「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.

Looking Ahead

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

Random thoughts:

  • 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.

Full-length images: 22, 26.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「Sankaku e.p.」 by nano.RIPE

Preview

137 Comments

    1. Low-to-moderate expectations can be fun like that. It’s easy to exceed them…though I think this one may have gone above and beyond even that. It really was a good episode!

      Stilts
    2. Yeah,really enjoyed it. Can’t wait for the next episode. It has got some slick animation as well(Maou and Hero’s battle). BTW, how many episodes does this have?

      And, Stilts. Looking forward to your posts as well.

      Swarz
  1. The opening was great! it was screaming in awesomeness! dang I wish they’d extended those scenes or rather yet that they should have focus more on those, still great beginning although generic.

    baseone
  2. I normally don’t laugh out loud when watching anime but some of the jokes in this episode I found genuinely hilarious.

    Next time I flag a taxi I plan on doing it like Maou’s general did.

    BBQ
  3. LOL at your reference to Magicka, totally had that feeling, great game with friends. Nothing beats a episode where one is so happy he is promoted in a fast food chain. Well, we have to be satisfied with what we currently have, right?

    Tingster013
    1. My friends and I always ended up getting drunk and “accidentally” killing one another. By the time we got to a hard fight we were so dysfunctional it was almost impossible to win!! XD

      Stilts
      1. Except I’m pretty sure that the language in Magicka wasn’t actually gibberish though. My understanding was that it was a liberally jury-rigged mish-mash of Swedish and English…the script actually meant something but was purposefully (and successfully) written to sound like nonsense nonetheless- which is what made it so hilariously brilliant…

        Zen
      2. I’m pretty sure that Inu Curry-san made his own language for the show. The writings and words also meant something. Someone on the interwebs managed to translate them i think.

        Cybersteel
  4. yah the taxi scene was full of lulz.

    funny show . liked it a lot more than what i thought i was going to like it.

    actually i have seen 3 new animes (for spring/summer, not counting RDG) and is my #1 so far

    Inanis
  5. I have never been more confused by a show. I kept expecting to know what was going to happen next but then it does the complete opposite.

    Why the hell is Maou so damn well adjusted?!

    Tarage
    1. It looks like there was a rather large time gap after they rented their room. I mean, Maou bought a fridge and washer straight up with just his McRonalds minimum wage. That takes a while. And he’s been getting raises so he’s been working there for some time, it seems.

      Employee Training probably broke him in.

      EmD
      1. I remember when I first got to be in charge of french fries. I WAS NOT READY FOR IT. That station is intense, and working under the heating light…Does. Not. Help.

        I really enjoyed the episode, in any case. It even exceeded the manga version in terms of enjoyment, at least for me. Definitely looking forward to next ep!

        Noc
  6. ‘..right after I finished calling a certain Maou show a failed adaptation…’

    I blame that on their production committee.
    I blame whoever it was that decided 2 novels had to be squeezed into 13 eps.

    BTW,

    If the Demon King, Head Maid and Hero from Maoyuu got stuck on Earth, what careers would they go into?
    Your thoughts please!

    zztop
    1. BTW, If the Demon King, Head Maid and Hero from Maoyuu got stuck on Earth, what careers would they go into?

      Maou – Economics professor/consultant and author of the best selling book “It’s OK to Have Useless Meat”.

      Head Maid – Pres/CEO of “Head Maid’s Premium Maid Service” of course. Meido-do transcends all worlds.

      Yuusha – Sole employee of “Yuusha’s World Wide Instant Delivery Service” (NOTE: Assuming Yuusha can still teleport since he is Yuusha after all).

      daikama
    2. I don’t know about you, but I tend to enjoy LN adaptations that pack tons of pages worth of stuff into each episode. Usually, the slower pace they run, the less interesting. Fast pacing makes story composition difficult, but it can be done really well. (See Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon)

      CarVac
  7. While I will be giving this three episodes, I definitely have to say if the next two can keep up this level of entertainment and humor I will be hooked. It was seriously funny, the opening was epic, and I generally am liking the characters. Can’t wait for next week.

    GoukaRyuu
  8. “Holy Potter And The Blood Of A Sorcerer And A Dragon.” BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAAA!!!!!

    Okay so this looks like a Fish Out Of Water story turned romance/comedy, but I haven’t really seen a plot like this in anime before, despite it being used relentlessly in American 80’s sitcoms. There are some moments where the character’s expressions look very weird, but other than that, this looks promising.

    starss
  9. Gahhhh! That animation quality is off the scale! Seriously, even though this may not turn out to be an action show I still enjoy the effort they put into the pilot episode, hopefully its just not part of the tradition where they put most of the animation budget on the first and last ep while severly skimping out in between like a lot of shows do.

    SDFSDG
    1. I was also impressed by the animation quality. Given that it’s primarily a comedy, I’m not too concerned a drop in quality since there shouldn’t be many (any?) complex fight scenes for quite a while.

      daikama
  10. “Khatsu-dum”.

    OH. GOD. I could replay that segment and laugh like an idiot the whole day long. XD

    Really, really loved the way they started it, with action right from the beginning. The producers than brilliantly made use of music to highlight supposedly serious moments interspersed with plenty of comedic moments courtesy of Alsiel and Maou’s interaction with the human world. These guys are so terribly exaggerated that it’s seriously funny! Not sure when I last laughed this hard at the pilot episode of recent anime.

    Exciting stuff. This is a definite follow for me, all the more with Stilts taking this up.

    Owaranai
  11. This was a pretty good episode. But I fear this show will not remain funny for very long. The interesting and funny parts actually stem from the difference between the real world and the fantasy world. But the real worlds gonna be “normal” pretty soon and it will probably have turned into a dull comedy by then. The preview is already an indication that they will have to rely on those very original fanservice-jokes (not fun at all!!).

    But if this show actually remains as interesting as the first ep I’ll take back everyting I said and praise it all the more.

    Libelula
  12. Maybe it’s just me, but having read the manga adaptation of Ishida Akira’s Maoyuu, I can’t help but feel this team/animation studio should have been the ones to handle the Maoyuu anime adaptation.

    Rasen
    1. Technically, it’s male protagonist and female antagonist since being the protagonist isn’t defined by being the righteous or the good guy, but by being the central/leading character and the antagonist is the one who opposes him/her regardless of morality.

      anon
    1. You’re probably thinking of the bridge of Khazad-Dum, where Gandalf fought the Balrog. I know I was. Surprisingly, Khatsu-Dum has a nice catchy ring to it.

      Kentaiyoshimi
  13. Really liking this 1st ep. Good humour, likeable protagonist, and really high production values. I really liked the scene where only Maou’s hands were being animated as he was talking. Premise is so-so, and I would have given it a pass if it weren’t for WHITE FOX animating it. It’s a bit of a shame such high quality production is being paired with a show like this.

    Will definitely keep watching, although it’s too bad no one is covering this.

    Kentaiyoshimi
  14. My expectations: A romantic comedy of sorts with lol-plot fantasy elements thrown in just to move the romantic side forward.

    What I got: Awesomeness

    Also, I appreciate this show for what it is, but I would pay to watch an anime based on the first couple of minutes of this episode.

    Tre
  15. I had great expectations for this adaption and so far I’m not disappointed even one bit. Everything is well done, especially the demon language parts.

    I’d watch it. Not all is looking up for Holy Potter, oh noes!

    Yeah, I would definitely watch that as well.

    Serapita
    1. Be prepared to be surprised, at least initially. Though I think she has a pretty good reason to be violent…she is the hero who was trying to stop the evil demon lord, after all. Kind of a good reason to be after his life, for realsies y0

      Stilts
      1. Of course I expect her to be after his life, but she’s also a hero so I expect her to have a high sense of morality too.Besides I don’t like it when abuse is played for comedy – kind of kills the fun for me.

        anon
  16. Wow, that was a great anime to start my dive into the spring anime season.
    So I guess if Maoyuu Maou Yuusha for me the is Spice & Wolf v.2.0 The Bonkers Edition, i see this show will be the Reverse Maoyuu Maou Yuusha v.2.0 The More Bonkers Edition.
    and lolz potatoes (french fries) are also the root of all evil in this show.

    1. People keep refering Maou Yuusha. Do they have anything to do with each other apart from a Demon King?

      Surprisingly, the answer is yes.

      – Maoyuu Maou Yuusha – Potato first step into bringing peace to the demon & human worlds.
      – Hataraku Maou-sama! – Selling mass quantities of fried potatoes/french fries first step in conquering the world.

      Thus once again we have the time honored link which binds all maous together – the potato. Innocent, tasty vegetable, or actually the key to controlling the world? 😉

      daikama
  17. This first episode was pretty good I’m definitely hooked, but did you really have to dis Maoyuu Maou Yuusha? It was a good show I know it was rushed, but everything that was in it was good and kept me interested if they would of stretched it out to around 20 episodes it would have been great. Sure the last 2 episodes were like a smack in the face, but hopefully that will mean a season 2 and they will have their act together. Of course I never read the manga so I’m just taking this from an as-an-anime perspective.

    agr0n
    1. Don’t let anything I say detract from your enjoyment! As I said in my posts on that series, I enjoyed parts of it too. Remember – just because it was a failed adaptation doesn’t mean that it wasn’t enjoyable. It just means it didn’t adapt the source material particularly well.

      Stilts
  18. One of the best world building 1st episodes I have seen.

    Also, I hope they didn’t blow all their budget on that intro demon battle… that was some serious work there.

    Nanashi
  19. I will find it pure irony later that the Hero must live by the rules of Japan, she can’t just kill Maou so easily. To be unable to kill Maou because of humans when she is trying to save humans.

    It was pleasing to see a anime poster version of Harry Potter. Will Maou go on a date in the movies.

    L002
  20. It’s impressive that even if Maou is now in a human body and is in a foreign land he didn’t completely lose his cool and thought carefully about their course of actions. Definitely he’s still someone with brains and charisma, since Alsiel is so loyal to him. A scary thought is if this guy gets into politics.

    Zhinvu
  21. I find this the complete opposite of last season’s Maou anime: while Maoyuu tends to be serious a lot and tackles micro and macro-economic problems with a feel comparable to eating in a bar-grill restorant, this show feels like more laid back as if you are munching on lightly salted fries or deep-fried sweet potato with a generous amount of sugar.

    Still too early to judge if it will be AOTS: I’ll give it 5 episodes to see.

    The Moondoggie
  22. CAT SUE DOOM!

    Ok, first off, I love this show already, great first episode so let’s get into it.

    Absolutely did not expect references like Harry Potter, especially not Super Size Me.Mcdonald is usually in every anime that has a modern setting so that’s expected.I’m not sure if Maou’s language was a reference to Magicka, but it sounds like it.

    The old lady Miki definitely reminds me of Howl’s Moving Castle’s Witch of the Waste…eww.

    The opening scenes of the fight were nice, especially the animation.

    The Earth part was definitely the best.The banter between Maou and Asiel is priceless.I like how resourceful Maou is and the work ethic he has lol.

    Even though he shouldn’t be trusted with the money XD.Asiel plays the naggy housewife and it’s golden.

    Those books Asiel was reading in the library looked like manga.

    Am I the only one reminded of Pinky and the Brain lol?

    I liked the Ed too, rewinding what was shown, nice touch.The Hero/Yuusha seems to force herself into their “stronghold” in the next episode, I can’t wait.

    Lastly, I have to get this off my mind.The similarities between this and last season’s Maou’s are so strong that it feels like everybody just got gender bendered.

    If not Gender Bendered, then role reversal because the Yuusha has red hair while the Maou has “fluffy black” hair. Asiel acts like Meido Cho and Maou learns a lot about Earth like he was born on it.

    Can’t wait for the next episode.

    Magoiichi
    1. I felt a little bit of Working! when the manager showed up because her face kinda resembles Kyouko’s, but I didn’t even think about the Oppai Loli lol.

      Probably because it looks like besides her and the Manager, Maou is the only other person working there so the similarity isn’t really strong enough for me to think it’s a reference.

      Magoiichi
  23. oh my the only reaction to say on it all yep “the mighty maou-same has fallen & now working in a mcdonalds”.

    yea maou-sama ruling a lot til hero arrive cue him & sidekick travel to modern japan with weird language, low on magic, etc now live as normal people.

    even more maou-sama working in a “mcdonalds” indeed how the mighty has fallen & yikes maou-sama got face hero in japan yet the hero is a WOMAN?!

    overall this could quite the ha i need to see.

    b.i.t.w.
  24. can you say ‘sleeper hit’?

    this is so bizarre its awesome, looks like one more show to follow besides shingeki no kyojin and aku no hana, and speaking of aku no hana…who the hell is doing reviews on it? it better not be as retarded as how psycho-pass was done….

    NierTevra
  25. It’s a pity no one is going to cover this show, it could easily become one of the hits of the season (if it keeps it up). Here is a random thought: why not just creating an empty entry post when the episodes are out (maybe someone might even volunteer to take screen caps), so we could still have a place to post comments, reviews, discuss our opinions and exchange useful info. It wouldn’t be as good as having a lead, but there are a lot of good commenters in this community that I respect and love to read from.

    Hmmm I know that going unmoderated could be a problem, so I actually don’t see that happening, anyway I think it was worth mentioning.

    Voyager
  26. Okay. Why did it take me this long to finally get around to this show?! Oh right, because I was in the middle of another. Oh well…

    This show is hilarious. The pilot doesn’t have any kind of pilotitis, the camera work is fast-paced, and the animation is excellent. I would like a slightly slower introduction for the fantasy world sequences- as they are, I’ll need to watch it again just to understand it all. I do like the fantasy language they created, though it kind of confuses he as to how they’re able to speak Japanese right off the bat upon getting to Tokyo.

    …wait you gotta pay just to get the job applications!? Ass!!

    The guy voicing Maou talks incredibly fast to the point where I wonder just how he’s able to perform without getting his tongue tied.

    starss

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