Hataraku Maou-sama! – Episode 8


I dunno, Maou-sama. You have a great deal of potential here. You’re a sharply written comedy with an endearing cast of characters, some subdued but poignant themes regarding capitalism and class awareness, and a lovely, expressive visual aesthetic. But these last two episodes, Maou-sama. I’m gonna be frank here: your performance has not been stellar. And I know, we’re amigos, and I appreciate all the times we’ve had. Please understand that I tell you this as a friend. But frankly… your themes have been abandoned, your character writing has been stagnant, and your humor… even your humor has been somewhat lacking. I’m sorry.

But I believe in you, Maou-sama! I know you can rise above these follies, and I tell you these things out of love. So please, do not take this as an attack. All my criticism is expressed with the warmest possible regard for your strengths – hell, I wouldn’t be saying any of this if you hadn’t impressed me time and time again.

But it’s time to step it up, Maou-sama.

So let’s get to work.

Episode 8

0:47 – Well there’s another Chiho face[1]   for the archives

2:48 – Man, every face she makes in another one for the archives…

3:57 – “Where’s the fried chicken?” I like it when comedies are confident enough to not highlight every joke, and I like how the shot of all their chopsticks grabbing the fried chicken kind of becomes a joke itself in retrospect

4:24 – Another face. You can get so much personality out of animation alone… it’s nice to see a studio outside of KyoAni or Trigger realizing this

8:30 – Niiice. It’s great to see them not dragging the Chiho/Maou misunderstandings out any longer, or trying to get any false drama out of it. And this is a pretty damn mature stance from Chiho, as well. Good stuff

9:22 – And now we get Maou’s honest feelings on the situation? Awesome. I hope this and OreGairu start a trend of characters actually talking about stuff, and not dragging out nonsense romance

9:48 – It’s also awesome to see a male MC having people fall in love with him because he’s, you know, mature and thoughtful and confident, not just because he’s the MC

10:45 – And again, instead of mining this Emi/Suzuno misunderstanding for diminishing comedy returns, they use it only for that one deadpan scene last episode and then a set-em-up/knock-em-down double-take here, keeping the plot moving while getting the best value out of the misunderstanding. I freaking love smart comedy writing – it’s got so much craft specific to it, and it’s great to see it done well

12:17 – Man, I love this show’s style of humor – just extending this ridiculous conversation, and continuously framing the shots so we keep focusing on the fact that they’re in this dingy subway terminal, so it becomes more absurd by the moment

13:47 – And then it bounces to a bunch of far more direct physical and visual comedy gags. Wow, this episode is so much better than the last one

14:48 – …and then they do a bizarre sort of un-joke with those annoying little cream capsules. I know it’s a very different style of show, but I find it funny that a gag Lucky Star would probably extend over like seven minutes is here used during exposition without even being acknowledged by the characters

16:35 – I was kinda hoping Emi would actually have to address how ridiculous her current stance towards Maou is here, but I guess that’s kind of the driving tension of the show at this point, so we don’t get to resolve all the things

17:43 – This fucking show[2]  

20:56 – I think it’d take a long time for scenes of Suzuno yelling at machines to get old

And Done

Awesome! Great episode. The plot’s finally in full gear again, we resolved a few of our lingering dramatic threads, the comedy was constant and really diverse, and I think this was the first episode where Suzuno really sold herself as a great addition to the cast. They’ve set up a great house of cards for next week as well, and I can’t wait to see however this turf war ends.