In a world of magic and fantasy, there exist two worlds: the Human World and the Demon World of fantasy creatures. Fifteen years ago, the "War of the Southern Kingdoms” broke out between both sides, each intending to conquer the other. Both sides were locked in a stalemate, until a young male human decides to do something about it. Known as the Hero, he is a skilled and powerful warrior who has traveled to the Demon World to end their evil by killing their leader, the Demon Queen.But what surprised the Hero when he storms the Demon Queen's castle is that the latter doesn't want a fight. She just wanted to reveal to him a sordid truth: the war has never always been about good versus evil — it's a far more complicated affair, with each side being equally good and evil all the same.On one hand, the war helped unite erstwhile feuding kingdoms against a common enemy. On the other hand, it allowed opportunists to take advantage of their own races and get rich off the war — powerful, corrupt humans control the poor and weak, while warmongering demon clans harass pacifistic ones. Then there's the prospects should one side win: the losers gets oppressed, while the winners break down into infighting over the spoils. Prematurely ending the war is an even worse idea, because so much money, time and resources have been spent for the war effort soldiers could never get any compensation should a ceasefire be signed immediately, causing each side to break down into civil war against their former employers.Fortunately, the Demon Queen has a better idea, and she wants the Hero's help: forge a peaceful end to the war with the least repercussions by playing behind the scenes and at the same time introduce sweeping reforms on all levels of society. Convinced, the Hero agrees to join her as they try to forge a peaceful way out, gaining allies and companions in the process.Maoyuu Maou Yuusha ("Evil Overlord and Hero") is a fantasy light novel series written by Touno Mamare. Originally posted as an original story on 2ch, the story had such a positive response that Mamare converted it into a light novel series. Currently, there are five novels (divided in 43 webnovels) and five manga adaptations:
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha ("Evil Overlord and Hero"): Running on Famitsu Comic Clear. The relatively more serious adaptation. This series is considered the "official" manga adaptation of the light novels, both published by Enterbrain.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha "Kono Watashi no Mono to Nare, Yuusha yo" "Kotowaru!" ("Become Mine, Hero!" "I Refuse!""): Running in Comp Ace. The more lighthearted adaptation, but the focus is the same as the original.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha — Oka no Mukou e ("Beyond the Hill"): Running on Champion RED. This one is centered around interactions and romance, leaving most of the business management aside.
Maoyuu 4-Koma: Muitemasen yo, Maou-sama! ("I Can't Face You, Demon King!"): Running on the series official website. Total comedy; all characters are portrayed in the way of Character Exaggeration here.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha Gaiden: A Spin-Off running on Monthly Shonen Sirius. Centered around Witch Girl's adventures departed from the original party.
Almost Kiss: Hero and Demon Queen early in the story they got interrupted by the presence of the sisters. Another one happens at the end of episode 5, but this time they stop because the music playing in the festival ended.
Alternate Continuity: The manga adaptations tell the same story but certain events happen differently. For example, in most versions Gateway City was already occupied by the Humans with the same happening at Aurora Island by the Demons before Hero first meet the Demon Queen while in the Comic Clear version, those events happen after Hero left for the Demon Realm to search for Witch Girl. Also in the 4-koma and Oka no Mukou e, the Lady Knight was with the Hero before he left for the Demon world, while in other versions he already left before she arrived.
Blood Knight: The South Arctic General of the Fanged Beast Clan is a giant walrus who'd rather loot and fight than listen to the Demon Queen.
Book Dumb: The Hero himself, since he never had any education. He gets better later.
Breather Episode: Episode 7, which followed episode 6 when the humans retake Bright Light island. It largely focuses on the Love Triangle forming between the Hero, Lady Knight, and the Demon King.
Broken Aesop: As awesome as Crimson Scholar's (Big Sister Maid in disguise) speech is, it's a bit undermined by how she said it. When the Church representative orders people to stone her, she tells them that she doesn't blame them if they do so, but then later pulls the demonization card by saying that if they follow orders then they're just insects, and she hates insects. Uh, didn't you just say earlier that you don't hate them if they followed orders? And what does that make them if they followed what you told them to do?
Still undermined because even if she didn't directly ordered them to stone the inquisitor, she was still implying for them to turn against the church and government by pulling the demonization card on them even if(hypothetically, speaking) there might've been people who may or may not not have legitimate reasons to still support the church and government, and even though she said a few seconds ago that she won't think any less of them if they did decide to stone her. In short, she still got them to do what she wanted them to do.
She's saying that she won't blame them for stoning her if they're genuinely afraid of reprisals from the church. What she won't forgive is people stoning her just because they were told to.
Cruel to Be Kind: In episode 2, after finding two runaway girls, the Head Maid tells the Demon King and Hero that she always reported runaway serfs in the past. The Demon King orders her to feed them and clothe them anyway. Later the Head Maid tells the girls that she despises insects. The Hero thinks she's being incredibly cruel to them, but after a few dialogue exchanges, he begins to see that the Head Maid is actually trying to help them, and hires them to be live-in maids to help around the mansion.
The small army led by the Female Knight easily defeated the numerically superior, well-fortified demons holding Aurora Island. Even a seeming moment of trouble facing the demon general is just her way of toying with him before manhandling him.
The Warrior Youngster, using the Demon Queen's teachings, successfully defends against a 2,000-man cavalry from White Night Nation with only 400 troops from Iron Nation.
The Witch Girl manages to simultaneously teleport 1500 demons away from the battlefield despite the fact that it's hard enough trying to teleport just one person.
The first human army sent to recapture Aurora Island is massacred, with only 15 of the original 200 ships managing to escape.
The Demon Queen as well, or at least when we first see her.
Decapitated Army: Discussed deconstructively — As the Demon Queen points out, a war will not truly end just because the authority figure on one side is killed. His/her killer would be an assassin, not a hero, and such an action is rendered moot if he/she is easily replaceable.
Deconstructor Fleet: The series is a deconstruction of the fantasy genre in general, since it points out that The Hero killing the Evil Overlord does not necessarily end the world's problems. In fact, the true way of achieving world peace is not through brute force, but through a combination of military, economic, diplomatic, political and social reforms.
Interestingly, the relationship between Demon Queen and Hero RECONSTRUCTS the idea of an Arranged Marriage.
Doing in the Wizard : When others discuss the "blessing of the earth", the Demon Queen talks about soil nutrients. Sometimes inverted where she gives a pseudo-magical explanation for things she understands scientifically. The setting in itself is just as supernatural as any other typical Medieval European Fantasy world, though.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The entire cast are referred to only by their roles, eg. Hero, Demon Queen, Lady Knight, Head Maid, Big Sister Maid, Little Sister Maid...
Gainaxing: Particularly obvious in the anime. The first thing the Hero sees of the Demon King is her bouncing melons. We then proceed to watch them bounce every time she moves, especially while trying to persuade Hero since he keeps trying to run away from her.
The hero implies later on that she's likely not particularly dangerous in terms of personal power.
Happiness in Slavery: The demon girl working in the tavern in episode 5 seems to be content with her lot in life, telling Hero that because the humans own the town, she's just doing whatever she can to survive.
Hoist by His Own Petard: The Church Messenger demands the crowd stone Crimson Scholar after she gives a speech about freedom and rights. They stone him and his guards instead (though they escape with their lives).
Hollow World: Instead of being a different Another Dimension like everyone thought, the Demon world is actually the inner layer of the human world.
In Another Man's Shoes: Invoked in episode 2. When the Demon King is teaching a couple of noble children, the older runaway girl from earlier in the episode is in the room with them. She tries to teach them about how the economy plays a role in the war effort, such as food availability. Two of the nobles scoffs at the idea of starving people, saying that peasants wouldn't need to worry about that because their lords would protect and feed them. Which causes the girl to comment that they must never have starved before.
Invincible Hero: The Hero is supposedly able to fight entire armies on his own. The rest of the people from his old team aren't all that far behind. True to the series' nature, however, this trope is also deconstructed, because his powers made him feel alienated from other people, and with his schooling under the Demon Queen's tutelage, he has since become more of a pacifist.
Jack Of All Trades: Ability-wise, the Hero is similar to the main characters in early Dragon Quest games; he's an amazing swordsman, a decent healer that his party could go without a dedicated one, and seems to know some attack magic. On top of all that, he can teleport himself and other across the continent. He also has a vague similarity in looks to the Dragon Quest III hero, especially in the webcomic.
Lap Pillow: The Demon Queen asks the Hero to use hers.
Layman's Terms: In episode 12, Witch Girl tries to relay the Crimson Scholar's plan to create a Smallpox vaccine, but the listeners ask her to speak plainly.
Light Is Not Good: Some of the church members aren't exactly using their powers for the good of mankind, such as when they declare potatoes to be a demonic item, despite the fact that its saved countless lives due to its hardiness and availability to the lower classes.
Light Novel Within a Light Novel: Witch Girl is the author of a series of novels titled "Pleasant Serial Killers". Hero and Demon Queen are both fans. Oddly enough, the characters in it have actual names.
Long Title: Maoyuu Maou Yuusha "Kono Watashi no Mono to Nare, Yuusha yo" "Kotowaru!"; the title of the first Light Novel, and actually the official title of the Comp Ace manga adaptation, which is from a excerpt of a dialogue between the Hero and the Demon Queen.
Love at First Sight: The Demon Queen is quite clearly smitten with the Hero the first time she sets eyes on him. It takes a little longer on the latter's part, but by the end of their first meeting he's devoted to her as well.
Love Triangle: Between the Hero, Demon King, and Lady Knight. Gets interesting in the second half of episode 7, after both women find each other attempting to sneak into the Hero's room at night. After rejecting Head Maid's suggestion that she go in there, she then pushes both of them into his room. In the end, both women share the bed on either side of Hero, much to his chagrin.
Magic Knight: The Hero is an excellent swordsman, but also has some very useful magic. As is Lady Knight.
Magical Library: The Demon Queen's clan apparently are native to the External Library that holds knowledge from worlds gone and yet to come.
Mayfly-December Romance: A Genre Savvy Hero confesses to the Head Maid that the main reason he is keeping the Demon Queen to arm's length is the slow aging of their race compared to his.
Medieval Stasis: The enemy of the series, and what the main characters are trying to get past.
Medium Awareness: In the 4-koma, the Hero states that this universe's Demon Queen is very different from the others. After discussing it, he demands that she switches with one. Immediately.
The Multiverse: According to the Demon Queen, the Hero's world isn't the first to be attacked and conquered by demon tribes.
Nameless Narrative: The closest any character, big or small, comes to having a proper name is the Demon Queen's title, Ruby Eyes.
No Sense of Personal Space: The Demon King gets uncomfortably close to the Hero when they first meet several times. Not that he's turned off by it entirely however...
Not So Different: The Demon King explains various scenarios regarding the ongoing war between the humans and the demons, and how things would play out if one side or the other were to emerge victorious, or if the war ended suddenly. The Hero begins to realize that she doesn't want those worst-case scenarios to happen any more than he would.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: In episode 2, the village elder refuses to try out the Demon King's idea for a 4-stage planting cycle which she feels would increase crop yields. However, after teaching various noble children, she goes to his house again, this time armed with something she says would change his mind (which we don't get to see unfortunately).
Off the Rails: The 4komas begin to go in this direction after Hero leaves to search for Mage Girl: Demon Queen stows away with him rather than stay at home.
One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In episode 7, Hero and Lady Knight discuss how things are going. They both are vague enough that it could mean several things, until they both bring up different topics, Hero with the war progress, and Lady Knight regarding the Demon King's relationship with him.
Our Demons Are Different: The Demon Queen and Head Maid's race looks exactly like human but it's played straight with the other demon tribes.
Person of Mass Destruction: In the original light novel, the Hero alludes to "siege-class" spells. Various adaptions also show him destroying large parts of the landscape by swinging his sword.
Pun: The promotional site for the upcoming anime adaptation has a special download once a month (a Demon Queen pin-up wallpaper) every 29th, the "Useless Meat" Day. Why the 29th? Well, 2 and 9 are ni and kyuu in Japanese, that sounds like niku ("meat").
Head Maid for the Demon Queen and Hero's plans, then the Lady Knight to the Crimson Scholar's real identity and also the Young Merchant.
Played for Laughs in episode 7 while Lady Knight and the Demon King are sharing a bed with Hero. Both women claim to have embarrassing secrets with him, but won't say it in front of him. They then agree to tell each other later when he's not around.
Shown Their Work: Many of the Demon Queen's technological innovations are based on real-life ones like crop rotation, to the point where the exact system discussed was identical to that which played a crucial role in the British Agricultural Revolution. When discussing techniques for growing potatoes in barren lands, she selects dead fish as fertilizer ("sacrifice", as she terms them), which has real-life truth due to their high nitrogen content which helps fertilization in sandy soil. The supporting characters also have very in-depth knowledge of politics, macroeconomics, military tactics, organized religion, immigration, social welfare and human rights.
Stealth Hi/Bye: Hero does this to the Demon King in episode 5 after being gone for a year. The first thing she does is start smacking with her pillow him due to his absence.
Stripperiffic: The outfit the Demon Queen wears for the initial confrontation with the Hero. Her regular clothing is far more practical.
Surrounded by Idiots: Much to her frustration, the Demon Queen feels like this after teaching some youngsters, especially three young boys from varying backgrounds (warrior, noble and merchant) who fail to understand the socioeconomic consequences of war.
The Unreveal: The Demon King tells Lady Knight who she really is in episode 5, since she wanted to be friends with her. At first Lady Knight seems as if she's going to cut her down, but then she seems to accept it. A Flash Back reveals that Lady Knight was already aware of the Demon King, because the Hero told her about it. And because she trusts Hero, she felt she could trust the Demon King too, although Lady Knight also reveals she's not giving up on him either.
Title Drop: The title of the first Light Novel and the actual title of the Comp Ace adaptation: Maoyuu Maou Yuusha - "Kono Watashi no Mono Tonare, Yuusha yo" "Kotowaru!", it's a excerpt of the exchange the Hero and the Demon Queen make to each other in their first meeting, which is: "Be mine, Hero" "I refuse!" depending on your translation.
The anime episodes follow this as well, with a character saying the title of the current episode at some point.
Translation Style Choices: So many, the characters have titles as names, with some having more than one way of reading it, and therefore more than one way of translating it; although the most prominent is the Demon Queen's japanese name, Maou (魔王) which can either mean Demon King, Demon Lord, Devil King or Devil, leaving no room for a feminine reading of the title; still most of the fandom/translators call her Demon Queen or Dark Lady, while others don't bother with translating and leave it as Maou.
War for Fun and Profit: The reason why the war in the Southern Kingdoms has lasted for 15 years. Both Humans and Demons who supply the war effort profit from it. The political changes the war has brought about have led to greater prosperity on both sides.
We Can Rule Together: The first time Demon Queen and Hero meet she asks him to join her, and only later explains what for. When he realizes she realizes means "We Can Save Together'', he agrees to join her. As an aside, she points out that it's traditional for a Demon King to offer splitting the world up with the Hero and both acknowledge how ridiculous such an offer is.
We Have Reserves: White Night King's motivation for sending the ill-fated first invasion to retake Aurora Island is because their losses would eventually be replaced anyways thanks to military aid from Central.
Wham Episode: Episode 8, when the Winter King is told to hand the Crimson Scholar over to the Church due to potatoes, a crop she introduced, being considered a demonic item.
Episode 12, when it's revealed that the Central Church and the Blue Demon tribe are working together, and have been from the very start, because both sides need the war perpetuated to main their power structures.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: With all the roadblocks to ending the war on a positive note, only an idealist could believe that is possible. Therefore, Demon Queen could be called a Narrow Eyed Idealist.
Wrong Genre Savvy: In the first episode, Hero believes himself to the hero and thus the one who slays the evil demon king For Great Justice. Demon Queen immediately points out that he is mistaken and explains why.