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Old 2013-02-06, 13:37   Link #1281
Dark Faith
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You're probably just taking this show way too seriously.
Personally I think that they're called "demons" out of human ignorance just because they can look drastically different from your normal human.
But when you look at the "Demon King" and the Head Maid and realize they appear to be human, and even behave pretty much like them, it's just hard to take it seriously.

Would I have prefered D&D like demons? Hell yeah, but considering this show has been one disappointment after the other in term of expectations, I just roll with the punches and hope to see what they have in store.
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Old 2013-02-06, 13:40   Link #1282
Reckoner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Faith View Post
You're probably just taking this show way too seriously.
Personally I think that they're called "demons" out of human ignorance just because they can look drastically different from your normal human.
But when you look at the "Demon King" and the Head Maid and realize they appear to be human, and even behave pretty much like them, it's just hard to take it seriously.

Would I have prefered D&D like demons? Hell yeah, but considering this show has been one disappointment after the other in term of expectations, I just roll with the punches and hope to see what they have in store.
If my problems were solely dependent on my issues with the construction of the setting, then I'd be able to deal with it to some degree. It's just that combined with the severe pacing issues, and what I see as completely vapid characters turn this into a frustrating watch. Not to mention they seem more intent on showing off the Demon Queen's breasts than actually developing the cast.
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Old 2013-02-06, 13:52   Link #1283
Dark Faith
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
If my problems were solely dependent on my issues with the construction of the setting, then I'd be able to deal with it to some degree. It's just that combined with the severe pacing issues, and what I see as completely vapid characters turn this into a frustrating watch. Not to mention they seem more intent on showing off the Demon Queen's breasts than actually developing the cast.
And I couldn't agree more.
Doesn't help that, besides all the reasons you listed above, our two main characters aren't very awe inspiring (albeit for different reasons).

This show started pretty high on my expectations/to watch list for this season, but right now is barely worth mentioning. It's not bad enough to drop, but has enough issues to keep it from shining.
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Old 2013-02-06, 14:59   Link #1284
erneiz_hyde
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
So we're back to the "demons are people too!" theme, which again I stress I find to be highly mind numbing. If the demons really aren't all that foreign, then finding commonality among them and the humans is straightforward and there is no bridging of gaps to be found. The fact that they are demons does not not enrich the story in any way, which against raises its pointlessness to me of introducing demons in this setting. Again, they only use the fact that they are demons when it suits them.

And YES, the union between the Demon Queen and the Hero is meant as a way to bridge the gap between the two "foreign" sides. You're denying the very premise of the first episode. I am saying if they really were no different, there is hardly a gap to bridge. It makes the setting feel highly contrived and pointless.
Reckoner, this is actually a quite common trope in fantasy settings for a long long time, so I don't get why you're complaining about this now.

Was Tamriel not enriched by the myriad of races but act very much human-like? Star Wars? Mass Effect? Warcraft? etc etc. These settings are usually used to poke at "xenophobic" or "racist" nature of humans which exists in everyone no matter how small.
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Old 2013-02-06, 15:39   Link #1285
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
So we're back to the "demons are people too!" theme, which again I stress I find to be highly mind numbing. If the demons really aren't all that foreign, then finding commonality among them and the humans is straightforward and there is no bridging of gaps to be found.
Say that to any country that's ever been in a war. But yes, the common ground is obvious - the Demon Queen called it the language of profit and loss. It doesn't mean that looking past superficial differences, traditional thinking, old and new grudges is easy.

I'm reminded of Douglas Adams describing Jesus' message: "wouldn't it be nice if everyone was nice?". It does make one wonder why he got nailed to a piece of wood.

Quote:
The fact that they are demons does not not enrich the story in any way, which against raises its pointlessness to me of introducing demons in this setting. Again, they only use the fact that they are demons when it suits them.

And YES, the union between the Demon Queen and the Hero is meant as a way to bridge the gap between the two "foreign" sides. You're denying the very premise of the first episode.
It was never about reconciling two wildly different sides. It was about finding a way to end the war without one side getting defeated, and without falling back into bad old habits of internal strife.

Quote:
I am saying if they really were no different, there is hardly a gap to bridge. It makes the setting feel highly contrived and pointless.
Last thing I'll say before dropping it: you just sound like you had a very precise idea of what the story and setting were going to be when you heard of the war between demons and humans, and are put out that they didn't follow your script.
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Old 2013-02-06, 16:00   Link #1286
Reckoner
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Maybe I'm terrible at communicating what I'm trying to say here. So going to quote someone else.

Quote:
Not really. The thing about a demon and a human coming together is supposed to be about people who are on the opposite spectrum coming together. Dark and light, good an devil... and they're deliberately trying to find a third option for demons and humans to coexist... or more specifically, so war between humans and demons doesn't exist. But if all that is blurred by the concept that neither side is good nor evil, and that she's making the first step to end things, then what the **** is the point of her being a demon in the first place? If there is no good and evil, then there is nothing to this "opposites working together" storyline they've fashioned.... there is no "opposition" at all!

Like I said, you could have called the opposing forces whatever you wanted, but demons just doesn't fit the narrative anymore. This is more like Warcraft, and the demons are orcs; just two sides with their own philosophies and social orders butting heads. That doesn't make for a great "third solution" story, and it really smacks the narrative of why the war just can't "end" to shit.
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Old 2013-02-06, 16:11   Link #1287
Graveyard Duck
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
So we're back to the "demons are people too!" theme, which again I stress I find to be highly mind numbing. If the demons really aren't all that foreign, then finding commonality among them and the humans is straightforward and there is no bridging of gaps to be found. The fact that they are demons does not not enrich the story in any way, which against raises its pointlessness to me of introducing demons in this setting. Again, they only use the fact that they are demons when it suits them.
Actually, cultural separation can have very profound effects on how groups view each other. The Christians and the "paynims" (aka Muslims) were at war for hundreds of years. The 19th to early 20th century white rhetoric distinguished sharply between themselves and the "negroids" (aka people of African descent) and "mongoloids" (aka Central, East, and Southeast Asians). It would hardly be realistic to expect a Medieval society like the one in Maoyu to recognize that demons are not so different within 15 years of first contact.

Fictional groups like aliens, orcs, demons, etc are a convenient shorthand to show the deep-seated but superficial prejudices of Medieval society to modern viewers who have largely lost touch with the concept between humans. The story loses the impact of its social commentary if it chooses to use D&D style fiends. It gains nothing to use real life terms, but it loses the fantasy setting--and with it any chance of believing the Demon Queen's modernization attempts.
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Old 2013-02-06, 16:34   Link #1288
zRichard
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I've never seen someone fail so hard to understand the basic premise behind a show.

I'll state a few facts on the setting. This is anime-only knowledge from EP1:

- It's fantasy genre. Like Dragon Quest.
- The concept introduced is that it was the humans defined all demons to be evil. Not the absence of evilness.
- There is good and evil in this series. Good demons, evil demons; Good humans, evil humans.
- There too much opposition: most of the humans and most of the demons.
- There are two major races with its own social stratification and different political factions that we'll hear more of as the episodes move on. Demons and Humans are not homogeneous groups.
- It's not as much social commentary as it is anti-war commentary.
- Demon Queen wants to create a 3rd future. Where there's no winner of no war. She wants to see where that 3rd road goes with hero.
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Old 2013-02-06, 16:38   Link #1289
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Maybe I'm terrible at communicating what I'm trying to say here. So going to quote someone else.
Sorry, but to dispel a misunderstanding, one last word: as I said, I got it. It's right there in that sentence: "a demon and a human coming together is supposed to be". Well, no, it doesn't have to be that. The possibilities aren't that narrow. It certainly doesn't have to vindicate the racist belief that physical differences translate to moral ones.

I'll also point out that there are translation problems when you complain that Maoyuu's demons have a role more akin to orcs instead of, well, Western demons.

By that I mean that (correct me if I'm wrong), the Japanese "mazoku" is several species of magical people who have their own agendas, without necessarily being evil. One of those agendas may be "turn the closest human into a snack", but it doesn't have to be. It's true that in this case and many others, they borrowed heavily from Western imagery. But that's just for looks. When it comes to the evilness of the demons, it's deconstructed by the Queen in the first ep: "Who decided that the demons were evil?". The Catholic Church, that's who, in the case of our world when it came to other people's mythological creatures.

Last edited by Anh_Minh; 2013-02-06 at 16:54.
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Old 2013-02-06, 17:02   Link #1290
Reckoner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zRichard View Post
I've never seen someone fail so hard to understand the basic premise behind a show.
If you want to try and converse with me, please drop the condescending tone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Reckoner, this is actually a quite common trope in fantasy settings for a long long time, so I don't get why you're complaining about this now.

Was Tamriel not enriched by the myriad of races but act very much human-like? Star Wars? Mass Effect? Warcraft? etc etc. These settings are usually used to poke at "xenophobic" or "racist" nature of humans which exists in everyone no matter how small.
My whole contention here is about the idea that this "war cannot end." I do not find the answer given by the show to be believable whatsoever for the myriad of reasons I've given.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Sorry, but to dispel a misunderstanding, one last word: as I said, I got it. It's right there in that sentence: "a demon and a human coming together is supposed to be". Well, no, it doesn't have to be that. The possibilities aren't that narrow. It certainly doesn't have to vindicate the racist belief that physical differences translate to moral ones.

I'll also point out that there are translation problems when you complain that Maoyuu's demons have a role more akin to orcs instead of, well, Western demons.

By that I mean that (correct me if I'm wrong), the Japanese "mazoku" is several species of magical people who have their own agendas, without necessarily being evil. One of those agendas may be "turn the closest human into a snack", but it doesn't have to be. It's true that in this case and many others, they borrowed heavily from Western imagery. But that's just for looks. When it comes to the evilness of the demons, it's deconstructed by the Queen in the first ep: "Who decided that the demons were evil?". The Catholic Church, that's who, in the case of our world when it came to other people's mythological creatures.
It is all about how the narrative relates to this fact. A third solution solution story here doesn't really fit anymore because the big question of "why the war can't end" has not been addressed well enough at all. The scenario doesn't fit at all. Especially with the economic knowledge of the Demon Queen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graveyard Duck View Post
Actually, cultural separation can have very profound effects on how groups view each other. The Christians and the "paynims" (aka Muslims) were at war for hundreds of years. The 19th to early 20th century white rhetoric distinguished sharply between themselves and the "negroids" (aka people of African descent) and "mongoloids" (aka Central, East, and Southeast Asians). It would hardly be realistic to expect a Medieval society like the one in Maoyu to recognize that demons are not so different within 15 years of first contact.

Fictional groups like aliens, orcs, demons, etc are a convenient shorthand to show the deep-seated but superficial prejudices of Medieval society to modern viewers who have largely lost touch with the concept between humans. The story loses the impact of its social commentary if it chooses to use D&D style fiends. It gains nothing to use real life terms, but it loses the fantasy setting--and with it any chance of believing the Demon Queen's modernization attempts.
That's the point. This doesn't make a good third solution story. The narrative about why the war can't end then just falls apart. It's trying to interject modern ideas where they don't belong.
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Old 2013-02-06, 17:03   Link #1291
erneiz_hyde
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Like I said, you could have called the opposing forces whatever you wanted, but demons just doesn't fit the narrative anymore. This is more like Warcraft, and the demons are orcs; just two sides with their own philosophies and social orders butting heads. That doesn't make for a great "third solution" story, and it really smacks the narrative of why the war just can't "end" to shit.
What's wrong with that though? Warcraft was kind of telling a "third solution" story, at least in the third game. Thrall was akin to our Maou in that he wishes for an end for the conflicts between Humans and Orcs and for them to coexist. In the Human side there's Jaina who have a similar interest.

And the reason the war can't end doesn't really have anything to do with what their races are. The races of those involved doesn't make nor break the premise of the reason the war can't end. Racial differences might have been what triggered the war, but it's no longer the reason it's still continuing to this day. It's about the boom in economy the war has brought to several groups and these groups are the ones trying to maintain the status quo.
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Old 2013-02-06, 17:20   Link #1292
Reckoner
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If demons are no different from humans in that they just want to survive and flourish the same as any human being.... that man had arbitrarily decreed demons to be evil, then again why use the term demon? The connotation of the word "demon" carries too much baggage and expecting the audience to randomly accept a different meaning to it without adequately addressing the reasons why this difference exists is just plain silly.

If this was just an attempt to tell an allegorical tale of racism, why use such a metaphor? Just drop the metaphor and use differing races instead. If it's supposed to be a tale of coexistence between man and creatures that are like man but are inhuman, then make the creatures actually look inhuman! The Demon Queen is indistinguishable from a human!

If it's just a tale of medieval economics and the effects of war on an economy, it's better to just keep all the parties human. It's simpler and easier to understand. Interjecting something so completely different from humans as "demons" makes the economic tale here convoluted and difficult to accept at all. The reason why the war can't end is just stupid.

LOOK, maybe the source material addresses some of these things better than the anime, but the anime has completely and utterly failed to do this.
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Old 2013-02-06, 17:40   Link #1293
erneiz_hyde
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I am an anime-only viewer and all I know about this title comes from the anime.

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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
If this was just an attempt to tell an allegorical tale of racism, why use such a metaphor? Just drop the metaphor and use differing races instead. If it's supposed to be a tale of coexistence between man and creatures that are like man but are inhuman, then make the creatures actually look inhuman! The Demon Queen is indistinguishable from a human!
Apparently demons have different races within them as well. We already have seen an episode where the demon's appearance looks inhuman enough. But I agree that Maou and her head maid (who are apparently from the same tribe) should have a distinguishing physical feature to indicate their "demon"ness. In a setting where humans can also learn magic and can actually be more powerful than the demons, the demons can't have a perfectly human body and be a demon with just their demonic powers alone (because indeed it would be pointless to call them 'demons').
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Old 2013-02-06, 17:43   Link #1294
Anh_Minh
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Spoiler for minor spoiler:

Last edited by Anh_Minh; 2013-02-07 at 01:06.
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Old 2013-02-06, 17:46   Link #1295
erneiz_hyde
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Spoiler:
Spoiler for reply to spoiler:
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Old 2013-02-06, 17:59   Link #1296
zRichard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Maou and her head maid should have a distinguishing physical feature to indicate their "demon"ness.
Yep, it's not physical. They both have knowledge from our world. That should be demon-ly enough.

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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Oh, either I forgot about it or they haven't mentioned that. My bad. Question then: can the humans achieve the same through magic?
Humans magic research? It would be an interesting element to see. What kind of dynamic would mass usage of magic have with Maou's knowledge? A magic-fueled machines, like refrigerators. What about the effect of magic on communications? What if magic can be traded?. But I doubt the show is going to go that way. So far, we only have seen Hero's group to wield magic.
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Old 2013-02-06, 18:00   Link #1297
Anh_Minh
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Spoiler:

Last edited by Anh_Minh; 2013-02-07 at 01:06.
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Old 2013-02-06, 18:09   Link #1298
erneiz_hyde
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Originally Posted by zRichard View Post
Yep, it's not physical. They both have knowledge from our world. That should be demon-ly enough.
Nah, knowledge from other world alone isn't really enough to distinguish them as demons.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zRichard View Post
Humans magic research? It would be an interesting element to see. What kind of dynamic would mass usage of magic have with Maou's knowledge? A magic-fueled machines, like refrigerators. The effect of magic on communications. But I doubt the show is going to go that way. So far, we only have seen Hero's group to wield magic.
I was asking more along the lines of: "those who practice magic tend to have longer life spans" which is another common trope in a fantasy setting and whether it applies in the settings in Maoyuu.
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Old 2013-02-06, 18:21   Link #1299
Graveyard Duck
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
My whole contention here is about the idea that this "war cannot end." I do not find the answer given by the show to be believable whatsoever for the myriad of reasons I've given.

It is all about how the narrative relates to this fact. A third solution solution story here doesn't really fit anymore because the big question of "why the war can't end" has not been addressed well enough at all. The scenario doesn't fit at all. Especially with the economic knowledge of the Demon Queen.
These are the reasons the story gives for not being able to end the war:
1. Certain special interest groups like the benefits they derive from war. E.g. the Merchants Alliance gain profits from trade; the Church becomes an influential leader; supplies flow to contested territories that have low food production; etc.

2. The economy of the human society is structured to accommodate the ongoing war, to the point that there would be great social unrest of the war were to suddenly end.

3. The two sides are indoctrinated to despise each other.

None of these reasons require that the sides be actually different, but they represent very real obstacles to peace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
The connotation of the word "demon" carries too much baggage and expecting the audience to randomly accept a different meaning to it without adequately addressing the reasons why this difference exists is just plain silly.

If this was just an attempt to tell an allegorical tale of racism, why use such a metaphor? Just drop the metaphor and use differing races instead.
You have already answered for yourself why use such a metaphor: It uses such a metaphor because the story relies on the connotation of the word "demon" to convey how much the two groups hate each other. Using fictional races of humans fail to convey the immediacy of this hatred--it requires substantial time to be spent building the hate between the two when it can be conveyed by shorthand by labeling one side demons. Using real ethnic groups carries all sorts of unpleasant connotations to the groups involved and conveys nothing to people unfamiliar with those ethnic groups.
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Old 2013-02-06, 19:15   Link #1300
kagato3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
I was asking more along the lines of: "those who practice magic tend to have longer life spans" which is another common trope in a fantasy setting and whether it applies in the settings in Maoyuu.
It is unlikely as Hero one of the most powerful magic users in the human relms still fears Maou will outlive him. Magic also seems to be pretty rare in the human world as well,( no mages in the 6000 tropes, merchents don't seem to employe any mages, It almost seems like almost all the human casters were in Hero's party) Given that the Mage Girl (Onna Mahou Tsukai) is more correctly traslated as Woman Witch the fate of most human magic users might not be too good or very long.
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