- Devils and Realist
- based on manga
- by Chiaki Kon
- 1 Season: 12 episodes
The story is about a young intelligent boy named William Twining from an aristocratic family. One day, as he returns home, he realizes that his uncle disappeared and that his family is actually bankrupt. Then, he starts searching along with his butler for anything he could sell to pay his tuition fees. He discovers an underground room which contains a magical seal on the ground and so he accidentally summons a demon whose name is Dantalion. Dantalion tries to tell William that he is the selector of the new “interim” ruler of hell, however Dantalion does not seem to be the only demon chasing him. So William meets further demons such as Sytry, Camio and Gilles de Rais and the adventure begins.
The anime series has a fascinating plot especially in terms of the depiction of demons. They are shown in a different point of view, because they are no evil soul eaters. Demons start to act as students at William’s school, in other words they are enrolled at this school. Those demons are not on earth to harm any people but rather to take care of William. On the contrary, the angels are depicted as cruel creatures and are even worse than any demon. Not only the plot but also the concept is unique. A realist (William) who has to deal with demons and angels in whom he does not even believe. He always has an explanation or theory for the existence of supernatural and surreal things. For instance, as Dantalion appears in William’s underground room, William searches for a hidden room beneath the underground.
One can say that “Makai Ouji” also addresses social themes. The most obvious factor is the cross dressing of Sytry at William’s school where he got accepted and even loved. However, imagine how students and school boys would react in the real world if a guy comes to school in female clothes? Unfortunately bullying cannot be ruled out in reality (in fact we can only speak for the western world). Therefore, we love it that in the anime the students at William’s school are very fond of Sytry and his appearance.
Besides serious themes, the anime is filled with supernatural elements. The location is sometimes set in hell where many different kind and species of demons are depicted: Two bats named Amon and Mammon which are familiars of Dantalion, demons with goat and ram heads (Baphomet, Leonard) and many more. But also Nephilims (explained here as humans who have sold their soul to a demon) such as Dantalion and Gilles de Rais, a half demon (Camio) and even a former angel (Sytry) play an important role.
Furthermore, “Devils and Realist” is filled with many comedy aspects. It definitely guarantees laughter due to the different personalities of the characters. The anime contains many funny conversations and actions between William and the demons. But also Sytry and Dantalion have their disputes and fights. The highlight is the devils and realist relationship, where William is confident and certain that supernatural stuff does not exist. Worth to mention is also the ‘special episode’ about the culture festival on the campus (episode 10). It contains many funny scenes, especially as William manipulates all his competitors to work for him and this includes his friend Isaac but also the demons Dantalion and Sytry.
Moreover, the anime contains many characters where each of them has their own personality and appearance. The individual personalities make the story very amusing and entertaining.
Dantalion is a nephilim and represents Astaroth’s faction as a Grand Duke. In fact, he was the first demon summoned by Solomon himself. To be closer to William, he enrolled in William’s school and acts most of the time very childish and immature. In addition, he is depicted as an handsome demon with a more or less arrogant and confident attitude. However, he is also very protective especially towards William and seems to be very powerful and strong.
Gilles de Rais
He is a Nephilim and a subordinate of the Grand Demon Duke Baalberith. He is French and he often acts like a ‘Drama Queen’. In addition, he does not respect people’s private space which makes him annoying towards others. He is still in love with Jeanne d’Arc and gets sentimental and aggressive when someone insults or talks bad about her. In his former life as a human, he committed many sins and horrific crimes. However, he does not feel any remorse.
An interesting and worth to mention aspect is the history or rather the background of the storyline. The French heroine Jeanne d’Arc, who fought in wars, has a short appearance in the anime. After her death, she became a saint which is also the case in the anime series. A further interesting character is Gilles de Rais, who was a leader of the French army and companion of Jeanne. In the anime, he was her lover and sold his soul to a demon. It is kinda impressive that the author chose such a personage and changed him into a more likeable and amusing person. We also like the fact that the demons from “Makai Ouji” are all taken from the demonology where the ‘Lesser Key of Solomon’ plays a significant role. Indeed, not only the names of the demons such Sytry, Dantalion, Astaroth and Camio are taken from the 72 demons of this spell book, but also their ranks and titles are accurate to the demonology. Apart from the demonology, Solomon is taken from the Hebrew Bible.
The ending is really fascinating. As a realist William did and does not believe in demons and angels, but as the demons especially Dantalion disappeared at the end and no one remembered any of them, he starts missing them and almost doubt his realism and skepticism about demons.
However, the anime also has a tiny negative aspect: They could have included more action especially fight scenes which might have raised the entertaining factor.
The art of animation is amazing and very detailed. The depiction of hell is very interesting but the highlight is the character design: they all differ in their appearances. All in all, there is nothing to complain about the animation art. Besides the art, the opening theme is also very fascinating. ‘Believe my dice’ (by Takuya, Takuma, Tetsuya and Yoshitsugu) is amusing and will definitely stuck in your head for days.
All in all, we really recommend “Makai Ouji”, especially if you love supernatural and fantasy mixed with many comedy elements. Indeed, if you love Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) you gonna like “Makai Ouji”. It somehow reminds a bit of the adventures of Ciel and his butler Sebastian.