Anime

Review of The Devil Is a Part-Timer Episode 5: A Barely Foreseen Betrayal and The Devil Put His Foot Down

Quick Summary

In The Devil is a Part-Timer episode 5, "The Devil and the Hero Save Sasazuka," Sadao MaouEmi Yusa, and Shirou Ashiya learn the identity of their attacker, and it's an old acquaintance. That old acquaintance brought a friend along, and the friend's identity nearly breaks Emi's heart. How did they get to Earth from Ente Isla? How do they still have so much magical power, and why is one of them hurling Chiho Sasaki to the ground -- from 10 stories in the air? Can Emi save Chiho before it's too late? Heck, will any of them survive this encounter? 

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

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Sadao knows how to wage psychological warfare! Interrupting Olba's villainous monologue threw the man for a loop! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 1

I love how this show makes fun of the tropes and cliches. For example, remember when Emi is trying to figure out how Lucifer is still alive even though she remembers skewering him? Sadao figures it out right away -- he sensed the power emanating from Olba Meyer, a priest Emi had trusted from the Church. Remember? The same church that had made her fight? Heartbroken at the revelation of his identity, in a voice choked with tears, Emi asked how he could possibly be working with Lucifer (3:15). Olba gets all pompous and says that she's about to die, so he'll tell her. He doesn't get the chance! Sadao lays it all out for him, in complete detail, including how he convinced Lucifer to help. Then Sadao not only ridicules Olba's shock at having been so transparent, he also makes fun of how he said it: "And who says 'the last thing you'll ever hear' anymore? Even B movies get better scripting than that, Baldy!" I really enjoyed the quick shot of Emi teetering on the edge of a laugh at the "baldy" remark. 

Skidding on bare knees -- on asphalt? Wow, that hard to hurt! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 2

Is a hero more heroic when she fights an enemy while dressed in full armor? Or when she still fights despite a staggering disadvantage? It's the latter, right? True valor is doing what must be done, when it must be done, and damn the consequences. Well, in this episode, I saw one of the most heroic gestures I've seen in awhile. Lucifer thinks he's executing his endgame. He's high in the air, holding a limp and unconscious Chiho. Sadao's already down after Lucifer put a bolt of energy clear through his heart. Emi's lost everything -- her father, her enemy, her church, and even place in the world! And yet, what does she do when Lucifer hurls Chiho to the ground (8:59) -- head first, no less? Emi, in a business suit that includes a skirt and hose, sprints towards Chiho's impact point and skids on her knees to catch her friend. Think about that -- knowing how she was dressed, she still skid across asphalt in hose! How badass is that? She saved Chiho, too! That's what I call a hero!

I think it was around this time that Lucifer realized he had made a mistake. A rather large mistake. Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 3

Sadao's plan had been to take the fight to an area with a lot of people. Their negative emotions would give Lucifer some power, sure, but who has a ton more potential for destructive power? That would be... Satan! Sadao had been sidelined for most of the fight because he was holding up the raised roadway. Sadao was also trying to protect the people underneath the collapsing concrete. While Emi and Shirou fought Lucifer and Olba, Sadao moved the cars and their passengers out of the way before gently lowering the road. Having fed on the same despair and negative emotions that had fueled Lucifer, but with a significantly higher potential, Sadao rocketed upward and confronted his one time general -- after having brushed aside Olba's pathetic attack (16:08). But before he struck Lucifer, what did he do? He asked Emi for her opinion (16:18), and she suggested  that Sadao should punish Lucifer for having destroyed the neighborhood. Sadao and Emi had been enemies. They had fought hard against each other. But on Earth? Neither had betrayed the other, and now, faced with a common enemy who thought nothing of betrayal, they made common cause. They were completely in sync. There's just something about this moment that I thought was beautiful. And the punch that Sadao delivered? It bordered on atomic.

Thoughts

This is another one of those episodes where I could have listed about 10 favorite moments. As a writer, I'm seriously impressed with Satoshi Wagahara's writing skill. How has he not written more than the handful of credits that I can find for him? This is seriously good stuff!

In my review for episode 4, my third favorite moment was when Emi confronted Sadao with the question of why he had killed her father. It seemed that she was reacting to almost everything she'd ever believed in being taken from her, piece by piece. But there seems to have been one thing that was left at the beginning of this episode: she still had some faith in the church despite what it had done to her. Or maybe it's more accurate to say she still had faith in Olba? Maybe she had a personal relationship with him? In any event, as she realized that Olba had aligned himself with Lucifer, you could see the moment that she despaired (3:12).

Being courageous doesn't mean you can't feel despair. Capture from the Hulu stream.

I'm always interested in seeing what a character does after the moment of despair. Will they give up? Become reckless? Abandon their beliefs? 

Before I talk about what Emi did, I want to call your attention to Sadao's expression when he looked back to see Emi's tears (3:00). He was not a happy man. He was furious. But he's a crafty one, and he hid his feelings under his humor. 

His expression wasn't the only thing showing how much her old enemies had warmed up to her on Earth. After Lucifer and Olba cornered him, Emi, and the unconscious Shirou, Sadao used his waning power to teleport all three of them away. He could have left her there alone; he didn't. This is consistent with his character not only on Earth, but in Ente Isla: he always tried to do what he said he would. Granted, in Ente Isla what he said he would do is destroy humanity, but he didn't lie about being their friends only to betray them.

Emi wouldn't admit it to herself, but she's not blind. She knows all of this, but her vocation of Hero forced her to ignore it. After Olba's act of treachery, the last chain link binding her to her old life was gone. Now, she was on her own. No one was trying to manipulate her under the guise of friendship or honor or duty. She had to forge her own path. She could no longer rely on the church to chose her enemies for her. She could no longer depend on her people telling her who to protect. Emi the Hero had to make those decisions on her own.

Emi, now free of the lies that had defined her life until now, declares her self-chosen identity. Capture from the Hulu stream.

Did you see her confidence building after she had saved Chiho -- well, after Sadao stopped the raised highway from crushing her after she had saved Chiho? As a Hero, she had just saved a victim. Above her were two villains who threatened the town she had adopted as her home. At her back was an ally who had saved her life and had treated her kindly all the while she had known him on Earth. She wasn't ready to actually tell Sadao anything like that. In fact, she even suggested that he might be next. But her choice not to slay him when she could spoke volumes. She leaped into the sky to fight the true villains in this story. As if to confirm her decision, Shirou joined her. They even fought well together despite some almost playfully antagonistic banter!

The first five episodes of this series tell the story of Emi's liberation! She's now free to build a life around the values that are important to her. She's free to associate with people who don't betray her or don't want to cause her harm. All she had to do was leave her world and come to Earth!

The punchline? By chasing the Devil out of Ente Isla, Emi herself set these events in motion. 

How cool is that?

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

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