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Maoyu (anime review)

MaoyuTitle: Maoyu: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Takeo Takahashi

Writer: Narujisa Arakawa

Studio: Arms

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks / Section 23

U. S. Release Date: June 10th, 2014

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Supernatural, Fantasy, Romance

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Synopsis:

Names can be deceiving, something the warrior known as Hero quickly discovers when he storms the castle of the dread Demon King that mankind has fought for fifteen years. For one thing, the “king” turns out to be a queen! Even more shocking, though, is that she’s waiting for him with an unexpected proposal.

She points out that it would be bad for both sides if the war was to end immediately, as without a common enemy, the individual factions of the winning side are certain to turn on each other in a new series of civil wars. However, she has a plan to end the war, bring democracy and advanced knowledge to humanity, and ensure lasting prosperity for both sides, no matter who “wins.” But to accomplish this, she needs a collaborator on the human side, and she’s chosen Hero as the one partner she can trust! Is it a deal with the devil, or mankind’s only hope for lasting peace?

 Commentary:

The list of anime that use romance and war as a vehicle to teach basic economics are few and far between and those that are able to do this and come out on the other side with a real winner of an experience are even fewer. Maoyu is one of those series that manages to pull this off at a level that puts it at the top of my list. After the first episode I was hooked or should I say after the first 15 minutes I was smiling. Admittedly there is some fan service that may not be necessary , but it just might be what is needed to keep some fans watching. Personally the writing and beautiful animation styling  are enough for me.

With the series being place in a mythical land and time just before the industrial revolution  the look needed to fit well. The animators at Arms seemed to understand exactly what seas needed. There is a very special rustic look to the environment that balanced well against the new standard for human form. The two main characters, The Hero and Demon King, visual appearance suit them both well. The Demon King is a kind hearted woman who has so much to offer and the Hero is a young man who has all the power and no wish to use it against others. It is just this that makes these two so well suited together. When you add in the way the story develops you end having a series that makes you want to watch it all the way through.

The only think that I felt betrayed the series was the last episode. Based on where we end up I can see that it was left open for another seson. With that said I felt like the last episode was rushed and ended up pushing the story to an end that fell flat. I’ve seen this before and it is a shame when so much effort was put into creating a rich story line that ends up being thrown together just to finish off the story. I can only hope that someday the writer and creative are able to get together and finish this off.

Overall Grade: A-

Maoyu is one of those new arrivals that should be given high marks for its story telling and style. It is great to see good stories that look fantastic making their way to the store shelves. So, if you are looking for a full bodies story that has great story telling then Maoyu is for you.

 

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