I really wish I could recommend Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. Its heart is clearly in the right place with its innocent enthusiasm for Enlightenment values. It’s all about lifting the world out of the Dark Ages by promoting science, peaceful trade, religious tolerance and human rights. It’s too bad that it is so badly executed.
I’m not sure whether the main problem is with the original light novels or with the anime production. Part of what’s wrong is this: they seem to have crammed all 5 of the light novels into 12 episodes. Based on other more successful shows I think a one-cour series has time to do a good job of adapting 2 light novels or 1 light novel and 3 or 4 short stories.
As it is they have jammed so much action into the 12 episodes that there is no time for any character development or even an adequate explanation of what it going on. What we see seems less a proper story than a recap of the high points of the books.
But even though I haven’t read any of the books I suspect the main problem lies with them. A good story requires dramatic tension, which means the characters must be confronted with challenges that seem too great for them. That doesn’t happen here because the main characters are ridiculously over-powered.
The Demon Queen is incredibly smart. The Hero is impossibly strong and seems to have an endless array of magic powers. And if that’s not enough they have a bunch of super-powered friends to help.
In fact anyone who has a modicum of decency and intelligence joins their cause as soon as it is explained to them. So the only ones the Demon Queen and the Hero have to worry about are people who are both malicious and dim-witted. Naturally they are easily defeated.
Instead of drama or characterization we get tired shounen ecchi humor, mostly jokes about the Demon Queen’s breast size and her frustration that the Hero refuses to have sex with her. I would be happy to accept this if there were a good story here, but in its absence I just feel annoyed.
What’s wrong with the Hero anyway? I get the impression that he is supposed to be in his teens, so maybe by proper Japanese standards he is too young for a sexual relationship. So are the Demon Queen and the Female Knight the same age as he is, or older? If they are older then the sexual pressure they put on him is yucky. But it’s hard to accept that they are teenagers given their self-confidence and accomplishments.
It’s too bad. It ought to be possible to make a good story out of this setting and premise. It just hasn’t been done here.