Hataraku Maou-sama – 05

And they lived happily ever after.

Once again, Maou-sama! ventures away from the realm of romcom and into more serious waters.  Well ok, the show does retain some comedic aspects. And while some might complain about the flip-flopping between serious business and comedy, I actually think that Maou-sama! handles the balance pretty well.

Epic Showdown

First up we have the cliffhanger from the previous episode. We know that Lucifer is behind the attacks on Maou and Yusa, but it comes as a bit of a surprise to me that the archbishop briefly mentioned in episode 2 is actually pulling the strings. I guess it’s just the norm to make religious groups corrupt in anime now? I myself am not a religious person, and I recognize that there is certainly corruption in real life religion, but I have to say I find it in bad taste that the role of the bad guy keeps getting relegated to religion. But I digress. What’s interesting is Maou’s comment about how the archbishop made a bargain with Lucifer to “return him to heaven”. This suggests that Lucifer is true to his namesake; a fallen angel. I doubt that Maou-sama! will pursue this matter much more than Maou’s brief comment, but Lucifer’s angelic nature might suggest why Yusa’s sacred sword failed to kill him. Otherwise, there’s really not much explanation for how he managed to survive his deadly encounter with the hero.

Moving on, we get to see why Maou deserves his title of Demon Lord. The guy is both sharp and a quick thinker. In spite of a few risky maneuvers, he managed to turn an unfavorable situation around without the enemy catching on. I can see him being a great strategist. Oh, and he’s not too shabby in combat either, if his smackdown of both the archbishop and Lucifer is any indication.1 This leaves me wondering what had him so preoccupied during his conquest of the humans that it distracted such a capable leader from what was going on in the frontlines. Maybe we’ll find out later on?

Is It Over?

With the defeat of the two baddies, Maou-sama! is looking an awful lot like it’s over. Maou has regained his powers and can thus return to wreaking havoc on Ente Isla. Heck, even the mage (Emerada) and the warrior (Albert) arrive at the conclusion of the battle to offer Yusa a way home. But of course, Maou-sama! isn’t going to end here. Maou still has to get first place on the sales rankings, after all. Really, the demon lord’s priorities have changed drastically during his brief stay on Earth. It’s as if he’s taken all his ambitions for conquering Ente Isla and turned them into an ambition to become the number one MgRonald’s employee. When he first arrived in Japan, this was only supposed to be a stepping stone on his way to gaining power and influence on Earth, but somehow I get the feeling he’s forgotten about what comes after MgRonald’s. Maybe he really has changed for good.

And so before you all start concluding that Maou-sama! is ending here, I would like to point out that there’s no need to be hasty. It’s not as if Maou-sama! is the first show to feature extremely satisfying ends to arcs.2 Obviously there will be more on the way, and I have no doubt that what follows will be able to live up to the conclusion we just witnessed. It’s a pretty good bet that we will return to the simpler days of good ‘ol romcom, considering the show is in fact supposed to be romcom. And while the dramatic developments have been nice to inject some story to the show, I did come for the advertised romcom. To me, the end of this arc is more like the end of a brief but satisfying diversion from the regular programme. So will the rest of the show be disappointing from this point? The answer is no. Rather, what follows should be what we came for in the first place.

The Comedy

As purportedly serious as the recent developments have been though, Maou-sama! doesn’t fail to inject some well-placed comedy into the mix. There’s the subversion of the rule that antagonists will not attack while the protagonists are talking, to deadly effect. I have to say, I laughed a bit too much when Ashiya took a beam to the chest as he was complaining about Maou’s careless usage of their meager funds. And then his following “last words” are for Maou to take advantage of monthly discounts? Ha! Truly, a miser to the end. In any case, there were countless other humorous moments, such as Yusa deflecting Lucifer’s “pitch” straight into Maou’s face, so I won’t try to list them all. Suffice it to say this episode was just as funny as the previous ones.

Maou-sama! continues to be my favorite show of the season. The more serious developments have been a welcome addition, but it looks like it’s time for the show to return to its roots for some romcom. I really enjoyed how Chi-chan’s ability to hear the magic communications is explained again at the end, while simultaneously reintroducing both comedy and romance. It turns out Emerada and Albert had set the magic communications to be received only by those who think about Maou all the time. The thought behind this is that Yusa is obsessed with defeating Maou, so she would be the only one to hear the transmission, but I guess none of them could have fathomed that an innocent girl deeply in love with Maou would also be able to tune in. If you think about it, Yusa not hearing any of the transmissions might even hint that Chi-chan thinks more about Maou than her. But now I’m treading dangerously close to the cesspool that is shipping wars. Let’s just leave at that.

Fun with Yusa

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1Yes, this is a massive understatement.
2Sakurasou comes to mind.

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A mechanical engineer who spends too much time watching anime and reading manga.
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23 Responses to “Hataraku Maou-sama – 05”

  1. akagami says:

    Blonde loli mage/healer?!? No, come back!

    And I didn’t really pay attention before, but Chiho is really well-endowed.

    • Sumairii says:

      How did you miss those assets, haha! =P

    • Highway says:

      Yeah, I don’t know how you could miss that about Chiho before. That little dress she wore for her date with Maou was pretty unbelievable. You can’t get cloth to do that.

      • sonicsenryaku says:

        hahaha not necessarily; it could be that the dress was fitted for her. I mean, damn, not a wrinkle to be found

    • BlackBriar says:

      And I didn’t really pay attention before, but Chiho is really well-endowed.

      I can’t believe you failed to miss an eye opener like that. Shame on you! Like Highway mentioned about her date with Maou, her attire showed that she was very much endowed. It even made Emi acknowledge her.

      • akagami says:

        I remember that scene with Emi’s comment, but I was noticing more the body lines (plus Emi is *almost* flat so I mean she’d get jealous of almost anyone else). I have to rewatch, but I thought in the last episode it was more pronounced. As in Maoyuu pronounced.

  2. akagami says:

    Really enjoying this so far, it’s quite different than last season’s maou show (Maoyuu Maou Yuusha). I really tried to like the latter, but it didn’t have the charm of Spice & Wolf.

    What’s that poster beside Chiho for? It looks like… big easter eggs (chocolate?). But this is MgR’s, so…. no, it still looks like dinosaur eggs. With chocolate inside.

    • Sumairii says:

      Yeah, Maoyuu kind of failed to live up to expectations.

      The poster to the right of Chi-chan appears to depict some sort of milkshake or smoothie or something along those lines. It’s something in a cup and with toppings, at least. Maybe I should go to McDonald’s more often. =S

  3. I wonder if the show can keep the momentum it has from this 1st arc with interesting stories that make sense while still having its good balance of plot progression/comedy

    Ashiya is still waifu of the season though regardless hands down : P

  4. Earthling says:

    I don’t think they intended on antagonizing religion particularly. I think it’s more an expression of the authorities’ politic games, and the authorities of the human league in Ente Isla just happened to be the church. It could have been a senate, or any form of governmental structures. But since angels and demons are involved in this setting, having the church to take charge seems to make the most sense. And when there’s leadership, there’s politics.

  5. TheVoid says:

    Well turns out it was true and since the Church is corrupt I highly doubt it was the demons who destroyed Emi’s village and killed her father, or at the very least they intentionally let it happen so that they could make the perfect weapon for their cause.

    I doubt Maou hasn’t forgotten his goal, he just more than likely wants to conquer MgRonalds and then the world. He’ll probably try to do nonvionlently this time and save the violence for the church when he returns to Ente Isla.

  6. tatsuya says:

    hell yeahh !! this is the moment what we waitting for ..Maou sama and alshiya henshin ….
    get lost lucifer u ‘re no match for maou sama the mgronald emplyee
    btw ..best punch ever .. !!! (atatatatata!!)

  7. KLACMAN says:

    well at least it show satan still more focus on living & want to conquer mcronalds than esta isla.

    & yep satan really did take a page of clench your teeth punch wonder at least still 8eps to go.

  8. BlackBriar says:

    Hataru Maou-sama! is officially one of the best shows of the season. It handles both comedy and drama nicely and switching between each other fluently but I got a whiplash watching this episode and I enjoyed it. Normally with epic battles, you get these big time monologues or each side boasting because they have upper hand but not here. There was trouble containing my laughter because though Maou was being badass, he still went on worrying about irrelevant things like being late for work. Seriously, is working in a fast food restaurant really more important than conquering a nation? :)

    Chiho took the whole “they’re from another world” thing and working alongside a demon situation pretty easily and it makes me wonder if she suspected anything or if she’s just that easy-going.

    Emi always makes the most awesome facial expressions be it sad, angry, happy or neutral. If anything, she’s the most confused character in the show now. Her enemy is content with his current situation which makes her feel she lost everything for nothing and she finds out she was used and betrayed by the people who took her from her father and was about to be killed by one of their leader’s order. Wow, she has it rough and she’s most likely questioning her existence now.

    Whether it’s Hellsing, Maouyuu Maou Yuusha, Index or High School DxD, the church looking like the bad guys and the demons as good guys is becoming the norm and that brings some worries. I know there’s corruption in almost everything and I rarely dwell on the subject because it’s a touchy one for all but I’m just saying it’s beginning to leave a bad taste in the mouth. Now, if the church sanctioned Emi’s execution, what’s to stop us from believing they had her father killed and blamed the demons to motivate her to fight for their side?

    Ashiya for best male supporting character of 2013! Even in “death”, he refuses not to be funny. And for a highly regarded demon general, you’d think he’d learn not to start an arguement in the middle of a fight, especially when it’s about something insignificant.

    • Earthling says:

      I really think the church is just a figure of governmental authority and nothing else, in this premise at least. We are talking about a world with angels and demons after all. Who else but the religious group for that figure? If this setting is about aliens and earthlings, then it would in turn become the earthling’s government that ends up being the conspiring baddies all the same. I say we don’t really need to take these archetypes too seriously.

    • Sumairii says:

      I think it’s not too surprisingly that Chi-chan accepted the “they’re from another world” thing so easily. They do say “seeing is believing”, and she did just witness a fantastic battle with angels and demons in the middle of the city.

      And yes, Ashiya is the best male supporting character so far this year. Gotta love his dedication to saving money. I guess living on Earth has affected him as much as it has affected Maou.

    • Highway says:

      I think it’s a bit much to cast “the church” as the, or even a, bad guy in this show. It’s entirely possible that the vacuum of power left when Maou and Alsiel cheesed it to Earth and Emi took off after them caused the chaos where someone like Orba, who individually desired power, stepped up to cause problems. Perhaps the chaos that was referred to was the power struggle within the church of the people who wanted to keep being ‘good’ and those like Orba who were just interested in being in power.

      DxD possible spoilers follow:Show ▼

  9. skylion says:

    Religion bad? I take it no one here has read The Preacher graphic novel by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Hoooooboy!

    Ah, Mage-chan, why you go away so soon. I shall cry delicious tears until your return.

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