Anime

Review of The Devil Is a Part-Timer Episode 11: Return of the Orange Dye and Olba’s Apprentice?

Quick Summary

In The Devil is a Part-Timer episode 11, "The Hero Stays True to Her Convictions," the person who attacked Emi Yusa in previous episodes begins persuading Suzuno Kamazuki to focus less on her friends like Emi and more on her mission -- which is to kill Sadao Maou. When Suzuno makes her decision and tries to convince Emi to join her, Suzuno encounters an unexpected source of resistance: Chiho Sasaki, who is not in the least bit intimidated by the assassin. Will Suzuno win the argument? Will the shadowy figure trying to turn Suzuno take more direction action? And just why does that figure have an orange dye stain around one eye?

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

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Suzuno's ideas about cooperation and working together didn't have any impact on Olba. Capture from the Hulu stream

Moment 1

We've gotten a little bit of Suzuno's back story, and based on her actions, we could guess a little more. But it was great that this episode gave us some more details. We got to see her in action against heretical nobles or soldiers who were plotting against the Church. She was fast, efficient, and not at all enthusiastic. We got confirmation of the latter when she regrouped with Olba Meyer after a mission. He praised her for her efficiency, but she was troubled. Before she had killed those men, she had heard their plans, and she understood that some of the blame for the situation lay with the Church. She even said as much to Olba (5:01). What was his reaction? "Don't think about your pay grade," he said to her, looking away (5:13). He was a bit more condescending in the dub, saying "Do not think about your pay grade, dear." Her expression of disgusted resignation spoke volumes. The flashback ended, and she was back in the present. She realized that the Church had done nothing to save Ente Isla. It had all been the work of the Hero: Emi. Suzuno's sitting at the heart of a complex web of conflicts and deceit, and it's amazing to watch! 

Suzuno was not at all happy at Chiho's arguments -- or how close they hit to home! Capture from the Hulu stream

Moment 2

After the shadowy figure finally convinced Suzuno it was her duty to kill Sadao, Suzuno tried to warn Chiho to stay away from him -- presumably so she wouldn't get hurt. Did you see what Emi did? Nothing. Emi stood there and let Chiho listen to Suzuno. It came across to me as a strong gesture of respect, one friend to another. Suzuno pushed her arguments, mostly based on nebulous "what-ifs", while Chiho argued from what Sadao had actually done in her presence. You could just see Suzuno trying to maintain her composure, not wanting to hear Chiho's argument, because they too closely aligned with her own doubts. It was only when Suzuno's arguments went hyperbolic that Emi stepped in, much to Suzuno's shock (14:32). The poor assassin almost panicked! Chiho took advantage of the moment to press her arguments -- again, using fact after fact. Things finally came to a head when Suzuno exclaimed, "So are you tell us to just forgive and forget?" (17:10). Emi had had enough. She played her Hero trump card. She said the peace she'd been fighting for didn't include making their friends cry. This was a direct challenge to Suzuno's entire life. All of the memories of being forced to kill heretics came back to her -- and Emi the Hero's argument made it all worthless. That is, if Suzuno listened to her. You could feel the violence hanging in the air!

Well, at least we know why he wore sunglasses all the time. Capture from the Hulu stream

Moment 3

Of course, it'd be impossible for this show to be happy with a mere reveal. It has to be a Plus Ultra reveal (with apologies to My Hero Academia fans for borrowing a phrase!). Emi's walking Chiho home when the robber who had assaulted Emi at the convenience store attacks again. This time, he pulls his ski mask off (19:21) to reveal that he's the Sentucky manager, Mitsuki Sarue! Did you notice the orange stain around his eye? That's why he wore sunglasses all the time. I bet it's why he seemed to wear overly strong cologne, too -- the orange ball that the convenience store clerk hit him with (twice!) not only contained dye, but something to make him smell bad, too. Most shows would have been content to leave it at that. But, no, The Devil is a Part-Timer had to one up itself. Not only was the villain the Sentucky manager, but he was also an angel, complete with wings and a power to consume Emi's celestial energy (19:57). That explains the feathers Suzuno kept seeing! 

Thoughts

This show excels at background humor. While Sadao and Hanzou Urushihara were talking about the pros and cons of putting a tracking device in Emi's purse (with a con being Hanzou's dismemberment, or something like that) there was a conversation going on the background. A pile of boxes had fallen on the sick Shirou Ashiya. Chiho had waded in to help him, and it seemed like all was well -- he was thanking her and everything. Then, Chiho says urgently, "Mr. Ashiya, you mustn't fall asleep" (6:48). Suddenly, you can hear vigorous slapping and exclamations of pain, with Chiho yelling, "Don't sleep! Don't sleep!"

For some reason, she didn't listen to his protestations that he wasn't asleep. "I'm awake, Miss Sasaki, I swear! You can stop..." (6:53). Then he seemed to say, "Oh, that's good! More!"

Sometimes, I worry about Shirou.

And wait a second -- Hanzou did something useful? He discovered inconsistencies with Sentucky's manager's background (21:12) and helped prepare Sadao to face him (probably in the next episode)? I... I don't know what to believe anymore!

Hanzou was useful? Wow -- that was unexpected! Capture from the Hulu stream

It's fascinating to watch the parallels between Emi and Suzuno play out. Both had their core beliefs challenged in powerful ways. Emi's character as a Hero drove her one direction; Suzuno's character as an Assassin drove her another. What's so great is how the show setup both of their dilemmas! 

Emi's father raised her to believe that integrity and honesty were important. Her combat training built on her conviction to remain true to her cause and calling. Honor was a good thing, something that defined how she saw herself and her relation to the world. And now that she's been here and has gone through some of the conflicts of previous episodes, she's embraced her role of hero in this world, on her own terms. 

Contrast that with the world that Suzuno had lived in. She had been taught "right and wrong" from the perspective of the Church, but she constantly saw the hypocrisy of the church leaders. She lived the tension between their teachings and their actions. She couldn't get away from it. They rubbed her face in it constantly. She told herself she had to do the right thing; she even complained to herself that she hadn't wanted to kill all those people! 

That unresolved dichotomy ran rampant through her character. She knew Emi was the Hero. She desperately wanted to be friends with Chiho. Her voice was even wistful as they prepared to sell Miki Shiba's shipment of goods from Hawaii. She said that it had been years since she had attended a festival. The realization seemed to be painful.

How long had it been since Suzuno had been able to enjoy a festival? Was she ever able to enjoy one? Capture from the Hulu stream

This unresolved tension drove Suzuno to see the worst in people. When Chiho tried to argue that Sadao had been kind to her, Suzuno suggested Sadao might be manipulating Chiho as part of his plan to weaken them (15:44)

I think that's why Chiho's next words pushed Suzuno into a rhetorical corner. "Are you just like him after all?" Chiho asks (20:21). "You think Miss Yusa's in the way, just like Mr. Olba did?"

That stung! But then Chiho drove home the barb: "If Mr. Maou is a demon, what does that make you people for betraying the woman who fought for you all?"

Suzuno had two options open to her. Renounce her life and embrace Emi's more nuanced and reasonable approach, or fall back on her Church teachings to obey and not question. 

Did I say two options? No. Suzuno is Suzuno. Given her upbringing; given how the Church had beaten obedience into her character; given how almost every authority figure in her life had denied her own will and agency; Suzuno had only one choice she could make. Only one choice she knew how to make.

The Devil is a Part-Timer is a comedy. That makes the tragedy of Suzuno's life all the more poignant. 

What did you think of Suzuno's choices in this episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

Other Posts about This Series

2 thoughts on “Review of The Devil Is a Part-Timer Episode 11: Return of the Orange Dye and Olba’s Apprentice?

  1. It somehow never occurred to me that the really obvious orange scar on Jame-I mean, Mitsuki’s face was that theft dye and yet I’ve been a fan of the series since about a year after the show aired…

    …Welp, you learn something every day.

    1. TBH, I only found out when I rewatched it! I was trying to find another review to link to and came across a video talking about the orange dye. It’s fun to find new details like that, isn’t it?

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