“I am the path that extends beyond the hill.”
Summary: At Gateway City, a huge city in the Demon Realm occupied by the Humans, Hero, addressing himself as Black Knight, saves a Demon barmaid from being harassed from Crusaders and learns from her how most of the Human army have mistreated the Demons since occupying the city except those who guard the Eastern Fortress. Meanwhile, the expeditionary fleet sent to recapture Aurora Island is a disaster no thanks to their incompetent commander the White Night King when Demon Krakens destroy most of the fleet with only a few survivors, including the Winter Prince, whose father is killed saving the White Night King. Back in the Southern Nations, most of the Southern leaders are disgusted with White Night King, who refuses to take responsibility for his failures and tries to blame it on the late Winter King. Viewed with distrust by White Night King due to Crimson Scholar, the Church and the Alliance helping the Winter Kingdom, the Winter Prince assumes his father’s throne, becoming the new Winter King and summons Female Knight to command a second expedition to recapture Aurora Island. As Female Knight prepares to depart, Scholar confesses her true identity as the Demon King to her and wants to be her friend. To her surprise, Female Knight already knew since Hero told her the truth before and accepts her friendship. The New Year Festival arrives and after one year apart, Hero and Queen finally reunite. After the two have a dance by themselves, Hero reveals to her that he has a plan to liberate Gateway City in one month and learns from her that she also intends to help the Humans retake Aurora Island. Hero then leaves again, promising to meet her next time in the battlefield.
And the romance is back! I’ll get back to that later…
Episode 6 begins in Gate City, once a Demon City now controlled by Humans. If we learn anything from Gate City it’s that humans are just as bad as demons, if not worse. The demon we see in Gate City is the first ‘real’ demon that we’ve seen. I don’t count the Demon Queen because she is EXTREMELY human looking (apart from those sexy red eyes) and even her horns are fake! What kind of demon wears fake horns? Anyway the way the human abuses the demon bar/tavern/medieval place of drinking maid, the Hero walks in on this detestable act of demon mistreatment and quickly puts an end to it. The Hero is finally beginning to see the darkness with humans hearts and well, I like it. He’s found an enemy among his own kind, he’s seen what humans are capable of and he’s going to stop it. Evil isn’t just confined to demons, it affects humans and demons alike and this is an important message that the show is trying to relay, humans aren’t perfect. There is no ‘superior’ or ‘sinless’ race. Good job Maoyuu on educating the masses through indirect life lessons!
Now for some action. I know, I know, Maoyuu wasn’t really ever meant to be an action anime but I wanted and needed some all the same. What’s a medieval fantasy anime without action right? The White Night
(it might be ‘Knight’ but ‘Night’ is the translation I was given…) gives an… interesting speech to boost the morale of his troops before the battle of Bright Island and, well… Let’s just get one thing straight, his speech was terrible. If I had heard that I wouldn’t have been inspired at all. The White Night didn’t even sound as if he expected them to win anyway… ‘Here are two hundred boat’s let’s go kill some demons!’, that’s his speech abbreviated and it still has more of an effect then that elongated pile of twaddle, yes, twaddle.
So the troops set off to recapture Bright Island on their two hundred boats and then disaster strikes. A kraken rises out of the ocean, tentacles abound, death in it’s eyes and the scent of fear in it’s… nose. It strikes! And kills everyone. Not quite the ‘epic battle scene’ I imagined it would be but hey, I can’t complain. Oh! And did I mention that the Winter King dies? I felt as though his death lacked… well pretty much everything. It wasn’t epic, the ramifications weren’t mind blowing and he is quickly replaced without a single tear shed. I mean, I know we only knew the guy for like two minutes but really? No massive crowds outside the castle mourning the loss of their King? The Winter lands are cold in more than one way man…
The Japanese really love those tentacles…
Now before we continue onto our next topic I’d first like to discuss the appearance of the Old Archer. When I watched the first episode of Maoyuu I was expecting the ‘main four’ characters introduced to come back in an interesting/epic way respectively. The Female Knight did a pretty good job of it after all I mean, she proved herself to be a romantic rival for the Demon Queen, she’s a good fighter, she’s indirectly comedic and her presence makes the show overall more enjoyable. The Archer appeared in a ‘not so epic’ way. I think he appeared once during the episode to speak to the new Winter King? I’m hoping when he’s introduced to the Hero there will be an interesting dynamic that stirs up some drama, but until then we wait.
Now for the next topic! The Demon Queen’s truth… that she’s the Demon Queen. When she revealed it to the Female Knight I didn’t know how to react. At first I was almost certain that either A. The Female Knight would leave and not say anything because they were friends or B. she would attempt to slay the Demon Queen and someone would intervene. Luckily neither the latter or the former happened and the Demon Queen and the Female Knight shook hands and lived happily ever after. No, no, but in all seriousness I like how accepting the Female Knight is. In most anime like this you get that one self-righteous, pompous ass nut who always ruins everything by turning on their friends when they found out a truth. I’m happy that for once a character actually values friendship over everything else. The only other show I can think of that does this is Naruto and Naruto does it in a big way with the whole ‘no matter what Sasuke does I still love him!’. Moving swiftly on…
Okay. Whenever I lost faith in humanity this show knows how to fix my grieving heart – You’ve just gotta show me the Maid Sisters. Both of them appear so innocence even though they’ve been through so much. The Little Sister Maids happy composure and loud cheery voice always life my spirits. The Older Sister Maid’s calm exterior and caring demeanor quells the soul of all it’s darkness and leave me feeling at peace with myself. The combination of the two on screen creates an awesome sister x sister dynamic which never ceases to make the show better with every appearance they make… please don’t kill one of them off. I’m begging you.
The Hero is back and he’s manlier than ever. Well for all of five seconds anyway… I love their reaction to seeing each other again after a year, yes I know it’s rather cliche but it was funny nevertheless and his face after finding out about the proposal never ceases to amuse me.
I was finally looking forward to a kiss y’know? We’ve all been waiting for it from the very first episode and in episode 5 we finally saw a glint of hope. The dance began (after the fat jokes, the face stretching, the romance scenes and the sad face) and it was awesome. The use of teleportation magic to make the dance look even better was really clever! Nice on Hero. The start getting intimate, the cliche anime blushing begins, they lean in for a kiss and… nope. No. Nuh-uh. No kiss for you. They stopped going in for the kiss because the music ended? In every film I’ve ever watched that moment when the music stops has always been the perfect moment for a kiss but because it’s anime apparently completely different rules apply… my heart weeps.
Episode 5 was great. I noticed a significant lack of cleavage and other fan service tools in this episode which is awesome! I mean of course cleavage is there but it’s not as ‘in your face’ as before, you’ve gotta look for it if you want the boobies! I’m really liking the way the series is going and I can’t wait to see next episode. I’m not sure if the new Winter King realizes but the last time the tried to attack Bright Island they were completely wiped out, what makes him think he’s going to do any better? Anyway I hope to see more Hero x Demon Queen romance, some more of the Archer, some more of the Mage, so more of the action and some more of the awesome. Maoyuu better not disappoint!