The Misfit of Demon King Academy
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 13 of
The Misfit of Demon King Academy ?
“In which our hero sings the anime's opening theme song.”
Here in the final episode of The Misfit of Demon King Academy we get not one but two climactic battles: the first between Anos and “Avos Dilhevia” and the second between everyone and Jerga's spirit of undying rage from 2000 years before. As a straight forward action climax, all the beats are there—dynamic fights, heroic moments, cool new powers, the common man overcoming his own prejudice in the midst of battle—but, unfortunately, it falls rather flat. Unlike the vast majority of the episodes before it, this one is almost all flash and no substance.
In last week's review, I posited a slew of unanswered questions stemming from that episode's terrible pacing. This episode answers exactly zero of those and adds more than a few of its own:
• How much did “Ley” know about the whole plan before Kanon's other souls started joining up in his body?
• How is it that Sasha and Misha's fusion—which is supposed to be permanent—is now temporary?
• Where did Anos' castle (and surrounding city) at the climax come from? Did Misha/Sasha make a copy of it? Or did Anos summon the real thing? If so, were the people at the school still on board as it flew to him?
• Anos implies that Jerga turned every human he drew power from with Asc into a despairing husk—as he drew all the hope out of them to the point where it couldn't go back. So does that mean everyone in the human kingdom is now mentally broken?
• If it was so easy to turn Eleonore into his own magic, why not do it any time before and save her from the anguish of seeing her daughters being sent to war and told to kill themselves?
In this episode, like the last one, the problem isn't figuring out what happened—that's easy enough to follow. It's that the “whys” and “hows” are ignored—except in one specific area.
The reason I said that it's “almost all flash and no substance” in the opening paragraph is because we do learn a key bit of character information: why Ley's doing this whole Avos Dilhevia shtick to begin with. When Kanon was killed by Jerga, he learned about the plan to restart the war 2000 years later. So he used his magic sword to cut the strings of fate and twist everything so that the mythical “Avos Dilhevia” would become known as the demon king instead of Anos. The hope was that if Kanon, acting as Avos, was killed by the humans, Jerga's corruption of the Asc spell would end and peace would return. While 2000 years ago Anos gave his life to bring peace to the world, this time Kanon would give his life to do the same.
A lot of what's driving Kanon comes from one simple emotion: shame. For years, Kanon fought Anos—dying over and over again but believing that he only had to win once for total victory over evil. Yet it was Anos, the villain of the story, who made overtures of peace—not the noble hero. But more than just words, Anos was willing to die and lose out on 2000 years of life just because it was the best chance at true and lasting peace.
It makes sense that Kanon would put himself up as the sacrificial lamb and fight so hard to make sure Anos was spared this time around. Unfortunately, his newly revealed motivations don't match his actions over the course of the series.
Throughout the series, Ley constantly aids Anos, helping him grow in strength and influence even when it would hinder his overall plan. But more than that, Kanon was part of not only Ley but every single demon emperor as well (sans Melheis). This means it was Kanon who tried to kill Anos as Ilvis—and was actively working to kill Misha to create a new body for himself (not exactly a heroic action).
Now how much control Kanon had is not known—and that's the problem. So much is left unexplained in this episode and what is explained just adds more questions in retrospect. While it's fine to leave mysteries to plant the seeds for things to come, these plot holes appear to be left open due to a lack of runtime at best and bad writing at worst.
In the end, if you were watching this series just for the catharsis of watching Anos beat down the fools who stood against him, this isn't a terrible episode—in fact, it probably left you feeling satisfied as a series finale. If, however, you were watching for the surprisingly nuanced characters, intricate background mystery, or the lore that populates this fantastical world, this episode (and the one before it) is a massive letdown.
• So what's the fusion name for Misha and Sasha? Shasha? Misa? (Oh wait, we already have one of those.) Honestly though, I think it's best to just refer to her as “Necron” and be done with it.
• I really wish the Misha/Sasha fusion was permanent—or at least something Anos would need to work at undoing. It would have added the feeling that there were some consequences to the battle—and you'd even get a potential “Tuvix” moral dilemma sometime down the road.
• Misa really got sidelined hard in this episode. Since she was supposed to be Ley's (Kanon's) main connection to this time period, I was shocked she did nothing during his fight against Anos.
• Honestly, I didn't need another fanclub song—especially when the time spent on it could have been spent on the episode's weaker areas.
• You know, their scene after the climax marks the third time Anos has ever met Eleonore. They've spent like a grand total of 15 minutes together. I guess love moves fast when you're a magic girl made from half the soul of a genocidal madman.
• I wonder how the rest of Anos' class is doing trapped in the human city with every human going crazy as hope is literally torn from their souls.
• Aww. No last-minute update on what became of Emilia after Anos turned her into a half-blood.
• I still don't trust Melheis.
The Misfit of Demon King Academy is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
discuss this in the forum (77 posts) |
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history