Kyou Kara Maou image.

The Land of Shounen-ai

"Kyou Kara Maou is an anime with a rather direct premise. Get a bunch of beautiful guys together, put them in compromising situations, and let the sparks fly"

by Maria Lin

What do you have to do to be magically transported to a new world, become the leader of an entire race, and have everyone with functioning hormones after you? You have to get flushed down a toilet of course.

At least, that's how it works for Yuuri, a not so smart, not so amazing Japanese boy who finds himself flushed into another dimension and told that his soul is the reincarnation of the first demon king, or Maou, Shinou. At first, Yuuri thinks he has ended up in a theme park, or perhaps he's just dreaming, but soon he realizes that this world is very real, and as Maou of the country Shinma, he is responsible for an entire nation.

Actually, things aren't as serious as they may seem. Yuuri is a self-depreciating, loudmouthed boy with a moral code that lands him in trouble over and over again. And his court is composed of a lighthearted selection of rather personable bishounen.

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Bishounen are what Kyou Kara Maou is all about in the end. There is the strong silent type, the doting assistant with long purple hair, the brooding seme, and the cute (yet rather violent) uke. Adding to that is the fact that no one is ugly in this anime. Except for the pirates, who are walking fashion disasters. Every character is eye candy in his or her own special way, and they're all rather open in their sexuality as well.

Then there is Yuuri himself, whose aforementioned forwardness is what got him flushed to begin with, and he accidentally proposes to a boy by the second episode. For Yuuri, this is a little disturbing, but it doesn't seem to bother anyone else in the least.

Kyou Kara Maou image.

If you haven't realized already, Kyou Kara Maou is an anime with a rather direct premise. Get a bunch of beautiful guys together, put them in compromising situations, and let the sparks fly. That's not saying that there isn't a plot. On the contrary, Kyou Kara Maou is one of the first shounen-ai (boy's love) titles I've seen that has a purpose other than to get a bunch of guys cozy with each other.

Shinma, Yuuri's country, seems to be constantly threatened by the human menace, and everyone seems to think Yuuri, as the new Maou, will lead his people to an amazing victory over his enemies. Yuuri, however, detests the idea of war, and insists on an alternative. His court does what it can to appease him, but it seems like the other side is rather battle hungry itself, and it will take all of Yuuri's determination to bring peace to the world without war.

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But who am I kidding? While the plot is there, and the bishounen serve as a good initial hook, the main reason that Kyou Kara Maou is such a fun anime is because of how funny it is. Granted, you have to have a certain affinity for sexual innuendo and alternate lifestyles to fully enjoy the depth of this title's comedy. Some jokes are dependent upon an understanding of Japanese too, but the subs take care of that. Anyone allergic to corny jokes should take the anime in small doses, however, since most of it is pretty slapstick.

Anyone who has enjoyed titles such as Gravitation and Fake definitely needs to look into Kyou Kara Maou. Because of its subject matter, it may not get licensed very quickly in the states, but then again, the market is opening and anything is possible. NHK is the Japanese network airing the series, and it has already been picked up by a number of subgroups, so there is no excuse to miss this title.

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For this series, I predict love pairings as abundant as Gundam Wing, a lot of speculation on who Yuuri finally ends up with by the end (it may be his fiancée, Wolfram, but Conrad seems a likely candidate as well), and a happy ending for all.

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