「魔王と勇者、いつもと違った日常を過ごす (Maou to Yuusha, Itsumo to Chigatta Nichijou o Sugosu/i>)
“The Devil and the Hero Take a Break from the Daily Routine

(Author’s note: I’m filling in for O-Kairi, who’s having net issues – she’ll return to Hataraku next week – Enzo.)

Memo to Suisei no Gargantia – that’s how you do a swimsuit episode.

And we’re not going to get a 2nd one next week, either.

Fanservice eps are a minefield for anime, to say the least.  For every one that actually contributes something besides crass commercial pandering there are a dozen that don’t, and at worst they can derail a series with surprisingly devastating efficiency.  On the one extreme you have the Outlaw Star and Gurren Lagann examples, and on the other the aforementioned Suisei no Gargantia – and it’s towards that end of the scale that most service episodes sadly end up ranking.

While not quite on the level of Outlaw Star or TTGL this week’s Hataraku Maou-sama is happily much closer to that extreme than the other.  There are several reasons for this, but I think the most important is that the premise both made sense given the ongoing plot and contributed something to the plot going forward.  As well, it managed to avoid the common trap of coming off as crass and exploitative, which like so much that Hataraku makes look easy isn’t as easy as it looks.  Everyone knows what’s happening with a swimsuit episode, so there’s no point in pretending otherwise – the key, I think, is to intentionally play up the ridiculousness of it and mine some character humor from the situation.

Essentially, this is another example of Hataraku at its core: not really doing anything that hasn’t been done before, but doing what has been done before extremely well.  It exists somewhere in an elusive middle-ground between cliche and parody, not reaching the level of outright satirizing the tropes it portrays but ingeniously tweaking them to make them feel fresh.  No trope could be more trope-y than the fanservice episode, but it feels fresh here because there’s so much life in these characters and watching them interact is always a pleasant experience.

Among the gags I loved this week were the "Here’s your one-pound burgers!”; bit, which made me laugh at one of the oldest cliches in anime, one girl stressing out over another’s bust size.  And truly, Chiho is almost freakishly big – but this (for me at least) doesn’t offend because the series makes fun of itself for that fact, embracing the absurdity of it.  I also loved the reptile bit, where Chiho and Emi were stressing over why they don’t like scaly creatures in a very "Desshou?" way – except that Chiho was stressing over a tiny suburban lizard and Emi over a basilisk threatening thousands of people. There’s also Maou’s continued denseness over Chiho’s flirting with him – which again is about as cliche as you can get in anime.  It’s become almost meta at this point, because Maou is so utterly straightforward about it – there’s no posing in his reactions, he’s completely normal as he ignores her true intentions.  The thinking here is that he knows he has no future with a human woman and is doing everything he can to spare her, and as with his job at MgRonald’s, when Maou truly sets his mind to something he’s very, very good at it.

If you’ve worked in the business, you know that Maou’s manager lending him out to another store was an important moment – especially as they were expecting a huge day.  Managers lending rising stars out to other managers is an important rite-of-passage – a show of confidence, a test and a way of showing off how good their staff is all at once.  The last thing you want to do is screw up in such a situation, but this is Maou – he’s basically a food-service savant.  It leads to some interesting developments, especially with Urushihara’s revelation that the new haunted house and reptile exhibits are likely to generate a bumper crop of harvestable fear.  Ashiel wants to go and help but he’s back to living in the bathroom, which I suppose pretty much confirms that he’s far from over whatever Suzuno’s noodles are doing to him.  My big question is, why is it that Ashiel is the only one getting sick when Lucifer and Sadao are eating the same udon noodles?  And for that matter, what’s Suzuno’s plan now that the noodles have expired?  Perhaps taking out Ashiel was her goal all along, to weaken Maou’s defenses, but that still doesn’t explain why the others aren’t sick.

There really don’t seem to be any coincidences in this series, so I have to think that the escaped monkey at Fushima Park being named "Sadao" was more than just an excuse for the girls to have some fun at Maou’s expense.  He stole the janitor’s keys on purpose, presumably, so that whoever opened the crocodile cage could force Maou into action – but again, the interesting question is why.  Was the hope that he’d do exactly what he did, and the aim merely to get him to expose himself – or was there a deeper purpose behind it?  We also have the extremely unsurprising revelation that James from Sentucky is indeed…  What – an angel?  He showed his true colors – white feathers – which implies it might be that, rather than his being a demon.  And that makes his likely ambush of Emi at the konbini all the more interesting.

Full-length images: 12, 25, 26, 27.




    1. To think, the Hero Emi, who had faced real demons both magical ghostly like and anything other demons we can think of, was actually afraid of some sort of imitation made by human hands. You really have to give the creators a good amount of credit for giving even a hero and a top-notch inquisitor a good scare of the lives.

    2. It’s most likely based on the well-acclaimed haunted hospital in Fuji-Q Highland theme park near Mount Fuji, the world’s second largest haunted attraction. Making grown men cry like little girls.


      It’s so darn scary that they have to end up giving visitors the option of bailing out midway via emergency exits along the way.

  1. It was a pleasant surprise to find out this is an anime-original ep/filler, as I think both it and (most of) ep 6 managed to capture the original tone of the series perfectly.

    1. Makes sense, as I didn’t feel any progression in the plot, except the revelation of the Sentucky Manager possibly being of Ente Isla origin.

      1. I know right?I don’t think Emi’s really small or anything,just mediocre which is fine.I also think they tried to make her look smaller this episode than what she usually appears.

    1. He used the fear generated by the people to bind them to his will?? I have no idea. It wasn’t in the LN & I doubt they’ll use the controlling lesser creatures tag again.

      1. Fear gives him power. An evil demon lord would use that to generate even more fear and get more power. Instead, Maou is using the power to control the crocodiles and calm them down. That’s what Suzuno doesn’t understand

  2. As to why only Ashiya is the only one sick over Suzuno’s noodles, my understanding from sources outside the anime is that Maou, having retained more magic than Ashiya, is able to resist whatever holy magic Suzuno added to the noodles better than Ashiya (and probably did so subconsciously). Urushihara, being of angel stock originally, would be immune to holy magic.

    1. Pretty sure it was shown in the anime that only Ashiel was the only one actively trying to finish off the udon, while Maoh was just eating to fill his stomach and Lucifer avoided them entirely. Lucifer did mention that Ashiel overate later.

  3. That was quite enjoyable, it wasn’t as funny as some of the earlier episodes, but it was still an incredibly solid episode. Two things: Suzuno is not amused by water slides, and Lucifer bought a portable Demon’s Souls? (he mentioned previously that he couldn’t play games on his PC) Also, Emi in a swimsuit… Can we have more of that please?

  4. I think the reason why Ashiel got sick is because he ate TOO much noodles. Lucifer and Sadao ate until they’re full, but Ashiel, being as cheap as he is, dont want the food to go to waste, so he ate them all…. I think.

  5. Ah Maou God! Those burgers! So splendid looking! I could just bury my face into those and enjoy the lush, rich tasty meat. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

    …why are you all looking at me funny?

  6. Suzuno and the lizard delicacy was so funny, I’m pretty sure that Chiho now thinks southerners are weird.

    Chiho, do you know why Maou-san does not look at you so often?? I guess for being a 3 hundred year old demon means that you’ve seen enough things that you don’t fall for them so easily anymore. 🙂

    And hello hello, who do we have here? AN blue haired ANGEL!! Haha 🙂 What is he gonna tell Suzuno??

  7. That was SOOOO not Geass. No.

    And yet more bitching from the rest of the online community that this show is “degrading”. Guess we can’t always have ’em high-octane action movements(both in terms of action scenes and plot movement), eh? But personally, these guys are interesting enough that just watching them live their mundane lives on Earth are more than enough for me.

    And Enzo, funny that you’re the only one so far to read Maou’s indifference to Chiho in that way, as the hive mind seem to insist that Maou is just being the “cliched oblivious to love male lead”. One even said that they don’t buy your “no future” argument since he’s the Demon Lord, once he sets foot on Ente Isla, he can turn Chiho or any human woman he wishes into the Demon Queen and “magic” her into being one of his kind(cue the Maouyuu Maou Yuusha jokes of Demon Queen mammaries). Nevermind that Maou being Maou already knows that, yet is highly unlikely to consider that, and even more likely to think that Chiho deserves better than his dark and violent world(remember in Ep. 8 where he asked her if she’s fine with him being literally Satan and what would her parents think?). Hence his deliberate turning down of her romantic advances.

    And for those of you who still insist on the “oblivious” thing, he’s not being oblivious: notice how he cleared his throat when Chiho “presented” herself to him? He knows what she’s trying to pull off: if he were oblivious, he’d be blinking like a googly-eyed idiot. Unfortunately, though, Emi’s comment of “you’re as naive as always” seemed to reinforce the hive mind thinking of him being oblivious.

    Sorry for my semi-rants. I just have to get that off me.

    1. it seems obvious to me that Maou knows exactly what he’s doing with Chiho. He’s not stupid, he’s not clueless – and hell, even if he was, she already confessed to him! I think he’s simply very good as performing a task when he sets himself to it, and he’s set himself to the task of not leading Chiho on in any way,

      1. Indeed. But the hive mind seem to cook up more(hilariously lame, at least to me) comeback arguments like, demons are asexual and spawn in pits, hence no need to get a mate. Guess if a character’s not a perv, either they’re gay or a freak of nature. Maou ain’t stupid, he’s a gentleman, and the author and anime writers are not gonna humor their pettiness by pandering to their ships. I love the hive mind.

  8. I just love the fact that everyone flat out calls the blue haired guy James! It’s a great way for the community to pay respect to one of the most beloved and long-lived anime shows, Pokemon!

  9. I loved this episode. Though I still wonder what the purple aura was from last episode. I don’t know about everyone else, but this anime is one of the anime’s I’d like watching anytime, even if it was a one hour talk between Maou and Alsiel with their mouths full at the dinner table lmao I just find it funny how they talk like that xD I can’t wait for next episode, I sure will be empty when this anime ends :(…..

  10. Is it just me, or is that the recent eps focus too much on the girls? I mean it’s good that they focus on the other characters besides the MC, but it seems like the MC’s being pushed to the sidelines.

    This episode…I don’t know what to make of it. Part of me likes the character interaction that’s been the main charm of this series, and yet another part of me is just disgusted by the toilet humor and breast jokes, like the writers have ran out of ideas. But the part where Maou went all Obey me GeassBeastmaster on the crocs more than made up for it. And dat OST, rock remix of Maou’s theme. Makes me look forward to the OST release even more.

  11. Poor Emi despairs at the size difference, and being only one year older than Chi-chan to boot (though she’s faked her age as 20 in this world). As Hikasa Youko is quite a flat-chest herself, it simply makes Emi’s despair all the more convincing. XD

    And is it me or do I hear Ashiya’s “bomb dropping” while he’s relieving himself in the bathroom?

  12. maou going on borrow work on theme park area of mcronald while chiho go there as well give theme park fun with emi & suzuno.

    yet when got there poor emi her “tuna” are no match for chiho “burgers” so 3 went see maou on work doing fine give chiho bit sad that maou not notice her “burgers”.

    so now emi, chiho, & suzuno go haunted house til all got weep on it so reptile park next give suzuno mention eating lizard so look around oh a monkey appear & want chiho “burgers” then got monkey back to owner with maou also appear give monkey named is sadou it got maou hmm why i got same name with monkey.

    now swim fun til gators are unleash cue fear coming up yet maou used it stop the gator with suzuno why on all it that maou saved the people.

    theme park day is over all good til suzuno see hood blue hair guy with wings & oh maou’s loyal sidekick got atomic runs in toilet due to udon which while urush sneak box online order on them.

  13. Well, hope they turn all this sides into opposite. Not that they make Maou-sama into the “better Angel” as then original Angels. He is still the Lord of Evil. Not the Dark Samaritan

    And i wonder how a “good” Angel can affect an “fallen” Angel.

  14. Noto Mamiko cameo as the theme park MgRonald’s manager, w00t. I know she’s more or less a veteran seiyuu now, but doesn’t stop fans from going “Noto Kawaii-yo, Noto!”

  15. I wan a show with Sadao the monkey now.

    I also want to know where they hooked back up with Chiho in the haunted house, and an episode featuring Emilie fighting the basilisk!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *