Action, magic, demons, boarding school, political struggles, financial trouble, and the Bible. Episode 1 of Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist in a nutshell.
Right from the outset, Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist (Makai Ouji from here on out for simplicity’s sake) proves to fit precisely into the observations Rasul Mammadov made way back in May during his summer season preview: lots of shonen ai and traits that feel dangerously close to Black Butler. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem as though the plot will be exactly a copy of BB…yet. The fact that William Twining doesn’t believe in demons and magic, even when they’re staring him right in the face, promises to serve up an interesting plot built on William’s denial. At the same time, there’s a chance this basis could wear itself out rather quickly. I’m hoping the excuses William makes for the occurrences happening around him continue to be amusing, or his denial will get old very quickly.
The art style is reminiscent of that from Black Butler which, coupled with the pseudo-historical setting and similar cast of characters (at least so far) does make for quite a few similarities to the popular series. Despite the similarities, though, I think the plot for Makai Ouji has some real potential. I’m eager to learn more about the original circumstances surrounding this idea of the Elector. I would also like to know more about Solomon and what exactly his “contract” with Dantalion is. There’s lots of potential when it comes to the Nephilim, also.
And then there’s Kevin, the butler capable of amazing feats and determined to remain by William’s side indefinitely. (Sebastian Michaelis, anyone?) I hope I’m not the only one assuming he’s something more than human. My bet at this point is that he’s an angel, based on the opening credits and many of his reactions throughout this first episode. But I’m willing to be proven wrong.
So, to sum things up so far, the cons of Makai Ouji are that it’s incredibly similar to Black Butler in many ways and seems like it’s going to have a lot of shonen ai throughout, which obviously isn’t for everyone. The pros, though, are a somewhat different plot than BB and a potentially colorful cast of characters. We’ll see what the rest of the season brings.