Friday, 28 June 2013

Hataraku Maou-sama! - Episode 13 (Completed)

Sariel's evil plans have been defeated, and although his removal from the world haven't quite got to plan (leaving him to make a detour into the McRonald's refrigerator) there seem to be other concerns playing on Chiho and Emi's minds.

With the former worried that her beloved Maou is going to up sticks and leave for Ente Isla and the latter still sure that Maou's evil intentions will resurface at some point, both of the girls' interest is piqued as Ashiya announced that he needs to take some "time off" for playing henchman house husband to Maou for reasons that he won't specify in polite company.

So, just what is Maou up to?  His suspicious behaviour and the arrival of all kinds of deliveries at his home arouses suspicions aplenty, but of course the truth is far more mundane - Maou needs money and fast to pay off debts racked up by Urushihara thanks to those tracking devices that he's bought, and he's had to find a second job to pay off those debts.  Little does he know that Urushihara has managed to get himself scammed out of even more money, leaving poor Maou seemingly hopelessly in debt - at least, until Emi gets involved to offer up a little expertise.

So ends Hataraku Maou-sama with more glimpses of what it does best - sitcom-style comedy as the show's cast battle against the difficulties of real life rather than fantastical enemies.  Although the second half of this final episode felt rushed, there were still a fair few laugh out loud moments and snappy one-liners, which is really the core of what has made this show the spring's surprise hit.  If only all anime comedies were this well written and delivered; although not perfect, Hataraku Maou-sama has an exquisite sense of timing for most if not all of its jokes and dialogue, and somehow manages to keep its simple concepts feeling fresh and fun when other series would have run those same ideas into the ground.  For a series that I was expecting to either not like out of the gate (with every pun intended) or quickly grow tired of, this has been the year's refreshing surprise in terms of pure entertainment.

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