Anime

Review of The Devil Is a Part-Timer Episode 10: New Levels of Obliviousness and Suzuno’s Quandary

Quick Summary

In The Devil is a Part-Timer episode 10, "The Devil and the Hero Take a Break from the Daily Routine," Sadao Maou receives an assignment to help his boss's friend at an amusement park McRonalds. Chiho Sasaki volunteers, but they only need one worker, and the manager says she can't go. So Chiho improvises: she asks Emi Yusa to go with her on her own time! Suzuno Kamazuki, having overheard Hanzou Urushihara suggest that Sadao could recharge his magic at the amusement park's haunted house, tags along. How will Chiho, Emi, and Suzuno fare in the haunted house? What will Sadao do about the escaped reptiles (wait - reptiles)? And just why does Emi seem almost distraught at the sight of Chiho in a swimsuit?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious. 

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

This series has always had some great expressions. But, dang, Emi! Calm down! Have a little more self-confidence! Capture from the Hulu stream.  

Moment 1

My first favorite moment contains a regrettable moment, too. It's not the first time this show has pulled something like that -- remember the joke about the sight of Miki Shiba in a swimsuit being dangerous? I thought Hanzou objecting to Sadao changing the subject was funny, but ridiculing Miki seemed mean-spirited. This time, we have a similar situation -- funny but kinda mean. Chiho, Emi, and Suzuna are changing into their swimsuits. Emi turns from closing her locker to see Chiho in her bikini. Yes, it's cliche for a woman with Emi's physique to react negatively to someone of Chiho's build. But Emi's reaction was so extreme that I had to laugh (6:49). When Emi actually shed tears, Chiho asked if anything was wrong. "No," Emi answered, "you're just so huge... I mean cute!" Again, yeah, it's cliche, but I laughed. The regrettable part? The camera showed Chiho's ample bosom, cut to Emi's horrified expression, then to Sadao ordering two double burgers with the works. Next, we get a shot of Emi's more petite frame... Oh, who am I kidding? The camera focused on her chest. Then we see Sadao ordering two small hamburgers. Sure, I laughed, but at the same time, the show in essence just compared the two women to meat. I couldn't help but think of the phrase meat market and all of its negative connotations! I guess I could try to give it a positive spin: both options were presented as desirable, and Sadao showed an equally positive attitude announcing both orders. This is known as "reaching!"

In this scene, we learn just how dense Sadao can be. Hint: It's very, very dense! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 2

I want to give Chiho credit. She knows Sadao. She knows how he is. At the same time, she really wants him to notice her, so when it's her turn to order in Sadao's McRonald's line, she poses to highlight what she thinks are her best features (8:20) before asking what he thinks. See, I think she made a mistake here. She wasn't specific about what she was asking him about! If she had point blank asked him, "Do you like my swimsuit?" Well, then he would have to have answered, wouldn't he? But she gave him leeway, so he interpreted her question to mean she was asking if he liked this McRonald's better than their McRonalds. I thought she would have learned from her confession back in episode 8: she has to pin him down! Even though I thought the scene was funny, it was tinged with melancholy -- I felt bad for Chiho! 

In all honesty, I can't blame either Suzuno or Emi for their reaction to mom! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 3

Chiho, Emi, and Suzuno are walking through the haunted house. We know that all three of them are strong women, so it was kinda funny when Chiho saw one of the special effects and took off running. Emi the Hero and Suzuno the assassin made a show of chiding the absent Chiho for her skittishness (11:00), and it doesn't take a genius to know what's coming. But to earn my third favorite moment, this show demonstrated its ability to dance right up to the "over the top" line and stop just short. Suzuno and Emi come upon what looks like a small girl crying for her mom. Of course, we know that it's one of the exhibits, and when the small child starts talking like it's a recording about to break, Suzuno and Emi realize they're dealing with an automation and relax. The "little girl's" head spins 180 degrees, looks up, and says, "Oh, it's mom" (11:50). "Up" is the operative word here. The camera pulls back, and there's a back-lit twisted figure backlit on the ceiling -- it's the undead mom! The next time we see Chiho, Emi, and Suzuno, they are sitting on a bench with their faces buried in their hands. Suzuno's observation in the sub was also funny: "This does not fit with my understanding of what you call 'fun'" (12:01). 

Thoughts

This was the equivalent of a breach episode, but in Devil is a Part-Timer form! So of course, you have to expect some level of fan-service. If you're a fan of Chiho, I have to imagine that you enjoyed this episode. But did you notice the other instances of fan service? Too often, anime series reserve fan service to girls whose age is, let's say, suspect. I'm not saying that as a judgement; I'm saying it as a preference. Put another way, if I'm going to look at fan service, I want to see women who are more mature!

And guess what? This show delivered! Watch the background (and sometimes foreground) shots. You'll see a number of moms featured in bikinis. Variety's a good thing!

There were also anti-fan service moments, like Suzuno sporting what looked like swimwear from some long-lost period of Japanese history! Emi and Chiho were a little taken aback. Capture from the Hulu stream. 

On a more serious note, we got to see an interesting comparison of Suzuno and Emi in this episode. Remember how Emi reacted to seeing that Sadao was helping humans back in episode 3 and episode 4? She couldn't believe it; she couldn't explain it. But she knew what she saw, so she started stalking Sadao and Shirou Ashiya to get more information. In other words, Emi was honest enough with herself to realize that what she was seeing conflicted with her world view. Rather than try to reinterpret events according to her world view, she gathered more information. 

Hard not to respect that position!

Now, look at how Suzuno reacted to watching Sadao use his magic to protect people. Suzuno not only couldn't believe it. She refused to believe it. She stood there and watched Sadao gather his power and calm the alligators. She saw him protect all the humans. But unlike Emi, who looked beyond her own prejudices, Suzuno stood frozen in disbelief. She had no explanation, but she couldn't take the next step like Emi did. She assumed that he had an ulterior motive; a larger plan that even if it helped humans in the short term, would hurt them in the long term.

Suzuno's reaction to Sadao using his power -- even to help people -- was very different from Emi's. Capture from the Hulu stream.

On the train ride home, you could see the concern in Emi's eyes. She wasn't trying to defend Sadao. If he showed hostility to humans on Earth, she'd be the first to attack him. But that's not how he's acting now, and her personal code of conduct won't allow an unjustified attack.

Suzuno's perspective is a bit different, it seems.

I wonder if that's the difference in temperament between the Hero and the Church's assassin. Or is something else going on? This kind of characterization is yet another reason I am so enjoying this re-watch!

What did you think of Suzuno's reaction to Sadao's use of magic? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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