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The second episode of Hataraku Maou-sama! does not disappoint.
This episode begins with the face-off between Emilia the Hero and Maou-sama that the first episode ended on. What I find particularly interesting about this little encounter is the fact that Maou—Dark Lord Satan, supposedly some evil demon who wants to take over the human race—is the one trying to negotiate, to come up with some sort of truce. The Hero, on the other hand, seems to be only interested in fighting and defeating her opponent. One must wonder why it’s taken her so long to track down Maou if her endgame is simply to destroy him.
That particular plot hole aside, we get to see how Emilia (or Yusa, her apparent alias in our world) has been spending her time, working for a company that takes calls on compensation claims. She lives alone as none of her companions were able to follow her through the Gate after Maou and Alsiel (Ashiya). Her life in our world seems just as modest and, for lack of a better term, dull as the lives of Maou and Ashiya.
It seems that Yusa/Emilia is a tsundere character—mean and violent on the outside, but sweet on the inside. With that in mind, it seems as though she and Chi-chan (who seems to be a deredere—always energetic and sweet) will be vying for Maou’s affections throughout the anime. This becomes evident in each of their reactions throughout this episode: Chi-chan goes a little crazy when she thinks Maou might have a girlfriend, and Yusa freaks out in typical tsundere fashion when a police officer assumes she and Maou are a couple.
As stated in the previous episode’s review, I continue to be impressed by the mixture of supernatural themes and slice-of-life. The introduction of an as-of-yet-unknown sniper using magic bullets to shoot at Maou and Yusa seemed as though it fit right into the storyline, rather than seeming shoehorned in as some stories in slice-of-life/supernatural anime seem to do. If nothing else, it’s a great plot device to get the Hero and the Demon working together.
The pacing of the anime so far seems good. They’re taking their time to introduce each of the important characters and let viewers get to know them, while keeping the show interesting with the occasional action sequence. This way, the show doesn’t seem to drag like some slice-of-life anime (like Kanon or Clannad, both of which I do enjoy, don’t get me wrong), but it also doesn’t move so freaking fast that it’s impossible to get invested in the characters.
Both episodes so far have opened up a few different paths for the plot to explore later. Who is the mysterious sniper (or snipers, possibly) after Maou and Yusa? What’s with these earthquakes that keep occurring? Will any of the travelers from Ente Isla find their way back to their own world? Will a relationship develop between Maou and Yusa? Will Maou be able to take over Japan? Or will Maou decide that sticking around and having a normal human life might not be so bad? Hopefully most of these possibilities will continue to be explored in the anime.