The Wandering Witch Declares If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord

Posted on Jul 24 2019

Welcome, all, again. Today I’m excited to discuss the new fantasy/slice-of-life anime If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord. To be honest, I had only heard of this as a light novel series; I didn’t even realize that there was an anime version planned. But in her review of the series’ first light novel, Krystallina described a story so very heartwarming that I knew I wanted to experience it. True, the show’s lackluster animation is unfortunate, but the story’s beauty shines through nonetheless!

Like the classic anime series Usagi Drop, this story focuses on the construction of an ad hoc family around an abandoned little girl. Dale is a young adventurer (just 18 years old!) living a bachelor’s dream life: he works when he wants to; he has a job in which he’s paid to commit occasional acts of violence; he has befriended his landlords to the point of probably being able to skate on some things (rent comes to mind). Still, Dale is actually a pretty decent guy. So when he is approached in the woods by a ragged little girl named Latina who seemingly followed the smell of his cooking supper, his first instinct is to feed her. Never mind that her horns are clearly visible, marking her for a demon. Never mind even that one horn is broken off, a sign amongst demons of a criminal or outcast. All of that can wait until she is warmed and fed beside the campfire. And it is only after accomplishing that much that Dale asks her if she is traveling with anyone or if she is truly alone. Both turn out to be true, as Latina leads him to the body of the demon who was accompanying her; Dale will have no answers from her companion, and as a kindness to her buries him. Unwilling to leave Latina alone again in the woods, Dale brings her back with him into the human city of Kreuz.

Upon reaching his home in the Dancing Ocelot Inn, Dale introduces Latina to its owners, his friends Kenneth and Rita. They are a young couple with no children of their own yet, and take something of an immediate shine to Latina–enough so that Rita confronts Dale with the obvious question: what does he intend to do with his young charge? Dale reveals that he as yet has no definite plans for her, and is just playing things by ear. This is not what Rita or Kenneth want to hear, but it’s a testament to Dale’s good character that they accept his answer, innately trusting him to do right by the little girl. And he does, deciding to adopt Latina. In short order, both their lives take on a richer hue, which bleeds over into the innkeepers’ lives, as well. Rita and Kenneth then offer to watch her while Dale works, knowing that he is often gone for days at a time. Thus Latina’s instant family is up to three: a dad, an uncle, and an aunt (maybe more, watching the Dancing Ocelot’s patrons look for her when she becomes lost).

So far this probably sounds somewhere between sweet and sappy. And in other reviews of this show that I’m reading, I keep seeing folks who seem turned off by what they consider an overload of sugar. That saddens me. While I won’t argue anyone’s tastes with them, I personally happen to look for at least one show per season in which I can safely immerse myself and just soak up some love. Such past titles include: Yuru Camp; Non Non Biyori; and even Anne Happy. Besides, don’t be so quick to discount Latina’s past and the obvious suffering she has endured. While I remain sadly unacquainted with the source material (so much to watch and read, with so little time to offer those pursuits!), I can’t ignore the threat inherent in the franchise title. Moreover, assuming that Latina and her companion were left in the forest to wander outcast and alone–or even specifically to die–then might not those who originally so condemned her seek to reinstate her punishment if they become aware of her newfound life? Fate and Dale might have saved her, but what risks remain?

And lastly, a quick nod to Dale. Instant fatherhood is daunting–I know. My own lovely IRL bride of some 30 years came with children from her first marriage (and mind you, I wasn’t much older than Dale). But youth can provide a direct conduit of connectivity to the child[ren] in question, creating a real sense of “us against the world.” Would Rita and Kenneth adopting Latina make more sense? Perhaps to some, but certainly not to Dale or Latina. Seems you can pick your family.

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