What’s it about? Allen Crawford is a powerful sorcerer who earned the nickname “Demon Lord” because he has a scary face and is anti-social. His peaceful and solitary existence in the deep forest is interrupted when a woman named Charlotte Evans run through, chased by a band of knights trying to kill her. After hearing about her dire circumstances, Allen promises to protect and make her the happiest person in the world by teaching her a “crash course in naughtiness.”
The title of this premiere is hilariously misleading. It gives the impression that this’ll be a run of the mill ecchi anime, but it’s really just a story about Allen wanting to help Charlotte deal with her traumatic past and raise her self-esteem. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of villainess stories, since it seems we are getting at least a few titles every season. It’s great that this genre is experiencing a renaissance and there’s definitely value in deconstructing the villainess trope, but the market can easily get oversaturated with similar stories. Thankfully, this premiere avoids being another standard villainess story and flips the script not only for Charlotte, but for Allen too.
Allen is seen by everyone as a villain because of his demeanor, but in reality, he doesn’t tolerate people’s crap and isn’t afraid to cause havoc if he needs to. Since he isn’t willing to follow normalized social cues, he’s deemed as an outcast. He was also betrayed by close friends so it isn’t surprising that he chose to live in a secluded forest, away from everyone’s nonsense. As for Charlotte, she’s literally a victim of circumstances beyond her control. The poor girl is treated horribly by her family for being the daughter of a mistress, and to make matters worse her ex-fiancé (the third Prince), framed her for crimes she didn’t commit. Charlotte is treated like a chess piece by everyone around her and isn’t privy to the ongoing backroom politics that led to her denouncement.
She’s an innocent girl trying to do her best to survive, but without anyone to support her, Charlotte is an easy scapegoat for those in higher power. Despite everything going against her, it’s a blessing she meets Allen during the worst moment of her life. Even though the premiere doesn’t go inside Charlotte’s head the same way that My Happy Marriage did with Miyo, the animation was able to capture the dark and gloomy atmosphere she was forced to endure. Charlotte’s backstory isn’t pleasant, which is further highlighted by the softer and brighter animation during her first conversation with Allen. The entire interaction between them not only disproves the public’s perception about them; it also depicts them as two lost souls that couldn’t fit into their assigned roles.
Allen is rightfully wary of other people, but after hearing Charlotte’s story, he isn’t above using deceitful methods to convince her to accept his protection. Even if it’s played up for comedic gags, I don’t think him threatening to kill himself to get his way is going to be funny for long. Aside from that, it’s clear that Allen’s heart is in the right place and his desire to help Charlotte find happiness is sincere, and honestly that’s just hella cute. I mean seriously, he even sold his own magic tools just to buy her pastries, how can I not find that sweet? It’s also hilarious that his idea of “naughtiness” is the equivalent of kids eating too much candy for dinner.
Either way, it’d be nice if Allen was more careful with his phrasing, but then I would be deprived of all the comedic situations he’ll find himself in. It’s a shame this show is airing during a hectic anime season, otherwise, I think it could’ve done well during quieter seasons. If nothing else, it deserves the three episode test just to see where this goes.