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“Maou-san no baka!”
A real opening appears! I’m guessing things are behind schedule since they finally ditched the opening stitched together from random scenes from the first episode now… at episode five… after I posted a thin slicing post. Man, you know you are slow if you can’t even beat a thin slicing post. Anyway, this show still lacks an ending, though I’m perfectly fine with fanservice Sasaki at the moment.
(Or Silver Fox waited for this episode since the opening does contain spoilers. In fact, the spoilers were revealed during this episode… my gosh, did they actually time it that way? JC Staff and Railgun could use a lesson here. Heck, even Valvrave, but I prefer to let that train derail on its own. More fun that way. It’s like how no one says, “Hey, The Rock, you know what? You have too much muscle. It’s making you look like huge, walking tortilla chip.” No one says that. Because we want to see how jacked and ripped he can get before he explodes.)
Episode four was the first let down episode, and I think it’s because it focused mostly on Emilia, the least interesting character. Generic one dimensional swordwomen who is a bit tsundere for the male lead? Why, let’s give her an episode. Well, they had to. Flesh her out. See if she can develop as the story continues, but, somehow, the only character growth she will have is that she won’t kill Maou-san. I was hoping they gave her a more interesting backstory than just “destined child to fight the demon,” but, alas, we are where we are.
(Her friend/co-worker was being totally nice and stuff to her. It made me think she was the mastermind behind the attempted killings… well… she still could be the final boss.)
“When exactly did you have time to waste money on movies?”
Episode five? Excellent. All the excellent timing humor? Back in full force. While it is mildly entertaining to have Alsiel talk with Maou like they’re a semi-happily married couple, it just gets amplified because they’re having their spat during a battle sequence right after Maou deciphered the master plan and was acting all cool and stuff. Much like baseball, Gilt sales, day trading, and phase frequency detectors, timing is everything.
“What the fuck are you doing?”
Of course, the show doesn’t skimp on any type of humor when it can. Slapstick works best when you don’t expect it, and I wasn’t expecting it here. It also works best when characters do something really silly when they’re at their noblest… like here… or when Mio tripped on stage after Fuwa Fuwa Time.
The whole bubble the city and repair it shtick… has to be inherent to anime, right? What Western movie do you know puts in a plot mechanic just so innocent, random people do not get hurt. Also, no property damage to either private or public property… can you imagine Optimus Prime laying down a temporal zone where Megatron also agrees to fight in? And then whomever wins the fight will repair everything inside to pristine condition? Well, it happens in anime. BRB, tweeting Michael Bay…
“Says the hero who works in a call center!”
I just liked how Maou was more focused on his job at McDonald’s and defending the honor of his job during the fight than on the fight itself. If Eden of the East is about the lost generation of Japanese kids who are disillusioned by society and working for the man, Hataraku is the complete opposite. It celebrates being an insignificant cog in a vast world. I mean, Maou is perfectly fine giving up being lord and master of an entire realm just so he can perfect the art of french fries! I can understand if he wanted to stay in this world because he enjoys using Sasaki’s melonpan as pillows, but he’s staying because of french fries. To be fair, McDonald’s french fries are really good…
(Is it weird that the demon king has an excellent work ethic and is a fair boss? He takes responsibility for his underlings… I mean… would the CEO of any major company do that? Is this why he is the demon king? He rose through the demon ranks with kindness? I can imagine him as a part time demon and working his way up and inspiring leadership and confidence. It’s a much more believable scenario than Joker amassing a well-oiled army in TDK when he didn’t pay his goons and randomly killed them.)
The demons are powered by fear and despair and negative emotions of young women? I feel like this has been done before… so if you’re keeping track at home, pretty much idea in Hataraku has been done before, but they blend the elements together quite well.
(Silver Fox also animate and do the battle sequences fairly well. In fact, they are doing a great job with the production… I might have tossed in more fanservice, but, oh well, nothing is perfect.)
Crotch lighting. A difference between this show and other anime… when Kirino’s friend from America visits her in Oreimo 2, the first thing that they do is take a bath together. I guess they miss showering with each other so much. Do you have a friend that you would visit, and the first thing you would do is shower together? Unlikely, unless you’ve amassed 10+ YTAMR points on this blog. This show actually had Emilia’s friend and Emilia bath at separate times, in serial. My gosh. What is wrong with this anime that it didn’t give us Emilia x her friend symmetrical docking fanservice in the bath? And why no “Hey, your boobs are bigger than I thought they were!” moment? What is wrong with this show?! I thought it was a romantic harem comedy?!
Her friend even has a Twister mat as an accent carpet! She totally wants to play Twister with you, Emilia.
Hey, don’t worry, bro. You can totally leave your defenseless little girl to us. Sure, we may be neckbeards from the church, but we’re totally holy and shit. We’re definitely not going to rape her or put her in a room full of penis worms. That totally won’t happen. Hey, if this were Westeros or England, sure, that could happen. But we’re not like them. We’re totally going to not do unspeakable acts on a little girl just because we’re untouchable churchmen who can get away with anything in this doomed world of us. It’ll be fine.
(Seriously, the church couldn’t have sent one lady out as part of the gang that secures Emilia? And instead they send a bunch of people who I’m sure were mentioned in a recent Amber Alert?)
“And here I am, just standing here looking like this. I’ve never felt more like a side character.”
Another great line. I did wonder how do the sacred people replenish their magical power. If the demons replenished with negative emotions, do the sacred people work on love and happiness? Moon prism power? My guess: sex. If you’re going to copy, copy off of the best. There’s no more entertaining method of power transfer than good ol’ fashioned bonking. Hey, if we’re going to rip off more “basic” versions of Saber and Kiritsugu as Hero and Demon, why not go all the way? Sasaki could be Irisviel.
Lastly, from my readers…
TheVoid: “Man Maou is ripped. I could only imagine him breaking the girls in bed in his true form. Also, Alsiel is what they call a house husband. They’re like housewives, but male.”
Don’t tell The Rock that I said this, but I thought steroids and excess testosterone shrinks one’s testes? Wouldn’t they be all jacked to compensate for that? Or should we instead hope for a Pumping Iron-like docudrama featuring Maou, Ah-nauld, The Rock, and Kevin Smith? Oh, what the hell. Let’s toss Arararagi and the cast of Free! in there as well. Maybe even some Gilgamesh and his golden rod.
Yukimura: “I wish we’d had less of a glimpse into the conflict between Hero and Maoh before they ended up on Earth and all we knew was that they were on very opposite sides of some issue in their home world and that was the source for their hostility towards one another.”
I’m actually perfectly okay if it turns out everything was a misunderstanding or orchestrated by another more powerful evil. This show is fundamentally a comedy, so I want it to take the route that makes it most comedic. If there was some seriously srsbzn issue like gay marriage or slavery or OMFG WHOSE TURN IS IT TO CLEAN UP THE PUPPY POOP, then the show wouldn’t be as much fun. I want to contemplate life lessons on a show like Gargantia or Aku no Hana. This, not so much. I just want some awesome Maou moments and Sasaki fanservice as well as waifu Alsiel. (Not against “house husband,” just more fun to call him “waifu Alsiel.”)
kaydub: I don’t care if Attack On Titan ends up taking a giant nosedive, Guren no Yumiya is the best thing since the Space Jam theme.
(Holy shit, the only song that would be on par with Guren no Yumiya is I Believe I Can Fly. They should play that as the outro in an episode where a major character gets eaten by a titan while showing a montage of said character thrusting all over the place. A memorial thrusting montage set to Space Jam. Yes. Please.)
Auro: Speaking of forcing out posts, how’s that best of 2012 coming along Jason?
Poorly. I hope to get it down sometime in Fall… right now, I’m super busy, and then summer season with Magical Girl Illya… Monogatari… and Free!? I may have to develop some way to blog as I walk my puppy around the block. Muttering into my iPhone’s voice recorder stuff like, “Shaft has to step up their game. Ararararagi’s abs aren’t looking so fabulous when they’re going up against the abs of Rei Ryugazaki, Rin Matsuoka, and Makoto Tachibana every week… but they’re all disappointing compared to Maou-sama,” probably isn’t going to cut. And how am I going to do screenshots?! I might just outsource the best of 2012 post to some dudes in India… or Kogarashi…
(Have you seen the staff for Free!? Director is fairly new, art director is fairly new, series composition by Masahiro Yokotani who did such unforgettable shows like Himawari!, Futakoi!, and Mangirl!. Also did another no-name show with an exclamation mark in it, “The Devil is a Part-Timer!” and some combo breakers, Maria+Holic and Keroro. In other words, I have no clue if Free! is going to be totally awesome or totally disappointing. There’s no in between. It will be the Phantom Lancer of anime.)
Meery: “If you continue to blog Hataraku, I’ll prepare honey’d cucumber for you everyday, save Sunday, wearing nothing but a green apron and UNIQLO socks. It’s on the table.”
Yep… these are my readers.