I just finished watching Yuusha Yoshihiko to Maou no Shiro, a low-budget Japanese live-action show. It could be described as "Monty Python and the Holy Grail set in Dragon Quest's world."


The story is pretty straightforward: the Demon Lord is causing monsters to attack people, so Buddha orders the Hero Yoshihiko and his party (the warrior Danjo, the wizard Merebu and "ordinary woman" Murasaki) to go defeat him. In order to defeat the Demon Lord, the party has to collect powerful pieces of equipment, so they travel all over the world looking for them.

Of course, the story is actually a parody of the Hero's Journey, so expect ridiculous scenarios, over-the-top stupidity, subversion of familiar tropes, and a good deal of lampshade hanging and breaking of the fourth wall.

For the most part, the jokes are pretty entertaining, though I wouldn't call them hilarious. A few of the jokes start out funny enough, but tend to be dragged out too much. For example, this clip follows the typical "if videogames were real life" formula:

(Note: the video is actually faster than it was in the show, the uploader fast-forwarded it to make it about 50% shorter).


The idea is pretty funny (not very original, but funny), but dragging it out for several minutes is a bit much and after about a minute I was thinking "ok, you made a joke, can we move on already?"

The show's low-budget is portrayed as a feature rather than a bug. The low-quality costumes and blatant cuts (for example, Yoshihiko says that he is riding a horse, and we hear the neigh, but it's obvious that he is just walking) all add to the humor, and can make for some pretty funny scenes.


The characters gradually grow on you. As in typical Dragon Quest games, the Hero is the least interesting of the bunch, but Merebu and Murasaki can be pretty entertaining, and Danjo has his moments too. Yoshihiko is pretty much the same from beginning to the end, but the other characters go through a little bit of character development, and it's interesting to see them grow closer even as they squabble all the time.

Overall, I wouldn't call this show a MUST-SEE. But it's a decent show, and even if it will likely not make you laugh out loud it will at least make you smile :)


You can watch it here: http://www.drama.net/yuusha-yoshihi…

The translation is somewhat mediocre... For some reason, the translator chose to leave some words untranslated (why put "yuusha" instead of "hero"? Why "maou" instead of "demon lord"? Sometimes they even leave baka/idiot untranslated, and they generally tend to put euphemisms instead of cuss words). However, since this is a fan-translation, I'm not going to complain that somebody who did a lot of work for free out of love for the show didn't do a perfect job. I'm just grateful they translated it at all.