It’s funny, yo!
|That’s right. Hataraku Maou-sama! is actually hilarious. Despite it being one of the spring shows I’ve been excited for, I was initially worried that Maou-sama! might not be able to pull the comedy aspect off properly. Fortunately, I’ve found myself literally laughing out loud from both episodes that have aired so far, so it must be doing something right.|
|I agree, Sumarii. Maou-sama is hilarious. …Though I enjoy ranges of comedy, from the things that are actually funny, to… Tantei Inaba and Milky Holmes, so maybe I’m not the best person to say this. Of course, the non comedy part has been interesting as well, so overall, it’s a good start all around.|
Sumairii // If you’re a demon lord, there’s only one thing for you to do: conquer the world.1 So Demon Lord Satan takes a page out of the demon lord instruction manual and launches a campaign to “unite” the five main islands of his world under the banner of his dark kingdom. The plan is simple: his four elite generals will each lead an attack on one of the four human islands surrounding his own. Things go swimmingly well at first, with the humans unable to resist the onslaught of his army of monsters and demons. But then a hero rises up and leads the humans against Satan, changing the tides of the war permanently. The demons find themselves pushed back as one general after another is defeated, until finally the humans converge on Satan’s own island and begin laying siege upon his grand palace. Cornered, and with no place to run from the hero’s assault, Satan begrudgingly retreats through a gate to another world to lick his wounds. His parting words, defiant and almost taunting, promising to return to enslave all of humanity.
And now for something completely different.
Sumairii // Maou-sama! changes gears completely as soon as Satan and his last remaining general, Alsiel, arrive at modern-day Japan. Their first exchange with the locals? Getting mistaken as foreign cosplayers and taken downtown by the police. It’s an understatement to say that their discovering they’ve become humans in our world was entertaining, especially when Alsiel’s attempts to use magic leave him looking like a chuuni. I will admit, we could have all seen that coming, but the dramatic pause for emphasis after he went through the actions made everything worth it.
After using some shady jedi mind tricks to escape from the fuzz and obtain paperwork, the demonic duo (now taking the names Sadao and Shirou) take up residence in a tiny apartment and plot their revenge. But there’s just one problem. They can’t recharge their magical powers on Earth, thus preventing them from opening a gate back to their own world. Forced to survive in Japan until they figure out a way to recharge their magic, the great and terrible demon lord is reduced to a lowly part-timer at the nearby McDonald’s ripoff.2 Watching him get sucked into this new life and seemingly forget about his past was simultaneously funny and admirable. I’m glad that he isn’t haughty and actually adapts to the situation surprisingly quickly and with practically no whining. But at the same time, you can’t help but chuckle at how someone of his “stature” has essentially become a nobody. As Shirou laments: if Sadao is now an underling, what does that make him?
Of course, things don’t stay quiet for long. We learn that the hero, revealed to be a dashing young lady, has chased the demon lord all the way to Earth, intent on vanquishing him once and for all. Unfortunately for her, she also ends up in the same situation as she can’t use her holy powers in our world. A holy hero working at a call center? Better think twice about prank calling them. Oh, and Maou-sama! is just absolutely hilarious with its names. Docodemo call center? Ha! And the character “names” are no less entertaining, what with “Maou Sadao” and “Yusa Emi”. Maoyuu should take notes on how to name characters.
Karakuri // Funny how the demon lord goes from man who slaughtered millions to peaceful fast food worker in a very short amount of screen time. It kind of makes you wonder how and why he even started the Maou business in the first place. Anyways, it’s definitely not the type of job you’d expect a demon lord to do. Though even Yusa seems pretty content in her job too (though considerably less so compared to Maou and Shirou). The whole thing kind of turned out like Ika Musume of all things (yes, I am comparing a demon lord to a moe squid girl), but it’s nice to see everyone adapt so well to our world. …Even if it is a tiny bit pathetic, all things considered.
Of course, Maou still wants to take over Earth, but let’s be honest here. I can’t really see that happening. They definitely haven’t completely forgotten about the world he came from though since his more demonic side seems to slip through on occasion despite the mundanity. Shirou still seems caught up on the servant-master relationship too. Not to mention the mysterious earthquakes which seem plot-important, and the magical assailant of episode 2 have shown up. So maybe Maou-sama will prove me wrong yet.
Sumairii // If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that Maou-sama! is also tagged as romance. There’s no denying the comedy, but so far we’ve only seen very subtle hints of romance. Emi’s flustered interactions with Sadao are amusing to no end, but behind her threat of stabbing him in the back in his sleep3 hides a lonely soul. I’m no romantic genius, but I’d say it’s a pretty good bet this loneliness will bring her closer to her self-proclaimed mortal enemy, and some romance might just blossom from this. It certainly feels like she’s going out of her way to be around the demon lord (the poor guy can’t stand her), as he’s probably the only one she can relate to in the new, strange world they find themselves stranded in. Another more obvious potential love interest is Sadao’s coworker, Chi-chan. She plays the dojikko trope to a tee, complete with big boobs. And she doesn’t exactly make her feelings towards Sadao very subtle. It feels like Maou-sama! will play up the comedy over the romance though, so perhaps development on this front might be slighly lacking.
Karakuri // Really? All this mention about two guys living together and not a single BL intonation joke? I’m slightly surprised, but at the same time, it’s nice to see two guys living together in a semi-peaceful life without it having awkward implications.
I think I’ll stay away from the doujins that emerge from this too. Though I can definitely see something between Yusa and Maou. She has some rather tsundere behaviour going on and Maou’s personality seems like the kind that could open her heart a bit. Plus he’s not exactly out for her blood right now, and she kind of mentioned that if he lived a normal life here, she would stop stalking him. I can see things working out (plus it’s the cliched ‘mortal enemy turned friends or more‘ relationship). I don’t know how Chi is going to fit into all of this since like mentioned by Suma, she’s obviously another love interest. However, I assume she’s fairly important since she’s had a decent amount of screen time and she’s really prominent in the ED as well.
I was rather excited for Hataraku Maou-sama! before spring season started airing. And from what I’ve seen of the first two episodes, the show has delivered on my expectations so far. The promised comedy is present, and actually funny. The highlights in this department have definitely been Sadao and Shirou getting used to being powerless humans in our world, and Emi’s tumultuous interactions with the former demon lord. I’m looking forward to seeing what other kinds of trouble these “fallen” figures will get themselves into, especially considering the ominous events at the end of the second episode. Who is responsible for the magic attacks on Sadao and Emi? Another “pilgrim” from Ente Isla? And how is this assailant using magic so freely anyway?
Both of the episodes so far have been pretty good for balancing plot with comedy (plus the comedy is actually pretty funny, even despite using the joke that Maou works for a McDonalds ripoff a lot). The first episode was funny for the transition from demon lord to everyday person, but it also had important plot points in there as well about their origins. The same goes for episode 2 with Yusa’s side of the story and showing us just how much Maou has fallen, but it balanced it out with a slightly more serious end. It makes for a more interesting story that way in my opinion, so I hope they keep the rest of the series along the same lines. Actually, I kind of hope that Maou’s former subordinates make appearances as the series continues too. Sure, they were said to have died, but maybe they escaped to Earth too.
Fun with Shirou!