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Demon King Daimao Episode 12 Review – Best In Show

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Demon King Daimao Episode 12 Review – Quick Summary

In Demon King Daimao episode 12, “All Done?”, Yamato Bouichirou finally achieved one of his goals: He captured Keena Soga. Now, he approached the source of power, where he planned to use Keena’s role as Principle of Identity to claim control of God. Akuto Sai, with the help of Peter Hausen, has a different plan. Can they reach Keena in time? If they do, how will Yamato react? And where did those guardians come from? Will they help Akuto or Yamato? Or is that completely the wrong question?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Demon King Daimao Episode 12

Demon King Daimao Episode 12: Keena worried about Akuto being reckless.

Keena, in the Crunchyroll sub, said, “Don’t ram it!” I like the Blu Ray translation (see below) much better! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

There’s a fascinating discussion of Keena as the Principle of Identity (or the Law of Identity) over on VS Battles Wiki. Demon King Daimao, at its heart, beyond even the fanservice and ecchi elements, is a work of philosophy. That’s probably why I love it. And smack dab in the middle of that core stands Keena.

Is she just a ditzy redhead? The driving force behind the divinity in this world? Or something more?

Whatever she is, she had a tendency to understate. My favorite quote from the episode is a perfect example of that. Akuto expressed determination to fly Peter Hausen into a battle that would likely end both of their lives. As he strode towards his mount, Keena spoke up, a troubled expression on her face.

“Don’t go ‘pow’, okay?” she asked (13:20). Her heart had to be breaking, but she still kept her statement light. It almost seemed like she didn’t want to further burden him.

I’m going to miss this show! Well, at least until I rewatch it again next year!

Best in Show Moment for Demon King Daimao Episode 12

Demon King Daimao Episode 12: Akuto demonstrated a perfect Baptism by Desire.

In a single paragraph, Akuto demonstrated more faith than anyone else in the series. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Theology Story Time!

One of my favorite aspects of Demon King Daimao is how is skewers social norms and expectations. For most of the season, Akuto fought to free himself of the expectations society placed on him because a strange demonic beast said his job would be Demon King. The last two episodes dramatized Akuto’s battle against those expectations, and with Keena’s help, he won. For now.

Another of my favorite aspects of the show, an aspect I haven’t talked a lot about, is how it takes aim at organized religion. Now, social expectations and organized religion often go hand in hand. By that, I mean that I’ve observed that religious institutions will use social pressure to keep the flock in line. Whether it be as extreme as a stoning, as middle of the road as a public shunning, or simply as admonishments from the pulpit, leaders of organized religion often use social expectations as a weapon.

Demon King Daimao Episode 12: Even the pious people in this story had been fooled

Yuuko Hattori, Junko’s sister, bought into the lies. Even Hiroshi Miwa, Akuto’s best friend, fell in line. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

In this episode, Demon King Daimao skewers that idea. I have a degree in Roman Catholic theology. I do not speak for the church in any way. As Nero said in a recent Star Trek movie, “I do not speak for the empire. We stand apart.” YouTube had a good clip with that scene; Nero says the line around 00:51. But do you want to know what’s really funny about how Demon King Daimao approached their critique?

They used sound, fundamental theology. It was my favorite scene in this episode.

Delivery: Akuto Made the Right Call

In Akuto’s world, the church and even god were against the Demon King. Even when Akuto strove against expectations and tried super hard not to cooperate, they backed him into a corner, and he had to fight. Akuto may have had to compromise on his hopes for non-violence, but there’s one thing he did not compromise on: His dedication to freedom of thought.

The church of that world rejected him. The civil leadership wanted him dead. Even the mechanism that governed social restarts, which is about as cynical an idea as I’ve encountered, said that they would incorporate Akuto’s words into the next cycle, and they would adjust the system to take them into account.

Demon King Daimao Episode 12: It was fitting that robots controlled the cycling of worlds

The robotic guardians/protectors were happily recording what Akuto did — so they could incorporate it into the next cycle. Talk about cynical! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

At the end, just moments before my favorite quote (see abvove), Yamato asked Akuto about his extreme dedication to his course of action. In the Blu Ray translation, Akuto said (13:05), “Because I think living your life sympathizing with others in your everyday life is more powerful than living your life based on a religious belief or some story.”

The “religious” belief and “some story” targeted the church and civil authorities, respectively. The funny part? Akuto just gave a perfect articulation of the concept of Baptism by Desire. He wanted to do what was right, because it was right, and consequences be damned. Literally. He demonstrated greater faith than anyone else in the entire series. And the dude was the Demon King.

How cool is that?

What did you think of Keena’s role in this story? What was your Best in Show moment? Please feel free to let me know in the comments!

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