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  • Genre : Supernatural, comedy, adventure, harem shonen-ai, rainbows, occasional mullets
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Doga Kobo

 

William Twining is a realist. He has a responsibility to research and understand the world around him through science and reason. As the heir of the prestigious Twining family, he has been gifted with both brains and looks and it would be lacking on his part to deprive the world of them. As such he must get the highest grades, highest honor and most recognition in order to secure his place in society and make the impact he was meant to. Sadly, it seems that since William’s parents passed away, his uncle has squandered the family fortune leaving him at the mercy of benefactors for his school tuition. Even worse, William is the descendant of the great Solomon himself and it falls on him to choose a leader for Hell during Lucifer’s absence and all the demons are gathering up to gain Williams…uh…favor. How can poor William get rid of these meddlesome pests and explain to them once and for all that there’s no such thing as demons. More importantly, how can he profit from the situation?

Devils and Realist is Diabolik Lovers done right! What’s that you say? There’s no way at all to do Diabolik Lovers right? Well how about this: take out the abuse and lack of consent, get rid of the weird family issues and the shota, replace the MC by someone with a brain, add actual comedy and just a dash of yaoi for taste. TADA! Did your brain explode? Man, I hope your brain didn’t explode. I don’t think my insurance will cover that again.

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something certainly exploded

I’ll be honest, I don’t quite remember how I even heard of the existence of Devils and Realist to begin with but I do remember purposefully adding it to my cue like a year ago. I think I may have been looking for something to fill the void after Pandora Hearts left me wanting more (in a bad way). In any case, this definitely has a Pandora Hearts / Black Butlerish feel, but written as a straight up slapstick comedy and much more direct about the shonen ai elements. Even occasionally a little romantic…

Obviously, for this type of story to work it has to look good. Visual appeal plays into the finished story. And it does look…decent. The designs look a bit particular in profile and it took me a bit to get use to that but otherwise are all quite appropriately pretty. Although I think the costumes could have been a bit more detailed, they were great, a lot of waistcoats, I like those! And what was lacking in niceties was made up for in a vibrant and varied color palette. I have now spent an obscene amount of time and money trying to get my hair the exact same color as Michael. I’m close, in certain light…

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it’s a slightly purplish pale greige maybe?

 

There are more than a few high action fight scenes, which can be hit or miss. The animation is surprisingly good, but corners were cut in a way that can be very noticeable. For what it is, I really can’t complain. Characters remain well-proportioned and recognizable. Voice acting is hammed up to add to that fun campy feel. Sound design is serviceable. It should be said to no one who’s worked on this has EVER seen a real horse move. The Pretty Derby girls have more realistic horse movement!

…You know, forget what I just said. None of that matters. Devils and Realist is magical you guys. And you can’t just go defining magic by mundane considerations such as production values. Pffth, How perfectly drab and pedestrian. Really, I’m just embarrassed for both us.

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how dreadfully mundane

I’ve been doing this a lot lately. Looked up MAL ratings after I’ve watched a show rather than before. It’s a bad habit I have in general. I’ll read product reviews of something I’ve just purchased, after I’ve bought it… I don’t know what’s wrong with me…

 

Anyways, I looked this up and once again, MAL says it’s the worst thing ever or 7.19 – “Good”. This time though, the disparity between ratings is very easy to explain. So many disappointed/borderline angry reviews, pointing out that they wanted to see a supernatural fighting anime and hadn’t signed up for all this gay stuff. I’m cleaning it up. Some people were REALLY angry.

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the internet is scary

A quick internet search brought up a cornucopia of disappointed/borderline angry reviews helpfully pointing out that they prefer their demon political infighting anime without homoerotic undertones. I know! Crazy right?? This leads me to believe that more than a few 0-2 ratings are bringing down the overall score.

I mean don’t get me wrong, the show isn’t perfect by any stretch. Being principally a parody, the characters are all more or less charicatures of classic tropes and with so many of them, there’s little time for development in a 12 episode anime. There’s also a lot of backstory and intrigue that seems really interesting but is only ever hinted at in the series. You have to understand that this is a generally shallow show, you shouldn’t be watching it for deep intellectual stimulation.

On the other hand it’s exceptionally well paced, moving from ridiculous event to outlandish premise at precisely the right rythm to keep you entertained and giggling without too much time to think about it. The characters were all quite likable despite being literal demons and the humor is the rapid fire, simple set up jokes of a stand routine.

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Beelzebub, Lord of the flies, getting hit with bug spray

As for the infamous Shonen ai elements. Well they are present and unlike most shows they are directly expressed rather than insinuate. There’s no room to interpretation on this one, boys are openly attracted to other boys (well one other boy). But the actual portrayal is completely innocent staying mostly at blushing and a few caring gestures. All things considered, it’s mostly just romantic at times.

As I mentioned in my summary, William, the main character finds himself in a position where he must choose an interim ruler of hell for reasons, and is suddenly surrounded by a number of demons vying for the position. Although there are some elements of actions adventure and political machinations, the bulk of the episodes concentrate on silly school hijinks. an traditional Slice of Life staples, such as scholl festivals and plays. Do keep that in mind if your looking for some type of epic adventure.

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I’m saying it’s better

The last few episodes take on a more dramatic, action heavy bend. Normally this would throw me off but somehow it fit. There’s this unpretentious sense of good humor that manages to soften everything. Even though you can pretty much see where entire chapters must have been cut it still holds together fairly well and even provides a satisfying ending that wraps up all the major plot points.

Speaking of endings, I quite enjoyed the closing credit song. I first noted it writing in my notes “whynis the ED so soulful?” This got edited to “y is the ED so soulful & gud?”…

Hmm, I got all serious and reviewey again. Oh my, how trite…

Let me bring it back to what really matters. Demons and Realist is the Shonen ai, demonic harem You Deserve!

As for what actually matters here – I’ve been trying to find a “terms of venery“, which is a fancy way of saying a collective noun that is specific to certain kinds of animals, for Bishies. I’m taking suggestions. So far I’ve tried out a Brochette of Bishies, a Bishie Bouquet but I think my favorite may be a Brothel of Bishies…

Favorite character: Sytry

What this anime taught me: Demons are pretty nice

“FELL IN LOVE WITH A BEAUTIFUL BLONDE ONCE. DROVE ME TO DRINK. AND I NEVER HAD THE DECENCY TO THANK HER.”

Suggested drink:  a Presbyterian

  • Every time anyone says realist – take a sip
  • Every time William is full of himself – clap
  • Every time Isaac gets owned – take a sip
  • Every time Sytry is having sweets – have a snack
  • Every time anyone bushes – fan yourself
  • Every time William’s thought are audible – take a sip
    • if he has overly rational concerns in the middle of chaos – take a sip
  • Every time anyone says Nephilim – take a sip
  • Every time Issac is a supernatural groupie – take a sip
  • Every time a demon tries to trick William into electing him – take a sip
  • Every time Dantalion and Sytry bicker  – take a side
  • Every time D be jelly – take a sip
  • Every time William acts tsundere – take a sip
  • Every time we see Solomon – take a sip
  • Every time Kevin is running some gambling scam – take a sip
  • Every time you see Ho-yay – Cheer!

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19 thoughts on “Devils and Realist – The Supernatural Shonen-Ai Harem You Didn’t Know You Needed”

  1. There you go not only adding to my queue but pushing your suggestions right to the top. Because I know I rarely hate anything you recommended. And I am swamped having missed like six months of anime due to Internet issues. But I am borderline yaoi and I detested DL (my gag reflex was in full mode within the first five minutes) and I think this deserves a chance…

  2. Oh, Diabolik Lovers. How I dislike both seasons of that anime. Didn’t take you seriously saying Devils, and Realists is that done right. It definitely sounds more entertaining than that with the battles, and some political infighting. Still doesn’t seem like my kinda thing, although it has more going on for a boy-love anime than what I usually decide to watch. I don’t have a good track record with these types of anime so not sure if I’ll check it out.

  3. This looks really familiar and it might be on a list somewhere. If I made that list in my mind there is no finding it now. I really want to see this now lol.

  4. My biggest issue with this series, other than a distinct lack of an ending, is that they keep telling me William is smart but I genuinely see no evidence of that throughout the anime. He says it, other characters say it, occasionally we get a test score reveal that he is bright, but his actual decision making and problem solving in each scene is mundane at best. Admittedly, if we compare it to the outright stupidity of the heroine in Diabolic Lovers, I guess William could be a genius. However, like many characters that are written as genius’ the story does more telling us that than showing us any evidence of it.

  5. I didn’t watch this; didn’t even try – and I don’t remember why anymore. Everything I heard about the show, though, was in the mildly-positive range. I may have to come back to it some day; spraying the Lord of Flies is a stroke of genius.

    I disagree, though, that taking out the nonconsensal think from Diabloik Lovers is doing it right. If talking about anime has taught me one thing, it’s that some anime are targeted at masochisits, and they like that sort of show. So taking that out turns it into something else and deprives a viewership I’m not part of.

      1. It might. (Though I heard it doesn’t revolve as much as expand. Could it be running away from you? Because it messed up with DL?)

          1. So it does. I should have known and had a hunch, but I couldn’t resist making this post. (What anime mentioned scorpions and frogs recently?)

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