Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I didn't think much about Kyou kara Maou before Dave Asher talked me into watching it. The pre-buzz made it look like another minimally-animated bishie fantasy like Saiyuki, which I didn't much care for. Actually, it made the show look *less* interesting. So much for expectations. Kyou kara Maou is a hell of a lot of fun. I'm told that the title means, basically, "From now on, Demon King", and that sums up the story. Our average Japanese school boy with the excessively auspicious name, while being given a swirly by a pissed-off gang in a public women's lavatory, is sucked down the toilet into an alternate dimension in a scene that reminded me strongly of the "worst toilet in Scotland" bit from Trainspotting. He arrives in fantasyland, his black uniform dripping with toilet-water, to find the local peasants terrified of him, and a lot of handsome uniformed horse-thugs ready to fight over him. They inform him that he's their Maou heike - Demon King-Emperor, and their god has sent him to lead the Mazoku - "Evil tribe" - in destroying the pestilence that is humanity.

The plot is fairly similar to the Korean comic, Demon Diary, except the execution is far more amusing. The character dynamics are even more similar to that of the comic Vampire Game, what with the three pretty-boy brothers-with-different-fathers and the androgynous court-sorcerer. Other than that, it's pretty much Rune Soldier re-done as a bishounen ai comedy.

The animation is, indeed, fairly low-quality, but I'm willing to overlook it for now. The energy and character of the story definitely over-whelms any shortcomings in that department. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the rest of it.

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