Episode 4: The Hero Feels the Warmth of the Heart
We start where we last left off in episode 3, just after an earthquake hit the underground shopping arcade Maou and Co. were at. Emi still in disbelief at witnessing Maou saving human lives goes into flashback mode where we see her as a child with her father in her homeland. However all is not well as the arrival of a group of priest uncovered Emi’s secret, unbeknownst to her own self she is born from a marriage of a human father and an angel mother, i.e she’s half angel. Her mother was not shown at all and the father we see was not explicitly revealed to be her birth father, though I assume he is. There really isn’t a reason why he shouldn’t be. Anyway, the priest take Emi away for training as she is ‘humanity’s only weapon’ against the demon lord. A mere number of days past before Emi’s hometown was razed and everyone in it perished, including her dad it is assumed. From this Emi turned from innocent child into a demon-slaughtering machine wielded by the church in that world.
Cut back to the present we see Maou and Emi sending off Chiho-chan who was unhurt and alright. Also revealed is Chiho’s dad who is the policeman Maou used his magic on way back in episode one, to which Maou conjectures is the reason as to why Chiho can hear the voices relating to the earthquakes. Emi’s friend Rika came along and took Emi to her apartment to recover and freshen up leaving Maou to console an entirely apologetic Ashiya who bemoans he couldn’t protect Maou… like he needed the help to begin with. At Rika’s apartment, the girls have a heart to heart moment.
Skip to the next morning, we follow Emi to Maou’s place to return the money she borrowed as train fare when she stayed over last time. One thing led to another and events snowballed into Chiho accidentally barging into a scene where Maou and Emi are alone together and Emi is crying. Misunderstanding ensures and Chiho runs off. Before anyone could follow, Maou’s landlord appears and provides ominous information leading us to believe that she knows more about Maou’s situation than she’s letting on… I mean it’s really blatantly obvious since her introduction in episode 1 but whatever, I’ll play along. Anyway, Maou and Co. rushes off to find Chiho… only to find her in the clutches of a mysterious demon-like figure who is revealed to be the very same one who destroyed Emi’s childhood town. More on the baddie Lucifer next episode! On a quick side note, this is my least favourite episode so far. As the theme of the series seems to be (and is really) comedy, this particular episode by far had a more serious atmosphere throughout thus jarring whatever comedic slice-of-life theme the series built up to now.
Episode 5: The Devil and The Hero Save Sasazuka
From the title you can expect some rather awesome stuff from the episode, and really it delivers. Enjoyed this episode thoroughly myself. Also reinforces the fact that a large contrasting atmosphere can emphasize the positive aspects of something. From the rather sombre feelings of the last episode, this one has more of a kick-ass light-hearted feeling that skyrockets it to my favourite episode of the series thus far. Amazing what a turnabout can cause really.
Alright, the show begins with Lucifer, the guy with wings, destroying part of the town Sasazuka. Maou not missing a beat uncovers the mastermind behind Lucifer’s revival (it was shown that he was impaled by Emi’s sword in a previous battle): Orba the priest who was with Emi. Now if I recall correctly only one shadow went through the inter-dimensional gate in episode 2 before it closed and that was Emi. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought that Orba was just too late in going through the portal? Anyone? I guess I’m just not that great of a conspiracy detector. Anyway to cut a long story short, Orba teams up with Lucifer and the two go to town with Maou and Co, who are at a significant disadvantage for various reasons. In the end, Maou teleports his group over to a crowded area near an underground station before Lucifer shoots a magic beam through his chest…
As Maou gambled, the crowded area he ported to gave him the opportunity to suck in the despair and terror of the people around him and regain his original form. From here the tides are turned as Emi and Ashiya (in Alsiel form) rise up to fight against Orba and Lucifer. Even in battle the characters have the time to banter with great comedic timing and effect. Also we see Maou deal some well earned justice his own special way… quite a satisfying conclusion to this particular arc. Oh, and Chiho witnessed the whole thing. To her credit she takes it all in rather rationally, perhaps because of her infatuation with Maou. As for the comedy; great pacing, timing and juxtapositions meld to bring on the laughter-works a plenty.
Episode 6: The Devil Climbs the Stairway to School
Yeah, the title is somewhat misleading. Despite the fact Maou does not enroll into school, this is still an entertaining episode that does a good job introducing a new arc into the series.
We begins by looking at Maou’s more demonic-side…. ahahahaha… ahem. From the previous episode, it looks like Lucifer is going to be staying on Earth. Well, now we get to look at how he’s doing. Right now, Lucifer’s role in Maou’s group is a NEET. He is also given the name Urushihara, although a name change might not be enough to evade the cops, which may explain his stay-at-home attitude. After the short reintroduction, we are shifted to the other side of the story where in Ente Island (the other world) we see a group of shady people… very so obviously the so-called Church, right? Anyway, it looks like their plan to get rid of both Maou and the hero Emi lay in tatters, so what else to do but send in the Inquisitors. Cue in mysterious robe figure in the centre of this all with the ominous choice of admitting Orba betrayed the Church (hah) or sending the Inquisitor off to kill Maou and Emi.
Dashing back to Sasazuka, we see that Lucifer, now Urushihara, is tasked along with Ashiya in finding information regarding magic. Also to note is Urushihara’s visual difference as minor as it is. As Lucifer he dons an insane facial expression but when dominated by Maou or as Urushihara, his is more normal. Which goes to show that if you want a decent looking face, be a good guy. Not always applicable I know, but it’s true most of the time.
Now while it’s true the demonic trio can probably go on a rampage and just suck in the negative emotions caused as a result in order to replenish their magical supply, that’s far from what Maou want as shown last episode. Ashiya will follow whatever Maou wills and Urushihara has no say in the matter, hence their roles. The difference between the two is that Ashiya uses the library to search for information while Urushihara convinced Maou to purchase a computer to make use of the internet. Which he does to prank Emi at work. Emi, not amused by all this, confronts Maou at MgRonalds (hahaha) and asks what’s he planning. With a reply lacking in world domination and the like, Emi emphasizes the fact that she’s staying at Sasazuka with Maou to keep an eye on him.
So the Maou household receives a letter from the landlady… which contains a rather destructive WMD of sorts. It’ll definitely affect a majority of people that’s for sure…
Anyway, back to Urushihara’s research on magic spots. Looks like he’s found out something regarding a school’s unused classroom, which nicely bring us to the title of this episode. Maou and Ashiya then heads of to the school, which turns out (coincidentally? hahaha) to be one that Chiho attends. With that rather conveniently set in place, Chiho helps Maou and Ashiya infiltrate the school. They make their way to the classroom in question, but not before stalker Emi interrupts and joins the group. Upon they reached the classroom in question, they find it rather lived in. Turns out it was, being the spawn point of Urushihara and Orba into this world. The group is unamused at being led here to retrieve Urushihara’s PSP and they trudged unhappily back home, unaware they were being watched the whole time while in school by the Inquisitor from earlier in the episode it seems.
Daily life then resumes, but not before Maou encounters the apartment’s new resident, a lady garbed in a Kimono… who looks remarkably like the Inquisitor in question. So is she there to spy on Maou and Co.? Finally I get to say: “Tune in to next episode for: The Dark Lord’s Finances Are Saved By His Neighbours!”
Well now, we’ve finally caught up to the series as it is now. Time for Suisei no Gargantia… oh before I go:
Episode 4: Personally the lowest point of the series so far, but necessary. Sports a more serious tone as the Earthquake Arc reaches its climax, culminating in the villain reveal: Lucifer. Still has the occasional humourous spots, but as I said these take a back seat now. The tension built from this episode is in no way comparable to say any single episode of Shingeki no Kyojin, however it acts as a contrasting point in its own series and merits this mention I believe as it then pivots in…
Episode 5: Here, the first half continues the rather oppressed theme from last episode. This only serves as a counterpoint to what happens in the second half, a righteous beating up of the bad guys. Once the element of surprise is gone and Maou’s side obtains their armaments (i.e. regain/use magic), it all becomes almost a one-sided fight as Maou deals the final blow to end this arc. Correction, he repairs this city thus ending the arc very nicely to continue on with everyday life. A feel good episode that really works because of the stark contrast introduced really starting from episode 4.
Episode 6: And we see the series return to a slice-of-life/comedy routine, though it is peppered with the occasional foreshadowing of events later to come: the Church and their meddling ways mainly. Also, at the end of the episode we are introduced (not by name) to a new character… most likely the Inquisitor sent from the other world, Ente Isle, to kill Maou and Emi. Lovely. Can’t wait to see the next episode!
Catching up now with Suisei and hopefully I can write up some other posts I’ve got waiting in the wings. Also, advance apologies if you spot any mistakes of any sort. Signing off for now, see you around later!