Anime

The Devil Is a Part-Timer Episode 2: The Hero’s Resolve and the Fall of Dullahan

Quick Summary

In The Devil is a Part-Timer episode 2, "The Hero Stays at the Devil's Castle for Work Reasons," Emi Yusa, the hero Emilia from Ente Isla, confronts Sadao Maou with her blade. But since it's a dime-store blade, the threat doesn't carry the impact she intended. After surveilling him and his loyal sidekick Shirou Ashiya, she demands a clandestine meeting with Sadao. She simply can't believe he's a diligent fast food employee who doesn't intend to slaughter his co-workers! Magical shots interrupt their meeting, and they're forced to flee together. Who was shooting at magical bullets at Sadao -- and at Emi? Why does she follow him home after their retreat? And once there, what shocking favor does she ask for?

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

What's in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

100-yen store knife notwithstanding, Emi was serious about executing her mission -- and Sadao! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 1

It's a tense moment. Emilia the hero, having chased Satan through the inter-dimensional gate, has finally tracked him down -- as he rides his trusty bicycle Dullahan home from his job at McRonalds. As she tells him of her resolve to slay him, she draws her blade. The music is very dramatic; her expression is focused and determined. Until Sadao points out that the tiny blade is from a "crappy 100 yen store downtown" (3:04). The music even stops! They argue for a bit, until she restarts her speech speech and leaps at him -- and the music picks right up where it left off. It occurred to me that they looked like an old couple who had gone through a bad breakup -- which was exactly what the police thought (3:58). Emi saying that she had to destroy Sadao didn't help her case. It's realistic, it's funny, and it's a great insight into her character. 

Emi seemed strangely unimpressed at Sadao's plan to become a full-time employee on the path to subjugate Earth. Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 2

Satan's path to power is paved... by a full time job? I love how this series presents Sadao's ambitions with such gravity, all the while he's saying something completely ridiculous. For example, when Emi tracked Sadao to his new "castle," she is aghast at how poor he and Shirou are. They're sitting there eating jelly-covered cucumbers in a one-room apartment! Then Sadao, his pride stung to action, says (10:19), "If you think I plan to live a peaceful part-timer's life, you are dead wrong... McRonalds sometimes lets their part-timer go full time!" His expression is haughty and might have been imposing if he were's some scrawny kid now. Emi was certainly not impressed! He didn't really help his case when he declared, "Hear me, Emilia... [ I will ] accumulate wealth and social status. I will become so powerful all manner of humans will kneel before me. Then I will invade Ente Isla once more!" Even the music was dramatic. But this scene appealed to me for another reason: You can see that Emi's starting to crack. She's been holding it together, but she's becoming more and more stressed. The comedy helps highlight her depth of character!

Seeing the proud, accomplished, and powerful Emi reduced to a moment of tears was heart-breaking. But she didn't let herself wallow in self-pity. Capture from the Hulu stream.

Moment 3

Everything we've seen about Emi is a testament to her strength. She was the hero who lead the assault against Satan in Ente Isla. She tenaciously followed Sadao through the portal to prevent him from assaulting the people of Earth -- until she became convinced his method of attack was going to have more to do with the accumulation of wealth (obtained by working hard!) and less with conflict at arms. At the same time, the episode started giving us clues that she was under huge stress. After the sniper with magical bullets forced her and Sadao to retreat, she dropped her wallet, and she felt compelled to ask Sadao if he would let her spend the night in the "castle." She felt humiliated to ask; she had no comeback when Shirou told her he'd keep an eye on her. And then we see that there are tears in her eyes (22:44). Some might argue that "There goes a show again -- showing a weak woman crying!" That's not what I saw. I saw a hero pushed far beyond her limits, having endured seeing every one of her support structures destroyed, fleeing an attacker targeting both her and her old foe, before her control finally slipped. It was a genuine moment of pure, well-earned emotion.

Thoughts

This is the first time I've watched the dub, and I have to say, it's becoming one of my favorites! Not quite up to Infinite Stratos (season 1) yet, but it's still enjoyable! 

Can we have a moment of silence for Dullahan (18:35)? The faithful steed never saw the magic bullets that came for it. Maybe it died to protect its master? I'm sure we'll never see its equal again...

Remember in my review of the previous episode, I kind of gushed about how much I liked Emi? This episode gave us yet more reasons to like the Hero of Ente Isla, up to and including a dose of realism that I did not expect the first time I watched this series. Rewatching it now to write this post, I have an even greater appreciation for what the show's doing with her character.

Emi's unused to not having her celestial power -- meaning she can't project the gravitas she was used to projecting. That had to wound her pride! Capture from the Hulu stream.

As Sadao mentioned to Shirou (23:10), Emi had come to this world alone. Unlike the two of them who could rely on each other, she could only rely on herself. She knew the Devil was somewhere on Earth, so she worked diligently to establish a respectable life while she kept an eye out for him. Her sense of mission had given her life focus. 

Then, a chance meeting brought her face to face with her old foe. What did he do? He offered her an umbrella.

Have you ever pursued a goal with such force and energy that it consumed your life? 

Ever had that goal turn out to be completely not what you thought it was?

Seeing the Devil as a poor, dedicated part-timer worker deflated her. After surveilling him for days, she found herself reduced to eavesdropping as he and Shirou experimented with using honey to enhance the taste of their cucumbers (13:47). Yet even then, she didn't give up. She tried to meet with her foe to come to some kind of understanding, but a sniper interrupted them. Someone was trying to kill her and Sadao. 

They could only stand and watch as Dullahan was murdered. All kidding aside, it had to sting her pride to fight a defensive action with Sadao on her side! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Even then Emi kept herself together. After realizing she had no wallet, she did the most reasonable thing she could: she asked Sadao if she could spend the night. She knew what kind of life he was living; intellectually, she knew she could trust him enough to sleep near him without fear. 

When he thoughtfully tossed her a blanket and she realized he was using the same detergent as she was, that was the final insult to what she'd seen as her destiny and her mission. She found herself in an emotional and intellectual place she didn't recognize. She had more in common with her foe than anyone else in this world. Everything that had kept her focused and mentally on track was gone. She was wrapped in a blanket that the Devil himself had given her as she lay on his tented tatami mat.

It's no wonder she wept.

It's wonderful that a comedy -- a comedy that has this kind of fantastic timing! -- can deliver such complex and complete characters. 

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

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