This is the problem when you procrastinate. I even know about it way beforehand but yet still went ahead of delaying it. I don’t know what gave me the willpower to do it now but better late than never. Heck, it should have been better early than late! Because my memories are so bad that I think I have been starting to forget things. This is the first versus blog in more than a year. Oh, how time flies. I have always wanted to do a comparison between Spice And Wolf as well as Maoyuu Maou Yuusha simply because I thought the latter was a spiritual successor to the former and that they used both the same seiyuus for the leading characters in both series. So let me see if I can remember the similarities… Hah. An excuse not to put up too many entries…

World setting:
Spice And Wolf: Medieval European world.
Maoyuu: European fantasy.

Basis of character names:
Spice And Wolf: Most are of common European Christian names.
Maoyuu: Characters are named after their jobs or personalities.

Male lead character:
Both voiced by Jun Fukuyama. And the characters are human type.
Spice And Wolf: Craft Lawrence, a merchant.
Maoyuu: Hero, well uhm, a hero.

Female lead character:
Both voiced by Ami Koshimizu. And the characters are non-human.
Spice And Wolf: Horo, a wolf harvest deity.
Maoyuu: Demon King, well uhm, a demon lord.

Her nickname:
Spice And Wolf: Horo calls herself The Wise Wolf.
Maoyuu: Demon King is known as Red Scholar when she disguises herself as a human noblewoman.

What’s on her head:
Spice And Wolf: Wolf ears.
Maoyuu: Demon horns.

Reason for contract:
The reason why they are travelling together, which is also basically the main plot setting of the series.
Spice And Wolf: Horo longs to return home to the North and strikes up a deal with Lawrence to take her there in exchange for teaching him the tricks of the trade.
Maoyuu: Demons and humans have been fighting each other for ages with both sides taking the loser as slaves. In order to end the meaningless war, Demon King proposes an alliance with Hero in hopes of bringing peace and prosperity to both sides in the long run.

Travelling mode:
Spice And Wolf: A wooden carriage.
Maoyuu: Hero has the ability to teleport anywhere.

Basic lessons learnt:
These are educational animes and you are bound to learn something if you pay attention.
Spice And Wolf: Basics of trade.
Maoyuu: Economics and to a certain extent, war strategies.

The corrupted:
It always happens in every era, everywhere. Basically, the antagonist.
Spice And Wolf: The church.
Maoyuu: Human merchants and demons who fund the war to keep it going. Also, the church…

Merchant trade group:
Spice And Wolf: Rowen Trading Guild.
Maoyuu: Economic Alliance of Merchants and Southern Independent Cities.

Food of the series:
Spice And Wolf: Apples – Horo’s favourite.
Maoyuu: Wheat – Basic staple food and also pseudo currency.

Possible love rival:
Spice And Wolf: Chloe for Lawrence but it ended once she aligned herself with the church. Also, Amarty for Horo.
Maoyuu: Knight for Hero. Merchant A for Demon King.

Fanservice scenes:
For the female lead character…
Spice And Wolf: There are scenes that Horo is in her birthday suit but this is debatable since wolves are meant to be naked and with all that fur covering the body, is this amounting to fanservice?
Maoyuu: Demon King’s humongous boobs.

Falling ill:
Spice And Wolf: Perhaps Horo ate and drank too much food and party too hard. Nothing like a good nutritious and balanced meal to recover, eh?
Maoyuu: Sister Maid and Little Maid came from a very poor and large family. Their poverty caused some of their siblings to die from malnutrition and disease. Also, smallpox was spreading but thanks to vaccines and antibodies, the spread is stemmed.

Desperate moments:
Spice And Wolf: Lawrence desperate for money goes around asking other merchants to lend some money only to be chased away (some even splashing water at his face).
Maoyuu: Sister Maid disguises herself as Demon King and to be arrested for being heretic. Her lashing out about life and what it means to be human has the common people to turn their backs on the authorities and save her from being executed.

Trading new currencies:
Spice And Wolf: Lawrence learnt that there is a plan to trade some old silver coin currencies to newer ones for a profit. But it is just a scheme as only the purity of the silver content in the coins declined.
Maoyuu: The Holy Capital issues a decree that new currencies will be issued and current ones declared as illegal. This means the Holy Capital stand to profit based on the difference in exchange rate.

The kiss:
The moment that we all have been waiting for.
Spice And Wolf: In the final episode of the second season, Lawrence finally confesses he loves Horo and kisses her.
Maoyuu: There are a couple of scenes Demon King wanted to kiss Hero because the mood was right or as some reward but was interrupted by something else. So close yet so far…

Episode titles:
Spice And Wolf: All of them follow this format of “Wolf and (insert whatever things here)”.
Maoyuu: They sound more like conversations or comments.

Number of episodes:
Spice And Wolf: 26 episodes split into 2 seasons of 13 episodes each. Note, an episode in the first season was unaired and was eventually made an OVA whereas another OVA was aired before the second season started.
Maoyuu: 1 season with only 12 episodes + 1 recap episode.

Studio production:
Spice And Wolf: Imagin for first season, Brain’s Base for second season.
Maoyuu: Arms.

Like I’ve said, it has been a long time that I don’t remember much. Just the bare basics. It is hard to say which one is better because both series give us educational knowledge about microeconomics as well as macroeconomics. They are both enlightening in their own ways. This is the only reason why you should watch these shows (and of course these are their strongest points too). Not because of the plot, the art, the characters (although Maoyuu seems to fare better on this aspect than Spice And Wolf) or even the so called hinting romance between the characters. They all pale in comparison to the trade and economic information. I am sure more people will be interested to learn such topics if they are presented this way. Anime, the new platform for learning world business and finance. Then naysayers can’t always blame anime is always porn.

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

July 28, 2013

We have seen many animes about humans fighting against demons. But how many animes usually will have the pair of main protagonist that is of a human and a demon working together for the benefit and peace of the world? Yes. You heard that right. It may seem like wishful thinking and naivety of their part but deep down in our hearts, don’t you think that is what we all yearn for? So instead of seeing humans against demons and at each other’s throats for centuries, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is actually a nice fantasy drama about a human and demon in their fateful encounter decides to change the world for the better.

Even though the setting of this world is of fantasy, much of it resembles like those medieval times in Europe. Which reminds me that this series is somewhat closely similar to another anime: Spice And Wolf. A big portion of this anime is about economics and perhaps some strategies of war. This is why I find both these animes similar. Besides, the main protagonist duo are also somewhat similar. They are both from different races, accompanying each other on a journey to achieve a goal and in the end the process helps change themselves for the better. Those who are bored with the eternal humans-demons struggle can watch this anime for a refreshing approach. I guarantee it will open up your views or otherwise it will be a major yawn fest.

Episode 1
It has been 15 years since humans and demons are at war. Humans managed to breach through the demons’ territory but smaller nations in the south fighting against the demons are also facing suffering and destruction. Amidst the chaos a hero and his group steps up to give humans hope. However for some reason, the hero abandoned his mates and ventured alone into the demon’s lair. He is about to slay the demon when he finds out she is a busty woman! The Demon King is female? That’s merely a title and she is the 43rd Demon King with the title Ruby Eyes. Hero isn’t fazed and will slay her but she remains polite and welcoming. She has been waiting for this day to make him hers. I’m sure he’s not going to accept that. Hero blames the demons for destruction but she points out pollution because the humans are cutting down trees too rapidly (something that will happen in the future) and even war among human nations is because politicians shun their responsibility and made the demons the scapegoat. She takes out a scroll to explain why this war is necessary. Before this war, humans were on the verge of annihilation. With the war, Central Nations keep funding the Southern Nations for the war. It might seem they get nothing in return but actually there is: Security. She has him touch a magic lamp that peeks into his past memories. Hero was at a lavish ball when he was young. They had them almost every night. Was it peaceful then? No. This is possible because of war. For without war, exporters could not have flourished. So war keeps food going to nations that are lacking of it. However she notes that the world’s agricultural output hasn’t increased. If the war ends, humans driven by their survival instinct will take up swords and kill each other to survive. In short, if the war ends, win or lose, humanity will be destroyed. The human kings must have realized this that’s why they only sent him instead of an army.

If the demons win, they’ll take over the human world and enslave them. Then they’ll fight among themselves to claim the slaves. It is the same if the humans win. She wants him to be her eyes to see what she longs to see and her blade. He doesn’t want to negotiate but she keeps bugging him especially with those puppy dog eyes. According to records, she would give him half the world but both agree it is the same as dividing the realms between humans and demons. The only way left is that she gives herself to him and he gives himself to her. She feels he could go far beyond this war. Even if she surrenders, the human kings will hide it and the demons will crown a new Demon King. That’s how necessary this war is. If an army is responsible in ending the war, then it is a king’s duty to find a place to end it. So with all this argument, is he ready to accept this deal? Will he be hers? She can’t promise him that his hands will remain clean. He will have to kill and stain his hands along the way while doing many horrific things. They both agree to belong to each other and seal the contract. So happy that she hugs him. Accidentally she touches the magic lamp and they see an embarrassing memory of her hugging a big hugging pillow of him! Practice makes perfect? But more shockingly, she can take off her horns!!!  Well, she doesn’t normally use them. Just for show?

Episode 2
The duo start their journey and teleport to a newly settled down human village, Winter Pass. They will begin their experiment here which will also help conceal their identities. They are greeted by Head Maid who is from Demon King’s clan. Of course her role is to be their maid. Demon King takes a look at the fields and thinks of increasing it from 3 to 4 rotations over a period of 4 years. This will increase fertility of the soil and food production during different seasons rather than leaving it to rot. Demon King and Hero are having a nice moment together. What she wanted to say was to put his head on his lap in which he instantly did it without hesitation. He is hers, right? The good part (they’re about to kiss) is ruined when they hear a commotion at the stable. Turns out a couple of young runaway slaves are hiding there. But Demon King calls them serfs. Though they are given land, houses, tools and live with families, they cannot choose their profession. They’re somewhat labourers for nobles. Anyhow, Head Maid knows it is a crime that they have run away and wants to report them in order to protect their position. This doesn’t sit well with Hero. Though Demon King agrees with Head Maid, she wants her to put it off till tomorrow morning. For now, give them food, clothes and prepare a bath to clean themselves. Though the duo are grateful for everything, the elder one hopes they don’t report them. Head Maid might seem mean to them especially when the younger one says they put in so much effort to get this far. Head Maid replies in doing so, they have snuck into somebody’s house, took advantage of their generosity and threaten the position of those who provided food and shelter.

She reminds them that she considers those who are incapable of determining their own fate as insects. She hates insects and refuses to call such as humans. The duo then apologize and they hope they could make them humans. Head Maid requests Demon Lord’s permission to hire them as maids since their house is too big for her to handle by herself. Approved. Hero thought Head Maid hated them. She corrects him that she hates insects. Plus, nobody in this world hates maids. SO TRUE!!! I AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY!!! I shall term them as Sister Maid and Little Maid. Hero is out hunting with Little Maid and she happily relays the joy of learning many things with her sister. Hero admits he is not smart or good with money. He can’t even work in fields or take care of animals. All he cares about is peace but when it is achieved, what will he do? Demon Lord becomes a teacher and educates a group of nobles’ sons. We learn about the Crusade of the Holy Key, a holy army formed by the Crisis Response Council of Central Nations to exterminate demons and end the war. There have been 2 such occasions in the past 15 years. Though 2 important demon cities were destroyed, they failed to capture the demon’s capital. A couple of requirements needed for a crusade. Determination to end the war and economic support. Humans need to eat otherwise you can’t wage war or sustain a society. Later Demon King feels frustrated in teaching those kids and have this idea of turning them into frogs! Hero advises she better not. Her idea to educate the nobles’ sons is so that if she gets enough prestige, the farmers will start listening to her ideas. Her next stop is to teach the at the Village Elder’s house. Hero accompanies her. She is confident the fruits of her labour will be seen in a year’s time and she has brought along a secret weapon in a box.

Episode 3
Three months later, the crops are growing nicely. Hero and Demon King teleport to the Lake Convent of Lake Country. Demon King learns humans are devout believers of religion though Hero isn’t so. Some care more about the church than the king because this is where heavy research comes from. She hopes to use this to her advantage. Disguising herself in name as Red Scholar, they meet a priestess of the convent. However this priestess knows who Hero is and is pissed upon seeing his face. She is Knight, his old comrade and party member with him during the attack on Demon King’s territory. She is upset because he went alone, went missing and suddenly pops up with a beautiful woman. So what gives? Slap! Demon King explains (obviously a lie) that Hero wounded the Demon King but before was attacked by so many demons he was forced to retreat. She met him coincidentally and nursed his wounds. As gratitude, he became her bodyguard. For Knight’s case, after she reported Hero as missing, a letter was issued that he sacrificed himself. All his comrades were received compensation. Knight didn’t want to make a profit out of it and refused. She ended up as a nun in hopes of helping everyone. As for the other members, Gramps the old pervert took the money and worked for an intelligence group in some southern country while Mage left on her own. After Hero went on his own, she too followed but Knight tried to stop her. By that time, she realized all her belongings were gone. On to business, Demon King shows Knight her secret weapon in a box: Potatoes. Knight tastes it and finds it very delicious. Demon King explains to her the high yield of this plant because it can grow in cold weather, bad soil and being underground it staves off birds. If harvested properly, it can bring 3 times more yield than wheat. In return for this agriculture technique, Demon King would like to set up a convent at Winter Pass and be the head nun there to teach the villagers of other agricultural techniques. Then she could build convents in surrounding areas. This is her goal to end wars and starvation.

The negotiations end well as Demon King and Hero leave satisfied. They talk about some of the threats they may face. One including a war-like Ice General dwelling in the southern seas. But their main worry is the merchant group called Economic Alliance of Merchants and Southern Independent Cities. Or Alliance for short. Their influence is spread wide across the land and are involved in 60% of the wheat business. Can you see where this is going? They are powerful enough to dethrone a king and solely operates in safeguarding their interest and expansion. Hero remembers doing a speech for them. Demon King calls it a propaganda to rally the public. Think he was paid millions? Nope. Only 15 gold coins. Cheated!!! Lesson learnt the hard way. Demon King has been secluding herself for the past 2 months in the room not for nothing. It seems a group of Alliance guys has received an invention called compass from this Scholar. They know this invention can change the world but remains suspicious of this Scholar from Winter Pass. They want the Alliance to benefit from this compass and will make sure Scholar has not sold it to anyone else. Sending in the assassins? I guess this is just ‘business’. Hero packs up on his journey to search for Mage. Demon King gives her an armour and a name list of trustworthy demons. Demon King wants some physical skinship reward since Head Maid pressuring her that there has been no development for the last 2 months and to take the aggressive lead since Hero is a virgin! What do you expect when she locked herself up in her room? Head Maid could even tell they have not been holding hands. She is bothered that he will be reunited with his ex-flames once the convent at Winter Pass is finished and he returns with Mage. Just to satiate her for the time being, he pecks her forehead. A better one when he comes back. He better remember that!

Episode 4
It has been 6 months. When Knight arrived learning Hero is not around, she became a crazy woman. The guy she yearned to see so much isn’t around on a ‘business trip’? Nevertheless she stays and becomes fighting instructors to the village noble’s sons. Demon King dresses up because she is going to be in for negotiation. A couple of Alliance guys (let’s call them Merchant A and B) arrive at Winter Pass to see her. Demon King shows them a new crop that can flourish when water is scarce: Maize. There is a big unused land unsuitable for other crops in the north and that they can operate this large scale harvesting operation there. This will lead to a massive market in villages in which Alliance will control. Merchant A points out she is not selling a specific product but a method. Once they know of the method, she won’t be needed, so how is she to benefit of this? She wants a prompt end to the war and it doesn’t matter who wins. Merchant A doesn’t believe it because he truly believes it will end in their victory. Things seem to be heading south when Demon King says to her, the Alliance is a trading partner rather than friend or foe. Merchant A signals to Merchant B to prepare the assassins waiting outside. Head Maid knows of this because her watching ghosts are keeping tabs on them. Merchant A asks what makes her think they will help her. She answers it is the thing that they have in common and the second strongest bond: Equal profits. Merchant A laughs so much and realizes before humans or the church, they are just merchants. He agrees to enter a contract with her and signals for the assassins to step down. When they leave, he asks what is the first strongest bond. When she mentions love, he laughs again. Then he proposes to her!!! Didn’t see this one coming, eh? Not part of her plans, no? Call it a long term investment. Which guy wouldn’t be appealed by her intelligence and charm? Demon King tries to refuse it but I guess it’s too late when Merchant A kisses her hand.

Prince talks to Gramps how potatoes are a hit in their town. The convents are also helping them to improve farming and establish education facilities. There are even windmills created to help improve their food spread. Prince wants to stop the war and assist the convents but as Gramps point out, Central Nations will stop supporting them and they well know their town cannot survive long without it. Demon King may be regretting in becoming a merchant. Because there is a huge stack of bills, invoices and other documents for her to go through! That is just 20%!!! She really wants to see Hero whom she hasn’t heard of. He has written letters back but those are his epic adventures in slaying demons and even weird creatures asking his hand in marriage!!! Demon King is so stressed out as Head Maid puts her to sleep. In actual fact, Hero does come back here once in a while to write the letters. With his teleportation skills, he has no problem. Head Maid agreed to keep this from Demon King since it’s not her place to say but now feels this is getting nowhere. She wonders if it’s love problems seeing she can tell he ran into a host of girls seeking his hand in marriage! The maid knows… Telling him that Demon King is getting worried, Hero says when he first became hers, he thought she would use him to fight in against demon rebels to end the war. But she never uses him and instead ensures he never fights. He fears that when he pictures his death, he sees her sad face. Head Maid says all of him belongs to Demon King. The feelings he can’t express too. Prince confides in Gramps that Central Nations won’t send in Crusade of the Holy Key but wants them to defeat demons on their own. At the only island, Bright Light Island where demons occupy, it would be like sending their men to watery deaths if their boats are sunk. And some negotiations that ended up having them to go to war. Winter Pass’ nobles’ sons are eager to enter the war but Knight tells them off she won’t let them die with a stupid face since they’re too young and inexperienced. In short, they’re not going. Later she regrets saying it to them and talks to Sister Maid. Though Sister Maid can do lots of things now, she wonders if she is really human.

Episode 5
Merchant A discusses with his fellow merchant that the war is about to start. Since they are making compasses, this will be useful for the naval battle. Plus, if they can secure Bright Light Island, it will open up new trading routes for them. Hero is at Gate City when he saves a demon slave girl from being bullied by a human guard. He learns from her the troops controlling it and the forces in the middle of town who are nobles. Since slave girl views herself as lost and resigns herself to this fate, Hero wonders if this is what they have won. It will be the same too if demons won over humans. Despite learning the Eastern Fortress is a safe haven for lost demons, it is still not enough. Slave girl wonders why he is working for the Demon King. Has he lost too? Then they hear the voice of an injured elderly demon cursing the humans for stealing their lives and peace. Hero tells slave girl he belongs to Demon King not because he lost. Being winner doesn’t give right to do whatever you want and he is proof of that. Meanwhile the troops set sail to Bright Light Island but are ambushed by giant squids. Puny arrows no match for large tentacles. One by one the ships are sunk. In the end, Prince’s father sacrificed himself for him to escape. Back on land, the White Night King can only blame everyone and doesn’t care. Prince won’t accuse him of his father’s death because he died in what he believed in. But he blames him for the defeat because of his failure to plan ahead and cost the lives of thousands of soldiers. White Night King accuses him back that he is hording a mysterious Scholar and also involved the Alliance who is sponsoring him with a large sum of money. Prince decides to take his father’s place and vows to take back Bright Light Island.

Demon King talks to Knight and admits she is the demon king. However Knight accepts this as her confession and clears her of her sins. Being a Demon King doesn’t make her sinful, right? Actually why Knight can be so calm in hearing this is because Hero already told her the truth. He begged her to believe him she is a nice person (demon, rather). Because he trusts her, she won’t betray his trust. They shake hands and be friends. But over Hero, that may be a different story. Later, Little Maid and Sister Maid give a surprise present to Demon King, a little doll of Hero and perfume respectively. They also present Head Maid with a designed apron with embroidery. Later when the maids head out for the New Year festival, Demon King lies alone in her bed, lamenting it has been a whole year she has seen or touched Hero. She feels like she has lost motivation to change the world. She yearns for him when suddenly he is right by her side. It’s not dream! So happy to see him that she starts whacking him with her pillow!!! That’s for making her feel lonely! Those horrible ‘picture diary’ reports don’t count! It descends into a petty argument about using their popularity to flirt around with the opposite gender and Hero calling her flabby. They stop when they hear the New Year festival music in the background so Hero dances with her and even teaches her. Now all the nice words come out. Demon King wanted to reward (or punish – depends how you view it) with a kiss but since she took too long, the music ended. Hero decides to return to Gate City and retake it within a month. Seeing her has given him the courage and gives him an idea on what to do. They note the next time they meet will be at the battlefield. Hey, wait a minute. What about the kiss Hero is supposed to give Demon King? Did they forget?

Episode 6
Demon King tries to explain her best when Sister Maid asks about the reason people go to war. Ironically she tells that there is sometimes good coming out from conflict even though fundamentally they are all the same as it allows to proceed to the next level. Besides, even when boys fight over a girl, that is war and conflict, right? Hero disguises himself as Dead Knight causing havoc and nightmare to everyone in Crusade of the Holy Key. Thanks to his demon connection and fairies, he is able to pull deathly illusions and scare the hell out of them. It makes the troops loose moral and want to go home and the Commander in serious panic mode. Knight works under King FKA Prince as they set up an outpost to keep watch on Bright Light Island. King is surprised that Demon King/Scholar is joining them in this war. Knight thought Demon King’s identity is busted since Gramps sensed something in her. He just wants to check out her humongous boobs. Ahem. Back to serious business. Seeing King’s determination to reclaim their pride and not rely on Central Nations by opening up this new route, Demon King tells them her plan to attain victory. First, they put use to all the available manpower in bringing together big chunks of ice and ‘sticking’ them together with the massive salt resources Demon King has provided with sea water. This creates a land leading up to Bright Light Island. I can’t believe the demons didn’t see this coming. They just waited for the humans to finish their land bridge and then attack, huh? So both sides clash and it is bloody everywhere. I guess the land ice is so thick that the giant squids can’t even break it apart. At the end of the day, the humans succeeded in taking out the demons’ second line of defence. Surprisingly they only suffered 500 casualties and have 12,000 men left. When report comes in that Ice General is going to lay a siege on them and their reinforcement amounts to over 10,000, Demon King says that this is part of her plan and that force are the soldiers from Gate City.

Flashback reveals Commander went berserk and thought of sending all his men to Bright Light Island. General doesn’t favour this but Commander views the civilians here as traitors by befriending demons. Then he makes General to be the new commander and he can protect this town of traitors if he wants to. Now that the place is void of soldiers, General thinks of go begging to influential demons and to establish an emergency government. He views this place no longer a human territory but a meeting place between humans and demons. The demons are going to siege the humans as their last chance. Hero teleports back to main camp. Knight beats Demon King in hugging him. Like never seen him in months. Oh wait. That’s true. Ice General enters the fray and easily takes out the light infantry. Knight wants to do the honours in taking it out. After a flashy sword battle, Knight emerges the victor. There goes the walrus. Googoo Goojoob… Man, I thought if this was how powerful she is, she should’ve gone in as a one (wo)man army to take out all the demons instead of letting hundreds of soldiers die. King hosts a lavish feast for his men for their hard fought victory and pays tribute to Demon King and Knight. Gramps meets up with Hero and is glad to see him once more. Gramps talks about Hero’s abnormal strength whereby no human would have accepted him, thus his isolation. He thinks he left the group so that they don’t have to bear the isolation too. However he points out he is still human and apologize for making him feel lonely. Hero thanks him for the many things he taught. Including boobs and breasts. Haha. Noting this country is blooming beautifully, he assures Hero won’t feel lonely here and welcomes him back.

Episode 7
Sister Maid writes in her diary how things are improving in the village. With King assuming the throne and moving the economy in the right direction, the kingdom is also experiencing a boom. One of Winter Pass’ nobles’ son is now working under him. Hero trains with Knight and later they have a refreshing bath drawing water from the manual water pump created by Demon King. Knight wanted to talk about who will end up being his wife and mistress but Hero’s mind is preoccupied about the war. It’s the same for both sides. Whoever loses will experience hell and end of war doesn’t guarantee peace. Little Maid seems to be fast becoming her own inventor. A good future cook rather. Demon King had told her about the carbonated spring and she amazingly created her own carbonated orange juice. Demon King combs Hero’s hair as the latter prepares for his council meeting with Dragon Archduke tomorrow at Gate City. Hero is supposed to be Black Knight and a representative for Demon King. Her worry is not the old dragon but his daughter, Dragon Princess. Not only she represents local demons as a council member, she is one of those eyeing Hero as her wife. Meanwhile Commander is being put on trial for his cowardice. He comes up with lots of silly excuses in his bid to be free. The council laughs at his so called fight-to-the-death actions since he practically abandoned his post and the city. He is given the death penalty and locked up. Hero after the meeting meets up with General at the festivals. Their talk is interrupted when feisty Dragon Princess comes looking for her husband! That’s Hero, right? Oh sh*t! No matter how much he protests he is not her husband, it won’t change her mind. An earthquake ravages through the land. Demon King and Head Maid discuss that they may have to act sooner since the intervals between them are decreasing. She wants Head Maid to send her bed back to the Underworld Palace. On another day, Hero teleports Demon King to Iron Country to retrieve a finished prototype from a workshop. She has brought along Sister Maid too because she has learnt many things. She is better than a noble or a general because she is educated. It is part of Demon King’s plan to use education as a powerful weapon for the future. And the prototype invention: A printing press. Writing made easy.

I guess the inevitable has arrived. Demon King and Knight in a showdown outside Hero’s room. So who’s going to be with him? They have to move now seeing Knight has discovered a handkerchief from Dragon Princess claiming Hero to be her husband. Since they can’t decide, Head Maid will enter on their behalf. No go? Then they shall enter. Head Maid pushes them into the room. Good luck .Too late to negotiate, eh? Well, Demon King tries to negotiate. Knight sleeps on the floor while she and Hero sleep on the bed. If not, Knight can sleep on it daytime while they use it during night time. Sounds awfully one sided, no? It’s taking too long that Hero falls back to sleep! So the best solution is that both ladies flank his side while patting his hair. Feels good? They want to tell each other embarrassing stories of Hero. I wonder if he’s really asleep. Demon King reveals she needs to return to her world next week to renew her licence. Wait a minute. They’re making it sound that the title is like a business. If she’s lucky, it’ll only be a few months. She has to conduct lots of procedures like visiting the grave of the previous Demon Kings. This is necessary to bring the demons together. Because many demons want to invade the human world and she is going back to prevent them from starting their own war. Head Maid will accompany her and she will leave a list of things on what to do. Before Demon King departs, she gives Sister Maid an Earth Fairy Ring that can change her appearance. There will be times she needs to attend meetings and such so she can use this ring to disguise as Demon King. Hero sees off Demon King and Head Maid. Meanwhile Commander is seeking refuge in White Night King’s place. Thanks to his distraction and cloning powers, he managed to sneak out. They are both in cohorts with Commander seeks revenge on General and all those traitors while White Night King plots the downfall of King and plans to take over his treasure and kingdom.

Episode 8
Merchant A was passing by so he stops by to see Demon King. Sister Maid disguises as her and talks to him. Merchant A hints about counterfeits and he had bad experiences with them. This causes her to start panicking. Hero comes in and takes off the ring seeing her cover is already blown. Hero and Merchant A know each other. He was the one who paid Hero 15 gold pieces for his speech. Hero notes he has changed. He used to be someone aloof obsessed with perfection. You can thank Demon King for opening his eyes. Hero notes Merchant A still hasn’t fulfilled his contract. The one whereby he will throw a feast when he returns. He agrees to it and Hero wants it now. Hero takes him through several spots (I didn’t know you can get teleport sickness if you’re not used to it) and they end up in the demon realm where rainbows shine at night. This is where they will feast. Because Hero believes in his words, he tells Merchant A about Demon King’s true identity and the world she comes from. Then he shows him Gate City. This neutral place is a melting pot for humans and demons. Everyone is happily engaging with each other and Merchant A realizes some of his Alliance buddies are also there. Merchant A wonders why he made such a risky move to be a representative for Demon King. Hero thought it would be lonely to just come back as just a hero. Dragon Princess and her entourage throw the guys the best feast ever. Hero is willing to sell Gate City to Merchant A. But what does he want in return? Hero points out merchants are viewed as stubborn greedy monsters because they’re only interested in gains and losses. But that is not true after meeting Demon King. She may be the first one to find something that cannot be expressed in terms of gains and losses. He wants Merchant A to show him that as payback. Head Maid accompanies Demon King before the door of the grave. She feels the previous generation kings are getting restless. Before she enters, she makes Head Maid promise that if she comes out not as herself, she is to slay her down.

Knight wants Hero to take her sword and become her master. It’s not that she has realized that she will never beat Demon King, she feels she wants to do something. To her in comparison, Demon King has a dream, foresight, smart and kind hearted. If Hero is leaving for the future, she wants to come along with him and will not betray him. Hero relents and makes Knight his, erm, true knight. The villagers are giving Sister Maid and Little Maid lots of freebies. They are very grateful to Demon King and Head Maid. Because of them, they have o much abundance. More than enough after tax deduction and to get them through winter. King is surprised when he receives a damning message from the holy religion of Light Spirit. He is in a pinch. Soon word of this spreads around. King and Gramps make haste to Winter Pass to meet Hero and Knight. It seems Light Spirit has issued a decree that the potato is a demon crop and whatever agricultural methods from Demon King are considered teachings against Light Spirit since the church was never credited in her studies. In short, Scholar/Demon King is a heretic and if King allows her to get away, he will be considered a blasphemy. Demon King won’t be back in 2 months. Gramps thought they could use that ring but Hero won’t use it that way. He has a plan. He wants Sister Maid to let the authorities arrest her. Once they are out of this country, Hero will come to her rescue. There won’t be any problems if this is done outside King’s kingdom, right? But this act of disobeying the church will be another problem. Hero doesn’t want Knight or Gramps to follow since they have their own duties and place to protect. They fear they will have to leave him again. Hero knows he can wipe out the entire Holy Capital’s army by himself but doing so won’t please Demon King. Whether he fights, win or lose, this doesn’t mean he’ll let them take anything from him.

Episode 9
Merchant A speaks to Merchant B about Central Nations making their move as part of their plan to revive the church’s decreasing influence ever since White Night King whom they could influence blundered in a disastrous loss and the heroic King took over the throne and swayed the people. If they are going to do anything as the Alliance, they need to form a new council. One of the nobles’ sons under tutelage of Demon King who is now a fine man agrees to help them. All Merchant A needs is more time. A large crowd mostly peasants and even those from neighbouring villages have gathered at the town square of Winter Pass. They can’t believe Scholar will be arrested and labelled a heretic. Sister Maid talks to Knight and Hero before she plays her role. She notes everyone has been kind to her and her sister. They love them and Scholar so much that they feel they can’t do anything in return to repay such kindness. Sister Maid breaks down moments before she gets into her role. King and his entourage arrive on the stage to hand over ‘Demon King’ to Messenger from the Central Nations. He checks if she is a double. Obviously he can’t tell if she’s a fake. After clearing King for his cooperation, they chain her up and whip her till she bleeds! The crowd couldn’t bear to see her in pain. King has to hold back his emotions and not do anything rash. ‘Demon King’ is allowed to speak to the crowd. She starts off explaining her real life experience as a serf. She is the third of seven siblings and slowly watched each one of them die in different circumstances till she and her little sister are left. They ran away and were given a chance to start life anew. Because fate has been too kind to her compared to her dead siblings, she has to reject it. Because she is human. Because she still doubts herself. She believes the first step to being human is to admit you are human.

She tells them feeling the warmth of the sun is proof that they are human the Light Spirit’s beloved children. She doesn’t want them to stop hoping, thinking and working as with the earth’s blessings, Light Spirit has brought them wealth and freedom. They were not created perfect beings because it is to give them freedom to keep doing things better every day. So don’t abandon things just to make life easier. No one, not even the king or church has the right to take these treasures from them. By this time, Messenger has beat up ‘Demon King’ so much but she still refuses to give in and stands up and continue her speech. She will not surrender those treasures again and become an insect even if they bring her much pain. Messenger orders the people to stone her so she tells them to do so to protect their families and she will not blame them. It is their freedom to do so. However if they do so because someone ordered them, then they are no better than an insect. And she hates insects. She refuses to become an insect. Because she is human. The crowd are moved by her words and start stoning Messenger and his guards. Messenger orders ‘Demon King’ to be beheaded but this time King steps in to protect her. Hey, this is his country. He feels ashamed to have his eyes opened by this girl and realized he was an insect at heart, not knowing there is such pride in the hearts of his people. Knight lectures Messenger that his actions and the church shamed her as a servant of Light Spirit. King announces Scholar to be under his extended protection while Knight recognizes her as a saint. The crowd becomes ecstatic and welcomes their decision with a rousing applause. King wants Messenger to go back to his country and will meet again under different circumstances. With that, the unwelcomed guests leave much to the crowd’s delight. And Hero didn’t even have a role to play in this. But he is amazed of her bravery and that words alone can make an entire army withdraw.

Episode 10
That fine speech now has some serious snowballing consequences. Central Nations view that as declaration of war and it causes the serfs to rebel over the landowners in which they have no choice but to let them go. Attacking on King’s nation won’t be so soon because doing so will destroy the buffer that cushions them between the demon’s land. Plus, with different local warlords, it will take 6 months just for them to unite in a place. Hero is confused on Central Nations or the church’s goal so Knight explains despite their banner to unite the world under Light Spirit, it is actually to obtain riches, respect and power by stealing from others. They want to preserve such society forever. Sister Maid now understands what Demon King told her about keeping wealth for oneself might make you rich but it will never make you prosper. Give money to people and they will spend it. True prosperity comes from free flow of wealth and goods. So what the church is doing is draining the pockets of everyone to preserve their wealth. Hero is at a loss what to do when Little Maid comes in with refreshments. She made 2 variations of pie. It gives Hero an idea. The Lakeside Convent has split from the central church. Calling themselves True Church of the Light Spirit, they are going to make this the national religion. Of course this is causing the central church to be in chaos with views divided. Merchant A could guess his is Hero’s doing because Demon King won’t do this on impulse. Noting the fine paper he is reading from and the printed letters instead of handwriting, it occurs to him that Demon King’s plans are bearing fruits. Discussing with Merchant B about wheat prices, because Central Nation is in recession, he wants to buy as much and stock up without raising suspicion. His plan is not to buy wheat, but to sell currencies. The new teachings are moving slowly. They think of using minstrels to sing to illiterate peasants but Sister Maid opposes in doing something like that. Because most supporters of Light Spirit are simple believers, it is wrong to get them involved in something nasty. She suggests explaining why they should come in simple songs. The truth in the songs the bards spread will have more people streaming in.

Merchant A shows Merchant B his invention called product purchase agreement. It’s like buying in the future. For example, he buys wheat now that a farmer doesn’t have. But when the time comes, he must produce the goods. If price of wheat has risen by that time, this means he has bought it at lower prices. If it doesn’t, they can create artificial scarcity to keep prices high. This is one objective. The other is to invoke fear. They’ll make Central Nations think next year will be a good harvest for wheat. But when the time comes, not only there is little wheat to sell but to eat too. This will lead to fear and buying up which will make them rich. They can then move up in the Alliance and possibly set up their headquarters at Lake Country. Merchant A also has employed his assassins in part of his plan. He won’t allow those from those supporting the Central Nations put a stop to his plan. Cloud Dragon talks to General about the lack of salt supply ever since losing Bright Light Island. Dragon Princess warns General that most blue skinned demons like Cloud Dragon are descendents of Demon King and possess the greatest desire to conquer humans. There are rumours they are secretly contacting humans at Gate City. Meanwhile prices of wheat rapidly shoot up as fear starts making its way into the people and the common sense that the high price is the current market price. Demon King’s disciples start noticing the strange trend in the city as they report to King. The increase in price of wheat has snowballed to other commodities. This causes landowners and nobles to save up their money. Even so, this won’t be enough to buy anything. Because the southern countries’ price has not increase, they will be coming down here to achieve their goal. This will destroy their economy. They suggest imposing high tariffs when leaving the country. Otherwise Central Nations will take all their food and they will starve through winter.

Merchant A is surprised Dragon Princess comes to see him. Due to the scarcity of salt, which is a valuable commodity to demons, she is here to have him spare some although she can’t say how much. Merchant A thinks back on Hero’s words on gains and losses and believes Dragon Princess is the key in achieving that. He thinks there isn’t much they know about each other. Flashback reveals Head Maid learning Demon King has become a demon king. She is worried that the previous kings will alter her body. Even so, she believes she will still be herself. She also vowed not to use violence and yearned to meet her destiny. She showed Head Maid a picture of Hero who is a toddler. She can’t wait to meet him 15 years later. Despite knowing he will hunt her down and kill her with his sword, she hopes to say at least hello before she strikes her down. After all, he came from afar just to kill her, right? This might be a crazy idea but she wants to witness a future that no one has ever seen. Meanwhile Central Nations have issued a letter to declare war on the southern nations. This shows they have run out of grains due to their tariffs. The war will begin in 10 days during the first month of winter. Hero is frustrated that he doesn’t want to fight as this is not what she hoped for. He asks King if there is any way to fight without casualties on both sides. He is not being naive either. King thinks it depends on the weather. If they’re fortunate, snow will come earliest in 2 weeks. He swears on his name he will make that happen.

Episode 11
Merchant A has his members go on a buying spree. Merchant B reports the church has backed the Holy Capital to issue a new currency and the current one will be declared illegal. Of course this means the Holy Capital will stand to profit from the exchange rate from old to new. As other countries preparing their attack against the southern nations wait, they are surprised that the local landowners are giving them top quality produce. A plan to prevent outbreak of war at any cost? White Night King and Commander are cursing Scholar who is believed to be alive. The former laments his serfs are running away to Iron Country. Commander suggests a surprise attack to steal them back. King discuses with Hero and Knight about the 20,000 troops they’ll be facing. The most they have is only 4,500. If they’re lucky. It’s going to be tough to ensure minimum casualties. But things turn for the worse with the unexpected appearance of demons spotted marching from Bright Light Island. Hero will settle this since King has no troops to spare. Hero doesn’t want to fight the demons either and heads off to the island. Financial Minister (formerly one of Demon King’s students) enters into a negotiation with Merchant A. They praise each other for the tariff and purchase agreement they respectively came up. Merchant A has 4 points to discuss with him: 1) To give exclusive exemption to Alliance from tariffs for goods passing through his area; 2) Lease the rights for Bright Light Island to them (even though the island is nothing but salt); 3) Establish banks and Alliance facilities within the capitals of his nations; 4) They’ll purchase their entire potato stock. Financial Minister thinks of Merchant A’s actions before he realizes he is planning to use wheat as a pseudo currency. He remembers Demon King’s teachings that for competitiveness, it is best to have more than one currency. Since Central Nations’ economy is weak now, it is the perfect time to do so. Merchant A introduces Dragon Princess to him and she hopes he can consider their bargain.

Hero sees the army of blue skinned demons marching towards to human world and notes they are well equipped provisions to stay for the long run. That’s when he finally meets Mage. Mage wants Hero to destroy the dimensional gate after she handles this even if this means they will not be able to enter the demon realm again. Mage uses her training from all these years to individually teleport back all the demons back to where they came from! And she sounds really frustrated in having to do this. Then, Hero uses his flashy move to destroy the portal. Demon King comes out from the room but Head Maid knows she has been corrupted and fights her in hopes to bring her back to the Demon King she knew, loved and respected. Unfortunately she couldn’t match her strength and got an arm chopped off. White Night King’s army moves quickly for the surprise attack. Despite Iron Country’s army being vastly outnumbered, thanks to one of the soldiers (who is Demon King’s ex-student), he places traps and effective war tactics to halt the enemy and minimize their casualty. Knight may be having her army on standby, but she is also having the locals pacify the warlords with wine, meat and even horse fodder (though it is filled with dirty food that will make them sick). I’m sure everyone would at least stay happy this way rather than dying on the battlefield. Iron Country’s army general praises Soldier for his commendable performance and wants to promote him to general. He is being modest and says he is just applying what he is being taught. The report comes in that their side suffered very minor casualties and injuries compared to the enemy. There are some enemy soldiers who have escaped into the city and a hunt is conducted to flush them out. Commander is believed to be hiding among them. Hero suddenly finds himself underground after the explosion. He is shocked to realize that the demon realm is actually underground instead of another world. He flies as fast as he could to the palace and crashes into the room. That must be a hard crash for him to destroy the walls. He learns from Head Maid that Demon King has been corrupted by the previous demon kings. She does not hesitate to attack him.

Episode 12
Mage makes her presence to King and his aides. So where has she been all this while? Sleeping? Is that a joke? Anyway she claims she has met Scholar and was told to deliver a message. In short after her convoluted words, smallpox is spreading and needs to be eradicated. Is there a cure? Mage shows them how to make vaccines and antibodies as instructed by Demon King. King thinks this could be a great way to work towards ceasefire. Imagine if everybody gets a shot for one gold piece. They are surprised that Mage wants to close the gap between humans and demons as she is tired of all the silly nightmares. Financial Minister expresses though demons may look strange, they are still intelligent. Maybe they are more similar to humans than they think. They may have factions and races like humans too. He hopes King will consider Dragon Princess’ request since she is willing to become their prisoner. Hero fends off Demon King and the latter tries to tempt Hero in sharing half the world. He refuses to get baited and chides her thinking as out dated. The world has changed and it doesn’t belong to her now and it’s not hers to give. But her body is the most important thing to him and is his. Demon King manages to drive out the corruption and return to her normal state. After reattaching Head Maid’s arm, Hero updates her the developments above ground. Unfortunately several innocent people had to die when Commander makes his way into a barn. He thinks Sister Maid is Scholar since she is operating a weird machine (printing press). He takes Little Maid hostage and beats up Sister Maid. Thankfully Soldier came to her rescue and they clash swords. Despite Soldier taking in heavy wounds, he continues to fight. His sword may have broken but he has wrapped his wrists with iron to fend off Commander’s strike. It ends when the guys fall down a chute. Commander splattered like a tomato while Soldier barely hanging on, using his sword to stab the wall to break his fall.

The Central Nations’ soldiers are getting restless. They are fed up having to put up with tasteless food. Although the army has brought along with them lots of gold as it is more efficient to transport around, the nobles have started to realize and panic that with so much gold and no food in winter, that’s why they’re attacking the southern nations. However the war has not even begun yet as the warlords are petty arguing the territory they will receive after defeating southern nations. Because of this, some disgruntled soldiers become mercenaries and decide to ambush the southern nations with a sneak attack. Knight has seen this coming and will attack and end this swiftly before it abrupt into a full scale war. Knight and her army employs hit and run tactic to confuse and wound the enemy. Then they split into smaller groups as a ploy to break up the mercenaries and then attack them. Then the best reinforcement comes: Snow. Because of that, the enemy troops are forced to retreat. Some even ran from the fight as they don’t have enough food. In the Holy Capital, it seems the higher ups are cursing the Alliance for causing the rise in price. They are also making a deal with a blue skinned demon general to make him rule the southern nations one their goal has been achieved. It is part of their plan to forever be perceived as enemies and make certain that the church will always rule. They also have plans to recapture the demon realm and this time they have a secret weapon: Gun powder. Another invention Scholar created and mass developed in Iron Country.

Demon King greets her people and they give her a rousing applause when she assures Gate City will remain under her direct control and protection. Then she introduces Black Knight (Hero) and praises his efforts in maintaining order in that city and punished those who broke the law. As part of the show to demonstrate his might, he swings his sword but the crowd doesn’t seem assured. Head Maid tells him to pull off a flashier move so he blasts the entire mountain!!! Did he overdo it? But the demons love it!!! Demon King calls for the Quriltai meeting among all the greater races but the crowd misinterpret this as they are going to war with humans. I guess Demon King still has lots of work to do even if it’s just a meeting by those chiefs to decide that. Hero assures her he will be by her side no matter how long it takes. After some time, Demon King is back in her humble abode in Winter Pass. She learns that the southern nations’ potatoes are sold to Central Nations via Alliance. If they taste them themselves, they will realize it is not demon’s food. It is also possible that countries may start leaning towards the south and the first step to a dual currency system. Sister Maid recounts Merchant A’s surprising words that he wants to trade with demons. He is willing to stake his life on it. King can’t answer now but he will keep his options open as he wonders if demons and humans are more similar and wants to know more about them. Knight tells Demon King that during her absence she has given her sword to Hero. Don’t worry, it wasn’t her body. She is telling this because they are friends. They both shake hands and admit they love Hero the person he is. But that doesn’t stop them from fighting over him during ‘critical’ moments. Poor Hero gets caught between them. Their bosoms. Literally. Lastly, Demon King and Head Maid talk about Sister Maid’s bravery to stand up and gave birth to liberalism. Demon King finds humans amazing despite being chaotic and rowdy. That’s why she loves this world.

Knowledge Is Power
I did not set out very high expectations for this series so I was surprised when it ended, I find the entire series be very interesting. Despite the ending that doesn’t seem to mean much because basically life goes on. Even with several new developments in the end, the cycle continues and so whether it is good or bad ending, I can pretty much say that the entire series itself is entertaining. In fact, I have to admit that each episode draws me deeper and deeper in wanting to know more about the developments on just about everything. I might not be the brightest guy in trying to understand the mechanics of the economics but I guess they kept it simple enough for a simpleton like me to understand them or at least the gist of it. Some may find it boring due to the talking and drama and lack of action scenes but to me this is one of the better ‘thinking’ animes out there without putting in too much of battles and fanservice to ruin everything. In short, this is a great anime and I recommend that everyone of all ages and walks of life to watch it.

So basically the speeches and dialogues of the characters are what make this series work. In fact, you can draw lots of inspiration from listening to what they say. Especially when Sister Maid impersonated as Demon King and addressed the people not to follow blindly but to believe in their hearts and never stop believing. She might sound repetitive in drilling to our heads, reminding us that we are humans but she is trying to drive a point: We are humans. Not insects. Unless you choose to be one. There are lots of lessons you can learn just by watching the characters interact as they eke out their simple lives just to live a simple everyday living. You learn about humility and from being simple, you can see the most from the commoners that they are the happiest people on the land despite being poor and in poverty. Poor in material wealth but they are rich in other areas. You also learn not to judge a cover by its book and sometimes it is hard not to do so because of the stereotype information that we have been fed ever since we are born. If you think about it, how different are humans and demons? The only big difference that I can see is their outer physical appearance. Otherwise, both humans and demons are basically the same. There are good humans. There are good demons. There are also bad humans and demons. They also eat. They also breathe. They also need to make a living. See, how close we all are to each other? Next, we can say we are really related to the ape. Haha! Or even the Martians.

The simple economic strategies as well as war tactics are also an interesting topic. You can say that they are quite educational. I have said that I am not that smart but I do not find their explanations to be a big bore. It is because perhaps the development of the plot in the background that gives it an interesting twist. For had not the countries face such problems, these people would not have come up with such ‘brilliant’ solutions to counter and protect their own. That’s why they say necessity is the mother of inventions. One thing I like to point out is the inventions that Demon King creates. Now, many of us may laugh it off and say that she might have ripped it off from this real world of ours. Many would also shrug off those simple inventions because the way the people sees them for the first time, it is like a big deal. Yes, it is a big deal. For don’t you realize that even though such inventions are such a rarity in our world this days, it shows that we have taken such simple inventions for granted. We would not have the GPS if not for the compass. We would not have computers or iPads had not been the advent of the printing press. What about simple potatoes? You think having fine Wagyuu beef steak is the best, eh? People here have barely enough to eat! So I think that the inventions Demon King introduced to the humans may feel like she is taking them from the future but can you see how grateful and happy the people are and how it lightens their burden? It’s a gift.

The characters are another amazing set that makes the impossible possible. While many series focuses on the main protagonist, this one I feel has everyone equally playing their part. This show isn’t really all about Demon King or Hero and the actions they take. We also see other characters like King, Sister Maid, Knight and Merchant A doing their best in making Demon King and Hero’s dream come true. If they are going to change the word, it isn’t going to take just the two of them and everyone else, if not a big part from both sides of the divide need to pitch in. It is definitely odd for a demon king to wish for peace but thankfully this Demon King was brave enough to have a different vision. She was bold enough to go where no men and demons dared to go. Call her a pioneer or a visionary, but it is her first step that makes it possible and allows others to follow. Throughout the series, Demon King never loses sight of her main mission though at times she may feel depressed just not being close to Hero (the bit she got possessed is a different story). Hero too is another commendable dude. He has changed from one who is good in using his sword to fight and destroy into someone who does not wish for war. Despite either way he wishes for peace. Just the method of achieving it is now different. So you see, there are other ways to make peace instead of turning to violence. Demon King and Hero’s support each other provide the ‘battery’ and energy for them to keep going. Ironically, I feel that as they spend half their time away from each other in carrying out their task. But if that is needed to be done, so be it. In the end, they’re still together, right?

The other characters are admirable too and some of them have undergone lots of change for the better. Primarily King and Sister Maid. King stepped out from his father’s shadows to take command of his nation. Although he still has some improvements to go, he is making headway progress as a true ruler of his country. That is the best way to earn the people’s respect and love. Sister Maid has turned from a person who has very low confidence into someone who can even contribute laudable ideas during discussion. Even Little Maid who once used to hide behind her sister’s skirt is now much livelier and comes up with her own recipes. Demon King’s lessons must have borne fruit as the years passed because all the nobles’ son are now making use of her teachings in the very positions that they sit. They may not be the main characters but their little role helps in achieving the big dream. Then there is Merchant A. His fateful meeting with Demon King has made him changed his views. Sometimes it isn’t about gaining or losing. There are things that can’t be expressed through that. If he becomes part of the council of Alliance or be the next head, I can foresee that he will come up with more ‘terrifying’ negotiating methods and trade tricks. Knight’s loyalty to Hero is laudable and perhaps only as her knight role. As a woman, she may have lost that out to Demon King ;p. Speaking of an amusing person, I find Head Maid so since she smoothly traverses between her serious no nonsense mode and the one that teases Demon King. Although in both modes, her emotion does not flutter very much. After all, she does what she does to give encouragement (like Sister Maid) and that little push when one is being indecisive (like Demon King). Just like any other characters in this series, I find her likeable even if her actions may seem cold. Hey, nobody hates maids, right?

The only character I find a little redundant is Mage. Even with Dragon Princess’ role of ‘bumming’ around with Merchant A in the later part of the series or perverted Gramps just standing by King’s side seem to have more role impact than Mage in this sense. Mage appeared so late when the series is about to end, it’s like her role is just to help Hero for that brief moment. Even had she not introduced the cure to smallpox, I think that scene could have been omitted and not bear any significant impact on the plot. But Mage is amusing. I think she has split personalities. One that is a sleepyhead and the other is just a crude foul mouth witch. Due to her lack of appearance, lots of things about her is a mystery so questions like why she left and where she had been all this time remains unanswered. Unless I wasn’t paying attention. Besides, I think Demon King met her briefly during his search and that Demon King also the same when she made her way back to the palace. Why was Mage hanging around Outer Library anyway?

Apart from the common people as we know, the church and those in the high positions are the main culprits in making the people suffer. They have the power to turn your life hell in a blink of an eye if they don’t like you. They can pluck anything out from the air without proof to turn you into a heretic, a reason for them to execute somebody and make a fearful example to others. Is this the teachings of God or Light Spirit in this anime’s case? Ordinary people have no means or power to stand up to them. That is why it takes just a little someone who has went through pain and suffering to break out from that stranglehold and give everyone hope. As far as this anime is concern, the church doesn’t look like it is going to be shattered any time soon, although there are some ripples here and there. Something that big and being around for a long time won’t crumble that easy. True evil, huh? But that is just my view point as we have seen how the church operates here. With the developments at the end and their goal to take everything and destroy those that stand in their way, it is not really the end yet. Same case I feel for White Night King. Commander may be dead by I don’t think that fallen and disgraced king will give up his revenge that easily too.

Which brings us to this next topic of war. Ironic as seen in this anime as in the real world, war is very much necessary to facilitate economic boom. At the expense of lives of poorer nations, richer nations get richer from the trades of war. That is why there is this dilemma whether if war is stopped, will it be a good thing. People will be out of jobs and turn to their instincts to fight for survival. After all, fighting is in our blood and genes. It is a proven track record throughout the centuries. The good point about this is that this is what makes us humans. Imagine the entire world living in peace. No wars. No fighting. Boring, isn’t it? Thus the irony that war is necessary both have its good and bad points. And also depends very much on which end of the war you are.

Another ‘unique’ aspect of this anime is the name of the characters. While many series with fantasy setting try to have unique fantasy-like names (the ones from Zero No Tsukaima gave me a tough time with the tongue twister names), this one rarely had names for all the characters. Each character is identified by his/her title or description. While this is refreshing and good for those who are bad with names, sometimes it is hard to identify a certain character. For example, we know Demon King here is the only role for this show. But what happens if you need to make a reference to the past demon kings? It may get confusing in this sense. There are many other generals and soldiers too, right? So which one are we referring? It’s a good thing that they manage to keep such names for positions and titles to just a single person. Or else such minor and extra characters I don’t think they are even named. It also gives rise to different naming sense. What I mean is that unless you use the original Japanese words like Maou (Demon King) and Yuusha (Hero), translating them to English like what I did in my blog may bring about different name of the characters and may differ from the original version. Thus my Merchant A here as I later found out would be identified by others as Young Merchant and Gramps is actually Archer if going by his official name in the credits but he is often addressed as the former. Since I’m so used in using my own names (or as translated in the anime) so I’ve decided to stick with it instead of changing and following the rest.

The drawing and art seems okay but just that I noticed the scenery and background sometimes feel like water colour painting. It might be a little odd but I find it effective in a way to portray the deprived and poor setting of this world. Lives were much simpler then and the people’s needs aren’t that many. As for the writing that I find this series, I find them like wormy scribbles… Somewhat horrible doodles. The action part is also okay but nothing really flashy except maybe Hero overdoing it with his super power or teleporting skill. It provides a nice variety and diversion to the main drama and dialogue but it is not the main focus and not something you should hope for. Consider them as bonus. Like the final surprise attack scenes, they are exciting itself because of the tactics used to explain and employing them. For fanservice, just a handful and most of them coming from Demon King’s ‘useless flesh’ (that’s how she terms it) and a scene of Knight in wet clothes while bathing with Hero. Also not something that you should keep your hopes up in this series and serves as a little distraction. The little comedy bits come mainly from Demon King when she is worried about Hero. Which demon would ever sleep with a big hugging pillow of her hero?! And you thought otakus only do that, huh?

Another reason why this anime series reminded me of Spice And Wolf is because of the two lead seiyuus, Ami Koshimizu and Jun Fukuyama. As Demon King and Hero respectively, they also played the leading roles in Spice and Wolf as Horo the wolf harvest deity and Lawrence the travelling merchant. It’s like this anime is a demon version of Spice And Wolf! Just that Ami Koshimizu doesn’t go “Tawake!” (“You fool!”) this instance and is more polite and little goofy compared to that wolf character. Jun Fukuyama is more toned down in his Hero role here. Miyuki Sawashiro (Shinku in Rozen Maiden) and Hiroshi Kamiya (Nozomu in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei) are still identifiable in their roles as Knight and Merchant A respectively. But I still couldn’t recognize Chiwa Saito (Kirie in Girls Bravo) as Head Maid and Haruka Tomatsu (Lala in To Love-Ru) as Sister Maid after all these years in hearing their voices. Other casts include Nao Tooyama as Little Maid (Kanon in The World God Only Knows), Daisuke Hirakawa as King/Prince (Makoto in School Days), Banjou Ginga as Gramps (Babbo in MAR), Misato Fukuen as Mage (Even in Black Cat), Shizuka Itou as Dragon Princess (Hinagiku in Hayate No Gotoku), Houchuu Otsuka as Commander (Jiraiya in Naruto) and Hiroki Touchi as White Night King (Lily in Fairy Tail). The opening theme song is Mukaikaze by Yohko. Despite being a lively pop, somehow I feel the singer’s voice a little flat. The ending theme is Unknown Vision by Akino Arai. The song feels a little creepy because the singer’s voice sounded a little like a ghost! Like a whispering spirit singing this slow piece.

The bottom line of this anime is to give peace a chance. War and fighting may seem like the norm only because it is familiar territory and lack of empowering education. Demon King and Hero took the first brave step to change to mind-set of the people and the world and although it is not a walk in the park with lots of sacrifice and anguish along the way, at least they are working towards a new hope, future and peace. Whether it really works out in the long run is a different story. If it does, then it’s good. If it doesn’t, then hopefully this will inspire future generations to undertake and continue the struggle with better preparations. So next time when you meet a demon, cast away your stereotypes that all demons are evil beings out to destroy mankind and the world. After all, aren’t we all still the same? I wouldn’t mind jumping into a deal with a demon just to ensure peace on Earth. Unless of course the demon had me fooled into such fake deal and turned me into a pawn for his/her own nefarious ends. You can blame me for being human. Now that we have seen it is possible for humans and demons to live and work together, how about we do the same for humans and vampires then?

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