Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Anime Review: Demon King Daimao

Very recently I ended up watching three anime series back to back, which by the way is one of the worst things a human being can do to themselves. There’s nothing wrong with watching anime, of course, but watching that much in one sitting is hard on the brain. I’m not 100% sure I escaped with me sanity intact.

Still the bright side is that I can do a few anime reviews now for all you anime minded fans who visit the blog (Which judging by the page view counts is most of you…somehow). I’ll start with Demon King Daimaoh. This is the “translated” title for Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Mao. The English title actually means “Demon King Great Demon King” which is redundant as hell. The original title actually means “The Great Demon King in the Back Row”…which admittedly is also an awful title, but hey, at least it doesn’t repeat itself. [Editor’s Note: Starting next week Beta is Dead will be renamed “Dead Beta is Dead (Featuring Beta)”]

Whatever this show is called it’s based on a Light Novel series that as of this writing is still ongoing. It was produced by the studio Artland in 2010 and licensed and dubbed by Sentai Filmworks the summer of 2011. Sentai Filmworks, you may recall, were responsible for dubbing Highschool of the Dead, a show that I heavily criticized for its fan service. Keep this in mind.

Actually I saw the first episode of this show a while back on Crunchyroll.com but I didn’t keep up with it. As I couldn’t remember the exact reason I assumed it was because I just didn’t get around to it. Well…maybe that will learn me.

Full review after the jump.


The calm before the (Boob) storm
Akuto Sai is a virtuous young man who has just transferred to Hogwarts Constan Magical Academy. On his first day he meets Junko Hattori of the Igna Ninja Clan and they become fast friends. Akuto shares with Juno his ambition; to become a Great Priest in order to help the better the world. Impressed Junko promises to help him. Once at the school he is tested by the school’s oracular spirit (Which tells student’s exactly what occupation that will have, because f**k free will and dreams) who determines that he’ll eventually become the new Demon King, a being that wreaked havoc around the world one hundred years ago. Suddenly Akuto’s world is shattered as everyone, including Junko, turn on him.

And it’s a comedy. Of course it is. You know…until it suddenly stops being a comedy. But I’m getting a head of myself.

So what’s good about this show? Well I can honestly say that the show does get better towards the end. For everything I have to say about this anime those last few episodes ended up saving it from a failing Panda Score.

So that said THIS ANIME SUCKS!!!!

F**K YO SHIT!!
But where to start? Well first of all it’s a genre that I always approach hesitantly: Harem Anime. For those of you who are unaware Harem Anime is a subgenre of Romantic Comedies in the anime world. They usually involve some random dude (Often the most boring person in his world) who somehow finds himself the object of affection of at least three, but often many more, ladies. Ranma ½, Tenchi Muyo!, and Love Hina are some examples. It’s the “Will They or Won’t They” plot I despise but instead of two people it’s upwards of seven or eight. Luckily it’s not the worst example of the genre but even so we begin on a bad note. It gets kind of tiring seeing the various girls in the show spend most of their defining their existence but the main character.

The animation of the series starts out pretty good, with sort of your typical CGI cell shading for a few things. However slowly things get a bit on the worse side and with episode seven everything goes  absolutely sideways; incredibly sloppy and minimalist animation, using all sorts of tricks to create the illusion higher quality art. Things get a bit better after that but the quality s still so much lower than the first half the series it’s almost offensive. It looks bad. Really bad. It’s almost as if they ran out of cash for the animation budget, which has been known to happen with anime often enough. Of course that usually happens in longer series. I assumed the whole point of having a twelve episode show (As this one is) was so you can more efficiently use your resources. Instead I wouldn’t be surprised to hear these guys blew their budget in the first few episodes with all the special effects.

The characters are almost all pretty much flat stereotypes I’ve seen in anime 1000 times before. None of them are particularly memorable, to the point that I almost don’t want to waste time talking about them. Junko is a sword wielding Tsundere, Kena is a ditz who’s “more than she seems”, Korone is an emotionless (Yet somehow emotional) robot girl, Fujiko is a large breasted yet fairly evil bitchy girl (“OHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!”); all of these characters have been in a ton of shows that I’ve seen since I started watching anime in the early 90s. So nothing special here. The tone of this show changes toward the end; it started off as a comedy (Albeit an unfunny comedy) but then gets weird and turns into an action packed pseudo philosophical mess. To put it simply Akuto begins the series trying to convince the various characters that he’s not a perverted womanizer but he ends the series trying to KILL AND REPLACE GOD. Yeah. That happens; I saw it happen and I still don’t understand how it came about. On a related note the show itself kind of stops making sense towards the end as well, which is never good.

A sword wielding tomboy with an abrasive personality?
 WHERE HAVE I HEARD THIS BEFORE?!?!
BUT most of that just makes for a mediocre show. What sets King Demony Demon King Daimao apart from the pack is the goddamn fan service. By now you should be well acquainted for my annoyance over this but I have to say that it is really bad here. Even ignoring the giant amount of panty shots and all-purpose upskirt shots and the tremendous amount of nudity (if you like breast you’ll like this show) but things are just really overly sexualized for no reason other than the creators are trying to arouse the audience. This is as close to soft-core porn as I’ve seen in a while and I was not into it at all. Between Kena who constantly strips so she can use her invisibility power and Junko who cannot go one fight without getting most of her clothes blown off it get a bit exhausting rather quickly. Of course that’s not including the very suggestive scenes that greatly resemble sex acts or the really creepy “tentacle almost-rape” scene from episode seven. I’m getting grossed out just thinking about it.

Also the dub isn’t that great. It’s Sentai Filmworks and we’ve already established that they aren’t as good on that front as FUNimation. But still it wasn't that bad and the dialogue was nowhere near as mangled as it was in Highschool of the Dead.

If this was a good show that had the same amount of naked teenage girls running around in it I’d probably just be annoyed but it wouldn’t be the worst show in the world. However this particular train wreck has nothing good going for it. It’s characters are clichés, the animation turns to shit halfway through, it’s filled with un-funny comedy, the ending is much too hard to follow, and if you’re friends happen to catch you watching it they may assume you’re looking at Hentai on the TV and immediately start judging you. I spent most of this show despising what I was watching but near the end things got a bit more enjoyable and thus I didn’t leave the anime looking for a huge amount of liquor to try to erase my brain of what I saw…but for a while there it was close. Avoid this show unless you’re the type of person who actually loves that sort of fan service. If that’s the case enjoy it, I guess, but you might also want to reevaluate your life.

Pictured: The cast of Ichiban Ushiro no Daimao
Not Pictured: Originality
I give Demonic Emperor Demon King Daimao Whatever 2 out 5 Adorable Pandas.


Pros

-Meh

Cons

-The animation starts to get pretty bad

-The characters are boring cliché that appear all the time in anime

-For a comedy it’s rather unfunny

-The last leg of the series is pretty confusing

-It possesses almost offensive amount of fan service


So that was six hours straight of unimpressive anime.   Not the best way to spend your day.  In any case if you have any requests or suggestions of anime for me to review shoot me an e-mail at betaisdead@gmail.com.

4 comments:

  1. I love anime that juxtaposes everyday life with mystical happenings. Like Naruto Shippuden, or Cardcaptor Sakura. It is amazing how the writers can actually make everything seem so sensible and real. Demon King Daimao is a perfect example of that. Also, I felt that the anime was quite funny but does not fail to capture the direness of a future Demon King right inside the school. There was a perfect mix of hilarity and sternness, and the setting seemed so perfect.

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    1. While I clearly disagree with what you said in regards to the quality of storytelling and comedy in "King Daimao of Demonic Royalty" I will agree that the blending mysticism with modern sensibilities in anime can be really entertaining if written well. "Ga-Rei Zero" is likely my favorite example.

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  2. "It’s characters are clichés, the animation turns to shit halfway through, it’s filled with un-funny comedy, the ending is much too hard to follow, and if you’re friends happen to catch you watching it they may assume you’re looking at Hentai on the TV and immediately start judging you."
    ---> "If that’s the case enjoy it, I guess, but you might also want to reevaluate your life."

    Since 'you're' an adult who fails that badly at grammar, and doesn't know it should be "'Its' characters, and 'your friends', not "It is characters... and you are friends", maybe you want to reevaluate your life.

    I'm not even writing this because I'm offended by your review, just offended by your terrible lack of education, and staggering idiocy.

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    1. I'm sorry, anonymous internet person.

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