A pair of demons are defeated and battle and run away to an alien world where they struggle to survive without magic in the first episode of Hataraku Maou-sama. Demon King Satan and Alsiel run away after being defeated by the humans in battle. They arrive in modern Tokyo, now as humans and having to learn how to survive on their own. They eventually secure a place to live and the Demon King Satan, now called Maou, works while Alsiel, now Ashiya, works on figuring out a way to get their magic back. In the meantime, they are discovered by the hero who was responsible for their defeat.
This was definitely an episode with two separate edges to it. On the one hand, there was the everyday comedy bits that arise out of the situation of two outsiders trying to blend in to their new environments. The great general Maou proves to be a great henchman in his job as a part-timer at the fast-food place. Plus Ashiya’s pointing out the fact that Maou’s diet of leftover food from work is a result of his refusal to pay loans show that in some cases they are able to adapt to their new surroundings, but they can’t get rid of their pride completely.
On the other hand, I think it balances well the condition of those who are poor. Only by the amount of magic Maou had left were they able to gain an understanding of the world they were in, get identification and open a bank account. As far as the place to live, they got incredibly lucky there was a landlord who would lease to them. For all the dreams of returning back to their previous world or even conqueroring Earth, the episode did a great job of making day-to-day subsistence look incredibly hard.
As for the characters, Maou instantly becomes the hero character in this series. He’s the one who puts in all of the work so he and Ashiya can stay out of debt and also allow the latter to pursue their dream. He also happens to be damn good at his lowly part-time job. He had a tough break when the deep fryer broke, but his hard work rubs off on both his clumsy co-worker, Chiho, and his bosses who offer him a permanent position at the end of the episode. The hero Yusa shows up at the end to start playing spoiler in their lives. Which raises another point, by the end, I was rooting for someone to conquer and oppress the peoples of two worlds because he was working hard as a low-wage slave because that would make him happiest.
As for production in the first episode, in the first half most of the budget went into depicting action scenes in the old world with copious amounts of blood and fighting. A special shout out has to go to the music as well. There is a lot of contrast needed between scenes and the variation between grand background music for some scenes and light-hearted music for more ordinary situations worked. This was also the 2nd episode today without an ending animation, but I will assume they come up with something next week.
Reasons to Continue Watching: Romantic comedy ahead and the continuing struggle of low-wage workers to get by in modern life
Reasons to Drop: Some silly jokes and reference don’t work and the pace of the story will not be quick
My Verdict: I’m tempted to actually blog this episodically now. My already high expectations were well exceeded in the first episode.