiness when the end result of most wars is anything but even for the victor. It also felt like a critique of the real world and the way we continue to ignore real issues due to convenience and comfort. With these two ideas forming the base of the narrative, the story that unfolds is fairly average but the message it constructs is on point.

So what is a demon king (or queen) to do when the hero has come to kill them? Lay down their life? Fight to the death? Recruit the hero into a campaign of economic reform so that neither side needs the war to continue to ensure prosperity? Let’s take option three for a change and see what happens.

maoyu2

None of the characters in Maoyu are given a name. Each are referred to by their job or role. This makes it much easier to generalise the ideas of this story beyond the narrative itself and see these characters as placeholders for people/nations/ideas that we are familiar with in other narratives and in real life. It is a bit awkward at times and discussing the anime by talking about the ‘female knight’ or the ‘senior maid’ might seem a bit odd to someone who hasn’t watched it, but it actually works quite well within the context of the story.

However, it isn’t all smooth sailing. Of course they want to paint a romance into the story that sometimes just feels very contrived and convenient. There are also far too many complications introduced. While on the one hand this makes the setting more true to life with multiple factions both supporting and rejecting reforms, on the other it makes it impossible to bring to any kind of satisfactory resolution to the overall narrative within the anime.

Basically, it bites off more than it can chew in its run time and ends up leaving the audience hanging, which would normally be an automatic shelve the disc and never watch again point for me, but somehow this anime managed to make me not care so much about where it was going and more about the journey to get there. Still, a season two would probably help and it is also probably never going to happen.

Maoyu3

The other point I will make is there is a lot of times where the characters will sit or stand and discuss farming or trade or politics. And I mean, a lot of times. So if characters sitting and discussing things isn’t what you are looking for, then this anime will end up being a firm pass. However, if you don’t mind that as long as you are interested in the topic being discussed, this won’t be an issue.

I really enjoyed this series for what it was and it just felt a little bit different. While I know it has a lot of similarities to Spice and Wolf, I found this one a little more engaging and liked the characters a bit more (sorry fans of Spice and Wolf). I’d have loved for this anime to get a second season but that seems very unlikely so I’ll just have to rewatch the DVD again and enjoy this odd little story.

Maoyu4

I’d love to know your thoughts on Maoyu if you’ve seen it. If you haven’t, do you think you would watch an anime like this or does it sound like something you will firmly pass on?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Top 5 Cute Anime Demon Girls

Tuesday's Top 5

Alright, we’ve had a plethora of cute anime demon girls showing up recently and they aren’t exactly a new trend so today I’d like to count down the 5 demon girls I think are the cutest (keep in mind this is cute not sexy – that would be a very different list). However there are so many to choose from so I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to character design for my choices and as always I’d love to know who your favourite cute demon girls are.

Number 5: Latina from Uchi no Musume

Generally I do avoid putting new anime on top 5 lists, particularly as I have no idea how the characters will change or develop as the series goes. However, given I’m basing this list on character design I think most people would be hard pressed to tell me that Latina is not a cute demon girl. She’s actually just this side of a adorable and I think if I’d had a few more episodes she’d be much higher on the list.

daughter1d
Seriously, can I take her home too? – I don’t even like kids and I think she’s adorable.

Number 4: Ai Enma from Hell Girl

While I’ve never been the biggest fan of Hell Girl, I can really take it or leave it, Ai Enma has always been a character I’ve liked the look of. She is seriously cute in a reserved and serious kind of way and honestly she just makes me want to hug her. Probably not such a great idea, but she’s still pretty adorable.

hell5c

liveAlive

Affiliate Link

Live a Live – RPG Game


Number 3: Maou from Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

I may be stretching the definition of ‘girl’ on this one but there’s something inherently cute and girly about this demon lord. The way she playfully breaks down the hero’s preconceptions and recruits him to her side and even the way she negotiates with the merchants is just cute and delightful to watch. Besides, the horns on the head-band are what really gave her the place on the list. A demon concerned with keeping up appearances who knows how to accessorise totally deserved a spot on the cute anime demon girl list.

maoyu2

Number 2: Ririchiyo from Inu x Boku

Another cool and quiet kind of cute, but adorable nonetheless. Here the cuteness comes in the gap between her calm and sometimes quite cold exterior and her inner freak outs as she starts having feelings for others but doesn’t know how to deal with them. I love the episode where she’s trying to figure out how to invite Miketsumaki to tea and is writing out each scenario before scrunching it up in frustration. Totally adorable.

inu x boku uniform

Number 1: Nezuko from Demon Slayer

Right, so when it comes to cute designs, they pulled out all the stops with Nezuko. Whether it is her big, expressive eyes, her two toned hair, the adorable way she just kind of goes to sleep or kicks her legs into the air while lying on the mat, she’s just all kinds of cute. Of course, she’s also all kinds of dangerous if you happen to be on the side that she considers to be an enemy so probably wise to remember that kittens are cute but they have some sharp claws.

demon8g

Here we are at the end of my top 5 cute demon girl list. Now it is your turn to share.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


A Decade of Anime 2013

Anime of the Decade

Another difficult year of decisions. 2013 hit us with anime after anime that made me laugh, cry, think, or just straight up get drawn into a legendary story. Still, when looking at my favourites from each season, I noticed some interesting titles ended up pushing their way to the front as the anime from that season I would not want to have missed.

That means Hataraku Maou-Sama didn’t make the final list despite this being a straight comedy anime that I adore. Nor did My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU end up in my top shows even though I love the humour in the story and the interactions between the characters. Even the beautiful and emotional (though with a somewhat flawed narrative) Sunday Without God didn’t end up quite making top of its season. Which leaves me wondering, what did we do to deserve so many great shows in one year?

The Rules:

No. 1: No sequels of any kind.

No. 2: Only one anime from each season which gave me 4 picks from each year.

No. 3: Other than 2019 anime, no matter how brilliant an anime was if I hadn’t rewatched it since it aired then it didn’t make the list. If I don’t like it enough to watch it more than once then it doesn’t deserve to be on an anime of the decade list.

Incidentally these anime are not the technical best anime of their seasons but are the ones I would pick if I could only watch one anime from that season. They are anime I loved, for whatever reason, and felt deserved to be remembered.

Winter 451625886 1577945280422

Maoyu Maou Yuusha

maoyu

It’s the story of a hero who goes to fight the demon king but then finds out she’s a hot girl who doesn’t even want to fight but wants to save the world and end the war through economic development. This quirky anime is not technically brilliant and the story is incomplete, but there’s enough here to make it worth having watched. Maoyu Maou Yuusha is a different take on the hero story and one that really looks at the impacts of war and how difficult it is to end one.

That said, there’s a few things that really throw people about this anime. The first is none of the characters have a name, they are referred to by their job. Now, in the post Goblin Slayer days that may not be as unusual but it was a bit jarring the first time I watched this. Secondly, there’s a lot of discussion about improvements to farming, trading and economics in this anime.

You won’t learn a huge amount as it keeps things pretty basic, but there’s a lot of talk about some relatively dry subject matter. I found it pretty interesting but its definitely not something everyone is going to love. Still, I feel this one is worth remembering and I’m glad I came across it as it is one that isn’t talked about much and if I hadn’t watched it when I did I may never have come across it.

Spring 1821512031 1577945325489

Attack on Titan

titan

Could it have been anything else? Regardless of your personal thoughts toward the franchise, Attack on Titan got a lot of people talking anime even if only briefly. While the shock and horror of the early episodes faded and the second cour kind of dragged, there was still something about the series that held viewers. It’s hard to believe now it was 2013 when this first came out given we’re still not quite at a conclusion and that gap between season one and two didn’t do Attack on Titan any favours and yet there’s so much here worth noting even if you want to nitpick the flaws.

For me there are two things that stand out from this first season of Attack on Titan. The first was the animation. It was stunning. The way the characters moved, the choreography of the fight and training sequences, even just the way crowds of people were animated, all of it looked amazing for 2013 and it still looks pretty good even by 2019 standards.

The second was the tone and atmosphere. Attack on Titan particularly in its first cour really built its rich atmosphere of fear, paranoia, hopelessness, and anger. It brewed through all the characters and permeated the world design. For all that I will happily criticise aspects of the story, particularly when we get to season two, I will not forget how season one made me feel watching it and I can happily say that on rewatch it is every bit as brilliant.



Summer 623397914 1577945307757

The Eccentric Family

eccentric1

When season two of this quirky supernatural slice of life came out I realised for the first time how many people hadn’t watched the first season. I’m not into slice of life or comedy and The Eccentric Family is dripping in both, yet with its colourful cast of characters, fast paced dialogue, and generally witty delivery it most definitely won me over. When you throw in that the story has a lot of heart with the family at its centre being one that is fairly fun to spend time with and there’s almost nothing to fault with it at all.

However, it gives us even more then that. We have some great female characters on board despite the male dominated cast. We have inter-generational commentary as well as a look at modernisation vs traditionalism. There’s also a great tourist aspect to seeing Kyoto from the perspective of the tanuki that dominate the story. Basically The Eccentric Family is a fun little anime and it has a second season if it leaves you wanting more. Well worth checking out if you are someone who missed it when it aired.

Fall 1533177906 1577945346333

Golden Time

Golden

Golden Time is something of an outlier for me. It is a straight rom-com/drama with an amnesiac protagonist at its centre. Honestly, it shouldn’t work for me and yet I found it pretty hilarious in the early episodes as we watched Koko breaking up with her boyfriend and the friendship forming between Koko and Banri. The introduction of a love triangle was less welcome but ultimately that opened the way for the story to explore Banri’s memory loss and past and in the end everything does just kind of work in this story.

Partly this is because the supporting cast are fantastic at bringing what is needed to the story and the central three, Koko, Banri and Linda, are all interesting characters to get to know in their own way and are carrying their own pain but also looking for happiness. Like with any good romantic comedy you’ll laugh and sometimes cry but ultimately you’ll get a happy ending, unless you really wanted the love triangle to resolve the other way in which case you might be really annoyed at the whole thing. Whichever way, I loved this anime and it remains one I happily watch again and again.

Anime of the Decade

And that was 2013. A big year for anime with the huge appearance of Attack on Titan and many other great anime. What were your favourites from the year? Share in the comments and be sure to check in tomorrow for 2014.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Check out my favourite anime from each year over the last decade: