“Mukaikaze (向かい風; Headwind)” by YOHKO
“Unknown Vision” by Akino Arai
Being one of the few shows that I gave a good rating in the winter preview, I was excited jumping in to this. I must admit that I’m not well versed with the source material, but the premise and the promo was hooking enough to spark an interest. Besides, a show set in a fictious historical world where demons and humans are present could have major potential, if done right. With 12 episodes ahead, this will be an interesting journey!
We’re introduced to the backstory right of the bat. Set in a world where a war is taking place between humans and demons, Yuusha (Hero in Japanese) is humanity’s biggest hope against the threat. He decides to invade the castle of the King of Demons, and vanquish him and thereby, end the war.
Much to his surprise however, he finds out that the King isn’t a king at all, but a Queen, Maou, catching Yuusha totally of guard. It was hilarious to see how non-threatening and nice she was, totally confusing Yuusha, who had prepared for the battle of his life.
After a bit of fanservice, Maou is quick to point out that she had waited, like she was expecting him, and that she has a proposal for him. We learn that the war between the demons and the humans is a necessary evil. The humans are dependant of the war, since they are being funded by the central nations, which seem to be nations that are composed of high society.
They in turn are in need of security, and by funding the war, the human world are able to benefit economically.. Now that I think about it, you could say that the war is a job, and without it, the humans are doomed, as they have no other source of income. Essentially, what this means is that if the war would end, then a civil war within the human world would start instead.
It’s interesting that an end to the war will lead to worse consequences, so it’s no wonder why all parties involved want this to go on.
Even though this show has comedy and a bit of fan service, the dark aspects of it are present. Economics, war and fatigue were all present themes in the middle ages, so it’s nice to see how they’re incorporating that into this show, even if it has comical elements.
After showing Yuusha a vision of hers, Maou explains that she wants to begin a journey towards what lies beyond the war. I thought it was a little vague. ”Where exactly is this? Some sort of hill?” I remember asking. She tries to convince him to follow along her on this journey, and explains bluntly that she wants him for herself so he can follow along. Yuusha, realising that this could be an alternative way to see what lies beyond the war, decides to follow along. It’s a bit vague what it all means, but I guess we’ll find out.
Maoyu is certainly an interesting show. With a mix of comedy, fan service and romance along with the exposition about the economics and the war, it’s certainly unique experience. The dark undertones are interesting, even though this show seem light hearted on the surface. The economics reminded me of Spice and Wolf, and I really enjoyed that part. Hopefully, all the fluff won’t come in the way of that.
Production wise, this is top notch. ARMS have done a stellar job on this. The animation’s crisp and clean, and the colors are relaxing to look at. Now, let’s hope that they won’t go overboard with the fanservice., but this is ARMS, so who knows?
The cast is excellent as well. We have Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch: Code Geass) as Yuusha, and the lovely Ami Koshimizu as Maou (Holo: Spice and Wolf, Kallen: Code Geass). As for the music, I didn’t think much of the OP / ED, but the OST was pretty rad.
Anyway, in case you’re wondering, I’ll be covering this show. Already looking forward to the next episode. I guess we’ll be introduced to new characters, and learn more about those we saw briefly in this one. Even though the fan service was a bit over the top, the stellar production, the excellent voice work and the hooking premise makes up for it, so with that said, this is a show to watch this season.