Title: Hataraku Maou-sama!
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Slice of Life
Summary: In another dimension the Devil King Sadao is only one step away from conquering the world when he is beaten by Hero Emilia and forced to drift to the other world: modern-day Tokyo. As “conquering the world” are the only skills the Devil King possesses – and are obviously unnecessary in his new situation – he must work as a freeter to pay for his living expenses.
Review: Hataraku Maou-sama! was easily one of the best anime out in Spring 2013 all across the board. It was funny, touching, action packed, and never let me down. Unlike a lot of gag anime out there, Hataraku Maou-sama! actually held a pretty decent story. The story built the characters’ personalities over the season gradually providing a much desired sense of development. The only reason I didn’t give this anime a higher score was because it ended too suddenly. I’m dying for a second season and would love to see what’s in store for this unlikely group of frenemies.
Hataraku Maou-sama! was amazing for several different reasons. It seemed to get just about everything right, including the art. The characters aren’t jaw-dropping or anything, but they do have their own bit of charm. It was kind of neat seeing how the Demon King transformed into a normal human (or at least looked like it), and the great warrior Emilia became an IT support worker. I wont say that the anime was top of the line art though because nothing about it really stood out. It wasn’t below average or anything, but only slightly above in terms of quality. It was some amazing bold lines and colors with some vibrant backgrounds. However, it was also a typical look and feel of an anime. The place where the art showed off a little more was during the action scenes. The beams of light were flashy but at the same time relatively simple. The anime wasn’t something I would recommend for the art, but of course that wasn’t the reason I started watching it in the first place. What kept me coming back and still wanting more were the characters.
Hataraku Maou-sama! excelled in character development, comedy, and creating a unique and relatable story. It was fun watching the characters go about their daily lives in the human world without using magical powers. It kind of puts a new twist on demon kings as well. Sometimes you just have to learn to adapt right? You might not be the king of the world anymore, but you can slowly climb that corporate ladder. This was where I considered the anime to be relatable to viewers despite being fantasy. It actually had a lot of strong moral lessons like working hard and giving people a second chance. Sadao turned into your average hard working Joe and Emilia working at an IT support center. Both blended into society quite well and even began making friends (and even lovers) which was kind of sweet. The adorable Chihiro played a critical role as the girl who saw a different side of Sadao, the side that the Demon King would never show or ever be capable of even having. She saw him in a light that made her think he could do no wrong. It was this moment that you realized the transformation of Sadao’s old life bent on destruction and chaos to a simple employed man going about his daily life. Sadao also had his faithful companion Shirou who seemed to be the only one who still saw him as the Demon King. However, it was Emilia that gave me a sense of hope when it came to her view of Sadao. She seemed to have an undying hatred for the Demon King for what he had done in his past. She felt that not matter what he did she could never forgive him. Sadao did something that not many people do; he admitted he was wrong. That may seem pretty small in the large scheme of things, and to some it may even seem like a dumb reason to forgive someone, but it means the world to others. It was this combination of characters and their different views on a single person that really stood out. I find it to be the same in real life where people can have multiple opinions about a single person. Like Emilia your opinion of someone can change. Like Shirou your opinion of someone may never falter. Like Chihiro your opinion may be based on the present rather than the past.
The OST for Hataraku Maou-sama was probably some of the coolest I’ve heard in the a while. The best one definitly being “The Devil Regains His Strength” by Ryosuke Nakanishi. It was so powerful and epic that I had it on repeat for quite some time as I played video games. Similarly there was also “The Strength of the Hero and the Devil” by Ryosuke Nakanishi and “The Beginning of the Battle” by Tatakai no Makuake. Honestly I would probably go and give the OST a full listen because they have some great tracks in there. There were some pretty cutesy tunes as well such as “Welcome to MgRonald”; overall a great OST.
Final statements: I’m a little surprised that this anime didn’t go on for longer; it seemed to have gotten great reviews from multiple websites and for good reason. It’s on the edge of a must see falling just short to a high priority watch. I can definitely say that if Hataraku Maou-sama! continued it would have jumped over to the 9+ rating. Unfortunately with anime it is never certain whether we will be able to continue the journey, causing many stories to fall short of a good finisher.