It took me way too long to get this up.
Episode 7 Summary:
Emilia’s ally from Ente Isla, Emerada, is somehow able to send her some supplements to restore her Holy Powers. As she’s taking them, Emi continues to spy on Sadao, and one day notices that he has a new guest in his house. It turns out to be a young lady named Suzuno, who happens to be Sadao’s new neighbor. Suzuno is currently helping with chores around the Sadao household as Ashiya is ill from heat exhaustion.
Emi ends up staying for lunch when she’s found out, and learns a little more about Suzuno, who speaks in a very old-fashioned way and doesn’t seem to know much about the modern world. After Emi leaves for work, Sadao has to go off to work too. Suzuno hands Sadao a boxed lunch, which causes a big commotion at work when Chiho discovers it. Later that night, Emilia gets attacked by some strange masked person with magic-nullifying powers. Unfortunately, they escape before Emilia can discern their identity.
Episode 8 Summary:
Chiho and Emi go to visit Sadao’s house as Chiho’s worried about Sadao’s new neighbor, Suzuno. Unfortunately, when they get there, they find that Suzuno is still helping around the Sadao household. After a somewhat tense lunch, Emi and Suzuno go out shopping while Sadao walks Chiho home. Chiho manages to confess her feelings to Sadao, though he doesn’t accept nor reject her. Suzuno interrupts the scene by appearing in front of the two, causing Chiho to run away in embarrassment.
Later, Suzuno meets with Emi at the train station, and it’s there that the two women finally realize each others’ identities. Well, it’s more of a shock on Emi’s side since she had no idea that Suzuno was from Ente Isla. Suzuno’s real name is Crestia Bell, and she was sent by the Church in Ente Isla to spy on Sadao and eventually kill him. She also reveals that she wasn’t the attacker that attacked Emilia the night before. As the two women bond over an afternoon of shopping, Suzuno eventually begs Emilia to return to Ente Isla as The Hero and set the Church right. However, Emilia wants nothing to do with the Church after what happened with High Priest Orba, and so says that she’ll do things in her own way.
Meanwhile, Sadao is having his own set of problems as a new fast-food chain has opened next door. It’s a Sentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, and its owner proves to be very eccentric.
I personally found these two episodes kind of lack-luster. I love Suzuno, and she seems to be a very well-rounded character. However, I disliked that they chose to re-use the “Chiho misunderstands and gets jealous over another woman!” plotline for Suzuno. It wasn’t THAT funny when it was used for Emilia, so it’s definitely not funny a second time.
I like Chiho as a character, and I think she’s really cute. But I don’t like episodes that portray her as some kind of super-jealous, psycho-bitch. It’s not endearing at all. While I suppose it may be funny to a few people, it just rubs me the wrong way. Suzuno’s lack of knowledge about modern-day Japan aside, the humor in these two episodes felt a bit weaker than usual. Maybe it’s just because Sadao got sidelined a bit so that we could get to know more about Suzuno. As much as I love the girls of this series, it’s really Sadao’s antics that carry the humor of this show. I suppose the lack of humor can also be attributed to the more serious tone as these two episodes were way more plot-heavy than anything we’ve had so far.
I wasn’t too surprised at Suzuno’s real identity since I thought it was fairly obvious. However, I WAS surprised at Chiho’s confession. At this point in time, Sadao hasn’t really given her an answer yet, even though they’ve been shown to be working together after the fact. I’m kind of glad that their relationship hasn’t changed too much because of this (though I suppose that’s more due to Sadao’s neutrality about the whole thing). I hope this plot-point gets resolved by the end of the season, because if it’s not tied up by then I’m going to be annoyed.
Overall, I personally found these episodes a bit “meh.” Hataraku Maou-Sama may be running out of steam now that it’s somewhat resolved the whole Satan and Emilia conflict. The introduction of new characters (including the mysterious owner of the new fast-food chain) may help to carry this series to the end, but I’m finding the humor to be lacking somewhat compared to earlier episodes. The animation is still fairly good, and the character interactions are nice at least; if not laugh-out-loud funny.
Anyway, out of five for episodes 7 and 8: