The Wandering Witch and The Misfit of Demon King Academy

Posted on Aug 26 2020

Welcome, all, again. Since last my last column appeared here, Corona-chan swung by briefly (I tested negative, thanks!); my profession has been even further vilified; and Memphis regressed from Phase 2 back to Phase 1, devastating the local economy. All of which segues nicely into a discussion of The Misfit of Demon King Academy, a show in which the Demon King of Tyranny is reincarnated after an absence of 2,000 years, only to be tested and vilified by his descendants who have themselves regressed in their understanding of their lineage and powers. These modern demons don’t even know their forebear’s true name, thus inspiring their once-and-future king to vacillate between annoyance and curiosity: How dare they forget?! versus How could they forget? This is not the return that Anos Voldigord planned!

Two thousand years ago, the world changed. Demon King and human hero Kanon (together with the Great Spirit, Reno, and the Creation God, Militia) worked a spell that recast their reality, ending the long war between their peoples by magically separating them–a solution proposed by the Demon King himself. This was no doubt envisioned as a time during which each people could focus upon healing the scars of the past war and building upon their native talents without foreign intrusion. It would offer a chance for those peoples to discover what they might be capable of achieving when left to their own devices and without their efforts being shackled to the needs of war. Seven episodes into the anime, we viewers really don’t have a clue about how human society has progressed during this peace, but the demons have forged a rigid societal hierarchy that has weakened their cohesiveness as a people, even while their collective magic has slowly been losing potency. Upon his return, Anos finds a weak and divided people who are basically awaiting a messiah to return them to greatness. And who also seem to be steeped in a false history.

As a sign of just how far the demons have fallen from their previous power and glory, consider that they have established a school specifically to identify and train the very messiah figure whom they await. Indeed, they’ve become so weak as to think they will need to train their returning King of Tyranny in how to fulfill his role. Wow. Pretty cheeky, right? Because let me tell you (and we’re back to IRL, here), when Napoleon escaped his exile on Elba and returned to France, nobody had to remind him how to “be Napoleon.” No, he just showed up and was immediately thronged by his faithful, who thereafter followed him through a whirlwind three months straight into the Hell of Waterloo. True, ten months is a shorter absence than two millennia, but neither Napoleon nor his followers exactly pooped magic, either. My point is, you don’t sit around all hyped up for your leader’s return with the intention of training him/her to be your leader–at that point, s/he already is or isn’t. Period. So, what’s really going on, here? My own guess–and, as usual, I am completely unfamiliar with any source material and relying solely upon deductive reasoning–is that the Hero took advantage of the Demon King’s sacrifice and manipulated the demons’ race memory in order to weaken them. Think about it: the Demon King’s offer came as a surprise, so the two didn’t take time to discuss minute details. No, Anos simply allowed Kanon to kill him and used the power released to cast the massive spell that restructured their world. But Kanon’s will also influenced the spell, and why wouldn’t he sow discord and confusion amongst his enemies in order to give humanity an advantage if war was reignited at the spell’s end? Wouldn’t you?

So it sounds like Anos will have a tough row to hoe in establishing himself and his legitimacy as new demonic overlord. But that’s where the humor really kicks in! You see, despite the trite and familiar elements of its storyline, this show is both fun and funny! Anos so thoroughly overmatches any challenger–whatever their pedigree–that he should be instantly recognizable as the reincarnated Demon King. . .but that entrenched caste system just won’t allow the possibility! Anos is the mixed-blood child of a demon father, Gusta, and a human mother, Izabella, both of whom he loves very much. But that mixed blood makes him a mongrel within demon society, lowest of any demon, and he is marked as such by his uniform when he enters the academy. And his first and closest friend there, Misha Necron, shares this mark. (Still, I’m thinking they might share more: maybe a past; definitely a future.) There’s a lot to explore here, and this show does so by combining vicious humor with a feel-good vibe. I love it!

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