Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou

Alt titles: Demon King Daimao

Reviews

ThePatches's avatar By on Jun 28, 2010

Story

I have a deep affection for stupid, ecchi shows. Ninja Nonsense and Penguin Musume Heart rank among my favorite diversions and I'll watch a good, nudity-filled Xebec series any day of the week. Anime with no pretensions that provides amusing, modesty-driven humor forms an enjoyable staple in any male anime fan's diet. Riding high on the moderate success of Ladies Versus Butlers, I checked out Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou on a whim and only needed two episodes before I was hooked.

Playing out like the bastard child of Fist of the North Star and Ladies Versus ButlersIchiban Ushiro no Daimaou concerns the trials of Akuto Sai as he wrestles with his fate. The well-meaning high school student fights his destiny as a Demon Lord until circumstances drive him right to it. At the start, fan service drips from every frame as Akuto's powers and the machinations of greedy classmates surround him with a harem of girls who can't seem to keep their clothes on. These earlier installments burst at the seams with the sight gags, character humor, and punchy one-liners that follow the practiced formula of ecchi hits like Kanokon. But after a delightfully manic two-part beach episode an actual plot emerges. The progression trades heavily on Akuto's personality and surplus of macho as its driving force, and as the show starts to bring more pieces onto the board, the plot holes and logical inconsistencies become harder and harder to ignore.

Of course, the series pluckily bites off more than it can chew in order to engineer a suitably satisfying battle as its finale, and consequently the back half of the anime quickly gets confused when it chooses to ramp up instead of backing down. That the destiny of a demon lord should extend beyond the confines of his high school should surprise no one, but trying to cram a story that contains political intrigue, clan warfare, time travel, and the death of gods into a twelve episode anime would prove challenging even for a series playing the whole thing straight, but Ichiban attempts these contortions while also stopping to show naked students at every possible opportunity. However, only the confused final episodes with their sequel-begging harem ending should leave a bad taste in viewers' mouths, and even then, the over-the-top events should have them laughing and fist pumping right along.


Animation

Much like the tramp in your high school class, Ichiban isn't the best looking in the bunch, but it's got the goods where it matters. What it lacks in imaginative design it certainly makes up for in gusto and smartly applied computer effects. Setting aside Sai's clever facial detail, the series' character designs lack imagination. The girls are attractive enough, to be sure, but the costumes lack the garish creativity of Queen's Blade and the animated exhibitionists themselves don't engender the same affection as the delightful and noseless ladies of Xebec titles. But, once the action gets rolling the anime doles out its modest budget to maximum effect. Each of Sai's battles sports at least one moment of sheer animation-fueled adrenaline and the motion, while filled with its share of corner-cutting, communicates Ichiban's underlying devotion to Sai's badassery.

At the time of this review, only the censored prime-time broadcast was available. Due to the heavy reliance of the show on nekkid fanservice, a considerable amount of scenes sported some kind of censorship. While the tiny SD pictures of each character that appear to cover their important bits amused in the same manner as Kanamemo's cat faces or Chokotto Sister's caution tape, the occasional black swaths that covered the screen during some scenes proved to be a considerable eyesore.


Sound

When the visuals fall short, the onus of entertainment falls to the voice cast. Ichiban's actors take that charge and run with it up the nearest mountain where they plant a victory flag before performing synchronized pelvic thrusting to the heavens. Aoi Yuuki electrifies Korone and by extension the anime like a pair of defibrillator paddles set to "cook", and becomes an instant source of laughs whenever she appears. The seiyuu's rapid-fire, deadpan delivery can crush three lines of dialogue into cutting, nuanced one-liners that feel like entire routines crammed into a single, breathless bullet point. If the silky-toned straight man act weren't enough, Yuuki-san uncorks a squeaky imouto voice during episode six, which returns from time to time with great effect. Following a close second, Jouji Nakata's Peterhausen shows off one of the best "stand there and be awesome" performances in anime by a man not named Norio Wakamoto. With his gruff pontificating providing dollops of badassery on demand, the remaining cast has little left than to fall in behind: Beyond the sufficiently-shounen Akuto Sai provided by Takashi Kondo, Aki Toyosaki bubbles along in the comfortable role of Keena Soga, dispensing her trademark enthusiastic moe into any scene in which she participates and Shizuka Ito whips herself into a frenzy of lusty proclamations in the role of Etou.

The music, on the other hand, hews closer to the simple-but-effective level of the visuals. Though it's not particularly overwhelming at first listen, the guitar-heavy opening theme matches the manly spirit of the anime and serves as the perfect incidental music when Akuto and the gang gear up for fighting. The tamer end theme trades on the ecchi harem nature of the show and uses a sappy pop track that becomes increasingly out of sync with the darker tone of the series as the episodes pile on.


Characters

Akuto Sai starts like a typical harem ecchi hero: kind, polite, and easily embarrassed. Fortunately for the show, he doesn't stay that way. Instead of bending when pushed, the spineful lead pushes back. Hard. With magic. The dizzying inevitability of the plot gets most of its fuel from the combination of Akuto's sense of justice and his growing indignation at the events that surround him. And while his power grows in and changes in a manner more perplexing than Ichigo Kurosaki's, viewers can draw a line between the unassuming and amiable young boy at the start of the series and the energy-blast flinging machine of mayhem on display during the OP.

Akuto might be the main character, but Korone is far-and-away the series' gem. For all her sedate mannerism, the precocious android's motormouth simultaneously provides humor and drives the plot forward. By dancing on the edge between emotionally invested and complete disinterest, she also provides a welcome dollop of quirky mystery in a show that remains otherwise preoccupied with a lot of big questions. The rest of Sai's harem falls into standard anime archetypes without much resistance whether it be the tsundere Junko or the perverted oujo-sama, Etou. Unfortunately, Ichiban's obvious desire to sell R-rated figurines bogs the cast down with a cart of cute, if one dimensional members of the student council. They have some animus toward the end of the show, but their motivations remain completely obscure. While their powers and actions certainly entertain, they steal some valuable screen time from the plenty interesting leads.


Overall

For fans who can enjoy a good, stupid action romp wrapped 'round with pleasant ecchi eye-candy, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou provides an amusing diversion. The decent visuals and remarkably solid character development displayed by the lead work well with the slapstick humor to create a witch's brew worth checking out if you can swallow the series' deliberate lack of intelligence. Though not as clever as Penguin Musume Heart or as pretty as Kanokon, this anime nonetheless emerges as a sleeper hit from the Spring 2010 season.

6/10 story
6.5/10 animation
7/10 sound
7/10 characters
6.5/10 overall
Mendacious's avatar By on Dec 1, 2014

Incomprehensible Expansionism with Nude Girls

At the outset the plot is utterly daft and disjointed with magic and technology mixed with prophecy and god all inside a school. Starting out with a complicated and vague premise is fine so long as it is shrunk and clarified as episodes pass. But this does not happen and instead the nonsense grows and mutates to gigantic incomprehensible proportions. The ending is just a fragmented bunch of events with no interconnecting relationships.

The protagonist is yet another dull, passive, unquestioning do-gooder male from some anime archetype factory where they mass produce these characters. The supporting characters come from other factories where they are designed to be as unmemorable as possible. All are shallow and if the creators made them any more so they would be two dimensional, oh wait... The android girl probably has the most charisma amongst them, its that bad.

If you are looking for a harem with mountains of fan service then watch the first six episodes and skip the rest. Otherwise miss it entirely.

3/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
2/10 characters
3/10 overall
angelsreviews's avatar By on Aug 6, 2013

Welcome to a magic school that places you based on what you will be after graduating. One boy has been chosen one and was left on the doorstep to be token care of… welcome to the world of Harry Potter… er… I mean Demon King Daimao. But in all seriousness, this show starts out feeling much like a Harry Potter novel then its own thing.

Akudo Sai is a rather interesting character as he wants to be a real holy man with valor so he can be a high Priest but yet ends up in a lot of perverted scenes in seeing women have dressed and up their skirts. He has the feeling of a naïve little boy without being just like Alan from D.Gray Man which would be a little bit over the top. His storyline when he was little is just the same as Harry Potter in that he was left on a doorstep and is considered the hope of someone.

Junko Hattori is a very tomboyish character who at first starts out as a loving friend and then turns her back on him when he is seen as the demon king. Since she follows the Suhara religion, she pretty much is aloud to fight all the time. I don’t really understand why she wears a Fundoshi which looks like a really uncomfortable thing. They show her underwear all the time.

Kena Soga seems a bit annoying, and magical girlish. Even though she acts stupid, it seems she is rather smart and her feelings are always true. She may be annoying but I came to like her a little more after each episode. The only thing I don’t like is

Korone has the personality of Yuki from Haruhi Suzumiya and yet she act least jokes. I’m not sure weather or not I actually like her though she does make the show interesting at times. The perverted jokes though do get a bit overboard. For being an android, she seems to love to make fun of all the misunderstandings that happen.

Hiroshi Miwa is pretty much the wimpy boy who is always being picked on. He seems exactly like Youhei from Clannad in that he is always following around his ‘best friend’ for whatever reason. He never seems to think about what he is going to say which makes things even worse for Akudo because most of the misunderstandings are made because of him.

There are a lot of misunderstandings and the show ends up using them as a comedy skit, many times to the point that sometimes it feels old. Girls always end up in fights where their clothing gets ripped off but it’s not as though it’s as bad as Master of Martial Hearts. In this idea, there is actually a reasoning behind the clothing ripping, not because its tissue paper. The show moves rather fast actually and yet, sometimes it feels a little too fast (I know… gasp! An anime that goes to fast in its plot!) but still, it makes me feel like I’m missing something.

In the end, it leaves a few questions that I have had, not really explaining much of the full structure. They keep talking about god this and god that but it doesn’t explain much of what that really is. Also, it has some of the feeling from Air: 1000th Summer. Not going to explain how but you will understand when you watch more. They change so many things around and leave it open ended.

The animation is pretty nice and standard, looking a lot like D. Gray Man in how the characters move and the darkness it sometimes has. The ending animation doesn’t hide that this is all a harem in that the main character is seen being paired up with multiple girls at the same time and them all kissing.

I love Akudo’s voice in the English dub, giving him just enough naïve-ness to make him feel innocent but yet at the same time, shows a bit of strength in what he believes in. Chris Patton is pretty good at voicing characters like that well. Greg Ayres is also pretty good at the voice of Hiroshi who is pretty much a minion. This is a guy that does the best as a minion I’m not sold on a couple of the girls voices though since they seem like mostly a hit or miss. Even the music has an air of Harry Potter, making it really hard for me to take seriously.But yet it still has a rather hip and fun feel to it.

This actually has become one of my favorites.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
8/10 overall
MihaiShadow's avatar By on Jun 19, 2010

Afther you watch episode 10 evrithing will be in the WTF is going on zone...and the ending sucks...i dont even know what they did to this anime...maybe it is becas the manga is behinde the anime..and they came up with random crap....i just dont know...hope if they make a second season it will be better.....overall its good anime to waste some time with..if you dont have like something better to do like go to the bathroom !

6/10 story
5/10 animation
7/10 sound
5/10 characters
7/10 overall
Micah10SN's avatar By on Apr 11, 2011

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou is an entertaining anime. it has it's ups and it's downs, but it's still good. I watched the series pretty quickly, so it's a good pass-time. It has a great cast of cool, funny, and cute characters. it's absolutely a good anime worth checking out... so... check the series out.

5.6/10 story
8.4/10 animation
7.9/10 sound
8.9/10 characters
7.6/10 overall