「魔王、己の職責を果たす」 (Maō, Onore no Shokuseki wo Hatasu)
“The Devil Fulfills His Duty”
Forget the broom, let’s do this thing shirtless.
You know, I think that even with all the great stuff this season, only Hataraku has managed to consistently occupy my top picks without budging place. I seriously love this show, and as we all know by now, for good reason. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as the familiar, whatever we say about liking new things, but the familiar is even better when it’s done well, and that’s exactly what makes this series so great. We all knew that Maou was coming back to kick ass this week, and no one really thought James (or Sariel, whatever) was gonna win this, but in the end, who cares if our predictions were right on the mark? It was fun to watch regardless, and pretty damn epic to boot. But for me, the best parts, as always, are in timing and execution. Look at the way Emi reacts when Maou says he can see her boobs; instead of having a usual tsundere fit, she just has a great reaction, clearly embarrassed but not about to bitch at the guy who’s saving them all (and who had no part in making those boobs visible anyway). That’s really cool characterization right there, and one of the reasons why these characters are so entertaining to watch. Alsiel showing up ridiculously late, Sariel literally praying to God when Maou’s about to pummel him into the next century, Lucifer saying that heaven is in the life of a NEET; it’s all the little things that put a smile on your face when watching this, though it doesn’t hurt to have epic battles and badassery all over the place either.
I don’t think anyone doubted that Suzuno and Lucifer were bound to join or return to Maou’s side, but their doing so is no less satisfying. It’s also really amusing to note what a staunch defender of Sadao’s honor Emi’s turned out to be, but can you blame her? The guy really is the epitome of a nice and responsible guy, and he’s not about to let them all down. After all, no one knows you better than your stalker, a fact she’d probably begrudge someone for pointing out. Her assurances that Maou would show up for Chiho are spot on the money, and I think more than anything that his earnestness is what convinces Suzuno to switch sides. It’s best to decide for yourself what side you want to be on, after all, and clearly the Church isn’t what Suzuno wants to support anymore. As for Lucifer, who’d give up bumming around and the internet for angelic powers anyway?
I’m really sad to see this series end next week; it’s not every day you find a series this consistently entertaining and cool, and I’m actually pretty happy that we’re going out with a good ol’ slice of life ep instead of an epic battle of grand proportions like this week. There’s nothing like watching the Demon Lord and the Hero living out completely ordinary lives, and I’ll be sure to miss it greatly once it’s gone.