Otaku USA Magazine
Why You Should Be Watching Helck

Helck is a must-see this season

Every new anime season brings with it a seemingly insurmountable queue of fresh and returning shows. Deciding what to watch can be a chore in and of itself. But let us make it a little easier for you: you should be watching Helck.

Based on the 2014 manga series by Nanaki Nanao, this quirky tale of demons vs. humans with a himbo in the middle is more than it seems at first glance. Scratch the comedy on the surface, and there’s a legitimately intriguing fantasy tale underneath. Here’s why you ought to be diving in this season:


Funny Fantasy

Vermilio in disguise

In its early episodes, Helck is a goofy comedy that builds on some recognizable modern anime tropes. A certain Demon King has been slain by a certain hero, and the demon kingdom is now finding his replacement. How? Through a series of trials. There’s just one problem: the favorite to win is a charming, cheerful, musclebound human. And not just that: he’s the brother of the aforementioned hero.

Vermilio, one of the Demon King’s four great generals, takes it upon herself to sabotage his run. He can smile and claim to hate humans all he wants; there’s clearly some galaxy-brained scheme going on here, right?… Right?


Weird Worldbuilding

In combat

Helck claims to hate humans, and he seems legitimately invested in fighting his way to becoming the next Demon King. It would probably take something pretty dire to make you turn against your own people. And as we journey further into the series, we find that this is absolutely the case.

Suffice to say, without giving too much away, the humans aren’t exactly presenting themselves as “good guys” in this series. By the fourth or fifth episode, it becomes evident that the demons are just trying to live their lives. And the Human King hates this so much that he’ll go to bizarre—inhuman—lengths to stop them.


Vintage Vibes

He hates humans

The blend of serious fantasy worldbuilding and silly comedy in Helck harkens back in a lot of ways to 90s fantasy series like The Slayers. We’re clearly here to have fun, and there are aspects of the story pushing against (or kicking straight through) our expectations. Under that silliness, though, is a real earnestness. There’s something terrible afoot. And even if our heroes look a bit goofy on the surface, they’re dedicated to uprooting this wrong before it spreads.

Helck is set to run for 24 episodes. So even this far into the season, you’d still be getting on the bandwagon early. It’s currently streaming on HIDIVE, so hop on over and get yourself caught up!

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. Beyond the world of anime, she's a writer for Doctor Who expanded universe series including Iris Wildthyme and the City of the Saved, as well as an editor for the critically-acclaimed Black Archive series.