There are so many interesting things about this series that it’s hard for me to pick out a beginning to my thoughts on the subject.
I vividly remember when I started reading this series over a year ago and can recall thinking that the opening chapter reminded me of The Devil Is a Part-Timer!, right down to entering a wormhole (sort of??) that Arnos, our main character and the infamous/famous demon lord, is sucked into before reincarnating 2,000 years later. It just gave off vibes of the potential it has as a comedy within the setting of a demonic high school story. Of course, then the comedy aspect was solidified when we meet Arnos’s parents:
He speaks as a baby in the picture above and then uses magic to give himself the body of a child, to which their reaction is just gold:
Seriously, these two are so dumb that it’s adorable. But also thank goodness Arnos was reincarnated because I have a feeling these two would not make great baby-raising parents. Unless, of course, they’re pretending to be this ridiculous… but that’s a theory for another day (probably never).
From characters, to plot, to world-building for the setting–you can just tell how much fun the creators and translators are having with the very smug Arnos. Like, in Chapter 2, as we get an explanation for “root” magic and see how much magical knowledge has disintegrated in the time between Arnos’ last life and now:
There’s also the great setup that makes me feel like the opening battle of wit between the would-be heroes and our demon lord main character is foreshadowing our future potential villain or conflict, which is followed soon after by images of a far-too wide-eyed owl.
The battle of wit:
The far-too-wide-eyed owl:
In fact, the owl with the wide-eyes really stands out to me as a foreshadowing character. The owl is clearly following Arnos, rather than acting as a observer of everyone present. It sits at his window sill after handing off the academy entry letter, taking time to speak to Arnos about the current “belief” of the world regarding the demon lord’s reincarnation. It watches him transform from child to teen before leaving. It then watches him at the entrance of the school, letting Arnos know where to go and is seen again watching Arnos’ battle against the royal-snob demon children.
In the battle specifically, Arnos thinks that the reason the owl, the presumed judge’s avatar in this opening battle, doesn’t comment or step in to stop the fight is as a result of the royal-snob children’s privileges as, well… royal-snobs. However, Arnos’ many assumptions have been wrong in many regards from the beginning–such as assuming that everyone will know he is the demon lord upon introduction of his name or understanding that his spell use is “logical” when the others are so clearly out of touch with magical knowledge he posses.
Instead, I think the owl is the avatar of one who knows exactly who Arnos is rather than an administrative judge for student admittance. I think they don’t step in because they know it’s not “their place” to correct or stop the demon lord. One of the things that makes me think that is how Arnos has escaped administrative punishment or involvement thus far. I mean, in the series it is clear that saying something slightly negative towards a royal is heavily penalized–potentially by death–so the consequences of injuring (or, in Arnos’ case, killing) a royal (repeatedly) must be high. Yet, Arnos is left completely alone in that regard save for a few minor interactions with his antagonist teacher.
And then we have the character of Ray Gransley–who probably won’t appear in the anime until late in the season (if not until season two, granted it gets one).
I think that Ray Gransley is the reincarnation of Shin Regulia (Arnos’ right hand man in his past life).
It would certainly make sense given how Arnos treats Ray now, telling Ray that he won’t take him as a subordinate until he can prove himself on his own which reflects the sentiments expressed in Arnos’ flash backs seen a few chapters prior to Rays introduction.
The spoken text also lends to this idea, as earlier in the work Arnos states that the “demon sight” demon-folk tend to possess for seeing power levels in others is seemingly void in present-day individuals. Present-day demonfolk as simply far too weak to measure him.
And yet, Ray declares after seeing Arnos:
So… yeah. Lots of thoughts. And lots of other things have drawn me to this series. I’m really looking forward to watching the release!
How about you all? 😀