William Twining’s family has it all – wealth, British noble lineage, large estate, genius heir at a prestigious school – until his uncle makes some bad investments and loses everything of value in the house except Kevin Cecil, the family’s loyal butler. Lurking behind a locked door in the basement, however, is a summoning circle that brings the Demon Duke Dantalion over to the real world when William’s blood is spilled on it, activating a millenia-old contract. This is all well and good for William, or would be if he believed a word of it. He is a Realist, a skeptic, who derives his understanding of the world from science. How is Dantalion supposed to fight to take over as the King of Hell when William, a direct descendant of Solomon and therefore the Elector of Lucifer’s successor, doesn’t even believe he exists?
This show is yaoi-fodder, plain and simple. Coming from the same magazine that gave us Loveless and last season’s Karneval, this story exists to have pretty boys doing impressive things and get fangirls’ (or boys’, if they swing that way) blood and imaginations flowing. However, with the mythology and actual premise at play here, Makai Ouji has a lot to offer regular fans as well.
While the elements of demons in contracts and exquisite British-style academies and butlers and even the use of the name “Dantalion” in anime are nothing new, the show is still entertaining in its own right. In fact, its current tendency for colorful fantasy designs and elemental combat already separates it from the highly atmospheric and serious Black Butler. Like Karneval, this is so far looking to be some light fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still involves some cool action. If this sounds like your kind of show, it probably is.
My biggest concern right now is that there is no way that William will be able to continually avoid working the reality of demons and the occult into his worldview. If they delay it for too long or make it too big of a plot point, it will easily descend into unnecessary melodrama. If they get it out of the way early and relatively quickly, the show will be fine.
Despite my worrying, according to genre, setting, and attention to mythology this IS my type of show. It entertains me, and doggone it, I like it.