‘The Misfit of Demon King Academy’ review

Are you a fan of hilariously overpowered anime protagonists with a heart of gold? Then The Misfit of Demon King Academy might be the anime for you. This fantasy anime is not only one of the most fun series to come out of 2020, but packs a surprisingly emotional center. Misfit genuinely has no right being this good.

Based on the light novel written by Shu with art by Yoshinori Shizuma, The Misfit of Demon King Academy follows the recently reincarnated Demon King of Tyranny, Anos Voldigoad. Now 2,000 years in the future, Anos attends Delzogade Demon King Academy, only to learn that a man named Avos Dilhevia has claimed his title and every demon believes him to be the true Demon King of Tyranny. To regain his title, Anos has to prove his abilities to the rest of his demon brothers and sisters.

Anos sitting on his throne during the Mythical Age at the beginning of episode 2, “The Witch of Destruction”

Luckily, it seems like he is more than powerful enough to take them all on, forcing them to either join his side or kill them until they surrender. Of course, normally if you kill someone, they die, right? Sadly, for Anos’s opponents this is not the case, as he can just resurrect them from Hell, only to kill them again, until they pledge their undying loyalty to him. If that was not enough, in the second episode of Misfit, Anos chucks an entire castle with one arm as if it’s a baseball.

With a title like the Demon King of Tyranny and his immense power, you would think Anos would act malicious toward his followers, right? Unlike most Demon Kings, Anos is compassionate toward those who choose to follow him, often saving them when they need him most and helping where he can. He even let the Human hero, Kanon, kill him to bring peace to their two peoples.

Misha and Sasha finally connecting with one another in episode 4, “15th Birthday”

His compassion is most noticeable in his friendship with Misha and Sasha, his two most loyal followers. He’s the first person to really show Misha love and care, as she is a clone of her sister, Sasha. Sasha is similarly hindered. As the original, Sasha hides the love for her sister as to distance herself, as Misha does not have much time left in the mortal world due to how she was created. The sisters along with Anos form most of the emotional center of this show.

This is not to say that the secondary cast is not interesting. Lay Glanzudlii’s story, being an upper-class demon raised by a poor mother, is extremely compelling. Since he is also one of the few characters that can go toe-to-toe with Anos in a fight, their dynamic adds another exciting aspect to the show. Lay’s relationship with Misa Ilioroagu, and how similar she is to his mother, only adds to the complexity of his character. The best part, is that this is only the tip of the iceberg for him.

Anos fighting Lay with a stick he found on the ground from episode 5, “The Transfer Student”

The animation by Silver Link (Ao-Chan Can’t Study, Bofuri) is a visual delight. The myriad of colors and dynamic shot composition used throughout the many fights of The Misfit of Demon King Academy makes the fights a true spectacle. There may not be much substance to the fights in the beginning of the show, but it is unbelievably entertaining to watch Anos absolutely wreck whoever is unfortunate enough to face him on the battlefield. The lack of substance is not an issue near the end of the show due to the increase in stakes and the unexpected depth given to Avos Dilhevia. The studio used the 13-episode run extremely well, making every episode entertaining, while progressing the story in a believable way.

Lay and Misa at the market in episode 10, “Inter-Academy Exams”

Aniplex does not dub as many anime as other studios, so it’s always a nice surprise when a non-shonen show like Misfit receives an English dub. The English dub was ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) directed by Steve Staley (Demon Slayer, Gundam Build Drivers) with script writing by Laura Stahl (Fate/Grand Order-Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia). Both did a great job bringing the show to life, and the entire cast did an excellent job with their characters. I still can’t believe that Aleks Le, the voice of Kazuya from Rent-A-Girlfriend, also voices Anos here. The two characters could not have less in common, yet Aleks captures Anos’s snarky justified arrogance perfectly. Naturally, once I heard Brianna Knickerbocker would be voicing Misha, I knew I would absolutely love the character, considering how much I love her as Rem in Re:Zero, and of course she ended up being my favorite. Kayli Mills brought this wide range of emotion to Sasha, making this the first time since Evangelion that I actually liked a tsundere character. Griffin Puatu (Lay), Jackie Lastra (Misa) and Dawn M. Bennett (Emilia Ludowell) did a fantastic job portraying their characters as well.

The Misfit of Demon King Academy has no right being as good as it is and was one of many great surprise anime to come out of 2020. I came into this show expecting it to be a One Punch Man rip-off, but instead it ended up being a genuinely emotional fantasy epic with one of my favorite anime protagonists of 2020. I cannot believe I loved this as much as I did. You can find it both subbed and dubbed on Crunchyroll.

Rating: 9/10

Published by John Wintroub

I am a fan of all things pop-culture related, especially film, music, anime, and comic books. Killer Queen has already touched this bio and King Crimson has obliterated the rest.

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