OP2: 「ZERO!!」 by 栗林 みな実 (Minami Kuribayashi)
「魔王と勇者、笹塚を救う」 (Maō to Yūsha, Sasadzuka o Sukuu)
“The Demon Lord and Hero Save Sasadzuka”
I am so glad I didn’t skip out on this series.
Hataraku may not be the season’s greatest entry, but it’s certainly one of the most consistent. That’s not to say that all the episodes have been equally funny or otherwise spectacular, but they’ve always been very good regardless and the quality has been right on point for nearly every aspect since the beginning. Despite this, the last couple of episodes have been slightly mellower in terms of this standard, so when this week’s entry steps things up considerably, the results are pretty damn epic.
Lucifer’s return (from the dead, it would seem) is problematic in more ways than one. His presence, by necessity, requires at least one accomplice, and have one he does. Meyer Olba (Houki Katsuhisa), a member of the Church on Ente Isla and one of the priests Emilia knows personally, has seized the chance to get rid of her and Satan in one fell swoop and garner authority by doing so. In keeping with the traditional story of Lucifer as a fallen angel, Olba has promised him a return to heaven, and in doing so both he and the priest have ironically joined forces to rebel against their former master/ally. Using the fear and suffering of human beings to power his magic (and thus benefiting from keeping the heartbroken Chi-chan hostage), Lucifer seems nigh unbeatable to the magically starved hero and Demon Lord.
Of course, if the former minion is powered by fear, then so too is the master, and Maou and Alsiel (who seemed down for the count with holes blown through their bodies) finally show just how terrifying they can be in a show of pure badassery. Emilia too finally lets loose her angel powers, and in truth all three of them wipe the floor with the rebels in nearly no time at all. The best part, however, isn’t how amazing this fight is (awesome though it is), but rather how funny the series manages to be while still retaining its serious qualities. For one thing, it seems it’s impossible for Ashiya not to be hilarious (“Where did you get the money for movies?”) even when he’s on the verge of death, and he continues to be the epitome of comedic waifuliness. Chi and Emi have their moments too, and Sadao is simultaneously the nicest and most considerate guy in the show while retaining utter basassery. In terms of pure entertainment value, Hataraku seems to have nearly everything covered.
The fun doesn’t end there, however. Just barely missing out on the action are Emeralda (Asakura Azumi) and Albert Ende (Yasumoto Hiroki), Emilia’s allies from back on Ente Isla, who are shocked to see that the Demon Lord is cooperating with their Hero (and even planning to stay in the human world for the sake of his job). Though they don’t stick around for long, their appearance seems to suggest that this isn’t the last we’ll see of Ente Isla or its inhabitants. The series might look like it’s settling down for a romantic comedy route for now, but though Emi and Sadao seem to be on much better terms now (and she’s finally realized that he’s developed a taste for the peace on the good side) we musn’t forget there’s still a war between demons and humans raging on in their homeland, and things can’t stay unresolved forever. Wherever this series decides to go, however, it looks like we’re in for a hell of a great ride regardless. Bring on the corporate ladder climbing, tsunderes, and stingy waifu’s, White Fox!