13 CommentsMaoyuu Maou Yuusha / By Inushinde /

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha Episode 4: A Boobtiful Mind

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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.

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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.

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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.

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12 Comments

  1. Fadeway
    Posted January 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    You handled the lack of material well – this is the best post I’ve read in the animeblogosphere for a while now.

    • Inushinde
      Posted January 29, 2013 at 2:07 am | Permalink

      Well thanks! Always good to know that making something out of nothing occasionally produces good results.

  2. matrixEXO
    Posted January 28, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Rather than mostly comprised of more of the same “Boohoo, I’m not useful in Maou’s new ideal world, mnyeh mnyeh mnyeh,” spiel, I felt that the Yuusha part was mainly comprised of “I’m not helping Maou at all” spiel when he himself went on to find Female Mage.

    • Inushinde
      Posted January 29, 2013 at 2:09 am | Permalink

      Yes, but it all ties in to that overarching feeling of uselessness that he keeps bringing up. Not that it’s the most poorly handled element, but I’d definitely like to see his personality and feelings expanded a bit more.

  3. Gamen
    Posted January 28, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I compliment you on your ability to generate so much bullshit from so little.

    In case this wasn’t meant as satire, I’ll explain the joke: it’s useless meat because Demon King hasn’t been able to use them to seduce Hero into her bed. Or to quote Head Maid “Meat that doesn’t arouse nervousness is useless meat.”

    • Inushinde
      Posted January 29, 2013 at 2:14 am | Permalink

      While not satire, I’m definitely not all that serious. Still, I detected more possible reasons for Maou feeling self conscious than merely being unable to seduce Hero. Granted, I am just making a mountain out of several mole hills.

      • Gamen
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 2:32 am | Permalink

        I thought the problem was that they weren’t a just pair of molehills?

  4. LordOmnit
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    For a while I was thinking that it was silly to complain about the characters’ personalities/development when everyone and everything seems to be named after their descriptors (not even really titles as cases like “Female Knight” and “Female Mage” indicate), but since they seem to be trying so hard to make (some of) the characters more than devices I suppose it is valid.

    And I have to say that I just kinda glazed over the whole melons bit, but that was a truly marvelous analysis. BS, not, or somewhere in between I never thought I’d read something so straight-faced about boobs that connected it so well to societal views. Now I’ve got something to point to when people moan about the focus on the Big Bangs in ‘Murican society.

  5. Scamp
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always found the different societal concepts of what constitutes beauty fascinating. Stuff like isolated tribes wearing rings around their necks because long necks were considered attractive, to the point that their necks can no longer support their heads without the rings. Or chinese women squishing their feet into too-small shoes. They’re all bizarre without cultural context, but I suppose not much more bizarre than sticking adhesive in your hair or placing squishy material into your chest to make them appear bigger

  6. Maximillian
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Well, it might just be me, but I actually enjoyed the exchange between Maou and the Merchant and didn’t think it was bland.

    • Inushinde
      Posted February 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t think their exchange was terrible, but I was expecting it to lead into a bit more of a recurring element. Like it’d end with the Merchant flustered that he was unable to make the deal work out in his favor or something.

  7. R1CK_D0M
    Posted January 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Post about boobs > No mention of that cowgirl. You’re doing it wrong.

One Trackback

  • [...] It has been mentioned before that one of the weak points of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is the fact that its dialogue is very obviously written for the sake of exposition. I definitely agree with Inushinde, and while I usually just ignore it and just let it happen, the beginning of this week’s episode felt very shallow. It comes down to a conversation between the merchant who ships himself with Maou talking to someone about the current events of the show and it basically comes across like this: [...]

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