Three-Episode Review: The Misfit of Demon King Academy

Hey, I’m going to write a review of the first three episodes of the anime “The Misfit of Demon King Academy,” which has just come out with its third episode.

That mean’s that it’s ripe for the famous “three episode test,” that anime watchers often use to decide whether they should continue watching an anime or not for the remainder of the season. Honestly, three episodes isn’t a lot and I’ve often thought that five episodes is more representative, but for now I’m going to try three. I will discuss the strengths and weakness of what I’ve seen of the show so far and at the end will give the show a preliminary ranking out of ten. Maybe this will help you decide whether to pick it up or not! Since its only the first three episodes, I won’t be too careful about spoilers, so beware.

I’ll start with the general plot. This anime takes place in a society controlled by the descendants of the “demon king,” who died two thousand years ago and passed his powers down through a bloodline of people who now regard themselves as superior to those who did not inherit his powers. The demon king has now been reincarnated into the body of an infant, born to seemingly normal parents, and over the course of only a month grew from a baby into the high-school aged protagonist that now is the focal point of this show. The show takes place in an academy filled with royal descendants of the bloodline of the demon king. This academy’s purpose appears to be to identify who out of the students is the actual reincarnated demon king, who it seems will be the society’s divine and natural ruler.

Now, it is obvious from the get go to anyone with a brain that the protagonist of the series is the demon king. The protagonist, Anos Voldegoad, is one of the most blatant Mary Sue or Gary Stu characters I have ever seen, meaning that he is essentially an all-powerful self-insert character meant to make the reader (and perhaps the author) self-identify with the protagonist, who is essentially perfect in every conceivable way. Our first experience with Anos shows him walking into the academy, immediately meeting one of the members of what I’m assuming is his future harem, Misha. He is subsequently taunted, absolutely unprompted, by a smirking obvious-villain character who attempts to insult Anos. Anos responds to the goading with ridiculously generic cool-guy words (comparing his assailant’s fire powers to a match stick) and effortlessly powerful magic, making it clear to everyone around that our protagonist is, indeed, quite the chick-magnet. Don’t worry, he is also, as far as cartoons can convey, very attractive (I know you were worried).

Within four minutes of the start of the first episode, without any sort of build up, we jump straight to the part of the entrance exam where our protagonist is, seemingly at random, placed into a 1 v 1 fight against the goon who antagonized him on his way into the academy. Here, the protagonist and the goon exchange some cookie cutter banter (“Oh you think you’re strong, huh? Heh heh no… it’s actually me that’s strong!”). Then, the protagonist appears to literally explode the goon’s internal organs, which I actually found refreshingly brutal, and then essentially tortures the antagonist into surrender by killing him and then immediately resurrecting him over and over. That all happens in the first eight minutes.

I should refrain from rehashing the entire plot of the first few episodes, but I just want to make it clear that this guy strong to the point where there appear to be no limits to his power. Soon after, he easily destroys a couple of other groups of powerful magic users with magic that is equally bullshit, displays that he can instantly teleport anywhere, and throws a gigantic castle a mile away with one hand.

My main issue with this sort of power, first off, is that it removes all sense of danger and progression from the show. I never have to fear for Anos’s performance or safety because he literally has no weaknesses whatsoever, and there is no way to improve upon perfection. I think that this is a crucial flaw in the show unless that invincibility is somehow itself the challenge (like in One-Punch Man), or we introduce several other weaknesses. Some times, it is sort of fun to watch such a strong character (like in The Irregular at Magic High School, a suspiciously similar show title) because of the reactions of the other characters, but in general, it really makes me feel like I already know what’s going to happen before it does (he will win). There is not a lot about Anos that is particularly interesting. He shows little emotion and has no mental weaknesses, and everything he says or does seems to work out smoothly. However, there were a couple points where I did feel like he had an entertaining wittiness (the three-second rule joke, for instance, referring to his ability to bring people back from the dead if they had died within three seconds).

In terms of the supporting cast, I can say that it is pretty weak, with one exception.

The main secondary character, Misha, is also an outcast like the protagonist. She clearly has some dark secrets that are waiting to be unraveled, and appears very quiet and kind. She seems to be a pariah to the surrounding members of the royal bloodline and to her own family. Misha is the stereotypical quiet love interest (dandere might be the term) although there is some growing depth to her character in terms of her relationship with her family. It’s three episodes in, so I shouldn’t be too unfair to character depth.

Misha’s sister, Sasha, also seems generic. As the chosen one of her family, she believes she is destined to excel and actually does have quite a bit of talent. As a character, she possesses the confidence and meanness that usually come along with being a tsundere, and predictably seems to have a soft spot for the suave main character. She has family issues with her sister Misha.

The only other supporting characters seem too weakly developed thus far to mention in detail. All other classmates are pretty obviously extras for the time being and have no remarkable characteristics. Their professor, the goon from the first episode, and the goon’s brother, all may be further developed but as of right now are one-dimensional.

The exception to the weak supporting cast that I will mention is that the protagonist’s mom and dad are fucking hilarious. They gave birth to a son who within a month has already grown to full size and enrolled in high school, and they couldn’t be more thrilled about it. They are seen cheering vigorously when their son walks into the school in the first few minutes of episode one, and are seen again in the next couple of episodes when the protagonist brings home Misha, and then subsequently also Sasha, for dinner. They express hilarious, over-the-top pride at their son having already brought home two wives, and I found myself actually laughing aloud at their antics. It is an excellent foil to their cool-headed and extraordinary demon king son, and was my favorite part of the three episodes I watched. However, the cast as a whole still feels a bit hollow overall.

I will say that I do like the world building that they’ve done and I do appreciate the creativity shown in the variety of demon powers utilized thus far and in the general plot involving the society controlled by the demon king’s bloodline. I think that gives the show a lot of potential should the characters become more fleshed out and should the dialogue and plot become less generic in future episodes.

Some other thoughts. There were multiple parts where I was like “Come on… really?” when the main character used an overpowered ability. Also, there was one part that comes to mind also where the main character and Misha were up against like ten people. The main character said something like “Hmm… we will have to use strategy to win this” and then simply walked up and threw the castle a mile away, and I don’t think the irony was intentional. During the same fight, they had Misha create three decoy castles which were entirely irrelevant the whole fight. Another issue I had was that the anime simply cut directly between important scenes with no opportunity to build up hype or flesh out the world, leaving me feeling detached from what was happening.

In the end, the series was not anything I would strongly urge anyone to watch. I had enough fun to enjoy myself, I’m not regretting my choice to watch it, and if someone was really bored, I could see it as a good option. Sometimes you just want to watch a generic harem or a generic Mary Sue character just obliterate everyone without even trying.

This anime is a 5.7 out of 10 for me.

-Gray

P.S.: the full title of the show is “The Misfit of Demon King Academy: History’s Strongest Demon King Reincarnates and Goes to School with His Descendants.”