Review by: Brenda Gregson
Publisher: Geneon Entertainment (FUNimation Entertainment)
Running Time: 100 minutes
Rating: 13 and Up
Release Date: December 2, 2008
Return of the King … again.
Anime like Kyo Kara Maoh! is a bit difficult to classify. It’s not quite Boys Love despite a few yaoi-inspired elements and it’s not shojo because our main hero is not the romantic despite being surrounded by a harem of handsome men. What Kyo Kara Maoh! is, however, is a thoroughly rewarding series that still doesn’t fail to take its fans by surprise. Having taken us through a great first season, Season II comes to a close with episodes 75 through 78 in Volume 9.
Yuri Shibuya has certainly come a long way since the first episode in the first season and finally to the young Demon King of Season II. Compelled to bring peace to the Great Demon Kingdom, he ruled to the kingdom’s great satisfaction and has inspired loyalty in those that serve under him such as the noble Gunter, Conrad, Gwendal and the cross-dressing Yozak. Oh, and let’s not forget the boy named Wolfram who – despite protests from Yuri himself – is Yuri’s self-proclaimed “fiancé.” Yuri even obtains the final box of immense power called the “End of the Wind.”
With Wolfram out of the picture, Yuri – who has come to enjoy his young friend’s company – swears to save Wolfram after the Great One steals his heart by way of the power of the Originators. Once again, Yuri steps up as Demon King to face off against the Great One once and for all. With an evil wind brewing above the Great Demon Kingdom, Yuri gathers his faithful and trusted men to the castle where the barrier that holds the Great One is finally shattering. An army of unstoppable warriors begins its long march toward various kingdoms and it’s clear that this threat could mean the end of that world. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Yuri’s mother helps keep watch over the body of water that led Yuri and Ken into the other realm.
The confrontation with the Great One doesn’t go well at all and this is mainly because they are betrayed by the most unlikely of companions. This betrayal leads to the Gunter and the others being teleported out of the castle’s chamber and Yuri’s spirit gets knocked out of his physical body. What occurs next is a battle deep within Yuri’s soul, or his heart, actually. The young Demon King finds himself back in his home only the Great One is with him. When his plans are revealed to Yuri, all the boy can do is sit back in defeat.
In the meantime, the Great One had released Wolfram’s heart and awakens the naked young man. Having been selfish person, Wolfram has come a long way as well and is determined to help save Yuri from the clutches of the Great One. When the others come back, defeated, it is Wolfram that suggests the try another way to defeat the Great One. As luck would have it, Yuri’s moaning sword, Morgif, was also teleported out of the castle as well. Gunter suggests they take the sword and cast it down into a volcano in Van da Via Island in order to revamp its power. Taking the clumsy-yet-loyal Dakaskos, they set out to do just that.
Managing to use Yuri’s body, the Great One is confronted by the others again with Wolfram in tow but now they have a weapon against him. The real Yuri does sense his companions’ determination and does fight back as well and, in the end, the connection between the Great One and the Originators finally comes to light. I won’t go into details about how this confrontation ends because the twist is actually quite unpredictable. Feeling that the Demon Kingdom is once again safe and the Great One disappears, Yuri, Ken and Yuri’s older brother jump into the portal that takes them back home.
Oh, but that’s not the end of this story. While life gets back to normal in the Great Demon Kingdom, it comes to Cecilie von Spitzberg as well as every other member of the royal court that finding a replacement for the Demon King is not going to be easy. Back on Earth, Ken and Yuri return to their life as students when Ken tosses Yuri back into the water. Let’s just say, this event certainly sets things up for Season III.
Volume 9 of Kyo Kara Maoh! is an unpredictable and absorbing ending to one of the more exciting seasons of this much loved series. There have certainly been numerous surprises throughout the season and Kyo Kara Maoh! fans will be genuinely pleased by the developments that continue to make this such a wonderfully original series well worth watching.
Yuri and his loyal troops set out to confront the Great One once and for all but only find defeat thanks to what seems like a great betrayal to the Demon King. While Yuri struggles to save himself from the hold the Originators have on him, a massive army threatens to destroy all that is good in the Great Demon Kingdom. The final episode is a fitting ending for Season II.
VIDEO QUALITY: A
The video is as good as the previous releases of this series and that’s good considering the animation isn’t bad at all. The Anamorphic Widescreen certainly works for the final four episodes.
AUDIO QUALITY: B-
I’m not a big fan of the English dub on this series so the Japanese voices are clearly the best way to experience Kyo Kara Maoh! Season 2 also has the best opening and closing songs and the Yoichiro Yoshikawa score seems more epic as well.
A few trailers can be found on the disc and that’s about it.
Fans who have been keeping a close eye on Kyo Kara Maoh! will be pleasantly pleased by Volume 9. Season II has definitely opened up many possibilities and numerous surprises that still make this one of the more delightful shojo anime and truly satisfying fantasy series. We are definitely looking forward to Season Three.