Anime

Review of The Devil Is a Part-Timer Episode 7: The Helpful Neighbor and Crossed Wires

Quick Summary

In The Devil is a Part-Timer episode 7, The Devil's Budget is Saved by Neighborliness, a new neighbor, Suzuno Kamazuki, gives Sadao Maou a huge box of udon noddles, which Shirou Ashiya is delighted to receive since it'll save them a lot of money. Sadao is grateful, but he wonders why she is so stiff and formal. He also wonders why she gets along so well with Emi Yusa -- maybe a little too well? While at a convenience store, Emi discovers that a common thief turns out to be anything but. Can she defend herself without her full magical power -- against a massive magical attack? Can she protect the convenience store worker? And most importantly, can Emi help Chiho Sasaki defend Sadao against a two-layered bento box?

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

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Sometimes, Emi needs to slow down and think things through... Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 1

Emi just can't seem to figure out how she relates to Sadao and his household. Despite hours of stalking them -- er, hours of surveillance -- and seeing nothing but upstanding citizens trying to earn a living, she's back to her old habits (5:25). The heat is miserable, and she's some kind of hand cloth to keep the sun off her head.* At least she brought water with her to keep herself hydrated -- that's important! That, and she's at least momentarily honest, because she admitted to herself that "surveilling" an all male household without any real cause is more or less stalking (5:57). But that's not my favorite part (though it is funny!). Emi, suspecting something untoward was going on between Hanzou and Suzuno (as if!), tried to sneak up the stairs to listen under the window. Hearing that Suzuno needed to get something from her room, Emi panics and tries to run down the stairs. You know, the dangerous, rusty stairs leading to the Devil's Castle (room) on the second floor? Of course, she slips, and it looks like she would have landed on her head, except Sadao caught her (7:48). For just a second, there they were: Sadao trying to maintain his balance, Emi shocked she hadn't broken her neck. Then her instincts took over. She punched him, then somehow twisted and kneed him in the face. They both fell -- very awkwardly -- to the ground. Jeesh, Emi -- could you be any less grateful? 

* And no, I didn't like the scene just because sweat made Emi's blouse translucent. Just what kind of person do you think I am? And no, I didn't put the word "just" in the sentence so I could claim innocence on a technicality. Jeesh! So suspicious!  

One conversation, two entirely different meanings! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 2

The Big Misunderstanding is a staple of comedies, but you know what? Most of the time I hate it. Just in general, anything that feels contrived ruins my suspension of disbelief, and most Big Misunderstandings feel contrived to me. I should not be even a little surprised that The Devil is a Part-Timer can pull off a Big Misunderstanding and do so in a way that's entertaining and funny. Emi's doing her usual "I hate Sadao and want him dead" speech when Suzuno asks if they're really intimate (10:14). Putting aside just how good that question really is (What is her relationship with him? Do either of them know?), it triggers a suspicion in Emi -- is Suzuno making the same "mistake" as Chiho did? So Emi pulls Suzuno aside and asks if she's "after Maou too" (10:51). That's when it started. Remember how at the beginning the the previous episode we briefly saw Suzuno as an assassin? Well, in this episode, she grabs Emi's wrist and drags her outside. She's aghast, asking Emi what she'd do if others overheard. Emi thinks that means Suzuno would be embarrassed at a premature disclosure of romantic feelings; Suzuno thinks the Hero is consulting with the Assassin to bring about the end of Sadao. Emi pledges to support Suzuno -- and they both have completely different ideas of what that means (12:20). I've rarely seem a comedy so smoothly execute this kind of moment. Seeing it done well, I understand why it's become a trope!

For Chiho, this kind of thing was an emergency. Oh, to be young again... Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 3

Suzuno sets the stage for my third favorite moment about half way into the episode when she hands Sadao a large bento box as he heads to work (13:54). While Sadao's on break, Chiho sees that Sadao has a fancy bento box, so she's naturally suspicious. Why would Shirou let him spend money on such an expensive box? Chiho's even more alarmed Sadao tells her that his new neighbor -- a young lady -- prepared the meal for him (17:39). That scene was enough to warrant a place in my top 3 moments, but it actually lost out to the scene it set up. Later in the episode, Emi encounters a strange robber while she's at a convenience store -- a robber that can reduce her celestial power and shoot some kind of magical power out of his eyes (19:19). As she's waiting for the police after the attack, she receives a phone call -- and sees it was from Chiho! Fearing that Sadao had finally done something dreadful, she took the call with trepidation (21:40). The dramatic music made me fear for the worst! But no. Chiho was just terrified at the homemade lunch -- with two layers no less! -- and what it might mean for her relationship with him! Do you remember when things like that seemed like a huge problem? I do, but just barely!

Thoughts

Emi has some serious combat skills. When the assailant attacked her in the convenience store, she put up a pretty good fight with her sword, but the attacker's strange eye laser-like attacks turned her sword into a small knife. Even after her sword was reduced to almost nothing, she still stayed in the fight, dodging magical attacks with grace and speed. The fight only ended when the convenience store clerk threw what looked like oranges at the attacker, who then ran off.

Even though she was shocked that her attacker had someone reduced her celestial blade, she kept her wits about her. Not hard to see why she's a Hero! Capture from the Hulu stream. 

Much to my surprise, I learned they weren't oranges. Through the magic of Reddit (see the link under Other Posts about This Series, Other Anime Sites, below), I learned that the orange balls are theft deterrents. Convenience store staff are supposed to throw them at attackers, and the balls burst and voer the assailants in a bright orange dye. The Reddit post include this YouTube link to show how they work: https://youtu.be/dieCVYpc158 

Remember back in episode 5, when it was clear to Emi that she and Sadao were fighting on the same side? Emi wasn't exactly warm to Sadao, but you could tell there was a familiarity and some kind of uneasy trust there. She still wanted to needle him. After all, he was responsible for her father's death (though if she thought about it, the church was just as much responsible). But she knew that fighting on his side was the right thing to do, and she fought with good grace. She even welcomed Shirou when he arrived! Kind of, anyway!

In episode 6, Emi had almost returned to form. She didn't want to leave Chiho alone with Sadao and Shirou, or at least that was her excuse for joining them at school. Yet, her reaction to Shirou's ribbing wasn't hatred or rage; it was exasperation at herself for hacking up the anatomy model. She even tried to reason with him -- not threaten him -- to help her pay for it.

This episode contained a hilarious scene that completely summed up Emi's conflicted feelings for Sadao. In my first favorite moment, Emi falls down the stairs, and Sadao catches her. He saves her from what looked to be a shattered spine; she was falling backwards from the second floor! She's in his arms, safe and sound, and what does she do? 

Think about it, Emi. Sadao's holding you a meter off the ground, If you knock him unconscious, what do you think will happen to you? Capture from the Hulu stream.

She punches him in the nose and knees him in the face. 

Gravity's a thing in the world of The Devil is a Part-Timer, and Emi's subject to it. The force of her kneeing Sadao kicks her backward, and she falls with a crunch on the back of her neck. In the aftermath, Sadao lay unconscious and Emi curled into a ball as she clutched her head. The voice actor, Yōko Hikasa, did a fantastic job of sounding like she was in soul-crushing agony.

Look at this moment. Isn't it a perfect representation of Emi's relationship to Sadao? While on Earth, he's either ignored her or actively helped her. Old habits die hard, though, and she just can't find it in herself to accept his help gratefully. Or even better -- she's having a hard time staying out of situations where she needs his help! 

At the end of episode 5, we could see Emi trying to break free of her old, church-imposed identity. She's making progress, but it looks like she has a ways to go! I just hope she can find a more healthy equilibrium before she seriously injures herself!

What were your favorite moments in this episode? Let me know in the comments!

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