Recap: The Mage brings the Winter King a treatment for smallpox. She reveals the Crimson Scholar’s plan to unite the humans and the demons. Meanwhile the Hero saves the Demon King from her possession.
The eye-patched general attacks the maids but is stopped by the soldier and finally meets his miserable end. The attack on the southern triad is put on pause due to sick horses and a lack of food. There is no happily ever after yet, but hope is kept alive for now.
Lifesong’s Final Impressions: Maoyu is at it’s best when it deals with the financial and political intrigue of the world it’s based in and it’s weakest when the action picks up. Thankfully, the focus of this anime is on the former and not the later. While Maoyu is often pretty it’s rarely well animated. Stick men plague many moments where a completely static image would have looked better and events, especially the violent ones, are rushed; however, despite it’s many flaws, Maoyu is an entertaining tale of economic fantasy, one that explores medieval racism and politics, bringing fresh perspective to both.
This final episode left something to be desired. While not bad by any means, many of the main driving points of the story remain unresolved. The beyond the hill metaphor is essentially dropped and we see that the church has stolen the Crimson Scholar’s plans to create rifles. This story is clearly unfinished.
Looking at what Maoyu did well, the themes of freedom and rising above “insects” to become human was among the more powerful. The scene where the Older Sister Maid gives her speech as the Crimson Scholar really sold me on this story. Even if the war hasn’t ended, that theme had powerful roots and saw a satisfying conclusion. Not even the eye-patched general could stand up to the power of the little guys sticking together. The metaphor with the arrows on the soldier’s wrist during that final confrontation was both fitting and entirely cheesy.
In the end I find myself satisfied with some events and unsatisfied with others. I am not sure what will come next for Maoyu, but I hope it won’t be left here for long. The Hero didn’t even kiss the Demon King yet! Surely there is more to come and we are being kept in the dark? I can only hope.
Iro’s Final Impressions:
I couldn’t help but be disappointed with this show. The bent towards unnecessary fanservice (why was Woman Knight wearing a thong, of all things?), poor pacing of scenes, and half-baked animation made each episode a chore to watch. It’s a real pity, especially since the story has the potential to be legitimately interesting. However, the plot isn’t without its faults. The Demon Queen is a never-ending font of inventions that were revolutionary in the real middle ages, sucking away any drama caused by the tech level of the show’s fictional world. This is especially frustrating because of the legitimately good bits of fantasy politics and economics Maoyu occasionally brings to the table; knowing that it takes the easy way out more often than not is frustrating. Overall, Maoyu ends up feeling like a cash grab, assuring the audience it will deliver and then bolting when our backs are turned, when it could have been so much more.