The Demon Girl Next Door – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Yuko Yoshida is just an ordinary schoolgirl — until Lilith unleashes her dormant, devilish powers. Now, Yuko must defeat Momo Chiyoda, the shrine maiden of the Light Clan who just so happens to go to her school! (Official HIDIVE Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The Demon Girl Next Door is a cute show with a lovably incompetent and innocent lead, Yuko Yoshida, that you cannot help but cheer for as you watch her inept self struggle to come anywhere close to fulfilling her newly discovered destiny. Yuko ends up having her demonic powers awakened by the spirit of an ancient ancestor, and is tasked with murdering the local Magical Girl in order to lift a curse from her impoverished family. Her sincere efforts, extreme clumsiness and bad luck all combined with her complete lack of abilities makes for a charming protagonist.
Tom: Yuko is adorably pathetic, and perhaps one of the most charming leads across all the anime airing this season. Her earnest attempts to best Momo, a powerful magical girl far and away out of Yuko’s league are adorable, sad and pathetic, but adorable all the same. As Linny said you can’t help but cheer for her. But what also helps Yuko stay in top form is the way she bounces off the other characters. The dialogue works wonders here to keep you invested, even when the show is coasting between its bigger gags. It’s because the characters all feel so unique in the way they interact, only furthering the comedic atmosphere in the way Yuko’s classmates respond to her sudden turn towards the demonic, or Momo’s awkward, yet honest encouragement for Yuko’s weak attempts to best her. This keeps every scene lively and makes the twenty-three minutes simply fly by.
Linny: The comedy is a nice balance of subdued reactions and shocking developments. While there are a few big reaction gags and moments here and there, the show doesn’t rely solely on them for comedy making it feel well rounded rather than just a nonstop parade of loud and obnoxious expressions. The voice acting really helps to sell the characters emotions and reactions, making every joke land with impressive punch. If you’re a comedy fan, The Demon Girl Next Door is definitely a must pick up for this season thanks to a cast that feels unique and developed and comedy that knows how to mix the mundane with the absurd.
Tom: The Demon Girl Next Door is an impressively fun slice of life, allowing the its unique portrayal of the real world, where both demons and magical girls exist out in the open, to keep things feeling fun even when the gags aren’t immediately forth coming. There’s not a moment when this first episode felt boring. Its charm comes not only from its characters, but its ability to throw gag after gag, or just let the characters shine as their playful selves. My only real complaints have to do with HIDIVE’s presentation. Subtitles aren’t bold enough, lacking a hard black outline to make them better stand out against the onscreen Japanese text that appears frequently. Also, certain gags fall flat because text on screen wasn’t translated, like when Yuko’s mother shows her a list of potential demon names and picks one for Yuko before she has a chance to offer input. The list isn’t subtitled, leaving Western audiences floundering in ignorance. Despite those presentation foibles though, The Demon Girl Next Door is one of my top picks for the Summer, sitting alongside titles like Wasteful Days of High School Girls, O Maidens in Your Savage Season, and Vinland Saga. This definitely seems a title not to miss.
The Demon Girl Next Door is available for streaming via HIDIVE.