Hataraku Maou-sama! – Episode 5

Alright. Last episode was my favorite yet. Least funny, but still my favorite, since the show it hinted at seems amazing – a tongue-in-cheek yet still withering satire of capitalism and class structure starring a pair of the upper class who are finally learning what working class really means. That is an awesome show in the making. But is it the show I’m actually watching? Let’s find out.

Episode 5

2:03 – And a new OP, emphasizing how fully they’ve tricked me into finding all these characters endearing and adorable. Curse you, Demon King.

2:45 – A point for everyone who predicted the Priest would turn out evil.

3:45 – Maou is far too genre-savvy to be defeated by such an obvious monologue, evil priest

6:16 – So their source of power is a literal inversion of power corrupting people – by causing corruption they gain power. Cute

7:02 – He’s creating energy through the melodramatic despair of a teenage girl? I’m sure I’ve heard that somewhere… hmmm…

10:37 – And as this show is happy to point out, time doesn’t actually stop out when the camera zooms in on your interior battle-analysis monologue

15:30 – I like how Maou is taking to heroism with the exact same gusto as pepper fries.

18:35 – This episode is pretty seamless and perfect, so most of what I’d be commenting on would just be how great all the jokes are this episode. “Maou… at least… remember to get the discount on the first of the month…” “Nah, can’t conquer the world, way too many shifts this month,” etc. They’re laying it on thick this episode, and it’s awesome

18:57 – AND AGAIN. “Lucifer… you found a girl’s wallet and actually went through it? Disgusting.” as the camera pans to the bridge he was attempting to drop on hundreds of innocent people

21:10 – Eh, a little graceless expositing here to clear up the last couple plot loose ends from this arc. This show has a little bit of a problem with that

And Done

Huh. Well, the ending there was a bit clumsy, considering the characters they introduced/mysteries they started and then immediately had to clear up for a clean ending to what I assume was the first light novel. They also didn’t really build off the things I found most interesting about the last episode – but again, this was a big climactic finish to the action stuff, so that’s not surprising. As far as what the episode did do, I thought the mix of drama and humor here was extremely well done – definitely the funniest episode since the first two, and the dramatic stakes of the fight were well defined, with satisfying heroic turns from all our heroes. It was propulsive and exciting and a ton of fun.

The sudden ending to every foreshadowed element so far kind of jarringly reminded me of the nature of light novel adaptations – since it’s been so consistently a single well-told story so far, it was awkward to be reminded that this is actually a series of adventures, and might not all serve to make one larger thematic point. But it’s still a very smartly written and well-paced story, and I only like the characters more every episode. I hope the next set of episodes brings the economic stuff back to the forefront, but it’ll probably be pretty great either way.