How Mage & Demon Queen nails its disasterXdisaster couple


Ach ja, a friend of mine recommended me Mage & Demon Queen and since I wanted to get into Manhwa Webcomics anyway at some point in time, I was happy to oblige. After doing the perfectly normal thing of adding every single girls love story I could find on Webtoons to my list, I eventually began reading Mage & Demon Queen, finishing season one in just two days and basically fell in love with it immediately, mostly due to the dynamic of its main pairing: An utter disaster of a human being and an even bigger disaster to complement the other (Which one is which depends on the readers interpretation).

Now, there are many series featuring a similar dynamic in their main couples: From more light-hearted examples like Luz and Amity in The Owl House, to the more relatable kind in Adachi and Shimamura, the more thematic rundown in Bloom into You and even straight up comedy series like I want to make you cry and some of the short stories in the Éclair anthologies (Do not question why it is all GL). What does Mage & Demon Queen do differently to make it stand out in my experience? Not a lot, actually, it is just really cute and I can’t get enough of it.

The story follows Malori, top student of the Adventurer’s Academy and being down very bad for the local demon lord Velverosa… and I mean real bad, like “Continuing to climb the tower, despite being killed by her over a dozen times already” down bad. Impeccable character writing from page one, I tell you. I deeply appreciate characters being just so sincere in their motivation and actions, that their brains immediately turns to mush, once they lay eyes on the person they love. Speaking of which, Velverosa initial reaction to Malori’s “approaches” was a bit more on the confused side, followed by her killing Malori instantly. You know, your typical Tsundere behavior.

This premise might actually be the perfect breeding ground for two characters slowly coming to learn about each other and getting closer, with both being on the complete opposite end of the scale from each other. Malori has to come to understand Velverosa better, or her future approaches will only keep ending in her death, while Velverosa (I will continue using the abbreviation “Vel”, as I keep messing the name up) has to slowly understand not just Malori, but herself too. As much as their confrontations are comedic, they also serve as a character study for the both of them and it is through them this series shines.

We later learn that most of the demon lord’s generals are also already acting like the ship is way underway, having made friends with Malori, letting her pass up the tower without fighting and especially with Melathia writing fanfiction about the two of them. Mage & Demon Queen makes it abundantly clear, that this ship will sail and it is pretty much a forgone conclusion that Malori and Vel will end up together in one way or another not even that far into it. The actual meat of the story, however, are the ways their interactions play out and build on whatever happened prior, so let' talk about that.

To be fair, literally any conflict could be solved by talking to each other for, like, not even a minute. If you are easily frustrated by misunderstandings, this series will be nothing for you. If you are, however, easily getting high on very cathartic resolutions of said misunderstandings, then this will be great. Especially with Vel, it builds on the feeling of getting used to something, only for this wrong sense of normalcy to be disrupted and eventually doing something to fix this hole in onces chest. It does this so effectively, that basically both season finales end with Vel actively approaching Malori and not the other way around. It is this “getting used to each other” that forms the backbone and eventual progression of their relationship.

Malori has to learn what it actually entails being with the demon queen, while Vel struggles with figuring out what her feelings even are. In this sense, both are severely under-experienced and are running this whole relationship in the form of learning by doing, causing a plethora of adorable moments of innocence between the two, like how Vel took care of an incapacitated Malori or how Malori even tries to keep a distance to Vel for her safety. Then there are the less “innocent”, but equally adorable moments, like a small glimpse into Vel’s previous relationships and how she is just basically winning at sex (Don’t ask me how, it just makes sense), but also still in the firm believe of her chastity, or how Malori’s… questionable?… upbringing caused her to not question and accept certain things that might otherwise hinder this relationship.

The visual portrayal of both of them is also just really cute. Want blushes? Get them while they are hot! Best blushes on this side of The Gay™! Even when Vel was still more Tsun than Dere and just straight up kneed Malori in her stomach, I still got the feeling that there was some love mixed into the kick. Also, my reaction to this moment was just an audible “same” (Which one is me in this kind of situation is up to the readers interpretation). I am kinda sad that beyond season one, the series stopped portraying Malori with bunny characteristics, as I think the visual dynamic of both a bunny and a dragon nicely accented their relationship. There was also this one panel with Malori as a bunny in Vel’s mouth, while in dragon form and again, all I could say was “same” (In what way this is to be understood is for the readers to decide).

Another thing that speaks to the quality of the ship is its progression. Both Malori and Vel progress significantly in their relationship with each other and the way it is incorporated into the “actual” story is quite nice. It helps to keep the pace steady and gives a sense of satisfaction looking back at the beginning of the series. I mean, Vel basically went from killing Malori without a third thought to murdering everyone that dares to harm her, while Malori realizes that Vel too needs to be protected from her own problems. They really compliment each other… also, wives!

If there is one thing I am still unsure about, it is the introduction of the “Demon Charmer” subplot. You know how some series try to justify or explain weird things or character actions by giving it an in-universe reasoning, instead of just… letting it be? Turns out Malori is a Demo Charmer with the ability to control the emotions of demons, causing some understandable doubts in Vel. Now, Mage & Demon Queen made it clear on several occasions that Velverosa should be immune to the effects of those charms and both arguably already went through the arc of working things out concerning Malori’s powers, but it still leaves a bitter aftertaste. Let’s just hope that this subplot stays connected to Malori’s past for now and doesn’t come back to create some weird drama that causes a rift between the both of them again.

But beyond that little aspect, I fully endorse this series and it makes a fine addition to the “Gender™” genre. Also, I didn’t even get to talk about Cerik being very horny for snek mommy, Leora pulling one 300 IQ mental gymnastic stunt after the other, or even what the actual story is about. I even like the approach to fantasy, as generic as it may seem, as it has some neat little ideas in its world-building. So yeah, you should read it and join my suffering in waiting for the second half of season three to start… any day now…

Mage & Demon Queen is available on Webtoon.


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calendar_today 2022