Hataraku Maou-sama – 06

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I can’t blame Chiho’s school friend, really – it’s not like Maou and Ashiya aren’t playing the part to the hilt.

Call this a breather ep or whatever you will, but this was definitely the most low-key episode of Hataraku Maou-sama for a while, and probably overall.  That seemed inevitable with the first major arc out of the way and the series nearing the halfway point, and truth be told I was ready for the comedic aspects of the series to take center stage again.  This wasn’t as uproariously funny as the first two episodes, but it was still full of excellent moments.

We started off the festivities with Maou going into full demon overlord mode at the local yakiniku restaurant, much to his wife’s embarrassment.  Frankly, Maou seems to totally integrated into his human life that his personality has become indistinguishable from a quite normal human’s (the episode is littered with examples) so any time he gets to assert his true nature, Ashiya should probably encourage it.  The rare treat of a real restaurant was a celebration of Maou’s getting promoted to Shift Manager at MgRonald’s – much deserved, no doubt – but the most interesting part of that was noted by Chiho (somewhat surprisingly).  If Maou is a manager (only when the real manager is off, of course) doesn’t that technically mean he’s being a demon overlord for the duration of that shift?

The most obvious change to the old routine is that Lucifer has fully onboarded with the Tokyo cast.  He’s calling himself Urushihara Hanzou, and he’s staying at the Demon Lord’s Castle (three guys in a six-tatami room – yikes).  He’s supposedly staying inside because Maou ordered him to lay low, but one suspects Urushihara would have been happy to do so anyway –  he seems to be a perfect fit for the NEET lifestyle.  So now he happily sports his skater-boy look and lounges around the apartment surfing the net and wishing he had better specs so he could game – but given Sadao and Ashiya’s finances I’m surprised they bought him a computer at all.  He every inch plays the part of Sadao’s bratty younger brother – which I suppose, in the larger context, isn’t really all that far off from what he’s supposed to be.

The plot of the episode is pretty lightweight, more or less an excuse to get the comedy started.  Lucifer sends Satan and Ashiya to a school where an abandoned classroom is supposedly a place where a dimensional gate opened in the past, thus providing the possibility that Satan might be able to replenish his powers.  It turns out that Lucifer has just send them there because that’s where he and Olba squatted when they came to Tokyo, he left his PS Vita Pasta console there and he was too lazy to get it himself.  That’s fine, as the spoof on the “seven school mysteries” trope was a good one.  Emi has tagged along – she’s rapidly blurring the line between hero and stalker, and I still find her tsundere act to be the least entertaining element of the show – but it’s mostly Chiho and Maou that provide the laughs.  Somehow I find the fact that Satan was getting frightened by lame ghost stories quite hilarious, and Chiho’s abject frustration at Sadao completely whiffing on every one of her hints that she’s into him is spot-on.  Emi does provide one big laugh, when she uses her holy sword to brutally dismember an anatomical model, then tries to pass the blame off on Sadao (the bit where Chiho insisted Emilia wear indoor shoes in school was excellent as well, but I give Chiho the credit for that working).

There was some more or less serious development here, bookending the episode.  At the beginning we see that the Church in Ente Isla is rife with corruption and secrecy, and they seem quite intent on Sadao and Emi not making it back alive because they know things they shouldn’t.  And at the end, there’s a new character introduced – she’s apparently moving into Sadao and Ashiya’s apartment complex and she immediately (and rather violently) falls down the stairs and into his arms.  No name yet, though she’s definitely voiced by Itou Kanae – and I assume she’s somehow connected with the totally extraneous bag of udon noodles (coincidentally, I had udon for dinner right before watching this episode) Chiho found outside the school after the test of courage.   Mostly, though, plot took a backseat to comedy this week, and I’m good with that.  Any ep with this much husband-wife time between Sadao and Ashiya is a winner, and the running gag with Landlady Miki Shiba’s Hawaiian swimsuit photo was top-shelf.

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  1. A

    The way Ashiya was holding the landlady's letter as an improvised source of dark magic gave me a laugh. It reminded me of that old episode of Married with Children, in which Al uses the picture of his mother-in-law from his wallet as a weapon in the middle of a fist fight.

  2. i

    Certainly low key but 5 episodes makes one LN so I think we can expect another 2 to be covered over this adaptation. And by the third we might get some changes in Emi's view on Maou.

    My own haru with LNs continues as I just bought my first ones, the non animated Spice and Wolf LNs in english. My feet (I have no tail) haven't stopped wagging while I read it. I really am at a loss for what to read next though.

  3. s

    I thought the LN already covered the first two volumes??? if im incorrect then 5 eps per volumes without the pacing suffering from sluggishness is a pretty awesome feat.It was great to see that chiho is quite the amusing character as well and that she contributes very nicely to the comedy without coming off as annoying unlike some other female lead. Either way, Sadou almost has his entire army back; just two more demons to go…that's assuming they are as easy to tame as lucifer. By the way, having lucifer as they hacker gives maou and sadou pretty much supreme power already.

  4. i

    4-5 episodes per LN is the normal pace in anime adaptations.

  5. s

    yea that's true; it's just that a good sum of them usually show cracks in their pacing. It's either too fast or two slow or important tidbits of info get glossed over so its nice to see a series being adapted very well that it doesnt feel rushed or terribly slow

  6. H

    4-5 episodes is standard but I actually think this was the start of the second LN/the second arc, given how our new character (whose name I've actually seen elsewhere and just can't remember) is in the OP/ED I'm guessing this arc is going to revolve around her mission/plan she proposed to the church.

  7. E

    I want Ashiya as my husbando, but he's more suited to be waifu, it seems.
    And it's too bad that we never get to see landlady's full pic.

  8. R

    Bwahahaha…Ashiya the waifu…! Too bad that we don't see much of Maki-T, but I am thinking that Ashiya the waifu and Maki-T the landlady combo can be quite interesting…

  9. R

    This is the least interesting episode, but I guess it is to transition to the next arc. I am only guessing here — probably Hataraku will end with exposing the demonic conspiracies of the Church that makes Maou Satan and Angel Emilia teaming up again.

    Ashiya is the biggest attraction of the show for me, and I can't imagine Hataraku without him. Other than that and all the funny daily trivial of Sadou and Ashiya, I actually would like to see more of the changing relationship and dynamics between the Sadou and Emi — story of the coming together of two complete opposite people is a cliche but can be interesting when it is told well.

    Talking about the characters, Chi-chan is my least favourite amongst the main cast. Please allow me to give more context. To me, tsundere can be very annoying, and I don't like tsunderes in other shows that exist for the sake of having a tsundere or torturing other characters. Emi, to me, is not that kind of a tsundere, and I can feel for her frustration and conflict — even from the very beginning prior to her backstory. Most importantly, she has an important role to play within the context of the story. Chi-chan is coming close a character category that I find humiliating and super-pretentious (I think I better stop here to avoid exploding and rambling my dislike of that category). It's simply a first impression, and luckily Chi-chan isn't much like that. The main reason that I like Chi-chan the least is that the story can go on as great as it is with or without this character. There isn't much that brings this character to life other than someone who acts cute and likes the male protagonist (oh, and she must have a curvy body) — this totally can be taken away with no impact to the story and the other characters. Of course, it is a personal view, but I can't find a reason to like her.

    It's interesting to have a new character introduced mid-way of the show, but I am thinking that this new character has a role to play in bringing the story together…so looking forward to the next episode.

  10. s

    I can see how you dont find emi annoying (I personally do though i do enjoy some of the scenes she is in) but i cant see how or why you associate chi-chan in the humiliating and super-pretentious category. Chi-chan seems very humble, sweet, and doesnt try to antagonize any of the main cast or any character for that matter. Even her little squabble with emi a couple episodes back was due to the fact that she was genuinely defending maou and not attacking emi out of jealousy. From what ive seen, she's all around a sweet person; im not saying that she's the most intriguing character (that honor goes to Miki-T so far) but to me she doesnt seem to fall underneath that super pretentious, humiliating category; there is more to chi-chan than meets the eye and im interested in finding out what it is.

  11. For me, I see Chiho as pretty much a characteristic example of the Genki Girl, which is a character class I don't have strong biases for or against – it depends on the individual, and I rather like this one. She's quite sweet and agreeably dunderheaded, whereas I find Emi mostly on the annoying side. But the best characters in the show are Maou and Ashiya, by a wide margin.

  12. R

    It's that Chi-chan came across like those super-pretentious and humiliating characters that I dislike when she first came on screen, but it's shown that she's not, and I don't mind a genki girl at all. It's not that I hate Chi-chan…I don't. I like her the least amongst the main cast because I find that the show can still be as hilarious as it is now with the story progressing as perfectly with or without her. She's more like a check-box than a character to me — it may change as we learn more from the story, but this is how I view it now.

  13. M

    Hmm… I was thinking Lucifer is more on the lines of being the spoiled child of Maou and Ashiya.

  14. They're a bit (superficially) young for that, no?

  15. H

    I think Chi-chan needs to get credit for taking the fact that Maou, Ashiya, Emi, and Urushihara are all from some other world totally in stride, and even somewhat teasing / encouraging Maou with "Hey, now you've got some power over humans…" And it is somewhat frustrating and typical how Maou's just not getting the hint, especially when Emi was completely in tune with what Chi was doing from the very beginning. Ah well. I'm glad they've integrated her into the regular cast, instead of just being a side character.

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