From the moment The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! blasted me with its OP, I knew that I'd probably feel one of two ways: I either wouldn't be into this, or I'll have a heel-turn like I did with Don't Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro where I ended up ultimately liking the show and even lauding it. Perhaps that's because Jahy joins the current pantheon of tanned/dark-skinned girls in anime with that impish, fanged grin, all of whom are turning out to be pretty good kids. Also, I like demon girl characters (and monster girls in general) because they're often pretty funny.
Either way, let's get into episode 1, “The Great Jahy Can't Go Back!”, which focuses on the titular Jahy, a formerly beautiful, powerful demon, and the Dark Lord's second-in-command in the Dark Realm. Revered and feared (and with an endless supply of claret wine), Jahy had it all… until a magical girl absolutely wrecked Jahy's day. And as silly as that is, it was enough to make me full out guffaw because of its The Devil is a Part-Timer! meets Sleepy Princess in Demon Castle energy, which is promising for future episodes.
What follows is twenty minutes of watching a miniature, child-sized Jahy that's having the roughest time of it, surviving on bean sprouts and bean sprouts alone. And while she never stops declaring her intent to hunt down the mana crystals and restore her former glory, she also uses the smidgen of magic she has left to allow herself to work at an izakaya, which immediately endeared me to her. In many ways, The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! reminds me a lot of Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle with its somewhat frenetic and slapstick energy. Jahy is demon Princess Syalis, though she's much less resourceful and destructive. Honestly, I'm kind of here for Jahy and her quest to get back to the Dark Realm and be the best #girloverlord she can be.
While this episode got some laughs out of me, I wouldn't say that it is consistently laugh-out-loud hilarious. I'll credit a part of that to my minimal (read: non-existent) knowledge of this series. I'll also be honest: Jahy is kind of a brat, which makes her feel a bit one-note (though admittedly, I'd kind of behave the same way if all I had to live on were bean sprouts and a bit of mana). That said, I'm definitely hoping Jahy will become a bit more developed in the next episode or two, if only so the somewhat stale gags become a bit funnier. For instance, the entire sequence of Jahy's backstory was genuinely hilarious and had me wheezing, so I'm looking forward to seeing more of that. I'm definitely willing to give this show the benefit of the doubt and keep an open mind: I'm really rooting for it to become the cute slice of life comedy that I'd love to chill with this season.
In the end, the humor in The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated!'s premiere didn't always land for me, but it also has enough comedic beats that I didn't find my mind drifting from it. It definitely has potential, but I can also see myself coming down hard on the series, especially if its depiction of Jahy in her more youthful form ever dips into absolutely unfunny and becomes a problem. Really, I can't promise that you'll always agree with my opinion on the show in the coming weeks: in fact, you probably won't, which is fine because I think that's natural. I just ask that you understand that I'm coming at this from an anime-only angle, and actually want to see this show make its fans happy.
I'm the kind of viewer – and reviewer – that is pleased as punch when media get anime adaptations, especially for fans who have been eagerly awaiting the English localization of the manga. I'm going to do my best to treat this series with an open mind, and I honestly sense that I'll like it a lot more once it hits its stride. After all, I need something to fill the “demon girl down on her luck” hole in my heart. I just also need that something to be funny, and as a premiere, this didn't always hit the mark.
Then again, I'm the only person stanning Lucky Star in 2021 purely on its comedy, so perhaps you can't trust my sense of humor (or lack thereof, depending on your perspective). But ultimately, what I'm saying is that I definitely plan to give The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! a fair chance week to week, and I hope that you'll enjoy my perspective as we all root for this year's best demon girl to get her powers – and her pride – back.
The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Mercedez is a JP-EN localization editor & proofreader/QA, pop culture critic, and a journalist who also writes for Anime Feminist, where she's a staff editor, and But Why Tho?. She's also a frequent guest on the AniFem Podcast, Chatty AF. When she's not writing, you can find her on her Twitter or on her Instagram where she's always up to something.