The Demon Girl Next Door
Yuuko Yoshida woke up one day and discovered she had grown horns and a tail.
To her utter shock, Yuuko learns that she is the descended of a long line of demons, and a curse has only ever allowed her family to live with just enough to get by. However, that could change if Yuuko could offer her ancestors the blood of a magical girl.
But what are the odds a magical girl will just conveniently show up?
Let’s get something straight right at the start. This is not going to be a long review; this show doesn’t require one. As such, I would like you to take that to mean something positive. That should also be seen as convenient since The Demon Girl Next Door was quite good.
Calling to mind all the anime I have seen from the 2019 summer season, I would go so far as to rank The Demon Girl Next Door as the best end-of-the-day anime of its lot. Perhaps my phrasing is self-evident, but in case it is not, I am not saying The Demon Girl Next Door is among the top shows of its season. Although it is worth watching, there is a massive gap between it and something like Demon Slayer or Astra Lost in Space.
While those latter two were fascinating stories, they were also precisely that, stories. They were series you sat down to experience. By their nature, they required you to pay attention and engage with what was going on. Since what was going on in those two shows was gripping and hard to put down, they were a lot of fun. However, despite how easy I found Demon Slayer and Astra Lost in Space were to marathon, I wouldn’t and couldn’t recommend either of them if you asked me what’s an anime to wind down with at the end of a long day. That is where a show like The Demon Girl Next Door comes into play.
If you’re looking for an anime that will get you to laugh while also allowing you to check out for a while mentally, you need not look any further.
The Demon Girl Next Door was silly, goofy, and hilarious through and through. This series may have been poking fun at the magical girl genre, but it didn’t require you to be a fan of the type of show it was parodying. At its core, this was a slice-of-life screwball comedy that just so happened to have magical girl elements. And though that might have been a great bonus, what impressed me the most about this series was its versatility.
In the past, I have mentioned how much I appreciate a strong straight man performance. Many shows have found immense success in firmly defining the roles its characters were to play. If someone was the wild card, then they often remained the wild card. If someone was the aggressor, then they often remained the aggressor. And, of course, if someone was the straight man, you guessed it, then they often remained the straight man.
No rule states that a character must stay as one archetype, but that is the pattern I typically run across. But then something like The Demon Girl Next Door comes along and says, “phooey.”
This series was as funny as it was because its characters constantly drifted between the different comedic roles. Nowhere was this more apparent than with Yuuko and her best friend/mortal enemy, the magical girl Momo Chiyoda. By default, I would class Yuuko as the aggressor and Momo as the straight man. But what made this show stand out was how frequently, and masterfully, they swapped positions.
There were plenty of instances when the more levelheaded Momo would either say something randomly or do something bizarre, and it would be the spastic Yuuko who would need to respond to her friend’s silliness. You never knew where any given situation was going to go. Consequently, this series never grew dull or dry. I was laughing at the end of The Demon Girl Next Door as hard as I was at the beginning – or even harder.
That is why I like to think of this series more in terms of a slice-of-life and not as a magical girl anime. The Demon Girl Next Door worked incredibly well as a story of two people becoming the closest of friends. Yuuko and Momo could trade roles so freely because of the intense chemistry they had between one another. I honestly can’t imagine what this show would have been like had these two been any less than they were.
Substantially, there wasn’t anything particularly memorable about The Demon Girl Next Door. Nevertheless, its two main characters and the relationship they formed, I’m willing to bet, will turn this series memorable.
To reiterate, The Demon Girl Next Door was a parody on the typical magical girl anime and a solid one at that. However, this series also tried its hand at being an actual magical girl anime. Unfortunately, I can’t help seeing that as a bit of a mistake on this show’s part.
It doesn’t bother me that this series tried to have a meatier story. What does bother me was how weak the effort turned out to be.
For example, (introducing this detail somewhat late, mind you), The Demon Girl Next Door established that magical girls vanished when they used up all their power, and Momo was, apparently, in real danger of that happening. Although that might sound like a pretty big deal, it was hard to appreciate it, given how this series brushed it aside.
Nothing forced this show to open the idea that the duty of a magical girl was life-draining (you know, something akin to what was done in the exceedingly darker Madoka Magica). For this series to continue with its not-at-all-serious nature afterward was a tad strange.
And that’s not even including the “mystery” behind Yuuko’s family. I put the word mystery in quotes because the thought of a deeper meaning behind Yuuko’s demonic bloodline never even crossed my mind until it was forced in at the end. Strangely enough, The Demon Girl Next Door build a door so that it could open a path to a possible second season. That was highly unnecessary since this series was pretty much free to have a continuation for no other reason than to have one.
Having said all that, and I probably should have started the section with this, these “issues” I had with this show are a stretch at best. The only fault I can give The Demon Girl Next Door was that it bit off just a little more than it needed. But thankfully, there was plenty more good to this series that could easily support a small touch of strain.
I liked this show a lot, and that could have been the whole review.
It was funny, smart, and incredibly relaxing. An absolute treat if you want my brutally honest opinion.
The Demon Girl Next Door has earned a recommendation.
The Demon Girl Next Door Series Review: Of Friends and Mortal Enemies
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Plot - 7/107/10
- Character Development - 7/107/10
- Production - 8/108/10
- Music - 7/107/10
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