Demon King Daimao Episode 1 Review – Quick Summary
In Demon King Daimao episode 1, “A Demon King is Born!,” Akuto Sai felt excited to transfer to the Constant Academy of Magic Arts. Not only had he successfully passed the transfer student exam, but he’d met Junko Hattori, a wonderful young woman, on his way to the school. When she heard that he aspired to become a Grand Priest, she’d seemed impressed and very willing to help. Her family had historically helped the priesthood! So Akuto felt in high spirits when he met the artificial spirit that would clear him for entry — and announce his vocation. All of his hopes and dreams crashed into a heap when that spirit announced Akuto’s future occupation: Demon King! Did Akuto have any hope of a normal school experience? And what would Junko think?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
Favorite Quote from Demon King Daimao Episode 1
I’m going to give Hiroshi the benefit of the doubt. That’s probably a bad idea, isn’t it? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a post praising some ecchi series that had surprisingly complex and engaging plots. I included Demon King Daimao on that list. This season, it occurred to me. I’m tired, I’m out of energy, and I should really watch and review a series that I know and love. Especially one like Demon King Daimao that has a lot to say about social expectations and one young man’s attempts to break free — and the consequences of his attempt.
Akuto Sai wanted to be a Grant Priest. But then Yatagarasu, an artificial spirit, started a trend of people or institutions that wanted Akuto to follow their visions for his future.
One of those people happened to be Hiroshi Miwa. He said he’d help Akuto patch things over with Junko, but Hiroshi had his own visions of what Akuto should be. So he advised his “Big Bro” to try to sneak into Junko’s room to apologize. When Akuto quite rightly questioned this approach, Hiroshi had the a ready response.
He said (18:41), “Big Bro, you’re the Demon King, for god’s sake. It would cause a commotion if you went in the front entrance.” That’s the Blu Ray translation. I preferred it to Crunchyroll’s, which read, “It’d be a huge deal if you just walked through the front door, considering you’re a demon lord!”
Best in Show Moment for Demon King Daimao Episode 1
Junko, for an instant, began to trust her own instincts. Then the crowd reminded her of the societal expectations for Akuto, and those shattered the moment. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Setup: A Subtle Inditement of Social Expectations Run Amok
Demon King Daimao is a stinging commentary on social norms and expectations. I’m going to try to make the case that it doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves on that front. Whether I can pull it off or not remains to be seen!
This episode introduced us to the main characters, Akuto and Junko. The opening scenes showed Junko acted impulsively and jumped to conclusions. For example, she planted her foot on Akuto’s face after she thought he had attacked her grandma. He hadn’t attacked her. Instead, he had helped her recover from dropping her suitcase.
On the train ride to school, they shared small talk and realized they got along. Watch that scene carefully. He wasn’t actively lusting after her. He didn’t make any disrespectful comments. They genuinely got along, to the point where they realized their goals in life were complimentary, and they both thought they should be friends. He intended to be a Grand Priest, and her family had always provided military support for the church. By the time they arrived at school, she seemed really happy to have met him. Things were looking up for Akuto!
It was just a quick shot, but it showed how much fun the usually reserved Junko had meeting Akuto. The next time he saw her, she thought he was the Demon King. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
But that was because to that point, he conformed exactly to what society expected of him. Society recognized a Grand Priest as an honorable and praiseworthy career.
Akuto watched his hopes and dreams crash and burn when Mitsuko Torii, school nurse and homeroom teacher, introduced him to Yatagarasu, the show’s equivalent of the Sorting Hat. It loudly proclaimed that his future job was “DEMON KING.”
Delivery: Akuto Tried to Go His Own Way
That carried with it a whole ton of social expectations. All of the students now expected him to begin a systematic take over of the school. Mitsuko even warned him some students would try to kill him out of a sense of justice. When he got to home room, he found that Junko had already heard about his apparent change in career. Instead of trusting her own instincts, she assumed that he’d lied to her, being a Demon King and all. She felt betrayed.
One thing led to another, and she challenged him to a duel. Mitsuko allowed it because it was a tenant of Junko’s religion. Her training showed — she nearly sliced him in half with her magical attacks. But Akuto got behind her and immobilized her. No copping a feel; no trying to embarrass her. He earnestly tried to convince her of his honesty, and that he wanted their friendship to continue.
Akuto had absolutely no desire to hurt Junko. He wanted a return to the budding friendship they had started on the train. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
I picked this scene as my favorite because of how perfectly it provides a microcosm of the show’s theme. For just a moment, she relaxed in his arms. Her heart told her he wasn’t lying and that she had felt a real affection for him. That was until someone in the background said (16:59), “She fell for it instantly!”
It didn’t matter what he said. It didn’t matter what either of them felt. The social norms around them had conditioned everyone to interpret him from a certain perspective, and that was that. Watching how he tries to navigate that gauntlet is one of the things that makes this show so much fun to watch!
What did you think of Korone’s entrance? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!
Demon King Daimao Episode 1: Other Posts
Other Anime Sites
- My Anime List: Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou Episode 1 Discussion
- Random Curiosity: Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou – 01