For most media, it’s commonly accepted that the amount of time a work of fiction focuses on boobs is equal to or greater than its lack of confidence in its storytelling ability. There are exceptions like Horizon, but those tend to be in the minority, and more based on hubris than the actual ability to create a compelling narrative. Against the odds, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha actually manages to make the focus on boobage a surprisingly bountiful, bouncy bit of world-building when taken with some of the previous exposition related to demon society, and a bit of history imported from the real world. Hey, if you’re going to ridiculously endow your lead, you’d might as well give it some use.
From what’s been shown so far, there seems to be a stark divide in boob and fat acceptance between humans and demons, with humans mostly leaning toward the “more is better” side of the debate, and demons viewing any kind of excess as nothing short of gluttonous. There’s a reasonable historical basis behind the former, with the girth of a person usually denoting how much honey-glazed frivolity they could partake in, which in turn was a handy way to determine how affluent they were in medieval society. While there were obviously exceptions in the lower classes due to how variable genetics tend to be, being able to put on and keep weight was generally shorthand for the ability to have bountiful, varied meals on a regular basis.
The demon society’s opposite opinion of fat is interesting when taken with their hinted technological advantage over humanity, their apparent mastery of the Agricultural Revolution, and to a lesser extent the continued emphasis of clan politics and martial ability in matters that don’t involve the entire realm. When everybody can be fed to a reasonable degree without a large risk of starvation, pudge and bust aren’t quite the draws that they are to poverty-stricken humans. Similarly, a near-constant state of internal strife requires martial capabilities that pudge doesn’t provide as well as lean, hard muscle.
While most of this negative attention seems to be heaped on Maou’s two assets as opposed to her body by both herself and the Chief Maid, the fact that their scorn roughly translates to “useless flesh” denotes a cultural (at least in Maou’s neck of the woods) aversion to bodily excess, a fact reinforced by every demon shown thus far either being lithe and compact, or rippling with musculature. Maou’s the only one who seems to be bulging in any one area, and without any particular use for it from a demon’s point of view since she isn’t mothering children.
This contrast in perceptions between worlds is shown fairly well when Maou is being fitted for a dress by her maids in preparation for meeting dignitaries from the merchant alliance. While the Chief Maid berates her for the size of her boobs, her human maids see little reason to follow suit, instead opting to compliment her for it, like every other human has done so far. As far as a bit of world-building, and indirectly showing the contrast in standards between humans and demons, this is coalescing into one interesting, if jiggly comparison.
Is it telling that the episode was bland when most of what I can write is related to two somewhat inconsequential minutes prior to this episode’s actual content, in addition to boob jokes several episodes before? Kind of, yeah. Maou doesn’t have the charisma to carry an episode by herself, and I honestly zoned out through most of Hero’s segment since it was mostly comprised of more of the same “Boohoo, I’m not useful in Maou’s new ideal world, mnyeh mnyeh mnyeh,” spiel that we’ve been subjected to since the beginning. By this point, I wish that Hero’s personality would evolve past worrying about his place in the New World Order that he’s working toward, and Maou would be a little more impactful. When they just kind of languish like this, much of their potential is squandered, and I’m left writing about sweater (blouse?) melons while trying not to feel like a pervert. Thanks, Maoyuu.