Hataraku Maou-sama! – 01
「魔王、笹塚に立つ」 (Maou, Sasadzuka ni Tatsu)
“The Dark Lord of Sasazuka”
I’ll leave whether the premise is interesting up to you. What I will say is this – so far this is being adapted really, really well.
A Proper Adaptation – Taking Their Time
It seems proper that, right after I finished calling a certain Maou show a failed adaptation, another would come along and show how it’s done. Actually, that’s not fair, because it’s really too early to tell – Maoyuu Maou Yuusha’s episode 01 was done well too – but even so, I was quite impressed by this first offering. Here’s why: they took their time.
With anime adaptations, there’s a natural tendency to rush. There’s all this great material available, so shouldn’t they try to skip ahead so they can get to the really juicy parts that happen later on? Understandable, but wrong. Anime adaptations are best when they luxuriate over the little details, and that’s what they did here. The opening battle scenes had some great animation, with plenty of action and magic to go around, which impressed me from the start. Then they moved into the Earth portion of the story, and they simply took their time. They patiently went over everything, even the things most viewers would have assumed (but what about those who wouldn’t have? It was good to take the time!), kicked in a few jokes along the way, and kept the pacing even throughout. They even ended it on a nice little cliffhanger, though the preview did spoil that a tad. With a good studio in WHITE FOX and a veteran director in Naoto Hosoda, I suspected this might happen, but I’m happy to see that it did. If episode 01 is any indication, it looks like this will be getting a faithful adaptation.
Well Done (so far), But Is It Interesting?
I still think the answer to that question is largely a matter of taste, because as I originally noted, Hataraku Maou-sama! doesn’t do anything to seriously separate it from the pack early on. It’s a fish-out-of-water story with a fantasy background and plenty of comedy, romantic tension, and hopefully a little action to enjoy. These are all things I like, and so far I’m enjoying their presentation here. I laughed at how Maou Sadao (Ohsaka Ryota) went from conquering the world to being happy about a promotion; I enjoyed watching Ashiya Shirou (Ono Yuuki) freak out about their situation and act like Maou’s stay at home spouse. There wasn’t a lot of pop or flash in this first offering, but it was soundly enjoyable, so I will be giving it more chances to impress.
Plot-wise, it looks like the former hero Yusa Emi (Hikasa Yoko) is going to be getting into some fanservicey antics next week, of which I heartily endorse. I also wonder what importance will be given to Sasaki Chiho (Touyama Nao), who didn’t strike me as an important character until I remembered she’s in all the promotional art. There are things that intrigue me here, and things to look forward to as well, so I’ll definitely be watching more! I won’t be blogging this one though (or anything this season, for those that missed the news). Who knows, though – I may throw this one a word or two when I start my Stilts Out Loud posts back up here in a couple of weeks, so be sure to check in there! Until then~
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Good animation, great directing, superb pacing, spot-on acting – an extremely solid adaptation, at least so far #maousama
- Did their demon language remind anyone else of Magicka? It was just so comically overdone, I loved it!
- I’d watch it. Not all is looking up for Holy Potter, oh noes!
- Not. suspicious. at all. Also: do not want!!
- A Supersize Me reference, in my silly Maou anime? No wai!
- He’s surprisingly competent. Who would have thought that the secret to customer service is wanting to conquer and/or kill all of humanity? Erh, no, wait. That sounds about right.
ED: 「Sankaku e.p.」 by nano.RIPE