Much as the case was with IS THIS A ZOMBIE?, I feel like I’ve just watched a stage troupe performing a sketch that squeezes most of your stereotypical tropes into a little black box theater for a light-touch revue.
- A sword and sorcery pastiche without much apparent basis in real medieval history or prior fantasy epics?
- Long, long monologues that crowbar chapter topics from an Econ 101 textbook into the dialog?
- An almost-grotesquely busty female lead? And excessive, cheeky, not-so-funny jokes about that lead’s bust?
- A tailor-made male sexual fantasy that still manages to repulse the easily-embarrassed-yet-still-somehow-dauntlessly-courageous male lead?
I have a hard time believing that the crew didn’t sit down and make a list like this with the express intention of addressing each trope in the scant 22 minutes they had to work with. Again, it inspired an image of high-school/college sketch comedy so vividly in my mind that I actually started shuffling around in my chair due to my muscle memory remembering cramped theater seating.
Hell, even the handful of scenes showing any action away from these would-be human/demon paramours seem like they’re happening on the anime equivalent of a flimsy paper backdrop. I’ve never been the biggest fan of integrating 2D characters into 3D environments; I'm even less of a fan when those backdrops seem like they’re getting pulled by stagehands.
Look, the show actually makes some valid and interesting points about the gears of progress getting oiled with blood (that is, the notion that peace paradoxically needs war), but its attempts at integrating those points into a dramatic narrative are rather outrageously clumsy. I’m not going to play the “slapstick invalidates intellectual intentions” card here, because you can have your cake and eat it, too… as long as you serve it in sensible-sized slices.
To further the analogy, MAOYU feels like it sniffed five different flavors of frosting and just started grabbing fistfuls furiously.
That isn’t necessarily a compliment.Watch this episode, "You will be mine, Hero. — I refuse!" here and decide for yourself.