Maou-sama, Retry First Impressions (1): A tale as old as time

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Akira says goodbye to the demon lord

Borrowing from the long-standing traditions laid out in other shows, this series follows one man’s journey inside a video game world as he searches for a way back to his world. I suppose the main interest is that the main character, Akira Oono, doesn’t seem to be the standard gamer type. Rather, it seems more like he’s supposed to be a game administrator who plays the role of demon lord within the game.

Akira uses his administrator privileges

Honestly, I don’t have much of a problem with the isekai genre, so I thought that this first episode was fine. It doesn’t particularly stand out amongst its relatives, but it’s enjoyable enough. If anything, I’d say that the episode kind of glosses over a lot (like why creating items costs skill points). I think it would be funny to watch Akira abuse his administrator privileges if that continues to be relevant.

Akira should have read more light novels

There’s also kind of an interesting scene when Akira is first transported into the game where you can see what looks like missiles or meteors falling in the background. I might be reading too much into it, but it implies that he’s transported into the game after his original world is destroyed or something.

Maou tries to get his wish

This scene probably suffered the most from being glossed over in my opinion. It’s implied that Akira came to this world because his avatar, Hakuto Kunai, was directly summoned by the dead sorcerers in this room, valiantly attempting to have their wish granted. And then, Hakuto strangely gets his unverbalized wish granted through a ring that does…something.

Aku wants to know Maou's wish

It might still be too early for this, but I do wonder where this series is headed. From this first episode alone, it sounds like it’s just going to be random travels of Hakuto and Aku in a video game fantasy world. I don’t particularly have a problem with that as a premise. I just wonder if that’s what I’m committing to watching, you know?

Hakuto cloaks himself

The scene in Aku’s village also seemed a little weird to me. Hakuto cloaks himself for a reason that he doesn’t really explain, only to reveal himself almost immediately as Aku is assaulted by rocks. Maybe it wasn’t obvious enough that the other villagers were approaching her with hostility? Either way, they just leave and ignore the reason they came. I guess it’s meant to show that the people in the village are jerks or something.

Endro Review: The quest to become a great hero

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The hero's party faces off against the demon lord

Somehow, this series wasn’t actually a video game adaptation. It certainly seems like it from the beginning. The legendary Hero faces off against the Demon Lord with three fellow adventurers. They cast a forbidden spell and the Demon Lord is sealed away. The credits roll. Wait, this is all from the first episode. In reality, this forbidden spell turns out to be a time spell that sends the demon lord to the past, where she resolves to sabotage the Hero’s journey.

Seira gets embarrassed

To be honest, that introduction was enough to catch my interest for this series. As a whole, the series has a charming sense of playfulness that I greatly enjoyed. It takes the standard fantasy adventure premise and turns it into a goofy slice of life with both the protagonists and the main villain. I probably would have preferred if the hero, aptly nicknamed Yuusha, wasn’t actually the airhead she seemed to be, but I suppose it fits with the story.

Mao tries to jump above the podium

Along those same lines, I thought that the characters in the series had an equal charm to them. Even the girl whose only gimmick was that she’s obsessed with the cards they use to cast spells had her own character arc of sorts. The demon lord herself, who takes on the name Mao, also has a nice transition, making real connections outside of the main character to help her redemption story.

The legendary hero wields a club

All in all, I don’t have too much to say about this series. It’s that kind of show. It does have a pastel color style that I think is a bit overboard, but I can live with that. I thought that the series was surprisingly funny, so it was always fun to watch. Also, the number of scenes that were screenshot-worthy in this series was truly impressive (and that’s definitely important, right?).

Overall Score: 7/10

Random First Impressions: Endro, Girly Air Force

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I’m nearly done with the first impressions for shows I’ve watched. Here are two more.

The hero has a simple wish to make people smile

Endro First Impressions (1)

Honestly, there’s not too much to say about this series. I tend to like this kind of show, but it’s not for everyone. The basic idea is simple. In this fantasy world, the hero, playfully named Yuusha, and her party defeat the demon lord with forbidden dimension magic. This magic ends up sending the demon lord back in time as a little girl. Adopting the name Mao, the demon lord attempts to change history and prevent her inevitable defeat at the hands of the hero.

Yuusha pulls out the cursed sword

It seems unfair to judge this series as a time travel series, but it incorporates that element to a small degree. Unsurprisingly, it’s not great as a time travel series, since history seems to follow the same course despite Mao’s interference. That inevitably begs the question of why Mao doesn’t know this already, which I’m sure will have some boring explanation. And given the straightforward nature of Yuusha, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s eventually revealed that this is her plan all along, giving the demon lord a chance to smile or something.

Roll credits

That being said, I still think the episode was fun to watch when I didn’t take it too seriously. The scenes are cute, and I appreciate a series that doesn’t mind poking fun at itself. The early credits scene makes a lot more sense with the time travel aspect, and I definitely thought it was hilarious when Yuusha was forced to use a club as a weapon.

Kei waits outside of the base

Girly Air Force First Impressions (1-2)

A non-trivial amount of my interest in this series comes from the fact that I grew up near an air force base. The first episode sets up the basic story, which follows Kei Narutani, a Chinese refugee who lost his mother to an attack by the unknown flying creatures known as Xi. In an attack over Shanghai, Kei meets Gripen, an Anima designed to fight the Xi, and becomes tasked with helping Gripen.

Gripen is scatterbrained

I mean, I guess this series works as a typical cute girls story with some sci-fi aspect incorporated. I just have a hard time taking it seriously when I see an episode like the second episode, which seemed like it was filled to the brim with the standard, almost romcom-esque, setup.

Gripen feels like something is missing.

They’re really going full force into this whole “the girls are planes” thing, huh? I suppose I can’t be too upset with Kei. He still probably sees Gripen as the pilot, so he can’t be expected to assume that he should pilot her.

Random First Impressions Summer 2018: Isekai Edition

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I’m travelling this weekend, so I’m keeping this one quick. But there’s totally a theme for this post. Clearly, I’m putting in a lot of effort, right?

Overlord

It’s a bit late in the game, but I’ve been enjoying the third season of Overlord. In comparison to the second season, there’s a lot more focus on Ainz’s inner monologue. It’s probably because the second season spent so much time on the lizard people, but the monologues are one of my favorite things to watch in this series.

It’s hard not to relate to this guy. Being the supreme overlord of a game takes practice, right?

Yes, it does.

I’m not going to lie. I really didn’t see this one coming. It makes sense when you think about it, but it still surprised me to see this.

Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu

I’ve been reading the manga for this series for a bit now, so I was looking forward to watching this. So far, it’s been pretty fun, which is how I felt about the manga. As I said before, the inner monologue in Overlord is my favorite part, so this series is kind of a different version of it. I know a lot of it is pretty typical for isekai (among other things), but I enjoy it. Go figure…

If only this act worked in real life. I should try it.

Hataraku Maou-sama Final Episode: Ashiya’s Betrayal

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Well, as expected nothing really happens in this episode. A random thing with Urushihara…Emi finds out about the transmitter in her phone. Nothing much. Apparently Sariel is still around too. Pretty boring for a last episode, but everything was basically resolved in the last episode, so what are you gonna do?

Anyway, there wasn’t any resolution, so I’m assuming that’s supposed to be a setup for some sort of second season. I don’t know if I’d care to watch it, but more than likely that’s what is going to end up happening.

Hataraku Maou-sama Episode 12: Well that was easy

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Just like the first fight, that was over pretty quick. Once again, Maou just trashes through everyone in an instant. Oh and Suzuno defects…no one saw that coming. Sariel brought up an interesting point in all of his crazy rantings and pathetic whimpering…Chiho probably has become some sort of special case. There’s gotta be something wrong with her now! We must study her for science!

Anyway, next episode is the last one, right? Just gotta get some epilogue as well as settling everyone in with their new roles. Suzuno might finally get a job…or become a housewife with Ashiya (who was so useful as always this week). Sigh…best battles in an anime ever…

Hataraku Maou-sama Episode 11: Worst angel outfit ever

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Looks like the final battle is starting. I guess it’s pretty clear now that Suzuno will turn on her ally in this engagement. Looks like Olba is also gonna be there to join in the fun. Aren’t corrupt churches so great? Why do we even have those things anyway?

Let’s see…Chiho’s useless, Ashiya is incapacitated, and Emi can’t use her sacred powers effectively. Looks like another engagement where Maou does everything…he’s on his way to carry the team again. One could say he’s about to sweep them under the rug…

Hataraku Maou-sama Episode 10: Crocodiles and pools

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Girls get their day out…and Suzuno now doubts. She finally got the chance to see Maou doing his good deeds and whatnot, so now she’ll be conflicted when the time comes to complete her mission. And as expected, suspicious Sentucky guy is our mystery assailant. He seems to be an angel…which would explain how he could nullify Emi’s powers.

Next week, the big plan is unveiled? Maybe the Sentucky food was secretly poisoned, explaining Ashiya’s condition? Nah…but seriously, when is Ashiya gonna stop being so pathetic? Oh well…the great battle will start next week at the festival, it seems.

Hataraku Maou-sama Episode 9: I still think Ashiya is useless

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Holy crap, Ashiya…were you making this story up in your free time or did you just freestyle that? Because if the latter is true, then I’m impressed. Anyway, the food wars continue. Somehow MgRonalds got the advantage back with the bamboo tree, but there was that purple glow to consider. Seemed like some magic was cast and Suzuno noticed.

The Sentucky dude is still suspicious to me, but would he cast the spell on the bamboo tree? That doesn’t seem to make much sense. Either way, are Emi and Maou gonna spend some quality time together next week? I’d laugh if they went on a date. Looks like Suzuno will be around too, I guess.

Hataraku Maou-sama Episode 8: Food war?

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So the truth finally comes out…ish. Now Emilia realizes the mistake she made in that first encounter with Suzuno. Now that that’s all cleared up…back to killing Mao. Also back to Chiho confessing. Kind of a random timing if you ask me, but what do I know?

Are we supposed to conclude that the manager of the Sentucky Fried Chicken is actually the one that attacked Emilia? Timing sure seems to sync up nicely and he seems to be a suspicious enough character. But I always get so suspicious when it becomes too obvious…I’m sure it’ll be cleared up next week, right?