Maoyu Episode 12 and Final Impressions

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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.

12 episodes later and the two haven't even kissed.

12 episodes later and the two still haven’t even kissed.

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.

Even the eye-patched general falls before the power of invention.

Even the eye-patched general falls before the power of invention.

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.

Spin off when?

Spin off when?

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.

4 thoughts on “Maoyu Episode 12 and Final Impressions

    • They rushed the explanation, but basically the idea was for the Winter Kingdom and it’s allies to use the smallpox cure as leverage for peace(and profit). As I understand it her plans were focused more on making the southern kingdoms independent than on destroying the central ones. She didn’t know about the war that had started after all.

      • I know she didn’t know about it, but it was still her goal to *prevent* it from happening. She didn’t realize that her plan was flawed when she finally returned to the human world and learned about it, nor was she ever admonished for letting things get to that state. Plus the situation is about to get even more ridiculous now that she’s essentially given everyone guns and reasons to use them.

        It’s really hard for me to root for the Demon King and her allies. As far as I could tell, the moral focus of the show was “If Demon King does it (or approves of it) it’s okay”. Anyone not on her side was a blustering strawman that only existed to ‘prove’ Demon King’s points, rather than an actual challenge to her ideals.

    • Ah, I see what you mean. The “war” had already been settled by the time she returned. She didn’t learn about the guns being stolen by the central kingdoms. The Demon King’s plan was never to stop all conflict from ever happening but to help both the demons and the humans reach a point where their culture of warfare would no longer be necessary or beneficial. The story basically put all the technological advances in her hand that changed real world history and let her bring them to the table as she needed them. There is no denying how powerful that would make someone I think.

      The Demon King mentioned in episode one that she was willing to get her hands dirty and it was later hinted that she had committed grave sins before ever becoming the Demon King.(though we never learned what those were) Personally, I do not think this anime was trying to set the Demon King up on high moral ground. She did become something of a saint like figure by the end, but it wasn’t actually the Demon King who achieved that, it was the Older Sister Maid.

      The way I see it, the Demon King is a character who is willing to force the world to develop for her own dreams instead of letting it run it’s own course. If she is good or bad is something very much open to debate in my opinion. The interesting thing is that all of her advances make sense for the greater good, but does that make her justified? Many of her plans are left in motion at the “end” of the anime.

      The cast fighting to make the Demon Kings plans justified is what I find so interesting. The Demon King can’t save the world without getting her hands dirty, but maybe the hero can make it so that she doesn’t have to. I guess it is kind of silly when you think about it like that, but I still appreciate it for what it was trying to do, even though it didn’t finish. I think one of the biggest flaws of Maoyu is how fast everything is established and events progress. It is easy to miss the little bits of development in the theme and cast.

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