“The Witch of Destruction” is a visual treat, and continues to expand on an interesting premise.
This recap of The Misfit of Demon King Academy episode 2, “The Witch of Destruction”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
How you feel about The Misfit of Demon King Academy will depend, I think, on how much you care that its protagonist, Anos, is overpowered. It’s an understandable grievance and I’ve seen people moan about it already, but I must admit that I don’t mind it very much in this case. This is, in part, because I think the show knows this about itself. Superman is historically more powerful than all of his iconic nemeses, and that’s entirely the point. His stories are never about how powerful he is; as a matter of fact, his being so powerful allows other aspects of his character – his morality, his determination, his desire to save everyone that he can – to come to the fore. “The Witch of Destruction” seems to imply that this story will work in a similar way.
It’s the opening that gives it away. A flashback to the Mythical Age 2000 years ago, we see the Demon King make an agreement with his adversary, the hero Kanon, to sacrifice himself to secure peace. This original Demon King is presumably as strong, if not stronger than his reincarnation, yet here he is, dying for a cause greater than himself. The most powerful thing he could do was to not use his powers and surrender to peace. It certainly tracks.
When The Misfit of Demon King Academy episode 2 returns to the present – after a funny gag of baby Anos speaking coherently to his parents – we get a bit more of a sense of the academy’s classism and internal politics. Anos is a hybrid, the titular misfit, and he’s ostracised as a result. His considerable powers, which he uses to prove a point to the class teacher, are a means by which he tackles prejudice and demands equal treatment. There isn’t any tension in whether or not he’ll fail, or be defeated by a stronger opponent, and there isn’t supposed to be. When the eponymous Witch of Destruction, Sasha Necron, challenges Anos, who sides with her – everyone besides her own sister, Misha – is more important than anyone’s respective abilities.
Anos and Sasha compete in a kind of magical strategy game which Anos happily powers his way through. Yes, he defeats Sasha easily, but again, that’s the point. Afterward, she agrees to his presence and he tells her that she’s powerful; that he defeated her easily allows him to praise her sincerely. This is what the show is getting at.
What it also seems to be getting at is a kind of love triangle between Sasha, Misha, and Anos, which would again make Anos’s relative power somewhat moot. We’ll have to see how that develops. But thus far I’m a fan of this show’s school setting, its mythology, and its stellar aesthetic, and while I totally understand why people would be put off by the idea of having a superpowered protagonist, I think it might be missing the point a little.
We are fast becoming the number one independent website for streaming coverage. Please support Ready Steady Cut today. Secure its future — we need you!
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.