This won the poll so I’ll blog it. Usually I avoid blogging comedies since I don’t have much to say it, but so far, I think Hataraku Maou-Sama has the potential to be different from most comedies. Because despite being a comedy, it’s also a rather poignant commentary on loneliness and alienation.
Emi is a character I can relate to quite well. She has a well-paying job, she’s young, healthy and beautiful, and she has friends (even if she doesn’t seem to realize it and declines all their invitations). By any of society’s metrics, she’s a brilliant success story. Yet she goes home every night, eats dinner alone, and confronts these feelings of insurmountable loneliness. She has it all, yet feels like she has nothing.
Enter Maou and his wife. They’re living in a crappy apartment, Maou is working a dead-end job, and they don’t have enough money to get by. As Emi says, they’re totally pathetic.
And yet she’s jealous of them. In her eyes, they have it all. They have someone to eat honeyed cucumbers with at night, and endless dreams and ambitions. What more could anyone ever want?
tl;dr I’m shipping these two so hard.
The part of the episode that made me laugh the hardest was the scene when the hero pulls her knife on Maou.
Then as she runs towards him, we jump to waifu’s shocked face. Crap, what’s happened?
Whoops. Such great timing. In part, it’s the juxtaposition of these heroic elements with stupid everyday things that makes this show’s comedy work so well.
I also admire the depressingly realistic way in which none of the normal humans believe any of these ridiculous things going on around them, and the way these people with magic powers quickly getting dragged into the drudgery of everyday modern existence. Oh, cruel world!
10 thoughts on “Hataraku Maou-Sama! 02 — Loneliness”
I guess there is some magic in loneliness. Anyway, the disappointment to see your biggest enemy reduced to a part-timer could bring some feeling of emptiness to the hero. Therefore more loneliness.
Having friends without realizing that you have them could be a common scenario in a life which is too focused in work. Our hero is too focused in her mission that forgets to enjoy her successful life.
Well, I like the humor in this show lets see how it goes.
Yep, people’s loneliness builds on each other’s. Let’s hope the hero realizes she has friends soon. Although not realizing this is leading to some pretty great dark humor, so I’m not sure if I want her to or not…
Hmmm, been meaning to watch it, looks pretty good from how you’re describing it.
Yes, it’s great!
If the ED sequence is anything to go by, Emi will befriend Maou’s disproportionately busty co-worker (can’t remember her name, but I think she’s the daughter of the policeman from the first episode; pretty sure both were referred to as “Sasaki” in episode 1). Plus, she’s got that co-worker who she’s always turning down in order to stalk Maou. Still, I guess it’s not the same as having someone who actually comes from the same world.
This show is great. Glad I picked it up before it got too far in. The comedy is hilarious and I actually care about the characters’ problems. Here’s hoping it stays the course and keeps things that way.
Yep, I’m sure that Emi will befriend Maou’s coworker too. Together Maou will be in for a load of trouble.
Balancing serious problems and comedy in a show like this is really hard, but most anime that attempt it fail well before reaching the second episode. I have my hopes up.
Not going to lie, this is probably my favorite show this season (Attack of the Titans is ‘better’ but far less fun).
You are right, this shows uses the whole ‘lead a simple lifestyle’ setting to excellent effect.
As for shipping, well, I actually can’t decide. I like Emi quite a bit, but Maou’s coworker is also adorable.
It’s my favorite too, although Valvrave is a close second. I could see shipping Maou’s coworker with Maou’s wife or Emi but I don’t think he goes well with Maou himself.
I also like how these guys work in “part-time jobs” for a living. I just wonder if Emi’s call-center job is much better than Maou’s. Also, why are they wearing uniforms at a call center?
Why is Emi better off (financially) than Maou’s family? B/c Maou is investing in the future and Emi is not. Maou’s wife doesn’t work but does research on how to get back to the other world. Emi either has enough magic left to make it back or she has already resigned to spending the rest of her life as a call center agent.
My impression is that Japanese people wear uniforms for most jobs like that, even if no one is actually going to see them. Kind of weird from my perspective as well but I suppose it’s a cultural thing.
An interesting view of Emi too. She doesn’t seem to be investing in finding a way home, that’s for sure. But she’s built a much more stable lifestyle which will likely allow her to devote time towards that end in the future. Also I’m pretty sure Maou’s wife is never going to figure anything out himself. 🙂