Hataraku Maou-sama! (Thoughts and Impressions)

RAN RAN RU

Oh boy, I’m final­ly back from a whole month of sum­mer not post­ing (seri­ous­ly, what the hell is wrong with me?!). So what’s a good way to kick-start a new blog­ging mood? Sim­ple: talk about the most kick­ass ani­me I’ve watched recent­ly. That’s right, The Dev­il is a McDon­alds Employ­ee… er, I mean, The Dev­il Is a Part-Timer!

Before I actu­al­ly begin, I need to men­tion that I have a big prob­lem with the offi­cial Eng­lish title. Why? Well, first off, はたらく hataraku sim­ply means “to work,” not “part-time work.” Oth­er­wise, it would have been some­thing like “Maou-sama no Arubaito!” (アルバイト arubaito being the Japan­ese term for “part time job”). See, after watch­ing this ani­me, I’ve con­clud­ed that our lov­able demon lord (and main pro­tag­o­nist) does *not* con­sid­er McRonalds a part-time job. In fact, I feel that a part of his char­ac­ter is that he con­sid­ers it a seri­ous full-time job in the human world. This guy takes his job more seri­ous­ly than a sur­geon — it’s not part-time, FUNi­ma­tion.

Not as bad as Shinge­ki no Kyo­jin being called “Attack on Titan” (do the Japan­ese not know their own kan­ji?!), but it rus­tles my jim­mies nev­er­the­less.

Demon lord gets paid minimum wage

The basic con­cept of the sto­ry isn’t exact­ly a unique one. How many times have we seen the premise of a main pro­tag­o­nist being trans­port­ed to a com­plete­ly (and lit­er­al­ly) for­eign uni­verse? Fushi­gi Yuu­gi per­son­al­ly comes to my mind. How­ev­er, in that case, it was about a girl from the real world being trapped in a fan­ta­sy-based world. Here, we have a demon lord, Sadao Maou (a.k.a. Satan Jacob) and one of his gen­er­als, Shi­rou Ashiya (Alciel), natives of fan­ta­sy set­ting Ente Isla, find­ing them­selves trapped in real world Japan with­out their pow­ers.

Dat testosterone

And, you know what? I actu­al­ly start­ed this series know­ing 0% of what it’s actu­al­ly sup­posed to be like. I watched it off a sug­ges­tion with absolute­ly no pri­or input. See the above screen­shot? Yeah, the first five min­utes of the first episode made me think this was going to be some super-seri­ous medieval ani­me. “So why do they call it the “Work­ing Demon Lord”?

Oh phooey, the real world

Oh.

I soon fig­ured it out. I actu­al­ly think the best way to get into this series is not know­ing what the hell it is before­hand. It made it even more hilar­i­ous when our demon duo were act­ing like a bunch of delu­sion­al (can you say, “chu­u­niby­ou”?) for­eign­ers going through extreme cul­ture shock in Japan because you’re brought into it after assum­ing the rest of the series would be as seri­ous as the pro­logue.

Just… it caught me off guard, and I end­ed up bust­ing a gut. The “real world” cul­ture shock is where much of the com­e­dy comes from in the ear­li­er episodes — those first few episodes are, hands down, the fun­ni­est moments I had with­in the Spring 2013 line-up.

YES, RIDER KICK RIDER PUNCH KAMEHAMEHA SHIT GETS REAL

But, aside from the first few episodes, the com­e­dy in gen­er­al is real­ly well-done. The exe­cu­tion of the com­e­dy is prob­a­bly what I liked best about this ani­me. But that does­n’t mean I did­n’t like every­thing else about the show. It does things well dur­ing the more seri­ous moments, and I real­ly liked the action.

The action isn’t the best ever — once you’ve watched Samu­rai Cham­ploo, you begin to become more care­ful ever claim­ing such a thing — but it real­ly emu­lat­ed the style of action ani­me that I grew up with dur­ing the 90s. The bat­tles aren’t amaz­ing, and in this show they don’t seem to be the main focus (at least, so far with­in these 13 episodes), but when­ev­er there was a fight scene, I got into the hot­blood and was root­ing for the pro­tag­o­nists.

Awesome Girls

Emi and Chi­ho are… “two thumbs up” =D

The romance aspect of the show is cute, I sup­pose, but in my opin­ion isn’t worth men­tion­ing much. I do love the char­ac­ter inter­ac­tion though, the chem­istry between the cast is pret­ty cool, and again, it’s done in a style that, to me, seems to harken back to the 90s-styled ani­me that I grew up with. Not any­thing like Sword Art Online (sor­ry to any­one that likes SAO — per­son­al­ly not my cup of tea). I absolute­ly love the dia­logue of this show, it brings a smile to my face. And know­ing me, you know that I love being hap­py. 😛

There’s a lot left open for a sec­ond sea­son (I know this is based on a light nov­el series that I should prob­a­bly read as well), the back­ground sto­ry and details revealed in these 13 episodes leave behind lot of curios­i­ty. I real­ly do think it did a good job as a ani­mat­ed light nov­el adap­ta­tion here, as it’s clear­ly able to stand on its own, despite end­ing at such a weird episode. I’m look­ing for­ward to more, White Fox.

It's like 90s badassery without the 90s

P.S. The OST is *won­der­ful*. Here’s the open­ing on YouTube (it’s the third updat­ed sequence, so spoil­ers!):

4 thoughts on “Hataraku Maou-sama! (Thoughts and Impressions)

  1. One thing I think deserves to be men­tioned about Maou-Sama is that it does­n’t explain its fan­ta­sy set­ting with walls of expo­si­tion and point­less expla­na­tion dia­logue. It’s quite refresh­ing.

    1. @Wah­fuu: Most­ly in this case, I don’t think it’s need­ed any­way. Slow­ly learn­ing about how their world works adds to the curios­i­ty.

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