It’s time to check out a series where the main character might be more popular than the actual show. That’s a bit of a bold thing to say of course but I feel like this guy gets mentioned all the time. The series is a lot of fun though. I think it did leave a lot of meat on the bone with the premise though since the next season is going to be pretty different based on how this one concludes. I would have stretched out the plot for another season at least but either way this is a great all around title.
The series begins by introducing us to a guy named Anos. He protects a fellow student Misha from bullies one day but then exclaims that he is actually the legendary Demon King that everyone worships. See, the characters may look like humans but the series takes place in a demon society. Everyone knows that the king is supposed to eventually revive but for some reason history appears to have been overwritten and everyone thinks the king’s name is actually Avos. Anos will have to prove himself somehow but in the meantime he must attend school like a normal person. He also ended up being branded as a “Misfit” due to the way the scanner processed his data. A bit odd since he’s the most powerful one there but that’s just how it goes sometimes. Can he uncover the mysteries unfolding around him?
One of the enjoyable aspects of the series is really just the extent to which Anos is confident at all times. The guy is extremely powerful to the point where he can almost literally defeat his opponents with a wave. He destroys someone’s fire spell just by breathing out and his physical abilities allow him to endure any blow. Anos can even come back from the dead at will and has perfect immortality. Now you also have to consider that this is all while the majority of his power is still sealed away. Anos is rarely in danger in this show so you’re not watching it to see him lose.
It’s more like One Punch Man where the fun is in the humor all around him. In one way Anos even has a big edge over Saitama which is that he has much more of a personality. Anos is strong and he knows it so the guy walks around with the confidence of knowing that he is the best. It’s just one of those facts that the others have to accept. He can almost be a bit oblivious about this as well as he doesn’t understand why others don’t recognize him as the strongest. As the series goes on we even see that he’s rather nice for a demon king and is always looking out for others.
It may sound cheesy to hear that the most invincible demon of all is also the most heroic one but on the other hand if he was a villain then it’s not like the world would stand a chance anyway. So it’s definitely a power fantasy type show here but the show holds nothing back and embraces this which makes it work. A show like this will need to still be strong all around to make it work and that’s not a problem here. I enjoyed the cast, the humor is on point, and the fight scenes are really strong when they happen.
I’ve already talked about Anos a lot but to sum it up he is a great main character. He’s a good guy who always tries to do the right thing and doesn’t let anyone impose their values on him. He’s always ready to lecture the other students on what it means to be a true demon king and the guy doesn’t waver. He takes everything in stride and that’s great. No panicking, no second guessing himself. Anos has already had any possible character arcs off screen so you’re looking at a hero in his prime.
The main heroine here is Misha. You can make a case for Sasha, but Misha is introduced first and I would say has a bigger role. She can be rather timid and doesn’t stick up for herself all that much. After meeting Anos she definitely starts to improve there though. Misha has a rather sad backstory and has been through a lot so you can see how she went down that path. I’m still not the biggest fan though as I tend to gravitate more towards the confident characters but she does earn points for stepping up to fight and help as needed. Ultimately she’s not bad and I expect she will continue to improve in the future.
Sasha is definitely a character that is more fun but also makes more mistakes. She’s like a roller coaster going up and down while Misha is someone who is very consistent. Sasha starts off great, gets on your nerves towards the middle of the series, and then bounces back again. Ultimately she has a lot of twists and by the end I can at least understand her choices. They weren’t the best and on the record I do think she should have found another way. Especially when….you’ve got an invincible demon king by your side who seems to have every power under the Sun. Just ask him for help. Seriously that’s all she needed to do and we would have skipped a whole lot of drama.
That’s why near the end it is satisfying to see her and Misha finally trust Anos no matter what and this helps during the climax. The guy has performed so many miracles that I feel like you have to be on his side by the end. There should be no room for doubt and you just keep following him to the end. It’s also the safest place to be…most of the time. More on that later.
Anos’ parents also show up which is rather nice. A lot of the time in these shows you won’t see the parents almost at all but they actually stay relevant the whole way through here. Anos has a good relationship with them and they take all of the twists and supernatural elements in stride. When he grows up in under a week from being a baby they just get excited at how fast he grew. When he ends up being the strongest most popular kid at school they’re still just happy for him. They still act like normal parents in cooking food and hanging out with him/building swords and it’s a surprisingly very wholesome plot. Naturally when they get injured you’d best believe Anos is going to be causing some major damage.
Then you have Lay who is one of the best characters without a doubt. The guy is a super skilled swordsman with a ton of confidence and the only one who can give Anos a fun fight in the kingdom. Sure the guy is still outmatched but at least he fights hard and is considerably more talented than most. The guy is a bit of an enigma as he shows up out of the blue and seems a little mysterious. The guy fits right in with the cast though and also has a lot of confidence of his own. He doesn’t fall into the social traps the other characters try to get him into and just cares about getting stronger. A solid motivation I would always say.
Emilia is the teacher for a while but she’s definitely more of a passive villain as she believes in the class system. The show has a bit of a subplot there where the demons are divided into different ranks based on power, family heritage, etc. Anos couldn’t care less about this though and same for Lay so as they continue to show off with their powerful deeds more people start coming around to this line of thinking. It’s nice that Anos is performing such a benefit to society!
The hero Kanon appears several times in the flashbacks as someone who worked with Anos in order to make the world peaceful. Anos is the one who came up with a way to stop the war between humans and demons and then Kanon helped him execute this. Kanon feels a little naive though and definitely lacks Anos’ power so things get a bit dicey for him but I did like the guy through and through. He’s someone that you can count on to do the right thing.
Then we have a villain who was actually really powerful in Eugo. This was the god of time and as you would expect that means he can actually fight someone like Anos. Perhaps he is still not a complete match but he would make sure that Anos at least had to use his abilities for real this time. I liked the guy’s design a lot too and against just about anyone else his time hax would have likely dealt big damage.
I didn’t care much for the demon generals like Ivis and friends because they all get mind controlled incredibly easy so you shake your head when they’re around. Anos really didn’t have the best followers if you ask me. I suppose they can still be good teachers at the school if needed but that’s about it. Put it this way, if Anos is ever in danger then these guys won’t be strong enough to help anyway. It’s rough but that’s just the facts of the matter here.
Avos was also a powerful fighter. He is someone who is always in the background during the pre arc around the school and then starts making his move during the underwater arc leading up to the climax. He has a good design and can actually fight which goes a long way. Definitely a worthy foe to end the adventure with, certainly more than the evil humans from the water arc who felt desperate the whole time. The water arc was fun with the fights but you were just waiting for Anos to end everyone as opposed to the climax where Anos was fighting for the world in a high stakes battle.
Now while I thought the show was great, it’s not devoid of issues. One of them for me is how despite Anos’ super powers he does let his friends and family get injured at times. I’m not saying he needs to be omnipotent but with his level of ability that should not be happening. It’s why One Punch Man tries to stay very light because if anyone seriously gets injured then you have to have a hard look at the lead and why he didn’t do anything about it. Saitama can get away with goofing off because he always makes it in time. Likewise you give Anos a lot of slack for being slow to the scene when he saves the day but there are times where he doesn’t make it in time.
A big example of this is him telling Misha to go take down a villain near the end of the series but then he just overwhelms her and stabs Misha a bunch until she’s basically dead. Anos eventually shows up to save the day but it doesn’t feel right because he allowed that to happen. He should have put a stop to that way sooner and then there would not have been any problems. Likewise letting his guard down enough for his Mom to be attacked by one of the vengeful villains was also sloppy. When you have a hero who is this broken with a million abilities then any time he doesn’t make it in time feels sketchy. This is something Solo Leveling did really well as the MC was always everywhere using his broken abilities to keep his family safe at all times.
My only other issue with the series is more of a narrative choice. It’s not bad, but as I mentioned before I feel like the plot just ends a little too soon. So a lot of the fun here is in seeing Anos stroll around campus like he owns the place (Because he basically does) but everyone scoffs at him and tries to put him in his place. People don’t know that he is the demon king and that makes for a lot of fun scenarios. By the end of the season this plot can no longer be used which means that the dynamic will be way different. Sure there may be some characters who deny reality but they will be the exceptions rather than the rule. Another season of Anos being the misfit would have been great because there are so many other fun scenarios they could have done with this.
Have him gradually get more and more people to believe him. I’m sure season 2 will still be fun of course and I look forward to what they will do next but I just enjoyed the premise so much. I guess we’ll see if they bring in new fighters who can give Anos a challenge, or more likely he’ll get some new teammates. When Anos sandbags long enough sometimes the villains do actually start to land some hits or put up a good fight. This season had several fights where he did come close to at least a temporary death even if he would regenerate later on. It just takes a whole lot of planning on the villains’ part and also some luck if we’re being honest. If Anos ever goes all out from the start then they don’t stand a chance.
In terms of the soundtrack I would say the show is in the middle. See, the opening and the ending are both great. Easily the highlights of the soundtrack and they have a lot of replay value. The songs are even used during some of the battle scenes which is a lot of fun. However, the themes within the episode aren’t very memorable at all and I would say are probably a little sub par. So enjoy the lyrical tunes but you probably won’t remember the rest of the ost much.
I thought the animation was really sharp. You get a good amount of movement here and a lot of bright attacks. When the show goes into its action phase the anime is able to keep up and that results in some pretty hype moments. The show always looks very modern and I didn’t feel like there were any times where it looked bad. The aesthetic works well for the vibe the show is going for and so you should be very satisfied here.
At its core one last reason why the show is great is because of its replay value. The humor lands so well that you definitely enjoy rewatching some scenes. The dialogue is absolutely on point and while I would never go as far as to say it beats the action scenes, it supports them extremely well. Every time Anos starts a sentence off with “Did you really think…” you know that he’s about to flex on someone yet again. It’s why I included extra images here so you can see some of the variations. It’s part of why this guy is such a great main character. The humor/action blend here is balanced just right so there is always something to enjoy. Mix that in with the fact that the series is really good about avoiding fanservice and you’ve got something that is also easy to recommend to just about anyone.
The show does have some violence to be sure but I’d say it’s never excessive. The two most brutal moments are likely when Anos murders one guy over and over again and then when Misha gets stabbed to death. The former is certainly more violent but because it’s played off as dark humor to an extent you won’t find it as twisted. Still really dark to be sure though. The second isn’t as violent but because you really thought Anos should have protected her and because she’s so defenseless there then it hits a bit harder. On the whole the show is not one that I would say is hard to watch though and is still tame by and large.
There are also other supporting characters I didn’t really talk about much earlier but in general the cast is still on the smaller side for now. I expect we will continue to get new characters from within the school and outside of it. This is the kind of series with enough world building to be a really long franchise so adding more characters definitely makes a lot of sense with that.
Overall, The Misfit of Demon King Academy is definitely a great show. The anime is off to a powerful start right out of the gate and we’ll see if it can keep this up now that the whole status quo will be way different. I’m confident that as long as the writing stays this good there shouldn’t be any problems though. Anos may not be able to surprise everyone anymore like when he entered the underwater battle to save the day but you can probably still work around that with new kingdoms and such. Anos can continue to spread his wise teachings across the land and beat up anyone who gets in his way. That’s the way to go.