Maoyuu Maou Yuusha Ep. 1 & 2: Actually, I can very much hate maids

maoyuu 0203

Well, here we go again with these first impressions, and this is the wonderful gem that I get to watch.

Plot summary: A Hero intends to slay the Demon King so that he can end the everlasting war between humans and demons. The Demon King, however, convinces our Hero that war can never end so long as systemic issues exist within both sides. She suggest that they team up and find ways to cure these root problems. Somehow, she also has a massive crush on the guy. So anyway, they set off for some idyllic village where she begins her re-education of the pitiful masses, teaching them advanced farming techniques and other stuff that’s not exactly all that exciting to watch.

Notes:

• A war between humans and demons. An impatient hero who decides to lone wolf it on his ow-… Kirito, is that you?!

maoyuu 0101

• Well, the backgrounds are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they are sharp and detailed, so in these rare moments, you’re led to think you’re watching something with decent production values. At other times, however, they become very muddy, reminiscent of that ‘biblioteca’ anime from way back when.

• Welp:

maoyuu 0102

He would’ve indiscriminately charged and murdered any ol’ demon king, but holy fuck, check out them demon breasts!

• It’s kind of funny. Big, bad warrior can firmly grip his sword against anyone, but when faced with a woman who finds no shame in her assets, our hero’s long, shiny blade goes limp.

• To be completely frank, this is boring with or without the ginormous, bouncing breasts. Once you get past them —

ariens

— you still just have two people talking about and not showing how people manipulate war for profit. First, no shit. Second, it’s like when people tell you that the articles in Playboy are really, really good!

• I wish she was smart-ass. If you’re going to give the girl back-breaking boobs, the least you could do is make her witty. But somehow, I don’t think she was joking when she said, “My chastity is the single thing in which I can take pride.” So unfortunately, she’s just yet another character who panders hard — another unwitting heroine who throws herself at the amazingly prudish hero.

• Crop rotation… riveting.

On a side note, it isn’t really the lack of farming knowledge that holds poorer countries back. It’s that even if they could grow their crops, their crops are worth nothing on the market. Subsidized farmers in wealthier nations can set their products at such a low price point that it drives the poorer farmers out of business. But this has nothing to do with the anime, I guess.

• It’s not that I even disagree with what the show is necessarily saying. It’s just neither very interesting nor insightful. Yes, educate and feed the weak so that they will not have to depend on those who wish to exploit them. This alone, however, will not solve the problem. But just when you think the show’s about to get to a salient point that isn’t self-evident, the creators of the anime seemingly lose all confidence: “Aw shit, we better get back to the insipid romance before the audience changes the channel.” As a result, the other half of the “plot” is “Uguu, won’t you sit next to me? *blush*”

maoyuu 0201

• “I belong to you.” “No, I belong to you!” “Your thighs are soft!” “Really? They’re not too fat?”

ZEJSW

• “One incapable of determining their own fate is an insect.” All of a sudden, our maid is Ayn Rand.

• Oh god, this is disgusting:

maoyuu 0202

I guess I disagree with what the anime is saying now. I kept expecting our hero to jump in and be the goody two-shoes that he is supposed to be, but he does nothing while the maid spouts her bullshit. I mean, that’s pretty high-and-mighty talk for a goddamn maid. There’s just something very condescending about the anime as a whole, and it revolves around this idea that the masses are really as ignorant as us learned folks have suspected all along. Thank God for the philanthropy of the rich! No, I’m not condemning philanthropy, but it is a bandage for a gaping wound. You can educate as many people as you want, but as long as a system exists in which men can exploit the labor of others, then there will always be an endless supply of the “ignorant” masses to educate.

What gets me is that the girl in the screenshot above has to apologize for her “crimes.” After all, if not for the idea of noblesse oblige, the poor wouldn’t even have turnips to eat! So even though some poor girl and her little sister have been victimized their entire lives, how dare they even ask for what is rightfully theirs as human beings, i.e. food and shelter? Oh right, some people actually think food and shelter aren’t human rights. But by golly, you better not threaten the position of the nobles despite the fact that they likely only reached such cushy positions in society by exploiting this arbitrary concept of nobility. Until you respect them, you’re not even human! That sure gets us around the human rights problem real quick!

Advertisements

78 thoughts on “Maoyuu Maou Yuusha Ep. 1 & 2: Actually, I can very much hate maids

      1. Alexander

        You can suggest whatever you deserve, but human rights are established by society and the poor’s well-being wasn’t held in very high regard back then. (nor is it now)

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          human rights are established by society and the poor’s well-being wasn’t held in very high regard back then. (nor is it now)

          It is one thing for the anime to say “this is how people act in the medieval ages” and it is another thing entirely for the anime to say that the maid was right in treating the peasant girl and her sister like shit just because they dared to receive food and shelter as handouts.

        2. Alexander

          You’re right. They could’ve handled that scene better.

          Maou stopping Yuusha seemed to say “Don’t worry, she’s just trying to rile them up” but it was too subtle.

        3. E Minor Post author

          Maou stopping Yuusha seemed to say “Don’t worry, she’s just trying to rile them up” but it was too subtle.

          If that was the only implication of the scene, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with it. The most horrible thing to me is that the maid manages to browbeat the girl into saying “Please make us human.” Like what is even remotely subhuman about the girl? That she broke the horrible law of the land to save herself and her sister from an abject life? This is primarily why I find the scene so disgustingly condescending.

    1. higgsbosoff

      Yeah, but the hero was trying to defend them, AND he got stopped in doing so. Which reinforces the idea that somehow, the maid had it right. Which in 21st century is a rather incredible moral standing. I found the rest of the episodes to be rather dull, but that scene was actually less dull, and more enraging.

      Reply
      1. Alexander

        Wasn’t the Chief Maid berating them for not standing up for themselves, not for being serfs?

        Either way, I agree that it was a pretty dull episode. Looks like we’ll be getting one (or two?) of the more interesting characters next time though.

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          Wasn’t the Chief Maid berating them for not standing up for themselves, not for being serfs?

          It is easy for the privileged to tell the marginalized to stand up for themselves while at the same time tut-tutting that they are inconveniencing others.

        2. higgsbosoff

          They fled their lands, ready to take their risks to build a better life for themselves. That’s an act of rebellion. What should they have done for it to be classified as “standing up for themselves”, kill their lord in fair duel and eat his heart in public so that, by absorbing his nobility, they should rightfully be considered the new lords?

  1. Ian Caronia

    While many of the points you made are not only well spoken but also are factually sound, I, speaking on behalf of the show, must say that-
    TOTALLY TITANIC TITS! BIG BOUNCING BASHFUL BREASTS! FRANTICALLY FLOPPING FANTASTIC FUN-BAGS!!
    …And so with that counter argument, I’m sure you see reason, yes?

    Reply
  2. ZabiLegacy

    The point of the exploration of war profiteering seems that while yes, the point of it lecturing us on how war profiteering doe seem a bit condescending, it more seems to be aimed an attack at the fantasy genre as a whole. It’s similar to what Hero’s entire second episode plotline about feeling useless without something to hit was getting at. In that respect, despite that flaw, I still enjoy the series. It’s not like it’s predecessor Spice and Wolf wasn’t condescending at all in it’s assumed lack of audience knowledge of microeconomics.

    What I find to be the real issue so far as that we simply just haven’t been introduced to any serious on screen conflict yet. No antagonists outside of some brief throwaway mentions, no real conflict in the village, no real romantic conflict as clearly feelings are reciprocated both ways. This isn’t a crippling flaw as we are only two episodes in. So long as it actually gets a conflict soon I’ll be fine with it.

    Reply
  3. Ducky

    I guess, if you wanted to be generous, the nicest interpretation of the maid would that the serfs already had food and shelter in exchange for working. Going to the capital without any money, contacts, a place to stay, or concrete job prospects would likely (in the maid’s view at least) have resulted in them in the streets as beggars or thieves, a drain on society.

    But yeah, even at the most generous, that’s still saying they didn’t even have the right to try for a better life, since they weren’t born lucky.

    As for crop subsidies, was that really a thing back in medieval times? Right now, sure they’re a major problem for poor farmers, but back then I’d think the bigger issue back then would be transportation – poor regions wouldn’t be able to even trade with richer regions outside of traveling merchants, which would of course keep as much profit as possible to themselves.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      As for crop subsidies, was that really a thing back in medieval times?

      Well, I did say:

      On a side note, … But this has nothing to do with the anime, I guess.

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    “My chastity is the single thing in which I can take pride.”

    Ahahaha, what? OK, the rest of the plot and production seems pretty gross, but this line is pure gold. Who knew demon queens were such proper, blushing virginal flowers! Who worry about the relative flabbiness of their thighs, even. Groundbreaking, this show.

    Reply
    1. higgsbosoff

      Which prompts us to another question… what exactly makes Demon King a demon to begin with? Except cosplaying as one, that is. I’d like to see some other demons. Are they actual monsters, or is “demon” actually just a name for another perfectly human people?

      Reply
  5. etery-chan

    I am glad that you hate the “romance” as much as I. I thought this is a mutual cooperation. In order to prevent the Hero from slaying her, she educated the brute who knows nothing about life, and offered to work together with him.
    Oh, boy. How wrong I was.
    The bitch is totally in heat for him. They only know each other yesterday. Today she’s offering her lap as pillow. She initiates a kiss. Next, she want to be held by shoulder and stick together like slimes while walking. I have a very important question. What did she see in him? This story will be aeons better if she’s only making use of him. Making this fool her errand boy. But nooo, I bet she’s offering him her pussy soon. Why? Oh yeah. Self insert anime. MC-kun doesn’t even have a real name. They should have created a name input screen during episode 1.

    Reply
      1. etery-chan

        Well, in most romcom, the main characters are, at least, portrayed as being really kind and helpful to the girls. But Yuusha is a dumbass who’s need to be told everything about how life is. Funny how some demon king is more knowledgeable about human world than somebody who’s born there.

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          Funny how some demon king is more knowledgeable about human world than somebody who’s born there.

          I’m sure there are plenty of foreigners who know more about America than some Americans do.

    1. lesles

      All the pieces of an anime couple fell into place way too easily, even for anime. It felt like some conspiracy the writer set up, too. The very least most anime writers do is make the heroine a tsundere to try at least create some resemblance of romantic development, though tsunderes are stupid too.

      Reply
  6. KizukuKanshi

    I’m somewhere in between appreciating attempts at being better and not just “settling” for another show that tries to be something and isn’t…it. I mean they sure aren’t making any headway in the romance department so far. If this were the first anime to have characters in an actual relationship, yeah, there’d be bonus points there, but I can think of so many who’ve done this “now we’re hitched” deal near the beginning only to go through the same motions as if they weren’t in a relationship to begin with. Maybe it’s just the different standards from here to there, but how is a relationship suppose to even go forward if one party or another fusses over every sweet little action here and there? I get that it’s supposed to be cute to watch that happen, but it just makes me cringe. How is it that every supposedly confident character HAS to turn to jello when they happen to be sporting female parts?

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      How is it that every supposedly confident character HAS to turn to jello when they happen to be sporting female parts?

      In more ways than one.

      I dunno about the romance. It is what it is. It’s boring and trite. The show’s only saving grace at this point is if everything else is up to snuff and not Ayn Rand circlejerk fantasies.

      Reply
  7. lesles

    I was expecting my inner nerd be satisfied because of the premise, but Maouyuu Maou Yuusha is just a vehicle for regurgitating very simple information and theories anyone can find on Wikipedia. It seems the writer is inept at actually writing entertaining/compelling characters or stories. Maouyuu doesn’t really work as “edutainment” at all.

    A random thought, I’d like to see an actual study where participants where divided into 3 groups that all watch the same anime (with decent writing/plot), but one group watched the version with copious fanservice(Queen’s Blade stuff), one with modest (Maou) fanservice, and the last group watch the version without any sexual fanservice. Survey the participants how they rate the show from 1 to 10, what they liked/disliked, how much they would be willing to pay for the Blurays, how the presence or absence of fanservice affected their experience, etc.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      experiment

      If they’re all watching the same anime, but the only difference is the varying degree of fanservice, I’d have to wonder what you’d replace the fanservice with in your non-fanservice version. Is it just a shorter anime? Do you pad it out with actual content? But it’s the latter, then it wouldn’t really be a fair test.

      Reply
  8. Ryan R

    What I took from Head Maid’s speech is that if you want to be treated with respect then you have to carry yourself with some self-respect. In other words, if you act like a desperate beggar, you’ll be treated like one. It’s a cold lesson she’s giving, but I don’t think it’s entirely invalid.

    That being said, Head Maid’s speech was a bit all over the place, and yes, it could have been better executed. But I don’t think her point is that people don’t have a right to food and water. It’s that if they want to be treated like people that DO have a right to food and water, then they have to act like humans equal to those that they ask for help and not like insects that act like they really are beneath other humans.

    To be clear, it’s not that I’m in love with this show. Like you implied before, it’s not exactly riveting material so far. But it is showing a relatively high degree of intelligence, and I like that it’s trying to make practical, sailent points, and isn’t lowest common denominator entertainment. But I’ll grant you that, yeah, it’s not always hitting the mark.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      In other words, if you act like a desperate beggar, you’ll be treated like one.

      Get exploited until you have to beg for food, then get yelled at for begging for food. I mean, c’mon.

      But I don’t think her point is that people don’t have a right to food and water.

      I didn’t say she said that.

      It’s that if they want to be treated like people that DO have a right to food and water, then they have to act like humans equal to those that they ask for help and not like insects that act like they really are beneath other humans.

      I’m wondering how they acted like insects. My main contention all along is that I don’t find the serf girl and her sister remotely subhuman at all. If anything, the maid’s contempt is subhuman or, more aptly, inhuman.

      Reply
      1. Sorrows Neptune

        If anything, the maid’s contempt is subhuman or, more aptly, inhuman.

        Throughout the entire scene I was thinking to myself “Oh yeah, she’s totally cruel and misunderstanding of human nature! She must totally be a demon.”

        …But then the show actually took her seriously, and I was disappointed.

        Reply
  9. pirikos

    (english isn’t my native language) There isn’t any true or false in what the head maid said it’s just her moral position on the situation. Actually it could have been far worse, if you look at the beginning, both the maid and the heroine were more than motivated to denounce the serf but at the end the heroine wasn’t sure what to do after seeing the hero position on this situation and choose to keep them a bit to decide.
    Both the head-maid and the heroine are noble and even if the heroine is an idealist she is still influence by the noble education. I dont find it disturbing that they think like that in that era. Really i don’t think taking seriously what the protagonist say after 2 episodes is a good idea. They are all Naive even (and especially) the heroine. The heroin act as a noble and think as a noble, they hero do the same thing and the head-maid too. What would be disturbing is that their way to see the world didn’t change at the end of the serie.

    Reply
  10. charizardpal

    Let the inevitable Spice and Wolf comparisons begin, since I’m sure it was an influence on the author. S&W was a bit slow, but at least the economics talking points were less simplistic. The world left out cheap “dungeon crawling” fantasy tropes, and used the time to develop the ever-present church, and guild dynamics. In other words, rather than just playing with our expectations, S&W ran an original direction.

    The male lead halso ad a rational mind, and if you read the book Holo wasn’t just sexy (she was loli too), I mean, Holo had a distinct personality with multiple sides. She’d browbeat the protagonist, then turn dere. She’d act like a lazy spoiled princess, and then reveal she was scheming all along. Around other people she acts like an innocent nun.

    Holo has more meat than Maō. Why are people still watching this show? Go read Spice and Wolf!

    Reply
  11. jamincruzhotmail.com

    the richest countries donate food, medicines, etc. to the poorest countries like Africa that although it has only single privileged resources they succeed (real problem is in the plundering of wealth by foreign countries)
    foreign countries that matter what are your resources and your safety as the countries of Central says it helps “kindly” to paieses south to fight the demons in the war with the weapons made ​​in facts make .. and southern country became dependent on them

    Reply
  12. arilando

    You seem to be unable to distinguish between what a character in the anime belives, and what the director is trying to convey.

    Reply
  13. Yukimura

    I’m happy to see I’m not the only one who had this reaction, much angst was generated when I dared to propose a similar viewpoint on the events in the second episode on a forum I frequent, it really was as if no one could dislike a maid or think she was a stuck up bitch, I tip my hat to you for daring to say what needed to be said.

    Reply
  14. Reasonrevo

    Long gone are the days where anime actually carried sophisticated plots and characters, and were philosophical funfairs, but can we at least give this one credit for trying? I say this because hell, I’ll say for every 9 out of 10 anime I watch, there’s pretty nothing more then meaningless fan service, repetitive actions scenes, stale predictable humor, shallow romance, empty characters, and pseudo partially planed anything but palpable plots. Now not to say this particular piece doesn’t have it’s fair share of any of the aforementioned points, but it does attempt to touch on….deeper thinking, at least in the sense of “Wow we have humans asking to be humans,” WTF?!

    Or perhaps that’s the cynic in me, failing to resist temptation and avoid poking fun at these new generations of anime. In any case, I enjoy the blunt nature of your review, those who pull no punches are always more or less worth the devotion of spent reading time, then your everyday ” I’m not gonna say it was boring, but it was really hard to stay interested in,” type of critic that frequent these new anime. I look forward to future reviews.

    Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          Returning for the spring season is a very likely possibility. Catching up on PP after missing two months? Nah.

  15. The Real Sugoi Sugoi

    E Minor, where the fuck have you been?

    You’ve been gone for like three months already. Burnt out? Busy? What’s going on?

    Psycho Pass has been getting really interesting lately. You left just when the metaphorical shit hit the fan. And things have only escalated ever since. If you ever return to regular blogging, guess it’s too much to expect you to blog all the episodes you’ve missed, but I do hope that you can at least write a series review for the show!

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Blogging doesn’t pay the bills. Well, my blogging doesn’t pay the bills. Unfortunately, writers have to eat too. But I’ll make an attempt to blog again once the spring season lands. I just won’t be as prolific as before.

      Reply
  16. appropriant

    Friday/Saturday/Sunday posting would give you access to Aku no Hana, Attack on Titan, and Suisei no Gargantia.

    Those are also the only anime I particularly care about this season.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Well, I wake up at 6:30 in the morning for work, and I don’t get back home till 6:30 at night. So yeah, you’re damn right I rather play League of Legends to unwind!

      Reply
  17. thenwhatdidyusei

    Hey E Minor. I need to borrow one of your cat gifs, specifically the one with cat meowing super loudly. I can’t find it though.

    Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          This is for ranked team. Iunno tho… I don’t think you’d like to take criticism from unranked plebes like us!

  18. skdfjls

    Watch and review Valvrave please
    It’s terrible, like Guilty Crown levels of terrible and some say even beyond GC so it’ll be nice to see what you make of it.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s