Akuma Kun Season 1 Ending Explained – How does Ichiro trap Strophaia?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 11, 2023
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Akuma Kun Season 1 Ending Explained
Akuma Kun Season 1 | Image via Netflix

Let me be the first to tell you that the ending of Akuma Kun Season 1 is deliberately ambiguous and mostly exists to set up a second season. The first twelve episodes are good enough to deserve one, and there’s something refreshingly ballsy about a protagonist getting their heart eaten (literally) at the end of a run, so perhaps it’ll be renewed after all. In the meantime, it’s worth breaking down everything that happened in the run-up to Gremory chowing down on Ichiro’s ticker, which will contain major spoilers for the entire season but the finale, Episode 12, in particular.

Akuma Kun Season 1 Episode 12 Recap

“Sacrifice” revolves primarily around the struggle against Strophaia, a winged angel formerly imprisoned by Solomon’s Flute and subsequently unleashed over Shingo’s Invisible School through Ichiro’s recollection of his past and outpouring of emotions. Strophaia blames Ichiro’s adoptive father Shingo for the long entrapment, so seals him and his school inside a red magic bubble.

Mephisto II and III try to break through the barrier while Ichiro looks for clues in his apartment – with the help of Gremory, which will be key later. Armed with some goodies – a power-depleting scroll and a gun loaded with Malefica Holy Water bullets – Ichiro returns to school and saves the Mephistos from a demon disguised as Shingo.

Does Akuma Kun kill Mephisto II?

What’s smart about the Akuma Kun finale is that its biggest moment is a character-based one. During the battle with Strophaia, human-demon hybrid Mephisto II allows his demonic side to take over completely, a fate he has always been terrified of. Being so terrified of it he had formed a contingency plan, which is to make Ichiro kill him if he loses control. This is what happens, but it means a lot more than that.

Ichiro’s arc throughout the season has involved an inability to grasp human emotions and behavior, so this moment, the sudden need to kill his best friend, is the exam at the end of the module. He feels real emotions when faced with the prospect of shooting Mephisto with his demon-killing gun, and is deeply, sincerely affected by the action when he does so.

How does Ichiro trap Strophaia?

As it turns out, though, this was all part of Strophaia’s plan. Once again, smartly, the villainous plot is tied to the main character’s emotional state. Strophaia has previously been imprisoned by Solomon’s Flute, to which Ichiro has a connection. The loss of Ichiro’s guardian caused a crack in the flute, and the idea is that his deeply felt losses will eventually shatter it completely.

Thus, Strophaia wants to put Ichiro through the wringer. His killing Mephisto II is part of that. It’s the same with targeting Shingo, leaving him cursed and as good as dead. If Ichiro is dealt enough trauma, the flute should shatter into nothing – and that’s precisely what happens.

The twist, though, is that Ichiro’s connection to the instrument is so deep that it doesn’t need to physically exist for him to play it. He can bring it into being simply from his heart, through his love and belief and sense of friendship. This is also what happens. Ichiro brings the flute back and uses it to imprison Strophaia once again. In the angel’s absence, Mephisto II is revived, his demon half gone and his human side immune to the demon-killing gun.

How does Akuma Kun Season 1 end?

While this seems like it has the basis of a happy ending – the Big Bad is defeated, Ichiro has learned something about himself and his relationships, and while he’s still a little quirky he’s very much not the person he once was – Episode 12 quickly morphs into a more daring and confounding finale.

It comes down to Gremory. With Ichiro having made the deal to offer his heart to Gremory in exchange for services rendered, and the defeat of Strophaia constituting a pretty big service, the demon feels fully entitled to Ichiro’s ticker.

The first season of Akuma Kun ends, then, with Gremory ripping out Ichiro’s heart to feast on it, all while he has a seemingly knowing smile on his face and remains very much alive. It’s a deliberately ambiguous ending that’ll be highly frustrating for many, but if it justifies a second-season renewal, then perhaps that was the point all along.

RELATED: Akuma Kun Season 2 Renewal Status

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