“Anos, the Demon King of Tyranny, has defeated humans, spirits, and gods alike. But even demon kings get tired of all the fighting sometimes! Hoping for a more peaceful life, Anos decides to reincarnate himself. When he wakes two thousand years later, though, he finds the world has become too peaceful–his descendants have grown weak and magic is in serious decline. Intending to reclaim his rightful place, he enrolls in Demon King Academy, where he finds that his magical power is off the charts. Literally. And because they can’t measure his power, the faculty and other students regard Anos as a misfit. With the support of Misha, the one student he manages to befriend, the misfit (Demon King) begins his climb up the demon ranks!” – Anilist Synopsis
The Misfit of Demon Academy is one of my favorite shows of 2020. I love a good ole fun overpowered character just as much as the next guy. While some shows don’t really execute the concept of having overpowered characters all that well, The Misfit of Demon Academy takes everything that makes op fun and plays right into all of the tropes of the genre. Harem? Check. Comedy? Check. Characters not believing the main character is op throughout the whole show? Check. Great action scenes? Check. This show plays up all its strengths to perfection. The best way to describe it is that the show takes itself too seriously that it plays up the irony of the situations to the max and I loved every second of it.
The show’s plot actually has a lot of interesting elements weaved into it. Anos is the demon king reincarnated into a half-demon body two thousand years later. He now attends the Demon King Academy which is said to be home to the demon king once he is reincarnated. Outside of that Anos finds out that somehow history has been rewritten, the demon king’s name has been changed, and the 7 demon lords who served the demon king and rule over the school have had their memories altered. All this makes for a cool mystery for our main character to solve while also trying to break the stigma that pure demons at the school have over half-bloods. One of the ironically funny aspects of this show is that no one believes Anos is the true demon king no matter how many utter feats of pure strength and dominance and also just vast knowledge of magic he has/shows. In some shows that might be annoying but here it wears this irony on its sleeve so proudly it becomes comedic. There are a few really nice plot twists also that are set up very well and make the story just that more enjoyable.
In a show like this, the world-building and the characters are essential for making the audience care about any sort of events that happen. Those two things are pretty big strong points for this show. The varying cast of characters, while admittedly generic in some ways, are fun and lovable while also having some complexity to them. The group of demon students that Anos gathers to his aide are very well fleshed out and the chemistry is always there. You can tell they care for him as much as he cares for them. This show does have that same class segregation and prejudice that a lot of fantasy shows have, which leads to some minor characters just being kind of cardboard cut-out stereotypes of characters you’ve seen in other works with the same prejudices. I will say that just makes Anos showing them up and completely destroying them all the more satisfying, so it kind of works in the show’s favor. A lot of character motivations are basic but this show somehow makes you care. I’ll chalk that up to Anos subverting expectations. The show name, what/how characters describe him, and some of his early actions make him out to be the evilest demon there was. While there is some truth to that in a way. Anos might be the most compassionate main character that I’ve ever seen in Anime.
Okay now, let’s talk about the big guy. Anos is amazing. The Demon King knows all types of magic. There was never a point in the show (until the end, but any spoilers here) where you ever felt like he was seriously threatened by anybody. He overpowers every single person he fights but what makes this not get stale and boring is that despite being the demon king, he has a lot of morals. He values family and friendship a lot and really his only wish is for all others to value it just as much as he does. He makes it a point to prove to everyone that he fights. Anos is also very cocky and smug ( I mean why wouldn’t he be lol). Which leads itself to some very comedic moments and some Shirou-type moments. Honestly, I never get tired of him spouting some variation of “You think just because you killed me I would die?” like it’s genuinely great every time.
The power system in this show is some pretty standard magic. No concepts that haven’t been explored before when it comes to magic. Demons and people have “sources” instead of souls which serve the same function. There are all types of magic in this show, Anos especially pulls a varying amount of different magic abilities to use. Something that I like to see when it comes to magic power systems is team attacks and abilities and this show has plenty of showings of that in terms of team buff magic, focused team blast magic, etc. The magic and fight scenes to boot are consistently animated well with some very cool effects. Oh also theirs freaking sword magic, that’s always awesome.
All in all The Misfit of Demon Academy was a standout this year. I came into it with no expectations really, just thought it would be a fun turn your brain off power romp. But it turned out to be very interesting, comedic, and have a lot of heartfelt moments. A pleasant surprise while also being on the short side with only 13 episodes in this first season. Whether or not we get a season two is still not confirmed but if not the ending was more than satisfying while also leaving some room for a second season. The Misfit of Demon Academy is an 8/10!