Maoyuu continues to provide us with really cheesy, but still heartwarming romance. As I was watching Maou and Yuusha’s interactions this episode, I couldn’t help but have this stupid grin on my face. The two are such a dere couple, yet are so awkward when it comes to love. As expected, Maou isn’t too pleased when Yuusha starts recounting his many adventures with various demon girls, and when she questions him about it, Yuusha retorts that she’s been courted by various nobles and wealthy merchants herself. Their ensuing argument might appear to be a bad sign at first, with Yuusha even going so far as to call Maou flabby (what nerve!). But I think the point we’re supposed to take here is that Maou and Yuusha have progressed to the stage where they are close enough as a couple to have petty arguments without seriously compromising their relationship. I bet if Maoyuu were to take place in some stereotypical high school setting, the two would be teased as a “bakappuru” by their friends. In case you’ve never heard of the term before, just decompose it into its constituent parts: “baka” and “couple”, and you’ll pretty much get the gist of things.
In any case, it was an unfortunate near miss when Maou and Yuusha were about to kiss. Why would they even stop just because the music stopped? I dunno, but most likely this is the show teasing us. If you ask me, the two were so absorbed with each other during their little dance that I wouldn’t think they’d notice the music stopping. But alas, that was not the case. Even without the kiss though, the two are almost sickeningly dere with each other. Which brings me to a point I’ve often seen cited against the show. Some people seem to not enjoy the little moments between Maou and Yuusha. Apparently it’s too forced in their eyes. Now, I can see where they’re coming from, but I personally do not believe that the romance between the two is too artificial. I’ll admit, the show does enjoy forcing the couple in our faces, but that doesn’t make their interactions any less genuine. They’re just that obnoxiously in love. And if you can’t enjoy something as simple as a couple being all lovey-dovey, then maybe you shouldn’t be watching a show that’s tagged as romance. The correct approach here is to just sit back and enjoy the show while wearing a stupid grin on your face.
This week, I actually find myself with a bit of a complaint about Maoyuu. Shocking, I know. Most shows with a pacing problem progress too slowly (thus boring the audience). With Maoyuu though, the opposite is true. In fact, it seems to be getting worse lately. So much happened in this episode that I was almost lost. The show was just jumping around so much that the sequence of events lost their continuity. I’m not familiar with the source material, so I have no idea what kind of pacing the show has to stick with to end things at an appropriate point, but surely ARMS could have done better. I’d also like to add that I’ve heard the show is not following the novels very closely, but that’s a whole different story (no pun intended). It feels like Maoyuu is trying to do too much in one episode, and while it was all interconnected in retrospect, it was really confusing while I was watching the episode. At times like this, it really helps if the studio doing the adaptation is able to pick and choose the right scenes to show without the audience losing out on too much. Unfortunately, ARMS isn’t particularly known for this.
One other gripe that I have is the temporal discontinuity between episodes. While I understand the time skips are probably there to address the fact that what Maou and Yuusha are doing takes time to accomplish, it kind of undermines the romance aspect of the show. It’s entirely understandable for Maou to feel lonely and long for Yuusha so strongly when she hasn’t seen him for almost a year. But to us, it was only just last episode since they parted. This disconnect between the viewers’ and the characters’ experiences kind of makes it hard for us to sympathize with the characters. That’s not to say that a time skip can’t be done well, but Maoyuu uses them so frequently (practically between every episode, in fact) that it really takes away from the impact of the character interactions. And since the show obviously pushes character interactions as opposed to action scenes, this is a rather major flaw. Take the revelation of Maou’s identity to Knight, for example. Normally, such a scene would be highly anticipated. But with the combination of Maoyuu’s time skips and disjointed scenes, the moment of revelation failed to have an impact or deliver any satisfaction whatsoever. I can only hope that Maoyuu will learn to slow things down soon so that we can better appreciate what it has to offer..