Become mine, hero!
It’s time for yet another Under Your Radar. This title is one that really doesn’t even have much of a fanbase at all compared to everything else – probably the smallest one out of all the stuff I’ve previously covered in this segment. And it is for that reason that I introduce you to Maoyuu Maou Yuusha (“Maou” means wither “Demon King” or “Satan”, “Yuusha” means “Hero”, “Maoyuu” is the usual Japanese shortening of stuff by putting the syllables from two main words together – the official translation is Archenemy and Hero).
It’s a light novel series by Mamare Touno that originated as posts on 2chan (Japanese 4chan), became a web novel, making the light novels themselves mere compilations. It has since been adapted into at least one drama CD, a series of VComics and six manga adaptations. Three being actual adaptations, one being a 4-koma, one being a one-shot about the demon queen wanting to lose weight, and one being a spinoff that focuses on the magician that was in the hero’s party (he ditched his entire party before sneaking off to the demon world on his own). There are differences in how the three proper adaptations handle the story, and it’s hard to tell which is which, so I’ll be providing Batoto links to the three main manga adaptations through the pictures that are displayed on the blog post, with the caption summing the difference in handling. The light novels are only translated in teaser form, sadly, and the spinoff hasn’t been scanlated at all.
Maoyuu opens with a scene of what would normally precede the final battle in an RPG. The hero confronts the demon queen, who asks the hero to become hers, which the hero refuses. Rather than go into an all-out fight, the demon queen responds by showing the hero graphs and research to prove that killing her would do nothing to end the war between the demon world and the human world. Likewise, killing the hero would not benefit her for the same reason. If either were to be taken out, they’d be replaced, since both sides of the war can only have a stable economy because of the war. So the two agree to belong to each other, and begin their work to end the war without a victory or a loss on either side by making the war no longer necessary. So the two, along with the demon queen’s head maid, occupy an empty mansion in a rural area, in disguise, and try to implement ideas for the benefit of all. The hero then finds himself to be useless, since all he can do is destroy, but I digress.
One odd quirk about this series that you may have already noticed – nobody in the series has a name. They’re all referred to by their job or title, without a “the” or anything in front, as if the hero’s name was “Hero”. You get used to it after a while, but it’s weird all the same. I suppose it makes it easier to remember all the names, but it’s wholly unnecessary. I mean, I’m generally bad at naming, but I still give my characters names, uncreative or not, punny or not.
In any event, a story that looks as if it should be combat based sorta surprises you when you find out that its focus is economics and romance, right? Well, a ways in, we get to see some fights, and they made the reason for the lack of unimportant fights perfectly clear, although you could have logically figured it out. If the hero was already about to fight the demon queen on the first page of the series, then he’d already be at an end-of-the-game power level if this was an RPG. It’s obvious who’d win every single fight in the series because nobody can match the hero, his party, or the demon queen, and none of the aforementioned have any reason to fight each other.
On the romantic end, it’s funny how the demon queen sees herself as unattractive because her breasts are large. She calls them “useless meat”. It’s almost become a meme of sorts among the fanbase.
So yeah. It’s an unusual story, that’s for sure. It sure caught me off guard when I first ran into it.