Geneon // 2004 // 125 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // August 18th, 2005
"Stop calling me a wimp!"
-- Yuri Shibuya
In Kyo Kara Maoh!: God(?) Save Our King (Volume 1), Yuri Shibuya was flushed down a toilet into a bizarre alternate universe, and was proclaimed the Demon King of a fantastic medieval kingdom where humans and demons are on the brink of war with each other. Through a series of mishaps and adventures, Yuri ended up engaged to a guy named Wolfram, and set sail to the island of Van Da Via to find an elusive treasure. In Kyo Kara Maoh!: God(?) Save Our King (Volume 2), the team of adventurers (including Yuri, Wolfram, Conrad, and Josak) comes across a mountain spring where Morgrif, the demon sword, resides. Only the Demon King can touch the sword, and he effectively captures the item to bring it back to his kingdom. Yuri makes a shocking decision once he learns the true source of Morgrif's power. He returns home to play baseball and be a normal boy for a period, but is once again summoned to the strange kingdom. Stoffel, the regent of the previous monarch, is making plans to lead a rebellion against the new Demon King. Yuri must find a missing jewel, and finds himself in enemy hands before the volume concludes.
Kyo Kara Maoh!: God(?) Save Our King (Volume 2) is the second batch of episodes from Geneon of an unorthodox anime broadcast on NHK in 2004. The show itself defies classification -- it is a blending of Yaoi (an anime sub-genre which has only attractive boys as leads), a Middle Ages fantasy saga, and broad comedy. These five episodes aren't as strong as those on Kyo Kara Maoh!: God(?) Save Our King (Volume 1), but they do have their moments and propel the story forward. I still really enjoyed Kyo Kara Maoh!: God(?) Save Our King (Volume 2), but it wasn't as engaging as the first volume. The action was much less frequent, and the jokes were often repeats of what we saw previously. The narrative seems to be forming, and these shows are primarily concerned with exposition and silly moments. The animation is solid, but very retro in style. It appears to be more traditional cel than CGI. It will appeal to anime fans who like things with a classic feel instead of shows that push technology and unconventional storytelling. The characters are the strongest element of the series, and we do get some insight into many of the leads' backstories.
One thing that does crop up here in Kyo Kara Maoh!: God(?) Save Our King (Volume 2) that is different than the first volume is the amount of "slash" (homoerotic scenes). Wolfram seems to be becoming more aggressively jealous when Yuri provides any attention to anyone else, but especially to attractive women or young guys. And just wait until you see the blonde pretty boy in a pink nightie. There is a scene where the characters Gwendal and Gunter get high together, and Gwendal picks up a cat and makes a rather lewd comment. By the end of this collection they end up kissing, even though it is to break a curse. I had wondered about the homoerotic elements in the first volume, because they didn't seem too strong. Yet in this volume they come to the foreground a lot more frequently than before. It seems to be becoming a little more gay with each volume. Nothing is overtly stated, but if you look hard, it's there.
Geneon provides another solid transfer with bright colors, one where shimmering and edge enhancement is not present. They certainly seem to have found the best way technically to present anime on DVD without any visual gaffes. They offer their standard stereo tracks in English and Japanese. The English dub is alright, but the Japanese track seems more solidly performed. The English subtitles reveal more intricate plot points than what the dub delivers, so you will lose some detail if you rely solely on the English audio. The visuals found in Kyo Kara Maoh!: God(?) Save Our King (Volume 2) aren't all that impressive, so subtitles and Japanese are the best way to watch the show. There are no extras this time around, except for twenty-four images in an animation gallery which shows each lead character in various costumes.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 125 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Image Gallery
* Official Site
* DVD Verdict Review of Volume One