History’s various interpretations of the evil realm known as Hell have mostly been consistent: it has almost always been depicted as a fiery place beneath the crust of the Earth where people who have been bad in life go. Regardless of which culture’s interpretation of Hell you’re reading about, it’s safe to say it’s not a place most people would ever want to visit.
That is, unless it’s the Hell of As Miss Beelzebub Likes, which is depicted as a world just like ours, only fluffier.
I discovered this anime series shortly after it first aired with subtitles in 2018, watching short clips of various highlights from each episode before I delved into watching the full episodes. As someone enamored by all things cute and cuddly, I didn’t need long at all to fall head-over-heels in love with As Miss Beelzebub Likes. I looked forward to returning to the escapades of a lazy demoness and her overthinking assistant after a long day of studying at college, and I was all too happy to rewatch the entire 12-episode first season for the sake of writing this review.
One of the biggest selling points of As Miss Beelzebub Likes is its colorful cast of characters; despite them all being demons, they couldn’t possibly be further from nasty. Chief among these characters are Beelzebub, the reluctant ruler of Hell, and her greenhorn assistant, Mullin. Working alongside them are the painfully shy Belphegor, the strong and silent Azazel, the wimpy womanizer Astaroth, the diligent yet soft Sargatanas, and many more. Their shenanigans in Pandemonium, the administrative building in which they all work, are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
The series can best be described as a whimsical romantic comedy, in which the emotional tension between Beelzebub and Mullin is as palpable as the cuteness of everything else in the show. We see wonderfully satisfying snippets of their affections for each other in every single episode, which keeps us interested enough to want to know whether they ever get together in the end. It’s not just Her Highness and her assistant, either; Belphegor and Azazel have an adorably awkward relationship of their own, and even the seemingly incompatible Astaroth and Sargatanas seem to have some form of chemistry going on. Truly, there’s something for every rom-com lover in As Miss Beelzebub Likes.
One small complaint I have is that the pacing is a bit slow for my liking—I spent much time expecting something wild and out-of-character to occur, yet it never does. But then again, why would something like that even happen in an anime like this in the first place? Romantic comedies aren’t known for their action to begin with, although the antics of the male characters in As Miss Beelzebub Likes (mostly Mullin and Astaroth) may be to blame for this heightened sense of expectation. There’s also the odd bit of fanservice once in a while, but it’s very fleeting and doesn’t take away from the captivatingly cutesy experience.
If your thing is demonology, but you are looking for a more uplifting change of scenery, I wholeheartedly recommend As Miss Beelzebub Likes.