The Misfit of Demon King Academy Review
Season aired: Summer 2020
Number of episodes: 13
Genres: Fantasy, Comedy
Thoughts: When I saw the poster for The Misfit of Demon King Academy, I thought it was another generic overpowered-anime-protagonist-has-entered-the-fray-of-competition-and-also-has-a-harem anime. Only after the urging of my roommate, who read the light novels and manga, did I give this anime a chance. She insisted that a good and fun story was enfolded within a bad marketing poster. Needless to say, she was completely right.
The Misfit of Demon King Academy is a story of a fantasy world where gods, spirits, demons, and humans live amongst each other. After years of endless fighting, the demon king, Anos, has had enough and found a solution to bring peace. He is reincarnated two thousand years later only to discover that while his dream had come true and peace had settled amongst the land, history has been altered drastically. None believes his claim of demon king origin, despite his overwhelming display of powers.
This anime milks the trope of an overpowered protagonist and dials it up a thousand times more than anyone’s ever seen — and this is coming from someone who’s watched One Punch Man, an anime with arguably one of the most powerful protagonists in existence. But in this situation, Anos’s powers are just so incredibly insane and unbelievable that it becomes a great comical point. Unlike Saitama, whose powers are largely relegated to his immense strength and thus a single punch, Anos uses a wider variety of absurd attacks, thanks to the usage of magic which makes his overpowered abilities more fun.
His personality is also vastly different from the other typical overpowered protagonists we’ve seen. Most of them are humble people who try to either downplay their abilities or not show off at all. Instead, Anos literally goes around, claiming that killing him will have no effect. In fact, he has an absolute blast proving over and over again how he’s leagues above everyone else.
You would think that would make him an unlikable protagonist. While he certainly is cheeky, he’s not cocky to the point of unlikability when it comes to his superiority. Yes, he certainly has no doubt he is genuinely the most powerful being in existence, but he’s still more than happy to befriend others who prove themselves kind or unique. Skills, motivations, and effort mean a great deal to this reincarnated heroic military leader. Anos will not shun anyone for simply having less magical powers if they show themselves to be a good person. He’s confident in what he knows, but he’s always happy to learn more and make friends in the process.
Instead of focusing the main conflict on Anos constantly fighting enemies, the anime opted for a mystery instead. This works incredibly well with Anos as a character because fights hold no meaning or stakes when the protagonist is someone who can genuinely never lose. By introducing a mystery, namely who changed history regarding Anos’s past and why, a legitimate conflict appears — one that even the most overpowered character in history can’t solve because it requires brain work more than anything else.
Unfortunately, I think the series backed off a little too much from the fights, especially during the latter half. Thanks to magic being an open book of any type of powers possible, Anos’s display of powers is fun to watch. Whether he spins a castle on the tip of his finger, battles in a catastrophic sword fight with a tree branch, or pulls a giant sword out of his chest as if it were a normal Monday, Anos basically had any ability possible in his arsenal, and the abilities are so ridiculous that seeing them isn’t really an issue at all. Beautiful illustrations with illuminating magic circles grace the magic fights, making them both funny as hell and visually appealing. I think the anime’s decision to put a mystery as its main plotline is a brilliant idea, but I do think they missed out on adding even more fun elements since Anos’s powers are simply so versatile.
Although I loved the ridiculousness of Anos’s powers, perhaps the anime’s decision to drop the more comedic antics was because they needed to wrap up a big arc in thirteen episodes. Even after cutting the silly fights, the plot still rushed toward the end at twice the speed. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a proper way to fix it — there is no way to wrap up the arc cleanly except at where it ended, so the series did the best it could.
All in all, I am very satisfied with the series. The other supporting characters are all likable as well, which honestly could’ve sunk the series if Anos was the only likable character in a large cast. Thankfully, we are given Anos’s wonderful parents, who are supportive and loving and also hilarious to watch because they’re essentially Anos’s biggest fans. Sasha and Misha are two nice demon girls for people to pick favorites over. The anime also gives us an incredibly wholesome romance between Lay, Anos’s right-hand man, and Misa, a half-demon/spirit classmate. The fact that they added a sincere romance on top of a barely touched upon harem made the series even more enjoyable to me.
Tatsuhisa Suzuki does a brilliant job as the titular protagonist, and I can tell he had a lot of fun playing around as Anos. The supporting seiyuus do well and do not drag Tatsuhisa Suzuki’s performance down at all. However, the spotlight and the success of this series still lands largely on Anos’s shoulders (or fingertip). His bravado, his powers, and his dad jokes (yes, he makes dad jokes) all landed well with me in an anime that spoke about the dangers of altering history while still committing to making the audience laugh.
I know many people felt turned off by the poster, and I certainly don’t blame them. The anime poster does not do justice to the true heart of this series. If you want to watch a fantasy anime with an eccentric world, fun powers, and a charismatic protagonist, you should check this one out. I promise you it is not as bad as the marketing has led you to believe it is.
Plot: 7 (Multiplier 3.5)
Characters: 8 (Multiplier 3.5)
Voice acting: 7
FINAL SCORE: 75.5