Maoyuu Maou Yuusha 01 – Yuusha, Maou, Economics and a Dakimakura


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Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is a rather fascinating story that attempts to delve into the economic, social and cultural realities of warfare and the affect that they have on the wider population of numerous kingdoms, or in countries. The only other series that explored the affects of economy on kingdoms and those who rule them so far has to be Ookami to Kyoushinryou (Spice and Wolf), interestingly enough the Maoyuu Maou Yuusha reunites Holo and Lawrence in the form of their voice actors, although Fukuyama Jun is now stuck in my mind as The Dark Flame Master thanks to Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai. What is particularly interesting about Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is its setup, with Yuusha on a quest to destroy the terrible Maou and rid the world of ‘his’ corruption and destruction. Such a story sounds like something out of any classic fantasy, with elements of King Arthur and his noble quest, or even Lord of the Rings and its world where good and evil are apparently easily defined.

Such a world is easily defined or chopped up into manageable pieces, with Yuusha as the force for good and Maou as the force for evil and destruction, the problem with such a world view is that it is overly simplistic and doesn’t really look at the realities of the world and the people who live in it. Watching Yuusha burst into Maou’s castle and rush up in an attempt to kill ‘him’, only to discover that Maou is actually a woman helps to demonstrate the inadequacy of such tales. To Yuusha, Maou is pure evil and must therefore be destroyed, but upon finding that she has no apparent desire to fight and is more interested in engaging him in conversation we see how little he has really thought about his goals and duty. To Yuusha his whole life has been about the destruction of something that he has been told is evil and must therefore be the root of all the pain and suffering in his world. In a real sense Yuusha is the unthinking hero, someone who doesn’t question why he is fighting, who he is fighting for, and what the goals are for his battle with Maou. Furthermore, he doesn’t even consider the consequences of his fight, and why the war that he is supposed to be ending has been going on for such a long time.

Maou is actually a rather entertaining character, and is clearly more of an intellectual than a fighter. Her reaction to the presence of Yuusha is wonderful to see and it clearly makes him falter, especially considering how forceful Maou actually is. The way she approaches Yuusha, along with her attitude towards, and knowledge of the war and everything that surrounds it are fascinating and intriguing. Also, the way she acts completely goes against the image that one might have of a Demon King, someone who in both eastern and western traditions could bring untold destruction onto humanity, wiping out entire civilisations if he so wishes. That she is clearly more interested in the economics and realities of war than actually waging it further reinforces how little she conforms to the stereotype of a Demon King. Maou is fully aware of her position and how it is viewed by those around her, she understands that while she may know about economics and the reasons for war that being the Maou is itself a disadvantage. No one is likely to listen to Maou because in the public and popular imagination she is clearly a devil bent on total world domination or the annihilation of the human race. Her self-aware attitude is shown in stark contrast to the naïve and innocent Yuusha, a character who hasn’t questioned his fate and doesn’t even think about why war exists.

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War may be a horrible thing and bring untold destruction and devastation to many, something that a quick read of the history of WWI and WWII (along with numerous other wars of course) can demonstrate, but there are always those who profit from it. Warfare creates strong leaders and pulls together populations in a way that could not happen during peace times, furthermore there are always those in countries far from the war that will profit from the selling of arms, food and other supplies to those who need it. If we look at it from this perspective it appears that war is almost an inevitable consequence of human society and the desires and needs of the human population, along with the greed of those who make a living from such provisions. To Yuusha war is horrible; he also blames the demons for causing the war and strife that follows. In this Yuusha demonstrates how naïve and innocent he is of the world, with many of the problems that he blames on the demons simply the cause of humanities greed and apparent inability to look after their resources. Rather than invasion destroying forests and making land unusable for example it is the result of humans wanting to cut down every tree for charcoal and having no concept of sustainability or the importance of forests as a part of their countries ecology.

In Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, demons and by extension the Maou are easy scapegoats that humanity uses to blame for all of their problems rather than take responsibility. However, while this may be the case, the very act of war between the demon world and humans allows kingdoms to exist and prosper. War is clearly devastating for those on the front lines, however, as Maou explains, this war allows for countries to feed themselves through the money that central government provides for their war effort. Furthermore, because of the war, central kingdom maintains a strong control over industry and distribution, with the war effort driving this industry and the wider economies of other outlying kingdoms. But, as Maou further explains, despite the vast growth in wealth there is no extra food or goods being made, with the various economic commodities staying the same as before the war began. It is because of the war that these commodities can be moved around and those who lack food, clothing or money are forgotten about due to the perceived ever-present threat of demon invasion. In the world of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, humanity and the demon society can only exist as they are because of the war, without it economies would collapse and kingdoms would implode.

Through Maou’s explanation we see that Yuusha’s vision of the world is little more than a mirage, a thin-veneer that is easily destroyed once he begins to think about the world and his position in it. He may be a legendary hero, but he is also disposable, a figure that kings and those who rule with them use in order to destroy the Maou, but throw away once he has outlived his usefulness. Furthermore, he, along with his companions were the only ones dispatched to destroy Maou instead of a full army as you would expect given the apparent danger that Maou poses. But, instead of a full army, they send a single figure, a lone hero who can kill Maou, but then be abandoned with his deeds covered up by those in power. His position as Yuusha has no meaning, and if he had killed Maou it would have been hushed up, with another demon taking her place and continuing this mutually beneficial, if farcical war. Yuusha’s realisation that his quest to destroy Maou is meaningless further demonstrates how easily stories about glorious and heroic deeds can be manipulated and used by politicians and those in power for their own needs. Maou, however, suggests another way, a way of stopping the war and bringing peace to the worlds of humans and demons alike without destroying their economies and societies. By manipulating and changing the way people look at the world and do things from the inside she hopes to slowly change how kingdoms view warfare along with breaking up kingdoms dependence of central kingdom for money and food. By joining together with Yuusha she is actively attempting to change how people think through her understanding of economics, along with the interconnected nature of society, culture and power.

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About illogicalzen
An Illogical anime fan in a very Zen-like way.

10 Responses to Maoyuu Maou Yuusha 01 – Yuusha, Maou, Economics and a Dakimakura

  1. Hm, you know. I took note of the socio-economic aspects while watching episode one, but not in the same manner that you did. In fact, I think reading your take on it may have reignited my desire to watch the show. Awesome post.🙂

    • illogicalzen says:

      Well, if that is the case then my post has done its work since I think this series looks significantly better than many others bloggers and people on twitter appear to suggest.

  2. frjoethesecond says:

    I wasn’t going to bother with this show until I read this. No blogger I know of can flesh out an anime and it’s future prospects from one episode as well as you can.

    Thanks for writing this.

    • illogicalzen says:

      I’m glad my post made you take another look at the series since this story has a lot of potential and many possibilities. It’s one of those stories that at first doesn’t necessarily sound engaging, and I often criticise anime for having too much dialogue, but Maoyuu Maou Yuusha looks to be one of those series where the dialogue is really interesting. We also have the central relationship which is fascinating, especially as it goes against the common Idea of good versus evil. I shall have to see what episode 2 is like, but I am considering blogging this series since there seems to be a lot for me to write about.

      • frjoethesecond says:

        Well, I picked this up and thoroughly enjoyed the first episode. Only flaw it had IMO was that they came to an understanding a bit too quickly and without much drama.

        Then again, she had the advantage since he was shocked to find out she was a woman, giving her enough time to use her considerable intellect to convince him to join her. I do wonder though if he’s too open minded. I would expect a hardened combat veteran to shun all persuasion from the enemy. Maybe he has a soft spot for big boobs🙂

        I’m not sure about the pacing. We’ll have to see. In any case, I’m looking forward to reading any further blogging you do on the series.

        • illogicalzen says:

          From reading the manga, Yuusha is actually a fairly naive character who isn’t a hardened veteran, at least not one who has see countless wars, he is an idealist, and one who is easily manipulated by those in higher office, at least until he meets Maou. I didnt have any issues with the pacing, since Maou’s arguments, and the various memories that Yuusha was shown helped to demonstrate how little he has really thought about the war and the reasons for its existence. At the centre of the series it seems to be a exploration of ideals, idealism, propaganda and the reality that these three things can cover over since the reality of war for example doesn’t necessarily fit with the idealism that Yuusha originally entered Maou’s castle with.

          Admittedly, some of the dialogue and explanations had either been toned down or taken out, if the full explanation and conversation between Yuusha and Maou had been put into the series we would probably have 45 minute episodes, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but clearly decisions and editing had to be made. This is just an introduction and the story doesn’t really start properly until they are back in the human world and begin to put Maou’s plans into action, it is this and the other characters that they meet which should make it an interesting series.

          • frjoethesecond says:

            Well, that’s good to hear. I was worried the pacing was going to be thrown out the window like it was with SAO but if it’s largely preserved then that’s great. Good to talk to someone who has insight via the manga.

            • illogicalzen says:

              I havent read the original material, but the manga presents a story where everything is gradually added, new characters appear, the entire situation and what Maou and Yuusha try to accomplish becomes more complicated and complex. In some respects its very much like a lot of manga or anime, it takes a while to really get going, so I think you do need to go by the normal ‘three episode rule’ before making any big decisions about the direction, I mean, we have only really met two characters, and there are at least five or six more before anything really starts – we also need to be properly introduced to Yuusha’s companions as well. What I would like to see is how the story is dealt with in thirteen episodes, I am assuming that it wont be full finished of course, but I hope it is a nicely rounded series rather than the (sadly) normal none-ending that you often see with light novel adaptations.

              • If we’re lucky it will be well fleshed out and get a second season. The worst things they could do is try to condense the whole thing into 13 episodes or give it a non ending. Fingers crossed.

                • illogicalzen says:

                  Part of the problem with light novel adaptations is that the series almost always appears to be ongoing, and it can be very difficult to find somewhere that works well as an ‘ending’ for the anime. We are also seeing a lot of 12 or 13 episode series released, largely it seems to gauge the interest in the story rather than putting loads of funding into a longer series that might fail horribly. You rarely see a light novel adaptation that doesn’t at least contain a relatively interesting story (or the potential for an interesting story since some anime or light novel series suffer from serious problems in their plot and story), but in their haste to create an anime that will sell well enough to justify a sequel and a continuation of the story mistakes are made, with plot points destroyed or mashed together. Only time will tell of course, and it is far too early to say whether Maoyuu Maou Yuusha will also suffer from a none-ending or not, we shall just have to see.

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