Don’t worry; it all makes sense, sort of.
Despite early fears that fanservice might dominate Maoyu, the Dark Lord’s boobs were, thankfully, minimally used. Okay, so they swung around a lot, but that’s something I can let slide. Despite a somewhat generic premise that starts out with that good ol’ Demon Lord vs. Hero set-up, it’s quickly obvious that the show is shooting for more than generic adventure story with a healthy dose of fanservice. Once the obligatory boob jokes are dealt with the show wastes no time in jumping into the bits of the story everyone cares about: the economics. After vast amounts of talking and explaining, the current world situation is built up quite nicely as we learn how the Central states are reaping major profits from the war, but that their exports are the lifeblood of the human race and an end to the war would be the death toll for humanity as mass starvation would kill millions. Although talk of economics tends to put me to sleep because I understand none of it, the stuff presented in Maoyu is relatively easy to digest and, probably because of the backdrop of the war, interesting.
Personally, I quite liked the blending of the whole fantasy epic storyline with the economics bit. It definitely adds a more interesting angle to a story that might wear out its welcome quicker without it. Although I doubt the show will be as economics crazy as Spice and Wolf, I’m cautiously optimistic that it won’t magically disappear from the plot after this episode. I’m particularly interested in seeing how that aspect plays out as Hero and the Demon Lord travel around trying to make it so that the human race won’t collapse once the war comes to an end. At this point, the only part of the story that really worries me is how Hero’s companions will play in because they’re either going to be annoyances or not. Though they only made brief appearances in the episode and it’s a bit too early to judge them too harshly, I can’t say I’m looking forward to seeing more of them. Who knows, though, maybe they’ll end up being great additions to the show…probably not.
On the character side of things, there’s definitely room for development. Our dashing Hero, especially, could use some more world experience. Something I found particularly funny about the episode is how ignorant the Hero was about the state of affairs for the people he so proudly proclaims he’s protecting. The Demon Lord quickly and effectively pokes holes in all of his arguments as to why demons were bad and were the root cause of all of humanities problems. He basically sees the world as divided into good and bad (Demons are bad; people are good) and doesn’t bother with too many other aspects of life like economics or politics. Despite being a bit dense, he does eventually become open to the idea that the Demon Lord proposes and eventually decides to team up with her, which shows he’s not too narrow minded. His personality is boring though, so I’m hoping he becomes more fleshed out throughout the story. As for the Demon Lord, she’s obviously a smart and focused young woman, but I will admit that the jokes revolving around her take away from some of her charm. Though she’s obviously the main mode for fanservice in this show, she actually has a brain, leading me to believe she’s going to be an entertaining character to watch and go well beyond her boobs.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with the first episode. Those who were hoping for a fanservice show may want to jump ship now because I doubt (aka really hope) that the rest of the episodes will take on a tone similar to this one where there’s lots of talking and not a lot of goofing around. The production values are pretty nice and there’s nothing too grating on the eyes. The romance, which for many will probably be the weakest link right next to the fanservice, seems cute, albeit a bit forced at the moment. There’s a lot to hope for here and I’m cautiously optimistic for the future of the show.
This series is streaming on Crunchyroll.