The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! Season 2
How would you rate episode 4 of
The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.1
I think this week's episode best exemplifies the heart of the series. During season one, there were moments where Maou would act in a way almost befitting of a typical hero character, using his powers to safeguard everyone else's wellbeing. He seemed more content with protecting the status quo and not causing an inconvenience to anybody, which is a complete contrast to how he appeared to have acted in the fantasy world. I was expecting something similar to happen here, but to my surprise, Maou barely gets involved in the battle of the episode and even goes so far as to offer up his life to avoid one altogether. I actually found myself more emotionally invested in this episode than I had been during the big confrontations of season one, and that might be because this situation felt a lot more personal to Maou. I wouldn't necessarily go so far as to say that he feels like a father to Alas Ramus, but he's clearly taking on the responsibility of being a parental figure to her. However, I still believe that he wants her to be able to live her own life, and one that is different from how he was initially raised given what we know happened to his family. That little story that he tells her when they're getting ready to go to sleep was genuinely heartwarming and tinged with melancholy, especially when Emi tries to get him to basically admit that the stories are more or less about himself.
The battle itself unfortunately doesn't look the best, and it's certainly possible that the change in art direction isn't doing such stilted animation any favors. The first season didn't have amazing-looking action sequences either, but at least the better-detailed character designs were more appealing to look at, even though I stand by my initial argument that the current designs work better during the more comedic moments. Gabriel seems like a fun villain, and I like the show's ambiguity surrounding the rightness of his actions, even though he's also not doing a lot to demonstrate why it's so important that he brings Alas Ramus back home. Honestly, I was kind of expecting Urushihara to have more of a role in this episode considering the fact that he is a fallen angel; instead we get a sequence that just kind of leaves me baffled. If he has the authority to call off angel soldiers because he apparently had high standing in heaven before he fell, then why isn't he more involved?
The pacing at the end of the episode is also somewhat confusing, holding off on revealing what exactly happened to Alas Ramus until the very end for the sake of a rather sweet albeit drawn-out moment. On one hand, I liked how Emi used the situation as a lesson to teach Maou what it means to lose somebody; you can tell she still holds a grudge against him for his invasion leading to the death of so many people, including her father. However, one thing that The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! struggles with is really weighing on the dramatic implications of its reveals. Considering the reveal at the very end, I think it's a missed opportunity for the show to not recontextualize that aggression.
That said, the fact that Emi's mom seems to be the one pulling the strings in all this is a twist that I wasn't really expecting, but it does set up a very compelling mystery and makes me wonder where exactly everything is going. What kind of plans are being worked on behind the scenes? How does it tie into the motivations of the characters that led to that big conquest that started the series in the first place? And most importantly, how will our characters react to some of these revelations? This week is definitely a solid turning point in the season that opens up the doors for a lot of things to come, and moving forward I hope the show can better flesh out its dramatic elements, which have been consistently compelling.
The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! Season 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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