Some shows have great stories. Some shows having characters that move the soul. Ones that take you on journey of highs and lows. Some anime talk about the human condition, others are epic battles, or comedic slices of life. Some take you to another world, while others just have too many girls to choose from. It is that variety of choice that has made Anime so great, but like with everything, sometimes you just need to have junk food. A show that doesn’t do anything but tickle that indulgence you always had, regardless of its strange plot, empty characters, or sometimes baffling decision. That is the kind of anime we are talking about today. After the cut let’s take a dive into The Misfit of Demon King Academy.
If you’ve followed me over these last few years, you’ll know that I am an unabashed fan of the Isekai series In Another World with my Smartphone. A series that has been reviled by some but loved by me. Mostly because Smartphone is completely upfront with what the story is about: a male fantasy power trip where our lead just solves problems with his increasing number of girls. Many stories have done this to varying success, but Smartphone just straight up acknowledging that in the opening act of its first episode does a lot to endear you when it might otherwise turn you off. While Misfit does not have that moment, it does however follow in the footsteps. Because in all honestly, Misfit has a confusing and convoluted plot, too much worldbuilding, its characters are shallow and one dimensional, there is no real struggle for the main character, and most of the story revolves around a nigh unkillable god, his two bitches, and a group of cheerleaders who fangirl song they sing about him is a plot point. It’s dumb, stupid, and in many ways a great example of what the “discourse” would rail against the medium for.
And I absolutely loved it.
The devil may care attitude, the complete insanity of the plot, and the hilarious level of power that series lead Anos has doesn’t need to be explained or justified. We don’t need to have a season long character arc, or a zero to hero climb to the top, at least not always. Over these twelve episodes, simply watching Anos roflstomp his way through one challenger to the next, all the while being a devoted son to his parents, (of which the mom is the best character in the series) and a friend to Misha and Sasha is just really fun to watch. From repeatedly killing the stereotypical loudmouth rich boy in the pilot, flinging literal castles at his enemies during a student match, to reincarnating a woman who hurt his mom into a half-breed demon out of spite. Anos Voldigoad is a class A example in overpowered male power fantasy, but you don’t care because it’s so fun to watch, and even when the show gets bogged down in confusing plot, remains the best part of the series.
I’m serious about the plot too. While it was easy to follow at the start, with Anos just showing the Demon King Academy who’s the boss and helping his two future baby mamas with their personal problems. The idea of reincarnated demons and heroes, and power systems and country politics are thrown at you so fast, that it often becomes overwhelming. I was completely lost in the final climax, when we see Anos and the reincarnated form of the hero Kanon, who might have been the character Lay, then wasn’t, then actually is. I felt there were vast swaths of character development and story cut out, which as this is a light novel adaptation is likely true, but I also couldn’t really fault the series for it. This isn’t the next epic series that will establish a long running franchise, it’s a trashy paperback story, which is exactly what I wanted it to be.
The Misfit of Demon King Academy is a great throwaway anime. A palette cleanser after the heavy year of shows like ReZero and the like. While I don’t love it as much as BOFURI, 2020’s other similar outing, Misfit is a show that exudes confidence and comfortability. It knows exactly what it is, doesn’t care about being anything else, and trusts that people will overlook its novice level plot and storytelling, just to see Anos wreck some face. And that is 100% ok in my book. Not every anime needs to re-invent the wheel or bring something new to the table. A healthy balance of trash and treasure is vital for any industry to survive and turning your nose up at either won’t do anyone any favors. So, if you are in the market for a greasy junk-food like anime like that, you can’t go wrong with Misfit. Unless of course you want to see a girl do it, then just go watch BOFURI.