Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san. Half Season Review
(Was Miku just licensed by VIZ?! I thought she was y’know YAMAHA’s creation, gosh)
Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san. (with the period) is about a detective, Akutabe, who summons demons to help him solve mysteries. I’ll bet some of you are already groaning from the seeming resemblance to Psychic Detective Yakumo, but this is WAY BETTER.
How much way better?
It’s hands-down the BEST COMEDY OF THE SEASON. Don’t mind that there are only like two.
Don’t be fooled when I say ‘demon’ – the demons are far less demonic than Akutabe is. Using a grimoire or necronomicon or whatever, he can summon demons from hell. Whilst the demons may be demonic in hell, in the human world, they’re just cute fluffy stuffed-animal-like things.
Of course, Akutabe’s a detective, and he needs to do what detectives do – solve mysteries! So, he forces the demons to solve the mysteries for him, usually through… rather violent persuasive means. All in all, Akutabe is a far worse person than the demons are.
The titular character of the show, Azazel-san, is a… winged dog? lion? demon who has the ability to manipulate lust by making people more attractive, less attractive, and even relieving men of their… “little friend”.
All of the demons in the show (one introduced every episode) has the ability to do something. Beelzebub, the penguin-like demon that’s actually a flea,
eats poop has the ability to make people divulge their inner selves, whether it be divulging dark secrets or divulging the contents of their stomach (literally). Salamander, the salamander, can force people to believe their own words – so if you lie, Salamander can force you to completely believe your own lie.
Undine is a mermaid-demon with the power of jealousy, who is able to transform the appearance of any woman she is jealous of until she stops being jealous – especially handy to stop affairs (which Akutabe frequently handles). Finally, Moloch is a cow-demon, who apparently died. How?
See, to summon a demon, you need a contract and a grimoire. When the demon is in the human world, they will not die (even if you stab them in the brain and heart, and then put them in a blender to make into orange juice, make 300 people on a plane drink it, and have the 300 people go to different places all over the world), unless an angel takes their grimoire. There is only one angel so far, Sariel, whose “angelicness” is seriously debatable, and he took Moloch’s grimoire before Moloch could even use his skill of “Violence”.
Actually, this was Moloch’s “Violence” skill…
Finally, the last character is Sakuma Rinko, a slut-apprentice-detective of Akutabe, tricked into a contract with Azazel. Through the episodes, she learns how to use a grimoire and to use demons to “solve” cases.
The characters define this show, as with other shows of the comedy genre (such as Nichijou). As the characters are steadily built up with one being introduced each episode, you don’t feel overwhelmed – even if you marathon the entire show. In fact, I don’t think a marathon of this show is even worth mentioning – not only is each episode 15 minutes long, but the show is just so… watchable, that it’d be more of a surprise if you /didn’t/ marathon it.
To get a sense of what this show is like, just imagine Nichijou, with a seriously badass (like, more badass than the Black Lagoon people) main character, more violence, and a less kid-friendly tone.
That’s right. Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san. is better than Nichijou.
Whereas the humour for Nichijou relies a lot on hit-or-miss, cuteness, stupidity, and pure randomness, Azazel-san’s humour relies on irony/sarcasm, graphic art, violence, and shocks/surprises. This may not be the thing for some people, but while Nichijou’s humour sometimes made me laugh, Azazel-san’s humour ALWAYS makes me laugh. ALWAYS.
Perhaps one reason for this is that randomness and cuteness, when overused, just gets old. Maybe this will happen to Azazel-san’s shock/violence, too, but after nine episodes of Nichijou, it’s getting boring. Azazel-san hasn’t experienced anything of this sort, and I look forward to it every single week – it’s definitely my most anticipated show, now.
Shame it’s only 15 minutes long, though I suppose that could be another reason – Nichijou needs either many more jokes (very hard) or to stretch their jokes (very unfunny) to occupy us for the full 30 minutes, but Azazel-san can start and wrap up an entire case/plot in just a quarter of an hour. I do hope this lasts for more than one cour, though – I wouldn’t be tired even if this was a whole-year thing! Unfortunately, all good things must end, and I don’t think the producers will have enough humour for Azazel-san to last an entire year.
Another reason why this is the best comedy I’ve seen is its blatant disregard for social standards of decency. It shows you how dark and corrupt human society is. Unlike, say, Hen Zemi, which uses sexual aspects as a form of weirdness, Azazel-san uses this to create a very dark, surreal, atmosphere. You have all these cutesy demons prancing around, but Akutabe still has to remind us that demons can never do things for good. The end of every case brought to Akutabe has ended badly, because that’s what the demons are best at.
Instead of other, fluffy, shallow, comedies (which isn’t a bad thing), Azazel-san delves deep into big problems and questions. The angel, Sariel, walks through society without doing a thing (though he may or may not have the power to, at least he should try) to end war, poverty, suffering. He doesn’t even help a molested kid on a subway, and NEITHER DOES ANYBODY ELSE. He symbolizes what I think we all are like – we think of society as being so bad, but none of us have the balls to change it (definitely not Sariel).
I read that manga some time ago but since it’s not finished I can’t post about it
Yet, even as we condemn Sariel for his doings, do we condemn ourselves? Are we pure, good men? Perhaps the world does need to be in balance between good and evil – what would happen if we had world peace, and no poverty, or suffering, or racism, or everything bad? How would we know what good is? If everything all being good is so good, why didn’t God make it like so?
If Sariel truly is an angel, he must be following God’s orders – to not disrupt the natural order. And so, since his only job is to apprehend demons, he isn’t really the failure that we look at him to be. Though he still has no balls.
Anyways, Sariel’s being a racist by assuming that all demons are bad. Yet, they are – didn’t Akutabe mention that? The humour in this is the irony, as with much of the hidden humour throughout the show. It doesn’t make you laugh out loud – it makes you cringe inside, it makes you feel uncomfortable, so uncomfortable you just have to chuckle at how ridiculous the world is.
“THEY ARE THE EYES OF A TRUE WARRIOR” (I’m not making this up)
Even in such a scene, can you resist laughing? Revolution, eh.
The characters in Azazel-san are extremely interesting. There’s Rinko, a wannabe detective that gets too cocky with power. Even so, unlike most supporting characters, she’s not an idiot, and she’s not the goody-two-shoes you’d expect female protagonists to be – though she’s a demon only when she’s drunk.
There’s Akutabe, the far better detective. In a way, he resembles Yakumo, not only in how he “solves” cases that don’t really have to deal with demons, but in his calmness. He doesn’t discriminate between demons (i.e. he treats them all the same: like a punching bag), and he doesn’t rely on them, using his brain at least half the time.
I’ll bet Kusunoki from Sukunai would love Akutabe. I mean, even if Akutabe were wearing a maid dress he would still RADIATE MANLINESS. FROM EVERY ORIFICE.
The demons aren’t just cute and fluffy, either. This discrepancy between acting as a real demon and being a fluffy stuffed animal is also used as a form of humour – even as they rage on about things that really do matter, Akutabe just steps on them like they’re demons or something. OH WAIT
I don’t believe that Moloch died from just that – this will not be the last we hear of him and Sariel.
(Forgot to mention, but: EVERY PICTURE HERE IS COMPLETELY UNEDITED)
Anyways, Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san. is by far the best comedy I have seen. I cannot help but laugh out loud EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Also, MA-SHU-MA-RO-DI-JE is THE AWESOMEST THING YOU HAVE SEEN SINCE that one thing that was a little bit awesomer.
What? You don’t think so?