Wanna laugh? Read the characters’ names.
Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha: Shijou Saikyou no Maou no Shiso, Tensei shite Shison-tachi no Gakkou he Kayou has been pretty good so far. Phew… that was a mouthful. Annoyingly huge name aside and despite having pretty modest expectations, I have been pleasantly surprised by this series. It is by no means a masterpiece but it has also made no such claims. It’s a very good example of the box standard new guy in a magic academy, fantasy type of anime.
Yes, there are obviously plenty of things that might turn you off from watching this. If you’re not into the whole magic, demon, flamboyantly dressed school children setting, then please look away. If you’re not into overpowered characters, then please look away. If you’re not into incomprehensible gibberish names, then please look away. In case you’re fine with all of that though, then Anos Voldigoad, the demon lord and his time in the demon king academy might tickle your fancy. No reason for me to spoil the story, so I’ll be brief. The main guy, Anos, is the demon lord reincarnated 2000 years after his “death”. Only a month after he’s born -kinda weird- he attends the demon academy which aims to discover the reincarnation of the demon lord. Our smug main character immediately lets everyone know that he is in fact said reincarnated demon lord. Obviously, nobody believes him and they treat him like an idiot. He uses his immense unfathomable power and knowledge of pretty much everything to put everyone in their place. Generally, he does whatever he wants.
Although I said that I won’t spoil the story for you, there is just one point that I would like to make. Despite this only being the fourth episode, we just finished the first arc of the story, which revolved around Misha and Sasha. I thought that the pacing was nice. The production team did a pretty good job. A lot of things happened but it didn’t really feel rushed. Either way, since this was basically the introductory arc, it’s nice to see that they managed to wrap it up quickly, thus leaving plenty of episodes with enough room for development. The reason I’m making this point is because anime like this often seem either too fast or to slow and stretched out.
Although I found the pacing good and the first four episodes satisfying, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the story is groundbreaking or the characters all that interesting. Perhaps, the only exception would be the demon lord himself. Overpowered main characters are not really all that exciting. The only difference this time is that Anos is pretty ruthless in his ways. For example, he repeatedly blasted into smithereens and reincarnated a guy in the first episode just to make a point. His effortless way of doing things as well as his smug face are rather fitting for a demon lord and his extensive knowledge is reasonable considering he was the guy that invented pretty much everything there. So, vastly different to -let’s say- the more cliché isekai protagonist that easily gets the hang of everything, manages to do everything brilliantly by the use of some cheat and so on. Truth be told, it is rather satisfying to watch Anos crush everyone’s common sense of what’s possible. He is what a demon lord ought to be: overpowered, unreasonable, awe inspiring and a misfit.
As far as the production is concerned, the animation was good and satisfying to watch. The 3D elements that were used were also not bad and blended well with the rest of the animation, unlike some other anime from this season. I’m looking at you, Gibiate. Surprisingly, what really stood out was the music. I thought the soundtrack did a pretty good job with tying the scenes together as well as accentuating what was going on. It kinda caught me off guard. The director managed to make the slightly confusing magic understandable, the fight scenes enjoyable, the character interactions sweet (as much as possible) and the mushroom gratin very appetizing. Good job.
Yes, the title is long, the setting familiar and the names kinda weird but watching this anime is definitely not a bad way to spend your free time. The way I see it, the main reason you would want to watch this is the demon lord, his interactions and his OP-ness. In case you don’t enjoy watching the main character power through everything, then you should probably skip this. However, this time I would recommend you give it a go even if this is not really your thing. There are anime that by the description alone make you set the bar low but surprise you in a pleasant way and there are other anime that set the bar high but surprise you in a bad way. This one might just pleasantly surprise you.