Demon King Daimao – Review
Demon King Daimao:
Original Air Dates: April 2nd, 2010 – June 18th, 2010
Synopsis: Akuto Sai has begun his attendance at a magical academy where students are trained in magical abilities for their future jobs. A person’s job is determined by a brief aptitude test that predicts their future occupation with 100% efficiency. Unfortunately for Akuto Sai, his future occupation is revealed to be: Demon King, a man who will rip society apart and plunge the word into chaos! Akuto quickly finds himself at the center of unwanted attention as all the girls, guys, teachers and villains have their eyes on him. Akuto decides to try and prove that he’s as bad as everyone thinks he is while also discovering what it really means to be “The Demon King.”
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Demon King Daimao’s premise is standard and tired: A young man transfers into a new school and quickly finds himself labelled as an outcast. Despite its tired trappings, I enjoy the nuances here and the revelations accompanying it, surrounding Akuto’s discovery that he’s the “Demon King” and what that title really means. In fact, I might go as far to say that the first half of this series is quite good. It does fall into a few cliches, and it’s not entirely obvious why certain characters flip flop allegiances here and there, but the story is entertaining enough. However, as the series continues, real problems develop. Firstly, Demon King Daimao is an adaptation of a Light Novel series, and it becomes obvious they’re trying to squeeze in as much Light Novel as they can into twelve episodes. This has the damaging effect of forcing characters through sudden, unexpected, and poorly realized personality shifts and out of no where revelations late in the series. It doesn’t help that the series puts too much screen time into fleshing out battles between minor characters that do little to service the plot. In fact, the final episodes of Demon King Daimao feel more like an ‘animated best of’ moments from the novel rather than a self contained story.
Linny: The new talented male student transferring to a new school premise is often accompanied by the harem tag and Daimao is no exception. It starts off with all the classic harem cliches but to its benefit, it is self aware about its sexual content and inserts some fourth wall like gags to help address the issue. The sexual situations themselves can get rather silly and might wheedle out a chuckle or two. Don’t expect to be blown away by the story, especially if you are an avid and seasoned anime fan because it is so very predictable. It’s the classic case of a new kid ostracized and pushed into the limelight for being different/ special, who also happens to have girls falling for him left, right and centre. However, there is a change of pace by the fifth episode and the show becomes extremely action centric, abandoning its harem foundation. Like Tom said, the show ultimately feels very rushed thanks to its sudden change in pace, tone and even in the personalities of its characters. It’s evident that Daimao really needed to pace its story better.
Tom: Demon King Daimao’s characters suffer from cliches here and there. Such as samurai girl, Junko, who is ice cold and mean, but deep down just needs a little love to make her feel whole. Then Soga, who’s ditzy and oblivious to near everything, and finally Korone, who’s extremely hard up and often trying to seduce Akuto. Akuto himself is the classic main harem character who doesn’t appreciate any of this attention (although most men would kill for a harem flocking around them like this.) While I enjoy the nuances of Demon King Daimao’s premise, it’s here with the characters where it really fails to shine. It’s not to say that any of these tropes or archetypes are outright bad, but there’s nothing particularly memorable about these characters otherwise. It’s all been done before, even back in 2010 when it first aired. Demon King Daimao ultimately treads the very same ground near every other harem anime has tread before it.
Linny: Daimao has a cliche that I dislike, the one where a strong and fierce female turns into a puddle of girly, insecure and emotional turmoil all thanks to the male protagonist. If you dislike that too, this is a heads up. On the other hand, I did find the cliche of Junko and her haphazard attempts to take down our hero enjoyable even if they were predictable. Every single main character seems to fall into a cliche or anime trope when it comes to their personality and none of them get any proper character development. To make matters worse, the latter part of the show starts to introduce and cram in as many new characters as possible making it quite a challenge to keep up or care about them thanks to their sheer numbers.
Tom: Demon King Daimao’s animation never excelled with its presentation, and at times felt a bit lackluster when it came to depicting the larger action sequences. Besides the absurd battles within the last two episodes, the series’ animation rarely reached the insane heights required for a series like this. Perhaps if the animation had been more awe-inspiring, memorable and jaw-dropping it would’ve been easier to forgive the stories overall failings.
Linny: Here’s all you need to know about the level and quality of animation in Daimao. When Tom and I were watching it, we ended up making a bet over a particular character who would have a tail in one scene, and then it would be gone in the next and the bet was about whether she would have a tail in her next scene or not. Neither of us emerged a winner thanks to the unpredictable nature of her tail so yeah, prepare for inconsistencies. Also, to those planning to watch this on Crunchyroll, be aware that they only have it in SD and 480p quality, which to some might help hide the low quality, but most likely will make it all the more noticeable.
Tom: Demon King Daimao has a promising start but by its final episode is little more than a disappointment. What is interesting about the story is marred by such poor progression and a clustered, rushed adaptation that just tried to squeeze in too much content for its own good. It’s a pity the Light Novels have yet to be localized for the west as there’s no other avenue for enjoying this franchise. Also, as a final note, be warned less fan service appreciative viewers: Demon King Daimao’s fan service can be relentless and one might almost call it remarkable for how many breast and panty shots they’ve managed to squeeze into twelve episodes while maintaining a semi-coherent story.
Linny: If you are looking for a harem anime that eventually outgrows its harem content, then Daimao might amuse you with its sudden late series genre flip. There’s also plenty of fan service shots for those of you that enjoy it. However, the story does become rushed and cramped as it progresses, featuring far too much new content and characters. The inclusion of scientific gadgets in a show that also features magic and mystic elements so heavily makes for a strange contrast. Overall, Daimao can feel like a jumbled mess thanks to its varied content and even though it isn’t the worst anime out there, it doesn’t have much going for it either.