Maoyuu Maou Yuusha ep11: the fruits of labor
The Demon King has been away for quite a while at this point. And the series is moving on with or without her. But despite that the fact that she’s very nearly tucked away at the center of the Earth, her presence shines on in the show in many aspects. Still, despite claims that this may not be one, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is still a love story to me. And we can’t expect the love interest to just fade away can we?
We move from the tipping point of war, to the opening salvos in this episode. The Merchant is making a splendid display of his mind and economic acumen. As the Central Nations attempt to coral the world’s economy, he heads up the efforts to usurp and conquer it. And in the process, he even meets another one of the Demon King’s pupils. The Dragon Princess who accompanied gave him the opportunity to make his great move, and who accompanies him even now seems locked to his side. It’s kinda cute, as their relationship looks purely professional now, but I think there could be a twinge of affection between them. Regardles of my ramblings and shipping of character relationships, the show stays firmly focused as we discover the Merchant’s true aim is create a stable and independent dual currency system based on the old coinage that the Central Nations are trying to replace, and also on wheat. A very stable plan. On top of that, he’s attempting to open up abundant trade between the Demon Wold and the Human World. It’s a giant raspberry to the way the financial system is currently being run.
Back in the rather warm Winter Kingdom, Hero, Knight, The Winter King, Old Man and a bunch of nobodies are thrown a loop when while prepare for an attack from the Central Army, they get word that a demon army of “azure” demons has made their way into the human realm. I’m guessing this is the personal army of the azure-colored demon noble we saw a couple of episodes ago. This forces Hero to get off the sidelines and deal with that threat directly. It seems the more world events progress, the more the people influenced by the Demon King are separated from each other.
The way things are starting to progress, with major and minor cast members being shoved into important roles by themselves, that there may be some breakdown of leadership. Up until now, the Demon King had influenced or manipulated everyone around her to great effect. But it seems her surrogates are not puppets without their strings. I forgot the name of the large guy who always seems to be squinting, but this was his time to shine. He used the tactics taught to him by the Demon King effectively stuff the Central Nation army’s opening blitz, and simultaneously keep in line with Hero’s request to keep casualties to a minimum.
Meanwhile, on the opposite flank of the Winter Kingdom Hero had gone to keep casualties to a minimum in his own way. He aimed to keep the azure demon army from joining the battle, and turning things into a three-way slaughter. And thanks to some help from Mage and her cohorts, he was able to do so without any loss of life. His next task was to see Demon King, and find out why it had taken her so long to return. Well, as we’d seen earlier in the episode, the Demon King’s “meeting” with the old demon kings had not gone well. Their souls/essence/whatever has overtaken Demon King’s personality, and at this point she’s just quaking with bloodlust. She showed that she was even willing to kill her faithful retainer, the Maid (ugh, these names!). Thankfully Maid – or is it Old Maid? Eh? Anway, Maid was able to temporarily seal her back in the crypt, until Hero showed up. The episode ends with Hero showing up at the keep and facing off with the Demon King he sought at the beginning of the show, but not the one he fell in love with…
A couple of thoughts, this outcome was fairly predictable, but I don’t know anyone who is watching Maoyuu at this point for the cliffhangers. The satisfaction I’m getting comes from seeing characters large and small persevere in the face of real adversity. I like simple but often over looked touches, like seeing that all the allied soldiers didn’t survive, despite the best possible preparedness and leadership available. There’s genuine character development in this show, too. It’s a short series and I’m appreciating what the show has done with its time. I’ve watched series where characters don’t really change or develop until halfway through a series, or at the end. And I’m talking about series that have lasted fifty or a hundred plus episodes. If the series completely concludes with the next episode, and everyone has happy endings, then I’ll be satisfied. It would have been a short series, but it would have made a real effort to be unique and entertaining.