Hataraku Maou-sama! – First Impressions
Hataraku Maou-sama! is a nice, refreshing break from the monotony of everyday life. Watching a pair of demons try to fit in to human life allows for good comic relief I wish I had in reality.
The episode begins in a different world where magic and demons exist. Dark Lord Satan is attempting to take over the human part of this world. This part of the episode is quite serious, with well-animated battle scenes and tons of magic and fighting going on. The demons speaking French (I think? That’s what it sounds like to me, anyway…) is a nice touch. Once they then escape to our world (yeah, you saw that coming) and end up in Japan, the fact that they speak a language other than Japanese makes them seem that much more out-of-place and reinforces just how foreign our world is to them.
I would have liked to have known how much time had passed between the filling-out-job-applications scene and the following scene when Maou-sama and Alsiel (a.k.a. Ashiya) are basically living like normal humans. It’s unclear how much time passed between these two scenes, so Maou-sama’s nearly complete 180-degree personality change is a bit shocking. Still, the premise of the show is interesting: a demon king forced to live as a young human and work at a fast food restaurant to pay the bills.
Hataraku Maou-sama! is, so far, a mixture of slice-of-life, supernatural, and comedy with themes of demons and magic. To this point, the anime seems to be doing a fair job of mixing these genres. I’m always wary of slice-of-life shows that try to mix in supernatural elements—there’s so much that can go wrong so easily with such a combination. This anime, though, seems like a good mix of the two.
Also, I’d like to comment on the art style and other aesthetic qualities of this anime. It seems to be animated in an older style with more modern quality settings; this is an animation style I’m a huge fan of, so big plus in that column. I’m also really impressed with the soundtrack. I didn’t really know what to expect in the music department for this anime, but the soundtrack during the opening scenes is phenomenal and while I wasn’t sold on the ending song at first, it’s grown on me after a couple runs through it.
This is a promising start for Hataraku Maou-sama! This episode ends with a confrontation between Maou-sama and the hero who caused him to flee his realm, setting the next episode up for a great opening. I’m looking forward to reviewing this anime for the remainder of the season.