After a long and drawn out war between humans and demons, a young hero finds the end in sight as he closes in on the Demon Lord alone only to find that the Demon Lord is in fact a young woman, and furthermore that according to her an end to the war would mean economic ruin for the human kingdoms.
“Mukai Kaze” by YOHKO.
While the Hero seems to be off put by this turn of events he still bluntly rejects her offer to become hers on the basis of the horror and poverty the war has wrought, to which she refutes that neither side is truly good and presents her evidence.
Revealing that an end to the war would mean an end to the aid that the Central Kingdoms send to those in the Southern Kingdoms to aid with the war effort, which are then used to purchase food and other necessities from the Central Kingdoms. From this the Demon Lord presents a scene from the Hero’s past showing the prosperity that would come to an end if the war were to end as is, and that current production techniques could no sustain the population boom that would come.
The Demon Lord then goes on to show the Hero the paradise she envisions for the future and once again asks him to join her. Despite this he still rejects her offer, and so she offers herself to him. Making him particularly nervous as she affirms that there must be another way to end the war before picking at any minor flaws she has, and this time he accepts, making him hers and her his.
“Unknown Vision” by Akino Arai.
Medieval historical undertones on a JRPG/fantasy base, I was already looking forward to this show but I do believe that I’ve already found my favourite of the season. Character naming is kind of formulaic but even so it has its charm, and the voice cast and team behind it are pretty good as well.
Takeo Takahashi directing with Jun Fukuyama and Ami Koshimizu as the mains is familiar to say the least, and then there’s the role that Miyuki Sawashiro will be playing. Moving on from that I also like the naming for the characters, by referring to them by their character archetypes it may seem generic but it gives a nice sense of familiarity and connection with their roles without allowing us to become too close with them. Other than that it contrasts nicely with the usual style of story that these characters would be placed in, as opposed to your standard JRPG with a young hero taking on the Demon King with a ragtag group of friends, what is instead being told is a strange mix of fantasy and romance with a focus on the greater world.
Which in itself is another thing that I liked about it, in this episode alone what was presented of the setting allowed for parallels to be drawn with medieval Europe just as the age of crusading was coming to an end. The division between north and south showing well enough. Furthermore the focus is placed on the larger picture at hand for which the standard approach was constantly refuted, the world that the series takes place in won’t come to a standstill once the main antagonist has been taken out of the picture and there will be ramifications to doing so. Both good and bad, but mostly bad. Either way, along with the historical parallels that can be drawn the setting and focus on the economical side of things are a few of the things that I’m liking about it so far.
Other than that the characters in their own right don’t seem so bad either, Hero shows courage and conviction but to abandon his friends with little thought, a fair number of flaws, and the Demon Lord may appear kind of ditzy around him but has already shown herself to be mature and knowledgeable. More so than Hero at any rate. As a side note I also liked of how the side characters were introduced in this episode, even though we only saw them for a handful of seconds we were able to gather both a good idea of their character as well as their general motives and focus. Introducing us to those connected to Hero and those reliant on the way things stand within the world.