|Not as good as Spice and Wolf, but still engaging nonetheless.|
If there's a show comparable to what Maoyu offers up, it would have to be Spice and Wolf. Like Spice and Wolf, Maoyu delves into complicated affairs on aspects to a medieval world and explores the chemistry between the male and female leads of the series. In the case of Hero and Demon King, both are trying to resolve the conflict between both demon and human kingdoms to prevent all-out war from breaking out and setting up a scenario where both sides would resolve their issues and benefit from it. While this premise would seem to spin on the idealistic side with what our two leads are attempting to do, the show adds a refreshing twist to it in the fact that both characters know that their goal is a very difficult one to achieve thanks to how elements within the societies of both humans and demons play out thus they will have to carefully plan things out to make their ideal scenario a reality. This results in the two accomplishing differing goals to lay the foundation for their reality: Demon King becomes an adviser to the ruler of a kingdom and offers up various areas of knowledge such as educating commoners and cultivating methods while Hero tries minimizing conflict between the two races with his powerful abilities in magic and combat. The series also does fairly good in establishing its world as it explores the imperfections to both human and demon society with slavery, oppression and corruption among those in the wealthy and religious. Only issue on the plotting end is the lack of proper resolution for the series.
Beyond the plot and world building, characterization is a bit of a mixed bag in Maoyu. Unlike the chemistry between Holo and Lawrence, there isn't as much prominent focus on building up Hero and Demon Lord's relationship as the plot gets more of the focus here thus the chemistry isn't anywhere as dynamic or interesting. The anime even tosses in a half-assed attempt at making humor off a love triangle with our leads and Female Knight at points within the show which is just as underwhelming as the show's efforts to convince you in buying Demon King and Hero's bond. Because the show spins their bond as being "destined" and we get no fleshing out of Female Knight's bond with Hero, the romantic implications aren't too convincing here. On the plus side, some of the supporting characters in the series get their fleshing out to show how the current society affected them and what eventually drives them to oppose their faction's way of doing things.
Visually, the series is a high quality one with vivid scenery, detailed character designs and having nicely animated sequences with battles and showing off supernatural elements like magic and spirits. The music does its part to complement key scenes mixing light and tense tracks, but nothing in particular stuck out with it.
Overall, Maoyu offers up an engaging plot and solid world-building in exploring the challenges Hero and Demon King face in trying to accomplish their goal to unify their sides. The so-so characterization and lack of a proper ending are minor bumps in what is otherwise a decent fantasy/ education/ action title.