Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san. Half Season Review [Completed]
(Flare somehow revived his blog and now BETS ON WHEN HE’LL DELETE IT I SAY FOUR MONTHS)
Welcome to Hell, land of demons eating tasty vegetables
First of all, let me say this. Azazel-san is amazing. It’s like better than AnoHana but since I gave AnoHana extra points for trying so hard it’s not. Azazel-san is hands down the funniest show of this season, and definitely my most anticipated one every week.
For one, even though it’s a comedy, it still tries for some plot. The main antagonist of the latter half are the Angels, people sent from heaven to retrieve grimoires on Earth to restore peace and sanity.
We’ve seen an angel already, Sariel, who took Moloch’s grimoire up to heaven, effectively killing him. You’d expect Sariel to just be an odd one out, and all angels to actually be more… angelic, but you’re wrong. Even the Lord our God is pretty retarded.
Welcome to Heaven, land of floating second-rate Chinese apartment buildings
However, the second angel isn’t introduced immediately after Sariel’s departure. Since the latter half is seven episodes long, the producers have divided them into three main segments – two episodes for the Gusion arc, two episodes for the Nyorin arc, and three episodes for the Zeruel arc.
Douchin Koutarou is the grandson of an acquaintance of Akutabe, and he made a contract with a monkey-like demon, Gusion, in exchange for all the memories of his grandfather. Gusion’s ability is that of forgetfulness – he can eat people’s memories, and fond memories are especially delicious.
Koutarou enrols to some school, and Undine accompanies him as his guardian. Unfortunately, she falls in love with a teacher at the school, Himo-T. If Undine’s no longer in love with Akutabe, her contract will be rendered null and void and she’ll wreck havoc on the world.
However, Undine’s ability of jealousy doesn’t work, as Himo-T doesn’t love her. Eventually, she renders the entire school (the one thing Himo-T did love) into a brutal warzone, but Gusion saves the day by cooking up a misunderstanding and eating the memories of everybody in the school.
Welcome to Japan, land of murderously grotesque high schoolers
The next arc has Rinko’s drastic attempts to amend her school marks, as she’s skipped many classes due to the cases she often has to solve. She offers to buy a nerd’s notes, but of course, what he wants isn’t money, it’s her body…
Rinko cosplays as… something, and finds out that working at anime conventions gives her much more money than Akutabe does, and considers quitting the detective work altogether.
Nevertheless, Beelzebub, in his ‘normal’ form (which looks oddly like the Prince of England) slaps some sense into her and she realizes that maybe, just maybe, RETARDED SHITS WILL BE RETARDED SHITS
Welcome to Japan, where every day brings new perspectives
The second angel finally appears and introduces himself as Zeruel, an angel of the mountains. He loves mountains, and has climbed more mountains than there are in the world. Although he is a skilled alpinist, he is woefully inadequate at performing the only task Angels perform – retrieving grimoires. In fact, the feeling of retrieving a grimoire for an angel is more awesome than climbing Mount Everest naked, which is a decidedly awesome thing to do, apparently.
Rinko, tired of her landlady’s bitching, instructs Salamander to make her eat her own words. The now nice landlady sees a homeless alpinist outside her apartment, and offers him help. The alpinist, being a normal human being, desires the one thing all normal human beings desire – a demonic grimoire, because, I mean, who doesn’t have a demonic grimoire these days?!
Thus, the nice landlady invades Akutabe’s apartment, takes Beelzebub’s grimoire, and gives it to the human alpinist.
Welcome to anime, land of moe filthy hags
But suddenly, the alpinist turns into an Angel! Zeruel ascends to heaven to receive his award.
…which consist mainly of penis jokes made by his Lord our Saviour, the God Almighty.
Meanwhile, Beelzebub suddenly disappears – he has died, just as Moloch has. Akutabe curses himself for being so careless, and resolves never to let this happen again.
Back in Heaven, the Lord our God was pleased by Zeruel’s contributions to the art of penis jokes, and takes the grimoire.
BUT THERE IS NO GRIMOIRE
The nice landlady decided that giving books that belong to other people away is a not-nice thing to do. Instead, she gave Zeruel 3 million yen – that’s enough to buy any book, right? Beelzebub turned out to just be doing what fly demons do, and the series concludes wi-EAT SHIT
Welcome t-HERP DERP EAT SHIT
Heaven and Hell actually aren’t that different from Earth in Azazel-san. Of course, there are some obvious discrepancies throughout the show (the OP sequence shows the ‘true form’ of the demons, right? But then Beelzebub’s true form isn’t of a fly… but Undine’s true form is exactly as the OP sequence is), but generally, people in Hell still have morals, emotions, and the like. Pardon me, /seem to/. Heaven is just as corrupt as Earth, and definitely not heavenly. If people did go to somewhere after death which wasn’t maintained by God or anything, this is what Heaven would become.
At first, I thought the plot of the final episode would revolve around Akutabe & Co. invading Heaven to get Beelzebub back. While that will definitely be AWESOME, time limitations prevent it from happening, and besides, a show like Azazel won’t let such unrealistic things happen.
At first, Azazel feels extremely unrealistic, what with demons, disgusting angels, and the like, but eventually you realize that it’s more ‘real’ than any other anime. Even a ‘realistic’ drama like AnoHana was decidedly not realistic, even if you do overlook Menma being a ghost and the like. Azazel defines a set of rules that its universe follow, and then follow through with following those rules. Demons aren’t used for good things. Deus ex machinas never happen, because nobody’s ever trapped into a hopeless scenario. Cases aren’t always resolved for good, and sometimes they aren’t even resolved. Loose threads aren’t retied later. If you’re looking for a show that makes sense the entire runthrough, Azazel is right here. It looks like it doesn’t make sense, but judging it based on that is like saying [C] makes sense because it’s about economics.
Welcome to Hell, land of sentient reproducing swords
Azazel-san does a lot of things that I like. For one, it is the first classroom comedy I’ve ever seen that doesn’t use moe as a main element. C’mon, tell me another comedy that doesn’t. Another comedy that I’ve seen. Can’t find any? Exactly. Azazel makes people absolutely horrendously DISGUSTING, and whilst that may make other shows absolutely horrendously disgusting themselves, Azazel-san puts a few sane people in this world of idiots, giving birth to an amazing series.
I have compared Azazel to Nichijou, and now I see even more similarities. Nichijou is rapidly turning into a slice of life show sustained only around the cuteness of the main characters – Azazel has also gradually turned into a show sustained by the creepy art and spontaneous bursts of nonsense. Azazel’s humour is definitely not for anyone – it’s a very disagreeable style that sometimes manages to create some hilarious moments.
It’s quite amazing how Azazel was sustained so far by this type of humour. I would love seeing a second season, but I’m not sure they can handle it with the same quality of jokes. I’d leave it for a while to gather a nice collection of jokes and then animate it again, 15 minutes/episode – any longer, and the jokes would simply get old.
…Welcome to AX…
Even demonic angels are human – Zeruel changes his spoiled brat nature entirely after he ‘retrieves’ Beelzebub’s ‘grimoire’. Even the Lord our God is human – though there is the chance God made us purely so that he could have somebody to share penis jokes with. Even badass detectives are human – Akutabe isn’t oblivious or uncaring to the deaths of Moloch and near-death of Beelzebub. Akutabe has to be the most personality-less badass person I have ever seen, ever. Whereas normally, badass people have tons of personality and background and what-have-you, Akutabe’s just a badass with nearly no personality. Yet, he still expresses frustration (an emotion many otamots don’t seem to understand), sadness, anger, and the like.
Herp grimoire spell derp. I picked good subs for this show.
The ending must have been the stupidest ending of any anime, ever. I mean, what kind of en-EAT SHIT
I loved the parts of Azazel where they tried to make things emotional. The first time, I thought they would really go past that line, but they make a sick joke anyways. The second time, I thought they were just joking the first time and would be dramatic for real, but it was just another sick joke. The final time, I was expecting it to be emotional and to cut to a bad joke, but they kept on making it emotional and it went on and on and on, until it really did start to be emotional, and th-EAT SHIT
I chuckled intelligently.
Welcome to the India, where shit just got real…ly mixed with rice
At the end of the day, Azazel was still amazing. It was pretty darned badass at times, and pretty darned hilarious at others. Every week, the first show I watch is Azazel, because I know it’ll be awesome and heartwarmi-EAT SHIT
Shit-eating aside, Azazel really was amazing. All of the elaborate facial schemes, the heartwarming otaku stories, the imperfect side of Heaven. Azazel was a huge satire on society, on humanity, on life. It handles it to such a degree that even when portraying Rinko as suspect to the otakus’ emotional pasts, they shine lights, not on how otaku are disgusting bastards, but on the state of society as a whole. Zeruel and Sariel aren’t angels, they’re regular, ordinary people, and the thoughts that constantly run through their heads is no different from an ordinary person. We look at their imperfections and laugh, without realizing the nature of humanity as a whole flowing through these characters.
We talk about good anime as anime that makes us think, anime with big concepts like ‘hope’, ‘love’, and ‘life’. We talk about good anime as anime that show us what humanity really is. Doesn’t Azazel do that? Even in the abilities of the demons, we realize things like how without jealousy, we cannot get the motivation to improve in life, and how lust can solve problems, but only because it brought about them in the first place. To sin is human, but is the divine really any different?
Welcom-VROOM VROOM VROOM FLYING FISH FWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH
Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san. was simply amazing. But even as we chuckle at its intelligent jokes, even as we mock the disagreeable characters on-screen, we chuckle uncertainly, we mock hesitantly. Such is the nature of satire, and Azazel-san grotesquely reflects all too clearly the horrible truth that nobody wants to hear.
Overall Rating: 6/10 (Amazing)