First Impression: Tengoku Daimakyo (Heavenly Delusion)

The year is…well, I guess the year isn’t important right now. It’s in the future, so just roll with it. On the “Inside,” we have a group of kids who are just doing normal middle-school things…taking tests with their mechanical teacher, goofing off after class, drawing pictures of multi-armed fish, eating tomatoes, and just being regular kids. Think The Promised Neverland except (spoiler alert!) I don’t think these kids are going to be eaten…yet. During a test, Tokio receives a message on her tablet— “Do you want to go outside of the outside?” Darn those trick questions. When in doubt, just pick “C.” But I digress. One night, after a conversation with her friend Mimihime, Tokio ponders the concept of the world “Outside,” and the director of the school decides that now would be a good time to clue her in…

Meanwhile “Outside,” we meet Maru and his “bodyguard” Kiruko. They’re wandering around the post-apocalyptic hellscape that is Tokyo, which has been ravaged by…well…something. The two are pretty much rummaging around different buildings to find supplies. Of course, they come across some scavengers who try to rob them, but Kiruko turns the tables with her laser gun and gets them to tell her some information. After a bit more traveling, our dynamic duo end up at a Ryokan for the night and…well…as is typical in Japan, there are monsters around. Oh, goody.

Tengoku Daimakyo popped up on my radar when it was announced, and since then, I’ve been intrigued by it. I love the juxtaposition we’re introduced to from the jump—the cushy, sterile, techy world on the “Inside,” and the post-apocalyptic, survival-of-the-fittest world “Outside.” While this does have the potential to be confusing (I personally hate having two sets of characters to keep up with as I have the memory of a goldfish), I hope this show will do a great job of letting us get to know the characters in each individual area before getting too deep into the weeds. With regards to the animation style, there’s not much to write home about. Only so many ways you can show Japan in ruins, and I think we’ve seen just about every way this poor country has been ravaged. The character designs are pretty cool, with those distinct round faces, though I’m not a big fan of the salmon pink school uniforms. Ugh…if you’re going to dress your characters, at least put them in complementary colors. Speaking of the characters, I love the dynamic between Maru and Kiruko. While, yes, she is supposed to be his bodyguard, you get the feeling that these two are on equal footing—they are almost like brother and sister, even though they aren’t related, as Kiruko vehemently explains in the episode. They do have a closeness, though, and I hope we learn more about it as the show goes on.

All said, will I follow Tengoku Daimakyo this season? I think I will! At the very least, I’ll give it the 5 Episode Treatment. I gotta justify getting that dawg gone Disney+/Hulu/ESPN bundle after all. And besides, I’m always down for a good post-apocalyptic slice-of-life story, and this looks like it’ll fit the bill quite nicely. Maru and Kiruko’s relationship looks pretty interesting, and I can’t wait to learn what happened to Japan THIS time. Good grief, it’s always monsters.

Tengoku Daimakyo is currently streaming on Disney+ in AU/NZ/UK/IE/CA, and Hulu in the US

7 thoughts on “First Impression: Tengoku Daimakyo (Heavenly Delusion)

  1. According to, in the US they will be airing this one on Hulu, not Disney+, in case anyone in the US (like me) was looking for this on Disney+

    1. Oh no, really? Thanks for the warning! None of us here at BtT are familiar with the manga. I’ll add a note to our First Impression master post. Thanks!

      1. As you saw in the first episode, there was already attempted rape. That is the kind of world they live in. No one is safe not even the main characters.

        1. It’s true the three thugs are excited to see a woman and promise to “take her to heaven”, but they never get close enough to carry out the threat, since Kiruko and Maru kick their butts. So sure, the threat is there, but there’s no depiction of attempted rape, just to clarify. But yes, this is not a show for kids and it’s not a pleasant post-apocalypse they’re living in! Viewer discretion advised for sure. (hence the MA rating)

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