That there would be major consequences for one wall of the “Devil’s Castle” getting blown out last episode stood to reason, as this series just doesn’t hand-wave details like that. Hence, that the devils and Suzuno would be temporarily evicted while landlord Mikitty had repairs done was to be expected. What wasn’t expect was that Maou missed another important detail while in his funk over thinking that he had lost Alas Ramus: that MgRonalds was also going to be temporarily closing for renovations, in a very Douglas Adams-esque twist of irony.* Suzuno can temporarily move in with Emi, but what are the devils supposed to do?
As it turns out, Mikitty isn’t as thoughtless as all that. The first season briefly showed that Mikitty was aware of way more than she should be about the Enta Islans, so there’s every possibility that her recommending them to help out her niece Amane Ohguro, who needs live-in seasonal workers for her beachfront shack, was as much part of a bigger scheme as just doing a solid for a relative. Indeed, Amane’s words at the end of the episode, her earlier tale about ghost fishermen, and the giant outline in the fog all suggest that something supernatural may be afoot out on the beach as well. Perhaps this will eventually lead to some clues about the first series’ biggest unresolved mystery: who and/or what Mikitty really is? More immediately important, though, is Emi manufacturing an excuse for her and Suzuno to travel to the same location to check up on Maou (and perhaps keep Alas Ramus from flipping out over not getting to see “daddy” for a long while) and Chiho finding her own reason to come as well.
This franchise being what it is, there is, of course, a ton of other minutiae to sort out first. In a welcome move, Chiho’s mother (who will appear periodically throughout the rest of the franchise) gets introduced here. Parents are something which all-too-often get pushed into the background or hand-waved in anime titles, but showing that there is a good and trusting relationship going both ways there (which puts her in stark contrast to everyone else in the series) adds an extra dimension to the characterizations. That and the way that she can serve as a bridge between Emi and Maou – as she is adored and trusted by both sides – is elevating her above just Wannabe-Girlfriend status and into Sensible Girl status as well. She’s becoming the glue that binds the two sides together as much as Alas Ramus is. By comparison, Sariel’s presence is little more than a cameo, but also perfectly in line with the series’ normal shtick.
On technical fronts, this novel begins the adaption of novel 4, but in very condensed fashion; anime-only viewers may be surprised to know that this episode covers a whopping 140+ pages, or about 60% of the novel. Knowing that, where the condensing is going on should be more obvious, as the novel goes into much more meticulous detail about everything which transpires in the episode, especially the montage scenes. Frankly, I think I actually prefer this version, as the storytelling here gets all of the crucial points across, including the travelogue-type spirit of the journey out to the beach, and the details being left out largely are not important. Amane’s character design is also a plus, as it makes for a perfect replication of her picture in the novel, and the huskier voice of Yuko Kaida (Flare in the recent The Executioner and Her Way of Life) fits the part well. On the downside, the visual quality seems off in this episode, as can be seen in the screenshot above. Thankfully, this is the most mundane part of this novel, so hopefully things will look better when the swimsuits roll out next episode.
Overall, this is a run-of-the-mill episode for the franchise, one which features the gang dealing with real-life problems while vaguely setting up for bigger events to come.
* – For those who don’t get this reference, it refers to a defining situation early in the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where co-protagonist Arthur Dent doesn’t find out until too late that his house is scheduled for demolition to make way for a new bypass (because the plans were in a place he didn’t know about), only to have that circumstance replicated onto the entire Earth when aliens come to demolish Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass.