Original Run: July 4, 2020 - September 26, 2020 Number of Episodes: 13 Genre: Action, Fantasy Based on the Series Created By: Shuu
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for The Misfit of Demon King Academy. Reader discretion is advised.***
Two thousand years ago, the all-powerful Demon King, Anos Voldigoad (voiced by Tatsuhisa Suzuki), sacrificed himself to usher in a long-desired peace. Still, he knew he would rise again to take back his throne and the world he created.
That day has finally come.
Anos arrives at the Demon King school he founded two millennia ago to claim his title. However, much has changed since his demise. This is of little concern to him, though. Anos still possesses the same unmatched strength he wielded so many generations ago.
As it is, Anos’ commanding personality has not gone unnoticed. He quickly rebuilds his following, starting with the skilled Necron sisters, Misha and Sasha (voiced respectively by Tomori Kusunoki and Yuuko Natsuyoshi). Soon, Anos is ready to show all demon-kind that their true king has returned.
Well, damn, The Misfit of Demon King Academy (Misfit) was a lot of freaking fun.
Was this series deep with an eloquently told plot that had layers upon layers of meaning and substance? No, it was incredibly convoluted in places (more on that later). Still, it was immensely entertaining, which was more than enough to hold this show well above water.
I like series that humiliate arrogance, and I don’t believe I have seen an anime from 2020 do this as well as Misfit did. This aspect carried the show. Had it not been here, I believe this review would have gone in a different, more blasé direction.
Don’t get me wrong; other things impressed me about this series, too. However, there was nothing more satisfying than watching a stuck-up, silver-spoon, holier-that-thou little snob get beat to kingdom come. It was like nectar to me, and I won’t apologize for admitting it.
Think about it; Misfit had a potentially massive problem on its hand. It had to keep a story whose main character was absurdly overpowered interesting for thirteen episodes. Although this show didn’t quite make it the whole way, it got surprisingly far, and it pulled this off in two ways.
First, since no opponent could lay a finger on Anos Voldigoad, the titular misfit, this series gave people an unfounded bravado to think they could. The most common tool to achieve this was simple classism. The demon world was split between the elite pure-blooded demons and the second-class half-bloods. After two thousand years, the pure-bloods considered themselves, when compared to the half-bloods, to be gods.
Anos was listed as half-blooded; thus, he was someone who could be ignored. That was until he ripped off someone’s head, shoved it up their ass, resurrected them, and repeated the process twenty times.
Second, Misfit utilized several well-rounded support characters.
If Anos bitch-slapping snotnose jerkweeds was what I found most entertaining about this show, Anos’ party was what I found most endearing. Aside from holding their own against anyone who wasn’t their leader, Anos’ team was noticeably distinct from other, more typical adventuring groups.
The Necron Sisters, Misha and Sasha, were Anos’ most loyal lieutenants. These two were characters that never needed saving in the damsel-in-distress sort of way. Anos could send them off to hold their line while he was busy doing something else.
These sisters weren’t just pretty faces, is what I’m trying to say.
Also – let’s get this out of the way – having two girls always at the side of a male protagonist; it’s not hard to imagine the road most often traveled in this circumstance. Be that as it may, this was yet another place where Misfit distinguished itself. I mean, yeah, okay, Sasha had a massive crush on Anos; there’s no getting around that. Misha, on the other hand, was another story.
Although Misha did love Anos, there was enough distance between them to accept that she did so in a platonic way. I can believe the two were friends and nothing more. So, despite having all the pieces to be one, Misfit was not a harem anime.
After the sisters, there was Lay Glanzudli (voiced by Takuma Terashima), who was also trope defying. A common situation in other action-fantasy series, if there’s already a primary male member in an adventuring party, any other guy is regulated to a comic relief role. That, or they’re utterly overshadowed and forgettable; they are not meant to share the spotlight.
Misfit did things a little differently.
Lay was much more than Anos’ sidekick; he was integral to this show’s narrative. Not only that, Lay was given a romantic side plot with another female member in Anos’ party. It’s sad that such a thing is noteworthy – but a girl companion falling for someone other than the male protagonist, that’s so rare it’s almost unheard of in anime.
Aside from the satisfying fights and the characters, this series was also exceptionally well animated. Actually, let me back up a little. Misfit was no visual masterpiece; it was good, but it wasn’t wow. What made me happy was what I didn’t see – s@#$y C.G.I.
This show had massive explosions, gargantuan energy blasts, and fighters moving at blinding speeds. Despite that, there was none of that pisspoor, drag-and-drop, early 2000s video game-esque graphics that other anime can’t help themselves from using. I thought such animation was the standard for these types of series now. I’m glad to see I’m wrong.
In so many ways, Misfit was a phenomenal surprise.
Misfit’s ending was terrible.
Fortunately, this conclusion didn’t break the show since the story wasn’t heading in much of a direction anyway. Everything that occurred before the finale was what made this series worth watching. Therefore, you can go into Misfit without needing to worry about its lackluster resolution.
That said, what in the hell happened here?
Misfit had a simple formula – someone would talk smack, and then Anos would beat them down. It wasn’t exactly thing outside the box, but it worked. Then this ending came along with an air of uncharacteristic complexity that said, “We are just going to have, like, twenty things happen at once. Also, now’s the perfect time to do a full exposition dump using words that are both archaic and make no damn sense.”
And it just wouldn’t stop.
Every time it seemed like the enemy was done and defeated, they would get back up for one more last-ditch ultimate attack. Hell, even the heroes did this. Episode thirteen, in particular, dragged on, easily making it the dullest point of the entire series – a rather impressive feat given the climactic battle’s scale.
The speed of Misfit’s convoluted escalation was jarring, as well as definitive. Until the finale, I thought this series could find several ways to squeeze out enough material to leave the possibility of a second season open. I suppose the likelihood of a continuation isn’t zero, but it sure is a lot harder to do now.
Nevertheless, and this is important, Misfit’s ending was only a small part of its overall package.
You have to realize that this show fully embraces its overpowered nature. Therefore, if you’re looking for a story with well-balanced fights filled with tension, then you’re in the wrong place.
However, if you want a series that’s fun as hell and has a willingness to shake up what an action-fantasy anime is, then I’m hardpressed to think of anything that did that better this year. I’m not sure what I was expecting out of this show, but I got much more than I could have hoped for.
The Misfit of Demon King Academy has earned a recommendation.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise The Misfit of Demon King Academy? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.