So beautiful it hurts.
That sure was a flashy episode! Between awesome battles and shifting alliances, there wasn’t a single dull moment. And I do appreciate the little bits of comedy that the show managed to sprinkle in. It could be argued that it detracts from the battle, but I personally thought it very fitting of the show.
So Mitsuki is revealed to be the archangel Sariel. He’s probably not quite as well-known as Michael, Gabriel, or Raphael, but sure enough, he is in fact an archangel. That said, Maou-sama! opts for the “not so holy” approach. I’m not a particularly religious guy myself, but it’s rather overdone so I find myself rolling my eyes whenever classically “good” beings are portrayed as being quite twisted themselves. I get that it’s kind of a cool “twist”, but could we have something less stereotypical instead? With a show in which the main character is the demon lord, however, I guess this is unavoidable. It really helps Maou look better if his enemies are no better than him, even though I’ve said before that this still technically doesn’t make him any better. He’s just comparatively ”not as bad”. In any case, I thought the whole showdown was very well done. Sariel was so brimming with confidence and full of himself that I was glad to see him get his bottom handed to him by Maou. I will say I was a bit disappointed that Chi-chan appearing to wail on Sariel was really just Maou using some kind of illusion. It would have been so awesome for an ordinary little girl to beat up someone as high and mighty as an archangel, but I guess I’ll just have to settle for an illusion.
Moving on, Suzuno’s heel face turn wasn’t too much of a surprise, but I still can’t say I rather liked her development. The whole thing just felt weak and lacking in impact overall. We already see that she’s doubting her preconceptions of what’s “right” and “wrong”, and her lack of conviction only made her confrontation with Maou feel unimportant. I would have liked to see a real change of heart, but as it was, all Suzuno needed was a very slight nudge. It was nice, however, to learn that Maou was actually sharp enough to realize that she was an agent of the Church. If he’s picked up on this much, maybe there’s hope for Chi-chan yet. And it seems the theory of Suzuno poisoning Ashiya was technically correct, although I don’t think she was consciously putting her sacred power into the food. On the other side of the spectrum, we have Orba’s attempt to win Lucifer over again with promises of returning to heaven. It wasn’t too hard to imagine that Lucifer would decieve him, but it was still very satisfying to watch Orba’s plan backfire miserably and Lucifer sock him a good one. Harnessing the panic from the masses when the moon is suddenly pulled towards the earth really was some quick thinking on the part of the fallen angel (and also a laughable oversight on the part of Orba).
So now that all the baddies have been defeated, what’s left? I had previously expressed my desire for Maou to return to Ente Isla to make ammends to the people there, but it’s entirely possible that he and the rest of the crew might just remain on earth and live out the rest of their days in relative peace. After all, the town needs fixing after Maou and Sariel’s rumble, so the demon lord obviously won’t be opening a gate back home any time soon. Ente Isla still has some pressing matters regarding the power struggle and corruption within the Church, however, so I can see Suzuno returning to set things straight. Of the group, she’s really the one in the best position to make much needed changes to the organization. As for Maou and Emi, it might be for the best if they never returned to Ente Isla. As much as I would like to see Maou apologize to the people, maybe they’ve just had enough of demon lords and heroes. In spite of the political turmoil, the humans are living in peace now (though the fate of the demons is never elaborated upon), and the last thing they need is a relic from the war to show up and remind them of the tough times they had to go through. So maybe it’s all well that Maou and Emi continue their “feud” on earth, well out of the way of Ente Isla. And this way, Chi-chan will also have all the time she needs to finally win over Maou’s heart.
After forgetting about the romcom for a while, Maou-sama! weans us back into it with some interspersed laughs throughout the battle. Emi and Chi-chan mouthing off at Sariel for being a pervert was one such moment. Ashiya arriving fashionably late to the show was also great. But I think what takes the cake has to be the fact that Maou pretty much went through the entire episode with only his underwear on. The magic fight in the sky was epic and all, but just the sight of a beefy Maou in his underpants cracked me up a bit too much. Good job on that one, Maou-sama!