The Demon Girl Next Door

The Demon Girl Next Door

The Demon Girl Next Door anime series cover art
The Demon Girl Next Door

Series Overview

The Demon Girl Next Door (Machikado Mazoku / まちカドまぞく) is a comedy, slice of life anime that’s surprisingly based on a 4-panel manga. I say surprisingly because I had no idea that was the case until I began writing this review.

Most anime based on 4-panel manga feel like anime based on 4-panel manga. While The Demon Girl Next Door has some elements that feel that way, overall I’d say the series doesn’t. It feels like it’s based on a standard manga.

This series follows the misadventures of Yuuko Yoshida, now known as Shadow Mistress Yuuko — or just Shamiko for short. One morning, Shamiko awoke to find she’d grown demon horns and a tail. Her mother then reveals that she’s a member of a demon clan and needs to defeat a magical girl to break the seal on their family.

Unfortunately for Shamiko, she’s extremely weak. And the local magical girl, Momo Chiyoda, is extremely strong. There’s simply no way Shamiko will ever be able to defeat Momo in combat. But, something like reality isn’t going to get in the way of Shamiko’s goal!

Despite Shamiko’s intentions, she quickly becomes best friends with Momo. This is in part due to Momo not wanting to fight Shamiko and also in part because Shamiko’s not very bright and is easily tricked.

Whenever Shamiko challenges Momo to a duel, Momo turns the situation around and the two end up doing some sort of activity together. For example, before one of their first “duels,” Momo convinces Shamiko that they need to warm up first, and they end up going on a multiple mile-long jog instead.

Other times, the mere mention of exercising is enough to scare Shamiko away since she knows how intense Momo is about that.

Main Characters

You probably already have a good idea of what Yuuko “Shamiko” Yoshida is like. She’s a good-natured, clumsy, dumb girl who just happens to have awoken as a demon one day. Shamiko is also probably the best character in the series, which is good considering she’s the protagonist.

Momo Chiyoda, the local magical girl, has a very dry personality — especially when compared to Shamiko. Shamiko is always freaking out about something. Meanwhile, Momo generally keeps a straight face and doesn’t get flustered.

Also, since momo (桃) means peach in Japanese, that’s the theme of her character. Her color scheme is pink and her special attacks have the word peach in them. As we’ll see, fruit is a recurring theme when it comes to magical girls.

Shadow Mistress Yuuko "Shamiko" Yoshida from the anime series The Demon Girl Next Door
Shadow Mistress Yuuko “Shamiko” Yoshida

You may have noticed that Shamiko is holding a questionably-shaped object in the cover art for this series. That object is a statue that houses the soul of her ancestor Lilith. Lilith is, supposedly, a powerful demon who was sealed within the statue around the time of the Roman Empire.

According to Shamiko’s mother, if the ancestor statue is soaked in the blood of a magical girl, the seal will be broken. And as we see in the anime, just a small amount of Momo’s blood touching the statue allows Lilith to speak aloud.

The final character worth mentioning is another magical girl who shows up around halfway through the series. This is Mikan Hinatsuki. As with Momo, Mikan is named after a fruit. A mikan (蜜柑) is a mandarin orange. And, as you might have guessed, her character design is based on this fruit.

Something unique about Mikan is that she’s also cursed. If she gets flustered, her curse causes those around her to suffer misfortunes.

Fast-Talking Comedy

Something I wasn’t expecting from The Demon Girl Next Door is how quickly the dialogue goes by. It’s not as fast as the dialogue in The Tatami Galaxy — because nothing it — but it was fast enough that I actually had to pay attention and make an effort to read the subtitles.

Typically a series that looks like this one isn’t going to require my full attention just to keep up with what’s going on. However, there were many times when watching this that I had to focus on the subtitles rather than the visuals.

That made the anime a bit less enjoyable to watch. But, I think the comedy made up for that. Usually, the majority of jokes in comedy series don’t land for me. A truly good comedy will have most of the jokes land, even if they don’t make you laugh out loud. And I’d put The Demon Girl Next Door into this category.

Momo Chiyoda from the anime series The Demon Girl Next Door
Momo Chiyoda

I think what helped this series in the comedy department is that the comedy was a combination of dialogue and visuals. You get the lead-up of the joke via dialogue, and then the visual follow-up hits. This seemed to work better than what a lot of other comedies do, which is to make the dialogue after some action the main part of the joke.

It should also be noted that jokes didn’t overstay their welcome. That’s a huge problem with a lot of comedy anime. They reuse the same jokes way beyond the point at which they stopped being funny.

The Demon Girl Next Door will use a particular gag a few times, usually spread over the course of 1-3 episodes. For example, in episode 1 there’s a gag of people grabbing onto Shamiko’s horns. That disappears afterward and is replaced by fresh gags.

Conclusion

Originally, I rated The Demon Girl Next Door as a 6/10. But, I think that was just because I was tired after binging the series. After I had a chance to reflect on it, I’m going to say it’s actually a 7/10.

I’d wanted to watch this series ever since it aired, but never got around to it. However, the second season is going to begin airing next month, which is why I decided to binge it now.

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