Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hataraku Maou-sama

I just finished watching this series, so I thought I do a short post about it.  Except for Shingeki no Kyojin, all the series I picked up in April ended up being short, 12-13 episode series, so I’ll probably be talking about several of them in the next several weeks – and hoping some new series come out.

There’s no real point to Hataraku Maou-sama, unless it’s that not all “bad guys” are bad, and not all “good guys” are good.  But the series is really funny.  It has clumsy heroes, protagonists that stop in the middle of battles and argue about mundane things, bad guy demons who save humans, antagonists who help each other out, and of course, the ultimate funny – the Demon Lord, Satan, who works at McRonald’s.  I thoroughly enjoyed this series all the way through.

The premise is this:  In a feudal world, the humans, led by the Hero Emilia, have defeated the Demon Lord Satan and he and his chief strategist general, Alsiel, flee through a world gate – directly into modern day Tokyo Japan, where they take human form and have no demonic powers whatsoever.  This opening gambit is pretty hysterical.  They are penniless and powerless.  They take a six-tatami room, Maou takes a job at McRonald’s under the name of Maou Sadao, and Alsiel, going by Ashiya Shirou, keeps house for him.
The Hero Emilia follows them into modern Japan with the intent of killing them, and since she also has power problems and needs to locate them, she takes a job at a call center under the name Yusha Emi.  She locates Maou and Ashiya, but is confused by their apparently normal human actions, as Maou works hard at McRonald’s.  He becomes a shift leader and supervisor at McRonald’s and also becomes the object of a crush by his co-worker, Sakaki Chiho.

Along the way in the series the lines between good and evil are badly blurred.  A leader of the church from their homeworld comes to Japan and in a pact with Lucifer (one of Maou’s generals) tries to kill both Emilia and Maou, and in the process injures many innocent human bystanders.  Maou discovers he can regain his powers by sucking the negative energy from the bystanders fear and pain, etc.  He gathers power and uses it to work with Emilia to defeat the church leader and Lucifer and to repair all the damage done to people and property.   After his defeat, Lucifer joins Maou and Ashiya in their six-tatami room, as an 18-year old NEET (no education, employment, training) with a penchant for computers and games. 

Later more “good guys”, arrive in the form of the Church’s chief Inquisitor, Kamazaki Suzuno, and the demented and perverted angel, Sariel, who both try to kill Maou.  Sariel also tries to takes Emilia’s Holy Sword from her as well as killing Maou.  Maou again defeats the “good guys” and rescues Emilia and Chiho from Sariel.  In this battle, both Lucifer and Suzuno end up taking Maou’s side.   See?  Badly blurred lines of good and evil.

In the end, everyone goes on about their mundane daily human lives, with Maou and Emilia not quite friends, but not quite enemies either.

All the way through, this series is funny, even when serious things are happening.  For example, Maou, getting ready to fight Sariel and save Emilia and Chiho, takes off his McRonald’s uniform so it won’t get dirty or damaged and fights in his underwear.   Watch this series for the laughs if for no other reason.

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