My archenemy can’t be this kind!
It’s time for some backstory with Yusa! This week’s episode puts the romcom in the backburner and shifts the spotlight onto more serious developments. But this is a welcome change to me.
We knew from the very beginning that Yusa hates Maou, and only now do we find out why. Yes, it’s nothing out of the ordinary, but the whole avenging your father thing works pretty well. I expect if we ever see Yusa’s first encounter with Maou, it would be something along these lines. Or maybe not. Whatever the case, I do prefer the more personal vengeance approach as opposed to the hero simply being a goody two-shoes who just so happens to have the power to stand up to the demon lord. And speaking of power, we also learn of Yusa’s angelic lineage, which explains her holy powers. It’s good to know that Maou-sama! isn’t just throwing words like “holy” around simply because it sounds cool. Yusa really is part divine. I guess that might also explain why her hair was depicted as white during her battle with Maou. Perhaps invoking her holy powers has this side effect.
What I’m not too thrilled about, however, is Maou’s reaction to her story. We as the viewers have been biased to think of Maou as a real stand-up guy: works hard for a living, cares about the people around him. Meanwhile, we’ve also been getting the conflicting claim that he’s an absolutely terrible monster who has committed all these atrocities against poor, defenseless humans. But of course, this doesn’t really mean much to us. With Yusa’s personal narrative though, the truth of Maou’s nature in Ente Isla is finally starting to sink in for me. I know it’s very obviously set up, but the sob story of a girl losing her father and home draws much more empathy than just a brief narration stating that Maou is evil. That said, I can’t believe that Maou can only defend himself with “Sorry, I didn’t understand humans back then.”1 He’s just been confronted with all the evil he’s done and all the suffering he’s caused, and that’s all he can come up with? Surely he could have been more tactful. I’m surprised Yusa didn’t sock him one on the spot.
More Joining the Party
In any case, it looks like things will escalate quickly as the culprit behind the attacks is revealed to be Lucifer. It wasn’t too hard to guess that one of the demon generals would have his sights on Maou’s title, but just how is Lucifer alive? I thought he was the first general to be struck down by Yusa. Lucifer does state that he draws his power from negative emotions though, so perhaps Yusa’s own feelings of hatred allowed him to survive? What I’m more interested in, however, is how Alsiel will react to Lucifer’s betrayal, considering his own staunch loyalty to Maou. Also joining the party are two of Yusa’s former allies. Looks like a mage and a warrior of sorts. The warrior might be able to get by just fine in our world, considering he probably relies on his own physical strength. But won’t the mage lose her magic powers, just as Maou and Yusa have before her? Or did she have some contingency plan before leaping into the gate? It’s also possible that she has some means of recharging her powers, just as Lucifer is feeding off of negative emotions.
Moving on, I thought it was a very nice touch that Maou-sama! seems to tie up loose ends so far. Chi-chan’s ability to hear the magic communications isn’t brushed off as an irregularity. Instead, it is explained as a consequence of Maou casting a spell on a policeman he met when he first arrived in Japan, who is revealed to be Chi-chan’s father. It’s not too often that shows go through the trouble of tying such details together, but Maou-sama! does it all the same. And it even does it in a way that feels very natural and not in the least forced. Really, a job well done. Some “more serious” shows than a “mere” romcom aren’t even able to do as much.
This was overall a very solid episode. I’ve been impressed with Maou-sama! since the beginning, and so far it seems to be capable of keeping the ball rolling. I will admit that there was one slightly off-putting transition this time around. Particularly, Chi-chan interrupting Yusa’s tense confrontation with Maou. The show had a good atmosphere going with Yusa trying to reconcile her image of Maou with his current behavior, and then Chi-chan had to burst in and completely ruin it all. I get that the show was attempting to segue into the scene with Lucifer, but it really could have been done much better. As well as Maou-sama! was able to explain Chi-chan’s ability to hear magic communications, this transition really stuck out like a sore thumb. If Maou-sama! manages to keep stuff like this from happening again though, I’m willing to forgive it for this transgression.
1Also, did it really take only a few months of working at a fast food restaurant for him to finally understand humans? I find that a little hard to swallow.