Anime

Review of The Devil Is a Part-Timer Episode 6: The Long Arm of the Church and the Scary — Game Console?

Quick Summary

In The Devil is a Part-Timer episode 6, "The Devil Climbs the Stairway to School," Hanzou Urushihara (previously known as Lucifer) tells Sadao Maou and Shirou Ashiya that he has found a possible source of magic: a "haunted" room in a high school. It's attended by none other than Chiho Sasaki, who is pleased that she can take the lead and be their guide. But it's dark, and even Sadao is beginning to feel creeped out. Why won't Hanzou stop calling him on the cellphone? Why did Emi Yusa show up swinging her sword? And on top of that -- what's the Church up to now?

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

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Hanzou looks so scandalized -- and yet, just days ago, he tried to betray Sadao! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 1

This is both a favorite moment and a regrettable moment. I know that sounds a tad confusing, so please let me explain. The Devil's landlady, Miki Shiba, is an interesting character. She's clearly affluent; she just as clearly knows way more than a human should about Ente Isla and its internal politics. In this episode, Sadao comes home from work and finds Hanzou sprawled on the floor. Sadao immediately suspects foul play and spies a photograph that's face down on the floor. Before he can pick it up, an ill Shirou emerges from the bathroom long enough to warn him off. Turns out it's a picture of Miki in swimwear. Hold that thought; that's not the favorite part. Sadao is listening to Hanzou and Shirou explain what happened, and he chides them for being so ridiculously weak that a photograph of Miki in swimwear would make them catatonic (9:06). Hanzou says words to the effect of "Fine, then you look at it!" Sadao pauses, then changes the subject -- and Hanzou pounces (9:22): "Hey, you pulled a fast one! You did, didn't you, Maou?!" Shirou covers for his liege by saying something about a "valiant retreat." That's the favorite part! The regrettable part? The assumption that Miki in swimwear was so repulsive. Not cool, man. Not cool.

After having to be rescued so often, Chiho was just happen to be in a position to help her friends. Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 2

Chiho seems to have gotten over the negative emotions that Hanzou consumed in the previous episode. In fact, she's back to her almost too chipper self! I mean that in a good way, and she showed off her good mood when she led Sadao and Shirou through her school building. She cheerfully explained the urban ghost story about the sealed classroom before she suggested they stop and have a snack (12:32). I laughed when Shirou pointed out that this wasn't a field trip, and even Sadao said that she seemed to be having fun. Turns out that she was just happy to be the one helping for a change! She's such a sweet person! Which makes kinda bitter-sweet when Sadao wonders if she's scared, and she replies she's not as long as he's with her. That might have been a tender moment of shared affection, but I'm guessing you already know how Sadao reacted. "Oh," he said (12:52), before immediately changing the subject. You could even see her shoulders slump! Maybe Emi was right -- trying to get close to Sadao will only bring her emotional pain!

Shirou was on a roll in this episode. Emi didn't help her case by swinging her sword with an unusual lack of target safety! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 3

Shortly after Moment 2, Sadao, Shirou, and Chiho hear firm footsteps behind them. Chiho says that all of the guards should have gone home by now, and they're all apprehensive -- until they discover it's Emi! She wonders why they've brought a young high school girl alone -- after dark -- to an abandoned school! She understands their explanation, but she's none too keen on letting Sadao get any more magic, and she's determined to tag along. Chiho points out that she shouldn't be wearing her street shoes in school, and being a Hero, Emi doesn't want to break the rules. But while she's switching her shoes for slippers, the other three try to get away and try to hide when Emi gives chase. They hide in a science room, and when Emi dashes in, she sees a shadowy, misshapen figure that she mistakes for a monster. She slashes it with the celestial blade just in time to discover it was an anatomy model! At which point Shirou observes (17:16) that "I'd wager Emilia is the only hero in the whole universe to ever chop up an anatomical model with a sacred sword." He was really on point in this episode. Having Hanzou in the apartment seems to have upped his game!

Thoughts

There are times when an episode is just so good that it threatens anything that comes after it! The previous episode, for example, is one of those hard acts to follow, since it was the climax of several important early plot threads. Not the least of which involved Emi finally realizing she was totally free to act based on her own convictions. Seeing her renew her claim to being a Hero, but this time on her own terms, was just amazing.

So, if you're a writer, how do you follow something like that?

You don't. Just just move on to the next arc and try to make it every bit as interesting as the previous! That's just what this episode did!

This was Shirou's episode to shine. Seems that Hanzou staying at the Devil's Castle has given him a boost of confidence! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Sadao brought Hanzou Urushihara (the demon general previously known as Lucifer) into his household -- the Devil's Castle, as Emi still calls it. I kind of saw that coming. What I didn't see coming (and maybe you did!) was the impact that would have on the dynamic between Sadao and Shirou. 

Simply put, Hanzou's presence somehow forced Shirou to up his game! 

We've seen Shirou's confidence floundering. We've seen him lambast himself for not acting fast enough when the underground mall collapsed. We've seen him wither under Emi's insults. Maybe when it was just the two of them, he couldn't find his intellectual footing. Maybe he didn't feel like Sadao was depending on him. He seemed to have lost his place in the scheme of things.

But this was Shirou's episode to shine! He seems to be putting his self-doubt behind him. Consider these moments:

  • At the very beginning of the episode, Sadao suggests taking some of the "fancy" food home for Hanzou. Shirou solemnly says that's too good for him because they've gone into debt to finance Hanzou's laptop and internet connection -- which he uses to run up internet shopping bills. In fact, Shirou asks Sadao to "bring down the hammer on" Hanzou (1:18)! He looked kinda scary saying it!
  • Even though I object to how the show used a photography of Miki as a talisman of evil, I have to give Shirou credit. The picture had affected him deeply to the point where he was physically ill. Hearing his liege was about to look at the picture, he cast aside his concern for his own well being and held himself together long enough to warn Sadao (8:42). Gutsy move for someone who cowered in front of Emi just a few episodes ago!

Shirou held it together long enough to warn Sadao about the photograph. That's loyalty! Capture from the Hulu stream.


  • As I mentioned in my first favorite moment, Hanzou demanded that if Sadao was so sure the picture was harmless that he should look at it. Sadao tried to change the subject, and Hanzou immediately objected (I still laugh whenever I think of Lucifer saying "You pulled a fast one!"). Without hesitation, Shirou sprang into action and defended Sadao's action as being a justified "valiant retreat" (9:26).
  • Remember when Chiho was messing with Sadao by telling him about the seven terrifying wonders of the school? Sadao, previously the Devil ruler of demons in Ente Isla, was starting to freak out over the idea that a cell phone call could be so damaging. Shirou, ever the rational and strategic-thinking general, calmly pointed out that having cellphones in the period where the story took place were just not rational (13:55).
  • After seeing Emi so easily disturb Shirou, it was almost apropos to see him return the favor. After Sadao tried to lose her in the art room, she was furious and gave pursuit. Sadao, Shirou, and Chiho tried to hide in a science room with an anatomy model. Bursting into the room, seeing what appeared to be a hideous monster, Emi used her sword to smash the model to pieces (my third favorite moment!). Shirou calmly taunted her for her actions (17:16), and Sadao joined in. I think that was the first time I saw Shirou gain the upper hand over Emi! 
  • They finally found the sealed room -- but something wasn't right. It was Shirou who pointed out that the lock was broken and the wooden slats that appeared to be sealing the door weren't (18:41). 
  • Finally, even though they were both generals under Sadao back in Ente Isla, Shirou asserts his authority in the Devil's Castle by limiting Hanzou's access to his hand-held game console (21:20). 

Shirou was all kinds of brave in this episode! Capture from the Hulu stream.

It's amazing what a clearly-defined role can do for Shirou! Now that Hanzou's clearly the newbie in the household, Shirou feels confident enough to assert his authority. At the same time, he's making it easier for Sadao to focus on his tasks -- which is exactly what a good executive officer does! 

Suddenly, I'm not lamenting the closing of an amazing arc where Emi reclaims her title of Hero on her own terms. Now I'm looking forward to seeing where this arc plays out. That's the sign of a good writer!

Man, I'm glad I'm revisiting this series!

Did I miss any examples of Shirou asserting himself? What were your favorite moments from this episode? Let me know in the comments!

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