Maoyuu Maou Yuusha 08 – The Coming Storm
February 27, 2013 Leave a comment
As with all things, regardless of how successful you may have been in helping others change their way of life, and even helping in the creation of new trade routes, if this course of action threatens the Hegemony of society then they will inevitably be cast out and labeled as a traitor or a heretic. In the case of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, this was an obvious conclusion to the work that Maou had been doing in creating localized economies and an independence from centralized government. 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. But in doing so, various rulers and other nobles are able to prosper from the war and reduce the possibility of popular uprisings due to commonly held beliefs about the nature of demons and what they have done to this world. The constant presence of the demon world, and the ever-present threat of invasion (at least according to central nation and the church) helps to maintain a delicate power balance within the human world. Maou and her new methods of farming, along with the new crop and her increasing power within the Economic Alliance of Free Merchants and Southern Independent Cities (at least in terms of trade) is a clear threat to this power balance. Her very existence, coupled with the miraculous work that she has achieved in Winter Kingdom, including the retaking of Bright Island turns her into a figure that central nation and the church fear.
This delicate power balance is maintained by the ever-present threat of demon invasion; this in turn allows central nation and the church to prosper from a war effort that they perpetuate through the perceived threat of invasion. As we know, war is devastating for those on the front lines, but as Maou has pointed out, this war allows many poorer countries to feed themselves through the war effort that is directly funded by central kingdom and the church. 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 has already explained in a previous episode, despite this vast accumulation of wealth there has been little change in the level of essential commodities. The war has made certain people wealthy, but there remains a lack of food, clothing and other essentials, with entire communities and parts of nations forgotten about due to their lack of strategic importance or buying power. Because of the war however, these problems have been forgotten about, but at the same time, such a world can only exist due to the war, something that Maou wishes to change. The Holy Capital and The Church, along with other central nations quite clearly benefit from the continuation of this current war, and it is in their interest that new reasons for fighting are found. As Seinen Shounin has already pointed out, without the continued conflict with the demon world, The Holy Capital and the Churches power as a unifying force would wane, which would effect their economy and overall position within the human world.
They are a country and organisation that is utterly dependant on the continuation of this conflict to maintain their current power, status and prestige. However, if this war were to become to bloody and dangerous, they may also lose their power because other countries and nations may ultimately rebel against them, while also questioning the meaning of the current war By introducing the potatoe to winter village Maou was able to push forward her new crop rotation method, while allowing the village to produce enough food to see them through the winters and even enough for export. Apparently simple changes such as changing the way you rotate your crops and what you plant can have a significant impact upon the local economy and way people perceive their lives and what they are capable of doing. Maou has effectively made the village self-sufficient, a place where, at least economically they no longer need to rely upon the war effort for food or money and can effectively produce these things for themselves. In doing so Maou has made Winter Village, and by extension Winter Kingdom independent from central nation, along with creating new trade routes that do not automatically fall under the jurisdiction of those in power.
This is good for Winter Kingdom and the Economic Alliance of Free Merchants and Southern Independent Cities because they now have more possibilities for making profit and improving the country through trade and strong production. However, it also upsets the delicate balance of power that this on-going war has helped to maintain, and by extension has made this in power worried that they may suddenly lose their current wealth, status and prestige. This problem is further complicated by the complete lack of any real threat from the demon world. We are told that there is a war on, but, apart from the demons living on Bright Island, we have never seen any demon armies, or any real threat of invasion from the demon world (largely due to the work of Maou). But, if we take this complete lack of invasion along with the current peace that the human world finds itself in, and then throw in the knowledge that with the right farming practices and connections it is possible to be economically independent of central nation and we have a particularly dangerous mix of ideas that threatens the status quo. The problem is that with no impending invasion from the demon world, central nation and the church don’t have a means with which they can mobilise people against this threat to their power. They therefore need to create a common enemy, and as with such things they inevitably brand Maou (as Kurenai no Gakushi) a heretic and a traitor, while also labelling the potatoe and her new agricultural methods as evil.
In this case we see how simple-minded people in power can be, and how easily they can repress anything that may threaten their power regardless of how beneficial it may be to the wider population. Yuusha inevitably decides to solve everything on his own, thus bringing down the wrath of central nation and the church onto his back. He is a character that lives in another world from everyone else largely due to a strength that is arguably too great for a single human to manage. This strength makes people label him as a true hero, while also alienating him from society since many clearly believe him to be a threat, or unnatural. He is used to taking the burdens of others on to his shoulders, knowing full well that he doesn’t really belong in human society at all, and that his only true place is to be beside Maou. By willingly taking on the burden of saving everyone around him, knowing that it will bring the wrath of central nation and its allies onto his head, Yuusha is once again demonstrating how alien he is to human society.
His willingness to take Seinen Shounin to see Gate City, and show him a place where humans and demons coexist further reinforces this. If he were truly ‘human’ then it would be unthinkable to take Maou for her word and even to consider coexistence with the ‘enemy’, but he does, and even wants to show others the possibilities that lie ahead. Yuusha is a curious character that has grown immensely throughout the series, while paradoxically hardly changing since episode one. He is someone who can now see the future, while still staying in the past and continuing to do what he has always done. This ability to move between worlds, viewpoints and worlds is invaluable to Maou, and it may ultimately be his efforts that lead to an element of peace such as it is. That he is burdened with the great weight that is humanities hope, along with his connection to Maou further demonstrates that neither of these characters really exists in universe and that they are almost aliens, even in their own worlds and societies.