8 CommentsMaoyuu Maou Yuusha / By Inushinde /

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha Episode 3: Money, Potatoes, Respect

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In the modern age, potatoes are an oft unappreciated crop; able to thrive in the harshest conditions and extremely nutritious, the sheer impact that they have on maintaining a sustainable population is nothing short of staggering. Even so, cradling potatoes in a box like precious treasures, and people flipping their shit over the miracle of the mashed form, is a bit silly when looked at from our spoiled age of commonplace tubers. Incidentally, I threw on some hashbrowns immediately after finishing this, so it sure did something right by stirring my potato cravings. Goddamn.

Even lighter on the drama than last week, this episode delved further into improving agriculture on a large scale, moving past Crop Rotation Country to cross the border into Potatopolis as Hero and Maou try to convince the clergy to push potatoes onto the famine-stricken peasants like lifesaving drug dealers. Potatoes are regarded with the same importance as cocaine in Scarface, a miracle that leads to money, power, and not starving to death in a hovel with seven other families.

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Okay, so maybe potato-pushing is a purely philanthropic gesture on Maou’s part, but the discussion between her and a rather boisterous nun rang more of a drug deal than anything else. Unfortunately, this means we probably won’t get a scene with Maou standing off with dozens of armed thugs in a palatial Miami mansion, but I guess I can live with that, as long as farming practices are explained with the same level of approachability.

Thankfully, the character and world development isn’t just confined to Maou making mooneyes at Hero while lamenting her maid-massaged boobs. That’s certainly its most blatantly awkward element, and it continues to be as clumsily implemented as physically possible, but Maou does have more going for her than… well, you know. Even though her chemistry with Hero is inactive at best, it’s nice to get a glimpse into how she tests the potential of two vastly different organizations to further her own goals; it not only shows how persuasive and plain sly she can be, but it perfectly illustrates how a wide variety of groups, from merchant guilds to the clergy, can help Maou.

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For instance, while the church does ultimately look out for itself before its flock, it sits on a foundation of charity and goodwill toward men (but not demons, because ew) and sees the potential use of potato-farming as a means to both further its sphere of influence and help the impoverished. It’s a mark of symbiosis between them and the community.

Completely at odds with the Church, on the far, far, far end of the goodwill spectrum, lies the Guild, which seeks the greatest profit possible, and is not morally opposed to eliminating anybody standing in its way—an organization aptly referred to as a monster by Maou, albeit a useful one. Contrasting with the church’s promise to spread the use of potato farming to the broader population, the Guild jealously guards Maou’s gift, a particularly innovative compass. I doubt this is the last we’ll ever see of their scheming, which only makes me more interested in what potential Maou sees in the group to help further her ambitions. It’s interesting how the two work in Maou’s favor through entirely different means, adding a heap of the potato flavoring that is intrigue.

Much like the concurrently-airing Shinsekai Yori, MMY continues to favor building up its world and its many aspects to character development. Thus far, though it may just be because I like the history of the Middle Ages being applied to a novel with actual characters rather than a dusty textbook, I don’t see any need for this to change when each episode has managed to just fly by and make me crave potatoes in one fell swoop.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted January 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Talking potatoes on an blog owned by an Irishman…

    Jokes aside, you’re right, they continue to build at the expense of characters. But that’s how this whole story is written. It’s more of an educational history book, than a character developing drama. And I’m perfectly happy with that. I wish the writer had done a better job with the romance, and made it somewhat more believable, but that wont stop me from watching it.

  2. zleihsh
    Posted January 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Ah~ potatoes! I’d like my smashed, fried (french fries), baked, toasted, and may be add a little olive oil, paprika, some cayenne pepper, a little garlic powder, of course there is the harshbrown after it is done, and toss them into the oven for a while……..oh~ the flavor, yum, yum. Anyway, watching this ep I just can’t stop drooling w/ different ideas of this miracle food. 0q0

    Also I heard adding cheese could make it tastes even better.

  3. Posted January 21, 2013 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    I love the setting and everything relating to that. The characters, while fine, could be better. Especially Hero, who I had hoped to be something… you know, “more”?

    “Hero and Maou”

    Dude.

    • Matthew
      Posted January 21, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      The thing about Hero is that despite being human (well technically), he’s far more disconnected from humanity than Maou. That one line about how he can’t even pitch in on the farm work because he can’t control his own strength says it all. A lot of the story is him struggling to even understand the problems that regular people deal with.

    • Inushinde
      Posted January 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      @Marow: Hero’s slightly easier to write than Yuusha, and Maou’s infinitely easier than Demon King/Queen. I have a method behind my inconsistent naming, and that’s laziness.

      More relevant to the show itself, it is seemingly made to eventually demonstrate that Hero is a hero in more ways than his fighting prowess, despite his inability to seemingly do anything that’s not stabbing shit. I’m hoping that this means the world’s just being set up so the characters can have room to grow later, but yeah, it isn’t doing a great job eventually reaching that point.

      @Matt: Well said, man. It does make the fact that he has to be lectured by Maou a little less nonsensical, at the very least.

  4. shytende
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I’m always surprised that potatoes aren’t usedmore often to prove the existence of God. I mean, that’s the perfect dish after all…

    That asides, a Hero is pretty useless on times of Peace. He only knows how to fight, after all.

    • Shengar
      Posted January 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      There’s saying that some heroes whose born in time of peace would only become rascal, did they not? This, why I like MMY, they show how useless “Hero” after they defeat demon overlord cause they hardly can (unless the Hero also a scholar, which is a rare case) help with world rebuild. Sometimes, they end up become a villain themselves in time of peace.

      Yeah I agree the romance is sucks compared to S&W. The writer could do it better with less comedy.

  5. SENSEISHUN
    Posted January 22, 2013 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    What I really want to know are the demons more advanced in technology than the humans? Doesn’t seem logical to fix the humans problems before fixing your own. Maou has all this knowledge and she couldn’t have learned all that in a matter of months so it would only make sense to share it with her people.

    Also Hero is supposed to be symbol for peace, but ironically he doesn’t know what to do when hes not fighting for it. if he finds something that he can do, that’s really all the character development he needs or will most likely get. The only thing i could see Hero becoming is a king. seems like the ability to lead is the only vague talent besides fighting they have kind of shown him to have.

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