Ha! You thought just because you killed the Demon King he’d die? You fool!
What’s the Story?
Two Thousand years ago, Anos Voldigoad was the reviled tyranical Demon King, despised by all but his own subjects. Yet all that changed when he proposed a plan to the human hero Kanon, to split the world into four realms, one for humans, demons, spirits and gods each, all in the hope that when he is eventually reincarnated there will finally be peace. Yet, as Anos is finally reincarnated, he finds the world is not quite as he envisioned it. For one his name has been lost to history and an imposter stands in his place. Even the demons who once served him no longer remember him. Can Anos uncover what has happened to the world and set it back on the path towards peace? Of course he can! He’s our one and only Demon King!
Stupidly good, that is really the best description I can offer for this series. I mean there were points in this series that should have had the writer in me screaming in frustration, but was I? No, I was clapping and cheering on Anos with the rest of the characters. A couple of times I was even on the verge of joining Anos’ fan union with their songs. Yes, the main character has his own cheering squad that burst into song whenever its a climatic fight, what good power fantasy doesn’t? There’s a point in the series, I won’t say when, where our main character’s source is shattered. Now it’s very clearly established earlier in the series that when someone’s source is destroyed that’s it, they’re gone forever. No resurrection spells will work, there’s no possible come back, nothing. Yet what happens five minutes later? Anos resurrections himself and proceeds to laugh in the bad guy’s face for thinking he was dead. I mean, how can you even be that brazen? I’d call it lazy writing but I’m fairly certain that it’s completely intentional because Anos is a character with god mode switched on 24/7 and he is glorious because of it.
I know I’ve complained about overpowered protagonists before and, nine times out of ten, they are just utterly boring to me, but this show goes to prove that it’s not what you do, but how you do it. Anos is so ridiculously overpowered that it’s actually hilarious. All the time these stuck up snobs come in bragging about how powerful they are and they challenge Anos, only to end up bleeding on the floor ten seconds later. Then Anos resurrects them and does something really nasty to them. It’s a complete power fantasy and, yeah, I admit it there is something cathartic about seeing close-minded idiots having their backsides handed to them time and again, but that’s not really what makes this series so special. You can find that sort of thing in any power fantasy, so let’s breakdown the Misfit of Demon King Academy’s guide to writing an overpowered character.
Step one, give your character something they can’t just punch away. This was really the point that caught my attention in the first place because at the centre of this series is a mystery, why has Anos’ name been changed in the history books and to what end? Who is this imposter that has taken his title and what exactly are they up to? It’s a great set up, as it means Anos has to play detective, overwhelming power is only really useful when you have a target to aim that power at. Admittedly most of the time Anos is sending off other people to investigate for him and come back with little bits of plot info, but it’s something at least. What really surprised me was that the series even gives us an answer by it’s final episode (no ‘go read the light novel’ ending here. I know, shocking isn’t it?). I mean I’m pretty sure that the answer will completely fall down if we give it any scrutiny whatsoever, but on the surface it works and answers all the relevant questions.
Step two, overpowered, I’ll show you overpowered. I used the word earlier and it really fits this series, brazen. Anos isn’t just overpowered, he is completely overpowered and the series isn’t shy about showing that off. There’s a point early on where Anos takes on the God of Time and beats him without even breaking a sweat, that’s the kind of power we’re talking about. You’re never going to get any kind of tension out of a fight with Anos, you know he’s going to win before the fight even starts. So instead this series pulls it’s entertainment from the fact that it’s going to be completely crazy with Anos’ powers. You want him to warp reality, bend time round his little finger and generally stick two fingers up at the rules of causality? He’ll do it. Each fight gets bigger and bigger, using crazier and crazier techniques until you just have to start laughing because it can’t get any more overpowered than that and yet it finds a way.
Step three, who needs one overpowered character when we can have several! In tandem with the continually raising stakes, we also have a supporting cast who are all ridiculously strong, making mincemeat out of whatever low-grade minion dare stand in Anos’ way. It stops Anos’ displays, I won’t call them fights because they’re really not, from hogging the limelight entirely and ever getting monotonous. Add on to that Anos’ fan club who, as I mentioned earlier, burst into song at appropriate points and you have a recipe for a series that is incredibly stupid and yet so much fun at the same time.
The Misfit of Demon King Academy is, at times, incredibly stupid, poorly written and completely over the top, and it is glorious because of it. I can’t in good conscious call this the greatest series ever, but it is just so much fun, whether it’s seeing Anos pull out another impossible win from his backside, watching some smug villain get his comeuppance or just joining in with the fan union’s songs, there’s so much to enjoy here. This is a series that definitely needs to be experienced to be believed, so do yourself a favourite and check this out!
Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday or you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisGJoynson.