Anime

Review of The Devil Is a Part-Timer Episode 9: Restaurant Wars and Rika, the Drunk Old Man

Quick Summary

In The Devil is a Part-Timer episode 9, "The Hero Experiences a Fray," Emi Yusa's friend Rika Suzuki hears the Hero and Assassin Suzuno Kamazuki talking about Sadao Maou. Of course, Rika misunderstands what they're talking about and demands to visit Sadao right that minute so she can judge him for herself. They stop to talk strategy at Sentucky Fried Chicken and run into Shirou Ashiya while he was secretly surveilling McRonald's competition. How will Shirou react to Emi bad-mouthing his liege? How will Sadao handle the lack of customers -- during his first stint as shift manager? And why did Chiho Sasaki think boneless hamburgers were a selling point?

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

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Shirou couldn't sit by as Emi slandered Sadao. Maybe "slander" is too strong a word... Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 1

Rika heard Suzuno and Emi talking about Sadao, so she naturally got the wrong idea. She insisted they hold a council of war at Sentucky's. Rika just can't get the idea out of her mind that Emi secretly wants to get together with Sadao. Emi saying over the top things like "Me, I'd happily kill him first chance I got" (4:14) just made Rika more suspicious. Emi made it worse by trying to explain, prompting Rika to accuse Emi of always "put(s) up a front..." The more Emi tried to explain, the more Rika pushed back, and the more angry Emi got -- and the harder she tried to explain herself! This alone was funny, but Emi's rant got the point where she complains about the umbrella incident and says Sadao has no common sense. Across the restaurant, they heard a fist strike a table. Shirou, who had been spying on Sentucky to gather intel for Sadao, had been sitting nearby. He'd had enough of Emi bad-mouthing his roommate (and liege). Between Emi's self-conscious ranting (she's still worried about the umbrella?) and Shirou's bold declaration in the middle of a public restaurant, the scene was wonderfully awkward.

Seeing Sadao, Shirou, and even Hanzou as shattered businessmen was worth the price of admission! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 2

After joining Emi, Suzuno, and Rika (because Emi promised to help his research by buying him any food he wanted!), Shirou's introduction to Rika went in a strange direction. Shirou was understandably confused at Rika's interest in Sadao. When Emi couldn't explain it either, saying she curious, too, Shirou came to a decision: he had to protect his master and throw Rika off the scent. I think. That's the best explanation I could come up with for what Shirou did next. He spun this elaborate tale about he and Sadao had been in the real-estate and personnel placement business (and construction!) together. They were a small company just gaining traction when Emi, hired by a larger firm, started out-bidding them. The stylized drawings illustrating his story were all pastels and sketch-like, and they the perfect counterpoint to his earnest story-telling. I almost felt like he was telling their real story when he said, "And the final one to battle us for an order was Yusa. We lost, and the company went bankrupt" (10:52). He even suggested that Emi had complex feelings for her former foes, destitute as they now were, and that's why she still checked on them. I appreciated how fast he thought on the fly. That's a good trait for a general! 

Rika has no shortage of confidence! Just like Sadao has a shortage of patience... Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 3

Rika's not only meddlesome -- she's brave and no-nonsense, too.  And maybe a little opportunistic? After Shirou's story, Rika was more excited than ever to meet Sadao -- he might be a future mover and shaker, and she wanted to network with him. They head over to McRonalds, where he immediately gets into a fight with Emi. That's when Rika decides to jump into the fray and says he wasn't nearly as charismatic as she'd been led to believe (16:43). "Your restaurant is empty when you're in charge, too," she tells him. So they start arguing, and she gave as good as she got -- maybe better, because she could play the "I'm a customer" card. The argument might have escalated when Chiho brought Emi's order to the table. Chiho was every bit as polite as Sadao had been rude, and I almost felt sorry for Sadao when Chiho chided him in front of everyone. Chiho was so professional and chipper and polite that Rika was overcome by the cuteness. She jumped up and hugged Chiho (18:05). Embarrassed, Emi asked her, "Hey, what are you, a drunk old man? Stop it, Rika" (18:18). When Chiho walked away, she was blushing and dazed, but she seemed to have enjoyed the encounter. An instant later, Rika was back to attack mode. Sadao interpreted something she said as a suggestion that he looked like an idiot, and he asked her about it. "it might be more than just looks," she answered. There's something funny about a human so boldly standing up to the Devil!

Thoughts

Wasn't Rika sassy in this episode? Especially with her attitude towards Sadao! "It might be more than just looks," she said to him... I wonder if she'd change her tune if she knew exactly what he was capable of? Probably not. She's Rika, after all!

Remember the quasi-embarrassed blush she showed to Shirou? It was when she locked gazes with him after she basically told him that he was Sadao's rock. That was precious! She and Shirou might make an interesting couple...

Rika has a very pretty blush! I think it took her completely by surprise. Capture from the Hulu stream.

Sadao has made no secret of his grandiose plans to conquer Earth. Back in episode 2, he bragged about how he was going to become a full-time employee and use his power and influence to broker even greater power. At first, I figured that was just humor: Sadao was having a hard time adjusting to Earth's culture, so he still articulated things the way he had in Ente Isla. But no, I think he really thinks in those terms.

Sadao approached the problem of Sentucky Fried Chicken as if it were a military conquest. He assigned Shirou, his general, to gather intelligence. That gave us the hilarious scene where Sadao and Shirou debate and negotiate how they'll pay for Shirou's mission to taste all of their enemy's food (5:04). The two of them were absolutely serious about it. It was up to Hanzou Urushihara to represent the audience's perspective when he muttered, "Ridiculous."

Along the same lines, I thought it was really cool that Sadao used military tactics as he, Chiho, and his McRonalds team tried to figure out what to do about Sentucky. He was hesitant to act before Shirou came back because he needed intelligence about the enemy's strengths and weaknesses. He was concerned about the morale of his troops, so he gave them what he considered to be a rousing speech. He said they mustn't act too soon; that the tides of war were with their enemy; that those same tides would eventually flow their way. I felt like I was watching the opening scene from Patton

He didn't mention making the other "poor bastard" die for his country, but the speech's spirit was similar! Capture from the Hulu stream.

The scene's punchline was when Sadao declared that to prepare for that time, they should... and he paused to get himself worked up. When he announced they should wash the windows, everyone sort of cheered, except for one unnamed worker who spoke for us in the audience. He said (7:39), "All that thought and that's your conclusion?!"

I've decided that the show's propensity to flirt with the ridiculous only to walk it back with a gentle splash of normalcy is one of the appeals of its humor. It's not crazy over the top like D-Frag. Though some of it is relationship-based like Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, this show's best feature is its adherence to its core idea: The Devil and his generals came to Earth and are now trying to use capitalism to begin their conquest. I really enjoy a series that harnesses the creative energy of working within constraints (their own core concepts) and gives us something with a unique character and flavor. That's one of the reasons I'm so glad my readers selected this series in the Twitter poll I ran! It means I get to revisit a great series and share it with y'all!

What did you think of Sadao's tactics? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “Review of The Devil Is a Part-Timer Episode 9: Restaurant Wars and Rika, the Drunk Old Man

  1. This one definitely manages to balance its humorous elements nicely with the more normal and while certain moments are over the top the actual situations the characters face are generally more mundane (with the exception of the occasional supernatural fight). All and all, this one was kind of fun and I liked this episode with Mao being given a more human measuring in terms of what he was capable of.

    1. I think it was funny how dismayed he was when the flyers didn’t work! Lots of little details, too, like Emi’s surprise that Mao volunteered on the weekends!

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