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In a World of magic and fantasy, there exist two worlds. The Human World populated by humans and the Demon World populated by mythical, fantasy creatures. Fifteen years ago, "the War of the Southern Kingdoms” began between Humans and Demons, each side intending to conquer the other. But the war is still in a stalemate, until a young man decides to do something about it. Known as the Hero, he is a skilled and powerful warrior, and has traveled to the Demon World to end their evil by killing their leader, the Maou, the Demon Queen.
After finally entering her castle, the Hero prepares himself for battle with the Demon Queen. To his surprise, the Demon Queen doesn't want to fight, but talks with him instead, revealing the truth about the war he’s been too naive to realize. The human/demon war isn't really between Good and Evil, as not all Demons are evil and not all humans are good. Furthermore, the war has benefited both sides, since humans united to fight a common enemy and thus improved medication, boosted the economy, and generally bettered society. Similar improvements happened with the demons as well.
However, the war has also allowed opportunists to take advantage of their own people, powerful and corrupt humans controlling the poor and weak; likewise the stronger, war-mongering demon clans harass and attack weaker, peaceful clans. It is for these reasons that the war has lasted this long. What's worse, if one side defeats the other, the losers will be oppressed, colonized, and enslaved by the winners ... who will begin fighting among themselves for control.
Ending the war immediately is an even worse idea, because so many soldiers have been trained. With no skills but violence, and no one to pay them once the war is over, these soldiers will start attacking their former masters, leading to massive civil wars on both sides. The Demon Queen, on the other hand has a better idea. She wants the Hero’s help to end the war peacefully with the least repercussions by playing behind the scenes to build prosperity for both sides. Finally convinced, the Hero agrees to joins her in this task. They will gain further allies and companions in the process.
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha or Archenemy and Hero (also known as The Demon Queen and The Hero) is a fantasy light novel series written by Touno Mamare. Originally posted as an original story on 2ch (the complete story and threads are archived in Japanese here), the story received such a positive response that the author decided to do a light novel series. Currently, there are five novels (divided into 43 webnovels) and five different manga adaptations:
- Maoyuu Maou Yuusha: Running on Famitsu Comic Clear.
- Maoyuu Maou Yuusha 「Kono Watashi no Mono to Nare, Yuusha yo」 「Kotowaru!」: Running on Comp Ace.
- Maoyuu Maou Yuusha - Oka no Mukou e: Running on Champion RED.
- Maoyuu 4-Koma: Muitemasen yo, Maou-sama!: Running on the series official website.
- Maoyuu Maou Yuusha Gaiden: A spin-off running on Monthly Shonen Sirius.
A Drama CD is also out as well and the webnovels are currently being translated.
Tropes used in this series include:
- All Amazons Want Hercules: Between Lady Knight, the Demon Queen and the Fire Dragon Grand Princess, Hero is quite the lady's man.
- Alternate Continuity: The various mangas tell the same story, but certain events happen differently. In the Comic Clear version, for instance, the human attempt to attack Aurora island happens before the Young Merchant negotiated with the Demon Queen for her improved compass, while in most versions, it's the other way around. Also, in the Yonkoma and Champion Red version, Lady Knight was with the Hero before he left for the Demon world; in the other versions, Hero already left before she arrived. (She was very unhappy about this.)
- An Offer You Can't Refuse:Demon Queen and Young Merchant attempt this on each other. The Merchant Union wants her to sell the rights to her compass to them; she'll sell it if in exchange the Union plants her Maize seeds in other nations. Each side is ready to have its guards attack the other. In the end, the Young Merchant agrees to the Demon Queen's deal, his humanity winning him over against his greed.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: With the Demon Queen and several human and demon nobles being a very notable exception.
- Badass: Hero, Lady Knight and South Arctic General.
- Battle Butler: The Head Maid lists bodyguard duties and leading armies among her responsibilities as a maid.
- The Archer eventually becomes this to the Winter Prince.
- Blood Knight: The South Arctic General of the Fanged Beast Clan is a giant demon Walrus who would rather loot and go to war than listen to the Demon Queen.
- Book Dumb: The Hero himself since he never had any education. He gets better later.
- Church Militant: The Crusaders.
- Corrupt Church: All the decent church officials shown are at the relatively lower levels, such as the nuns Lady Knight affiliated with. The highest officers of the church are conspiring with one of the most militant Demon clans to keep the war going. A Demon representative promises this clan "will gratefully act as 'the Enemy of the Church' for the sake of your continual reign in the Human world."
- Corrupt Corporate Executives: Humans and Demons who fund the war. The Merchant Union for the humans.
- Cute Monster Girl: The Demon Queen. Very cute, and looks entirely human. Her horns are actually attached to a headband; some versions suggest that it serves as her official crown.
- The fairies.
- Grand Princess Fire Dragon. Which is weird since her dad, Archduke Fire Dragon, is a dragon. She does have a flaming lizard's tail however.
- Deconstructed Trope: Discussed in-story for Decapitated Army. As the Demon Queen points out, the end of a war is decided by the person in charge of one side of a war, not necessarily because their army is decimated. The person who kills such an authority figure is an assassin, not a hero and such an action is rendered moot if that authority figure can be easily replaced.
- Depending on the Artist: All versions differ in art style, the original novel features detailed art and proportional anatomy, fitting for older audiences. The manga versions fit their storytelling, the battle oriented versions features fluid art and dynamic sequences; the character interaction/romance versions features Generic Cuteness with focus on the women being more curvy and the men being statuesque; the 4 Koma is in Super-Deformed style.
- Distaff Counterpart: Both the Hero and Lady Knight are technically the same Fantasy Character Classes with some difference.
- Doing in the Wizard: In-story version. When others talk about "the blessing of the earth" the Demon Queen talks about soil nutrients. Sometimes inverted where she gives a pseudo-magical explanation for things that she understands scientifically.
- Engineered Public Confession: A variation; Blue Demon Prince, Seal King now after murdering his father, knows he's publicly admitting his intent to disregard the oligarchic structure of Demon society and rule as a tyrant ... but he thinks he's been legitimately crowned the Demon King after his agent assassinated Demon Queen and can only be dethroned by an assembly which only he has the authority to call. And then, once he's made his contempt for the opinions of others plain, everybody's favorite buxom redhead turns out to be alive, meaning his authority is invalid...
- 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...
- Fan Service: Usually dished out by the Demon Queen, Lady Knight or Fire Dragon Grand Princess.
- A Father to His Men: South Arctic General is genuinely distressed when his second-in-command is killed.
- Gag Series: The Yonkoma manga where the Demon Queen is a Dojikko and the Hero plays the straight man.
- Genre Savvy: The Demon Queen.
- Giving Radio to the Romans: Most of the ideas and inventions that the Demon Queen introduced are ahead of what could be expected in the basically Middle Ages setting.
- Grey and Grey Morality:
- Guile Hero: The Demon Queen is presumably a Lady of Black Magic with all that entails but prefers using her brain power rather than other powers.
- Insistent Terminology: Head Maid calls Serfs "Slaves", as that's the truth of what they really are.
- I Read It for the Articles: Regardless of the medium, you will feel smarter when you're done with this.
- 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 good enough healer that his party could go without a dedicated one, and seems to know some attack magic. He also has a vague similarity in looks to the Dragon Quest III hero, especially in the webcomic.
- Lady and Knight: The Demon Queen and the Hero.
- Lap Pillow: The Demon Queen asks the Hero to use hers. She's a bit shaken, though, when he instantly does so.
- Lightning Bruiser: Hero, Lady Knight and South Arctic General.
- Long Title: Maoyuu Maou Yuusha - Kono Watashi no Mono Tonare, 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.
- Magic Knight: The Hero is an excellent swordsman, but also has some very useful magic. Lady Knight likewise.
- Medium Awareness: In the 4-Koma. The Hero states that this universes Demon Queen is very different from the others. After discussing it, he demands that she switches with one. Immediately.
- Meido: The Head Maid. Also a Battle Butler, which qualifies her as a Ninja Maid.
- Moral Myopia: The first half of the first chapter is presented as The Big Bad Calling the Hero Out for his Moral Myopia with a series of Armor Piercing Questions.
- Noble Demon: The Demon Queen.
- No Name Given: Seriously, the series doesn't call the characters by their real names, only their titles.
- Our Demons Are Different: The demon tribe that the Demon Queen and Head Maid comes from look exactly like humans but it's played straight with the other demon tribes.
- Pet the Dog: Despite Head Maid harshly berating the runaway Serf sisters, she decides to hire the girls as her helpers, ensuring the sisters will no longer live like poor slaves anymore.
- Portmantitle: Maoyuu is not a proper word, that's why it is written in Hiragana, it's just Maou + Yuusha.
- Putting the Band Back Together: The Hero later reunites with his former companions he left.
- Really One Hundred Fifty Years Old: The Demon Queen and Head Maid.
- Secret Keeper: Head Maid for the Demon Queen and Hero's plans, Lady Knight to the Crimson Scholar's real identity.
- Eventually Young Merchant is clued in too.
- Shown Their Work: Many of the ideas that the Demon Queen explains are based on real life, such as crop rotation: the exact system of crop rotation discussed is identical to the system that 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). This is actually an appropriate fertilizer for growing potatoes in sandy soil in real life, due to high Nitrogen content.
- Standard Hero Reward: Grand Princess Fire Dragon is offered by her father to the Hero in chapter 6 of the Comp Ace version. Why he didn't explain he's already engaged....
- Stay in the Kitchen: The Warrior youngster initially refuses to learn from Lady Knight. She lists her credentials and then slices a sword in half in front of him. He shuts up.
- Stripperiffic: The outfit the Demon Queen wears for the initial confrontation with the Hero. Her regular clothing is far more practical. Head Maid forces her into another sexy outfit for her first meeting with Young Merchant; as it's shown in the anime and one of the manga variants this verges on Absolute Cleavage and must have a specially stiffened bodice to keep from falling open.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Much to her frustration, the Demon Queen feels like this after teaching some youngsters especially three young boys who come from different backgrounds (Warrior, Noble and Merchant) who failed to understand the consequences of the war from a social and economic viewpoint.
- Sword Beam: The Hero demonstrates this, and explains the technique by Saying Sound Effects Out Loud.
- Sword and Sorcerer: The Hero and Demon Queen.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Inverted. The Demon Queen wins the Hero over to her side by explaining the consequences of her death ... with a Power Point presentation! Also later when dealing with the Union and others.
- The Paladin: The Hero and Lady Knight. The Hero keeps this aspect even after becoming the Black Knight.
- There Is Only One Bed: At least only one that both Demon Queen and Female Knight want to sleep in. In Hero's room. Thus, Hilarity Ensues.
- Those Three Guys: The Noble, Warrior and Merchant youngsters.
- 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.
- 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.
- Verbal Judo: Between the Demon Queen and the Young Merchant while they're discussing the compass. Head Maid serves as a combat commentator.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: The Hero until the Demon Queen tells him the harsh truth.
- 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.
- X Meets Y: Spice and Wolf meets Medieval High Fantasy.
- ↑ Maou can also be translated into many ways including Demon Lord, Demon King or Devil but for this All the Tropes page, she will be called Demon Queen.
- ↑ The relatively more serious adaptation.
- ↑ The more light-hearted adaptation, but the focus is the same as the original.
- ↑ This one is centered around interactions and romance, leaving most of the business management aside.
- ↑ Total comedy, all characters the are portrayed in the way of Character Exaggeration here.
- ↑ Centered around Witch Girl's adventures departed from the original party.