Hataraku Maou-sama! – Episode 9

Last week was awesome – in my opinion it was the funniest week yet, it pushed a couple plot threads forward in a very satisfying way (I particularly liked Chiho and Maou’s mature conversation about their feelings – lesser shows would stretch that kind of artificial drama out across full seasons), and it was the first episode where I really felt Suzuno added something wholly new and worthwhile to the cast. Hopefully that episode signaled an end to the kind of aimlessness 6 and 7 suffered from, and the start of more momentum-gathering leading towards the climax of this second arc. Let’s find out.

Episode 9

0:01 – On a tangential note, as I wait for the damn episode… after both having conversations on here and checking a variety of subs against others on my own time, I’ve switched to Commie on pretty much all applicable shows. As far as I can see, although they’re definitely somewhat liberal, their priority is maintaining the spirit of the original line while offering a translation that flows naturally in English. Though this does mean I have to suffer through occasional ostentatious Commie-isms (randomly colorful language, bullshit like Eotens), I feel that’s a price worth paying for the focus on those other priorities, and their general ability to construct conversations in an organic way. Just so you know!

3:13 – Man, I’ve worked retail. This sketchy fuck making manager is the least realistic thing in this show

4:13 – “Divided opinions, I see.” Man, the deadpan is so good

4:34 – So this is working on, what, three levels of misunderstandings? Her friend misinterpreting their relationship, Suzuno misinterpreting Emi’s motivations, Emi misinterpreting her own motivations, looping back around to the point where her friend is right, but for the wrong reasons?


4:51 – Yes Alsiel my god this scene just got so much better

I wonder if any scene in any show would not be improved by the addition of Alsiel. It seems difficult to imagine

5:20 – “We don’t have the financial leeway to fill the coffers of our enemies.” Alsiel, master strategist

7:00 – Maou stop it I can’t breath[1]  . Also love this scene of desperate strategizing, hearkening back to the Great Frier Catastrophe of episode 1

9:46 – “Primarily a real estate and personnel placement agency.” This is like a fucking OreGairu episode. It’s knocking down every pin the last one set up so perfectly that I have nothing to add

12:07 – Alsiel did not need to go on a hilarious, rambling three minute speech to continue being Best General. Was that… gasp! Was that for me?

13:05 – Goddamnit Rika, don’t go making those doe eyes at my Alsiel

14:04 – That creeper is like a third the size of Emi

14:45 – So, yeah, if I want to get all story-craft analytical on this absurdly perfect episode, obviously they’ve been highlighting the Sentucky manager far too consistently for him to be a one-off gag. It’s not guaranteed he’s either the villain or oshit you thought he was the villain but secretly he’s an ally of this arc, but there’s a very solid chance of it

20:52 – “He met the old man while doing community service earlier.” This show’s style of humor is so fucking good. Set up a classic dramatic reveal explanation scenario like this, and then just layer in ludicrous sappy ideas like Maou making friends with the elderly while he just happened to be doing some community service. So good

And Done

Fuck, it worked! They built up a perfect collision of all the central players, and then played them off each other to amazing effect within the confines of a tidy, well-established dramatic arc. Great jokes, great craft, plenty of Alsiel.

If anything did bug me, it’s that Maou and Emi’s relationship seems to have actually regressed over time – they were much more confrontational this episode than they’ve been from even the earliest episodes. Am I imagining this? It could just be in line with the LN writer realizing he had an actual series on his hands – they had pretty genuine camaraderie by the end of the first arc, but that seems to have largely dissipated, and that could be because losing their antagonism basically kills the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Either way, this episode was awesome. Looking forward to next week!