「魔獣xバイト」 (Majuu x Baito)
“Demon Beast x Part-Time Job”
This week’s installment of Hataage! Kemono Michi has a comedy-centric angle to it as the party’s spending habits force them to find a way to cobble together money to afford the roof over their heads. But while it can be frustrating to see some characters fall into the same pattern that is recklessly spend-happy, this episode captures the hilarity that can ensue when they are left to their own devices as to how they will gather what they can to scrounge up loose change.
What sets this episode apart from the other three is how much it focused on nailing its jokes this time around. Because it’s not trying to introduce new characters into the fold just yet, we’re given a glimpse of what the party dynamic is for our main cast at the moment, and the struggles they face as Shigure tries to goad them into getting jobs.
Unfortunately for them, their weaknesses are the butt of numerous jokes as Shigure’s efforts to serve beer to everyone in the world is undercut when Genzou’s animal love distract him from his mining job, Hanako’s food lust blinds her from the changes the eating contest organizer did to have her pay for every meal she downs, and Camilla ends up finding men who confuse her for a lady-of-the-night, resulting in her split decision to make money by robbing them and running away from the ensuing horde.
Camilla has the most time to shine in this episode since we get to see her funnier quirks as Hanako’s shameless servant who goes out of her way to find ways to shirk Shigure and Genzou’s instructions yet joyfully pretends to go along with one of their plans if Hanako approves of them. Her excuses and overcompensating ego were also very funny with one standout scene being when Camilla tries to save face by pretending that the blaring sun is what prevents her from being at full power when the day is overcast and not one ray of light can be seen.
But even with the episode’s prominent comedic beats, there are kernels of a story unfolding behind the scenes. Princess Altena is likely planning on playing a role in obstructing Genzou’s life goals after his suplex exposed her buttocks and branded her with an embarrassing nickname that her subordinates can’t help but repeat to her face. Similarly, the episode ends on another note that links towards a hidden nefarious force that is aware that a pro wrestler was summoned to their world as an all-powerful hero.
I’ll be interesting to see how both of these threads end up playing out as it gives Genzou more to do than just tame the latest monster-of-the-week. There’s already a positive precedent for the formula to shift in a different direction based on how the resolution of their problems in the episode didn’t come from his wrestling ability or his animal love, but Shigure finally pawning off all of the legendary swords she pilfered from Heat Haze.
It took imagination to come up with the idea for this anime, to begin with, but it’s refreshing to know that the material is creative enough to make it so that not every problem is resolved the same way every time. Hopefully, they continue to build off of this momentum when Princess Altena and Lady Joanna end up drawing themselves closer into the fold in the coming future.