Friday, 14 June 2013

Hataraku Maou-sama! - Episode 11

After her meeting with a mysterious (well, not that mysterious to us) stranger at the end of the previous episode, Suzuno is consumed in thought for much of the first half of this week's instalment.

Thanks to this, we get to glimpse into her work back on Ente Isla, where she was part of an Inquisition (nobody expects the Suzuno Inquisition!) designed to deal with supposed heretics - of course, this setup wasn't exactly entirely immune from corruption and abuse, and it's this fact that Suzuno wrestles with as she considers the requirement upon her to eliminate Maou.  In the meantime Maou himself is, of course, blissfully unaware of all this as he concerns himself with selling junk sent from Hawaii on behalf of his landlady while Ashiya continues to suffer the ill effects of his recent dietary choices.

Ultimately, Suzuno's train of thought it bound to come to a head, and we end up having a stand-up argument between herself, Chiho and Emilia about whether or not Maou should be eliminated.  No prizes for guessing which side of this argument Chiho in particular comes down upon, and the prospect of having her memories wiped of anything to do with Maou and her new-found friends is only more upsetting still, and ultimately even Emi stands by Chiho when it comes to not doing anything to disrupt the current (and largely happy) status quo.  Emilia herself might have more important issues to consider however, as she's once again attacked by the mysterious (well, not tha... oh, you get the picture) assailant who attempted to corner her previously.

Given that I tune into this series week on week for the laughs, this was a decidedly serious instalment of Hataraku Maou-sama - not entirely devoid of humour thanks to one or two beautifully timed gags and one-liners, but all of this very much took a back seat to the conflict surrounding Maou's future and his wider intentions upon the Earth.  In fairness, it's an argument that was pretty well framed here, and it's a shuft in tone that is probably necessary as we move towards the end of the series - it still doesn't quite hide the fact that this show is at its best when its using its comedy chops to their fullest extent.

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