Devils and Realist is an anime series based on a manga by Madoka Takadono. The anime was directed by Chiaki Kon and was produced by Doga Kobo. The 12 episodes of the series aired on Japanese television from July 7-September 22, 2013. As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American distribution license for the Devils and Realist anime series.
The story is set in England in the late 1800’s. A young man named William Twining is a genius who is attending a prestigious school. His parents passed away when he was younger, and his uncle has been paying for his tuition to attend this school. When the headmaster tells him that his next tuition payment hasn’t been made, William returns home to find out what’s happening. His family’s butler, Kevin, breaks the news that William’s uncle has gone bankrupt and fled the mansion with just about everything of value.
While exploring the manor, William finds a hidden basement that has a summoning circle on the floor. William accidentally summons a demon named Dantalion. The demon informs William that he is the “Elector,” who will choose the interim ruler over Hell as the demon Lucifer rests, because William is a descendant of King Solomon (who had powers over demons). William, however, is a realist and doesn’t believe in demons or religion and refuses to serve as the Elector. Dantalion makes a large tuition payment on William’s behalf, and Dantalion also becomes a student at the school in order to stay close to William.
Two other interim candidates, Sytry and Camio, appear at the school. Camio has been there in disguise as the head boy. Sytry becomes a student as well and has a much more “feminine” aesthetic than the other two male interims. During the series, William’s butler, Kevin, turns out to be an ordained priest, and takes over as the priest at the school’s chapel after an event that removes the currently sitting priest. On top of that, it turns out Kevin harbors an important secret that’s attached to the conflict between Heaven and Hell.
It should be pointed out that the King Solomon referenced in this work is based on the King Solomon from the Biblical stories in the Old Testament. Of course, the closeness with demons seems to have been added to the character in order to tell this story.
Overall, I enjoyed watching Devils and Realist, and found myself wanting to see William’s interactions with the demons and his peers. I also enjoyed seeing him learning more about the demons and Hell, especially with him trying to comprehend all of the things he learns about Heaven and Hell through his realist lens. Seeing as he’s a realist, it was a very realistic portrayal to have William repeatedly say that he will not fulfill his duty as the Elector.
Even though I did enjoy Devils and Realist overall, I still did find a couple of issues with it. The first issue was Episode 10, which was strictly a filler episode that added nothing to the story. I understand that this was put here to have something light-hearted right before the finale, but I just didn’t find it to be good filler.
My other issue was the fact that the final two episodes felt rushed. It should be noted that the manga was still ongoing when this anime was being produced, which would explain this to some extent. And while the anime has a conclusion, it doesn’t truly feel like it ends, either. It wouldn’t be easy to continue the story from where the anime ended it, but it still didn’t feel like an ending. The “resolution” felt like a cop-out. But since the manga wasn’t finished, it looks like the scriptwriter(s) for the anime tried to come up with their own ending. I just didn’t think it was an effective ending.
Devils and Realist should appeal to viewers who enjoy stories featuring supernatural beings that are set in the Victorian era that includes a mixture of drama and humor.
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