The Devil is a Part-Timer!! episode 11

Rating: B+

Ashiya is unquestionably devilish in the most literal sense of the word, but this episode we see that he can be that way in the figurative sense, too, and even without trying. Seems like Maou is not the only devil who is getting a human woman to crush on him.

And really, it’s not at all hard to understand why Rika is palpitating over Ashiya. He’s tall and handsome and has been proper and courteous – the perfect gentleman, in fact – in all of his encounters with Rika, even when Rika was being somewhat aggressive. Even Maou, who failed to notice for a long time that Chiho was crushing on him, is picking up on it. And while Suzuno has a point both about Maou’s indelicacy in asking Rika about it and keeping Rika out of their affairs, Maou has an equally good point about taking Rika into the loop: if Rika cannot handle the reveal, she is, indeed, best staying away, but if she can, then what’s the harm?

Of course, we’re talking about a scenario where the Hero is seeking out Yesod fragments, her angelic mother is (literally!) sneaking around behind her back, and another apparent angel with an Afro is up to no good, so things are not going to remain too casual for long. TVs are exploding and Chiho is in the hospital, and it all appears to be related to the angel Raguel*’s hunt for Lailah. (What the anime leaves out here from the novel is that phone service is also seeing disruptions around Tokyo, which kept Emi and Rika jammed with calls when they were at work.) As before, the series shows that, however emotionally insensitive Maou may be, he’s not all brawn, either, as he quickly pieces together what Raguel is doing and where he’s probably doing it from once he has the full picture. The little details here, like Suzuno working formulas concerning the application of celestial force, are also neat touches that have long been a franchise standard.

In general, this feels like the stereotypical episode for this franchise, and in this case, I mean that in the best sense. It has a good mix of the mundane and supernatural, lots of amusing little quirks, a playful tone that can become serious when needed, and the whole crew preparing to take action with the backing of one of the series’ staple dramatic themes. Watching how the season finishes out next episode – and what the deal is with the Yesod fragment ring Lailah puts on Chiho – should be fun.

* – In Judaic traditions, Raguel is the Angel of Justice, the one charged with essentially being the sheriff for fallen angels and demons, so this episode’s interpretation is largely following established religious lore

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV episode 10

Rating: A-

The wonderful summary quote for this episode on HIDIVE tells it all: “Some monsters you must fight and from others you must flee. But beware the Juggernaut lest you simply cease to be.”

The DanMachi franchise has had no shortage of intimidating foes over its run, whether it be a giant ape, a Minotaur, a Goliath, a Moss Huge, a Demi-Spirit, or even other adventurers. But no creation of the franchise has been more viscerally unsettling than the Juggernaut, a sleek, angular creature designed to simply obliterate anyone nearby in the defense of the Dungeon. And while the series has always made a point of emphasizing how unforgiving the Dungeon can be, no scenes in the franchise drive that point home more forcefully than the wholesale slaughter the Juggernaut carries out in this episode. It has speed that even a Level 4 has trouble tracking, claws that can skewer foes or rip them half, a bit that sever a person just as a well, a whipping tail which can throw opponents into walls with the force of a sledgehammer, and defenses which can reflect magic attacks. It’s not exactly wiping out chumps, either; most in Riviria are at least Level 2, yet they don’t even have time to react. Even Bell, the hero, cannot stand against it for long, and suffers uncharacteristically harshly for the hubris of thinking that he could.

Supporting all of this is some of the most truly outstanding sound design I’ve ever heard in an anime series. I have sung the praises of the soundtrack and sound effects before, but this episode takes those to another level. The Juggernaut’s unearthly screeches are what a true monster should sound like, the macabre sound of the bases drive the heavy tone of the dark revelations about the monster’s origins, mournful cellos speak to loss, and the tense symphonic orchestration powers the action scenes – or, rather, slaughter scenes. If you’re not listening to this episode on a headset or high-quality speakers, you need to, or you’ll miss out on all the neat little audio touches.

The whole episode isn’t just the Juggernaut, though. Jura and Ouranos take turns explaining how this is the creature which ended Astraea Familia and how that accidental summoning of it five years ago has been kept a secret for fear that adventurers knowing about it would make matters worse – and Jura is living proof of that. Implications are cast out that Ryu only survived at the cost of her fellow Familia members, though Jura’s insistence that she personally threw her comrades under the proverbial bus just to survive doesn’t jive. (And Jura is the farthest thing from an unbiased source here.) Quite possible that Ryu’s not denying it because she may see it that way herself, but the more likely scenario is that they sacrificed themselves so she, at least, could get away. Likely we’ll find out the truth of that in upcoming episodes.

And this definitely isn’t the end, because there’s no way that the franchise can do without Bell; he is the series’ identity more so than just about any other fantasy series character in recent memory. Yes, he lost his arm, but that did fall in the water, and someone waterborne is clearly headed this way despite her own terrors. Yes, it certainly looked like Bell was down for the count at the end, but notice how carefully the scene of him getting whacked by the Juggernaut’s tail showed the tail striking against his scarf – the scarf made of Goliath hide, the very one that the prescient Cassandra insisted that Welf make for him. The series doesn’t need to pull something out of its ass to save Bell under these circumstances, as the mechanism has been carefully built in over the last few episodes. No, the more interesting question is how Ryu, who spends the entire episode overwhelmed by fear and loathing, will react, especially in light of Jura’s insanely dangerous scheme.

For all that the episode does well, though, I still cannot give it a full A grade. That’s because the info dump which spans the middle portion of the episode saps some of the intensity and bogs the episode down just a bit. Yes, those are relevant and important details Jura and Ouranos are spilling, and yes, the episode needed some stall so that it could end on the right cliffhanger, but the episode spends just a little too long on them.

Strap in folks, because the ride’s far from over, despite the looming end of the cour.

The Devil is a Part-Timer!! episode 10

Rating: 4 (of 5)

With this episode, the series is fully back on track with the novels, picking up in the early stages of novel 5. The one change is that Emerelda didn’t bring up Lailah at all in the novel; as speculated last episode, that’s clearly meant to be a replacement for references skipped during the first season. While bringing up Lailah may presage developments in the next couple of episodes, it does not sidetrack in the slightest the overall story thrust: other events are percolating on the side as Maou is on a holy quest to obtain a TV.

Yes, that means a full return to the franchise’s tradition of having fun with over-dramatizing minutiae, and perhaps not surprisingly, that makes for the most purely entertaining episode in a while. Even Gabriel, who has (in the series’ classic ironic style) taken up residence in an Internet cafe, gets in on some of that action. Most of the rest is an overly-big deal about whether Maou is justified in getting a TV – or, perhaps more precisely, how he justifies it. The bigger shock to Emi is that Rika, her friend from work, is getting dragged into that as well when she mistakes Ashiya’s no-actual-ulterior-motives request for advice on evaluating TVs as a date. That Rika is flustered rather than bothered by this is not half as funny as how much trouble Emi has dealing with it while at work. With all the other crazy things going on in her life, this is what she is completely losing her composure over.

The plot is not being overlooked here, either, as several potential threads spin out here. In another bit of irony, just as Maou is on a quest for a TV, something happens to Chiho involving a flash from her TV. Gabriel’s visit to Lucifer reveals that he’s shifted focus from Yesod fragments to artifacts related to the legendary Overlord Satan (rather than Maou, the current Satan), which is certainly suggestive of a bigger scheme at work amongst the angels. The arrival of another angelic visitor also seems imminent (in fact, based on Gabriel’s phone call, he’s already in Japan), while Emi is using her enforced off time to look for further Yesod fragments, which may or may not have something to do with her mother. And oh, yes, Enta Isla is going to war in the continuing wake of the power vacuum left by the defeat and disappearance of the Demon King. If that all seems to anime-only viewers like more than can be resolved in the remaining couple of episodes, you’re absolutely right; the war reference is a teaser for later events (ones that might be reached if a third season is animated), so it may not even get mentioned again this season.

The other interesting point is a little more background on Lucifer/Urushihara. As in Biblical lore, this Lucifer also “fell” from Heaven, but in this case the impetus was boredom rather than pride. To him, Satan (was simply doing something far more interesting. Which Satan – Maou or the earlier Overlord Satan – he means is a bit in question, but seems to be Maou. If that is the case, then that means that the original Satan was also from Heaven. Again, not a revelation that will have immediate enough consequences to impact this season, but it is a plot element for the series’ long haul.

So yeah, it definitely feels like the series is back on track after a weak side track.

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV episode 9

Rating: 4.5 (of 5)

Ryu is unquestionably a killer. However, she only kills people in the cause of vengeance, so whacking an informant isn’t her style. How moral it is to kill for vengeance is another matter, but that delineation that Bell insists on having spelled out, combine with him realizing what the item he picked up last episode was, is enough to de-escalate the initial potential fight between him and Ryu. It was a fight that neither wanted anyway, but more interestingly, it also establishes that Bell doesn’t seem to have as much of a problem with Ryu taking Jura out over past misdeeds. Of course, to make certain that Bell doesn’t get caught in any moral quandary, Jura quickly shows plenty enough villainy to justify even a heroic figure working to take him out.

That easy out is the only minor issue I had with what is otherwise a tense, well-executed episode that, despite the immediate danger the two Lambtons pose, is actually just set-up for the real fight next week. On one front we have Ryu and Bell teaming up to deal with the Lambton controlled by Jura; on the other, the rest of Bell’s expeditionary team must deal with the Lambton sicced on them by Turk. The Bell/Ryu fight shows where the skimped effort on animation last week went, with the snake-like lambtons being impressively mobile and well-integrated into the animation. (If CG was being used at all for them, it was hard to tell.) Though the other fight gets less emphasis, it also showed some nice teamwork in taking down an intimidating monster. I also liked how this gives a clearer picture of what tamers can do in this setting; they have been mention a couple of times before in both the first season of the main series and in Sword Oratoria, but this is the first time we really get to see what they can do.

(As a side note, the Lambtons shown here are not original creations. They are at least partly based on a monster from English folklore called a Lambton Worm, which was, in some accounts, described as being very snake-like.)

But the Lambtons are only appetizers, designed to keep the heroes occupied while Jura’s allies carry out the main element of the plot: arranging and setting off explosive items to damage the Dungeon. The Dungeon has previously been described as a living thing, and like any living thing, defense mechanisms get triggered when it takes sufficient damage. In humans and other animals, that means the release of white blood cells to fight off the infection. So what does the Dungeon come up with in a scenario where multiple floors get heavily-damaged? We only get the faintest hint of that oncoming horror as the episode ends, but Ryu clearly knows it and fears it, because it’s the same catastrophe used to wipe out the rest of her Astraea Familia. It’s just the right kind of irony that a total scumbag like Jura would come up with, and the kind of thing powerful enough to bring on the despair that Cassandra has foreseen.

Kudos to the production team for the sound design in this episode, especially the intimidating growling of the oncoming Juggernaut. Kudos also for the excellent design of character expressions for both Jura and Ryu; this is something easy to underrate until you have seen it done as well as it is done here. The next episode will feature the battle that novel fans have probably most been waiting for, and after the successful set-up this episode, I am eager to see what the Juggernaut looks like in animated form.

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV

Rating: B+

Just from animated content, we know that Ryu once lost everything – her whole familia – and that one particular rival familia was responsible. In retribution, she did everything she could to wipe out that familia – here identified as Rudra* Familia, a part of Evilus (mentioned not in this series but in Sword Oratoria) – and by her own admission she was ruthless about it. But words spoken in calm, reflective moments do not adequately convey the sheer intensity of what drove – and, as apparent here, continues to drive – Ryu Lion. All it takes is one survivor from Rudra Familia for her to lose her composure, and evidence in this episode suggests that he’s either not the only one or else has some new allies.

Jura admits to having once been a part of Rudra Familia but claims he’s reformed. That’s so immaterial to Ryu that she’s even willing to strike down Bell – her acknowledged ally and the love interest of the person currently most dear to her (Syr) in order to get at him. That puts the good-hearted Bell in quite the fix. Hermes tried to have him shown the dark side of humanity back in episode 12 of the first season, but Bell was able to overcome that challenge without really learning the lesson Hermes intended. He saw some of that in season 2, but Apollo Familia was driven by their god and the business with Ishtar Familia was still mostly in the wheelhouse of heroic storytelling. And the animus of humanity towards monsters in season 3 was understandable with the general populace and just baseline evildoing in the case of Dix and Ikelos Familia. But this is where a dark heart that cannot just be played off as baseline evil or under a heroic umbrella must now be confronted. Whether her intent is morally right or not, Ryu can claim a certain amount of legitimacy in her actions. This isn’t the case with Wienne and Loki Familia; he doesn’t know what’s going on here, so does he, as a prospective hero, have any right or responsibility to intercede?

That’s not the only thing going on here, either. Some strange and powerful critter with six eyes and a bodyform like a snake is also lurking about, making new tunnels, and unsettling Marie, who pops up again to help Bell out. There’s also the strange rumbles and tremors to consider, which do not line up with the kind of magic that Ryu uses. Something more is happening, and it’s a safe bet that Jura and the werewolf Turk are at the core of it. Is Ryu involved, too, or did she just stumble into a bigger scheme?

The technical front this time has both big pluses and big minuses. On the good side, the musical score is fantastic throughout in working to set the tone, with selections reminiscent of the Lord of the Rings movies or famous classical music pieces like “In The Hall of the Mountain King.” On the bad side, this episode uses a lot of animation shortcuts in its action scenes, more than we’re used to seeing with this series. That could be concerning if it continues, or a sign that the production team is saving up for the more dramatic fight scenes to come. General quality control also drops off a bit in places. Those concerns are why I am not rating what is otherwise a fine episode a notch higher.

Other Series I Am Following – Non-Isekai Fantasy and Supernatural Round-Up:

Vermeil in Gold episodes 1-10 – Quite probable that I will give this one a full review when it wraps for the season, since it isn’t getting episode reviews over on ANN. So far it’s proving to be a competent but not exceptional Magical Girlfriend-styled series set in a fantasy “magic school” environment.

Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun episodes 1-9: I feel like an entire book could be written delving into the subtexts, symbolic meanings, and general nastiness of this entry, and I’m not sure that I am the right one to do it. While not quite as compelling as the first series, it is nonetheless utterly fascinating even when being thoroughly gross.

Call of the Night episodes 1-9 (I have not yet seen episode 10 as I write this): Maybe the series this season most-suited to episode-to-episode analysis. Not really what I originally expected, as it has remained remarkably analytical about the actions and motivations of its core cast, but it has remained fascinating in a completely different way than Made in Abyss.

Engage Kiss episodes 1-9: This one I will almost certainly be doing a full write-up for when it finishes, so I will reserve most comment for then. It’s another Magical Girlfriend-style series, but with a nastier twist and some bigger structural issues.

* Rudra was a Vedic god associated with storms and hunting. Associating him with forces of evil here is definitely the author using dramatic license.

The Devil is a Part-Timer!! episode 9

Rating: 3 (of 5)

I was slightly in error last week. While this mini arc isn’t in the novels, it actually is not anime-original, either; it did appear in the manga adaptation (which I have not read beyond the first volume). That does not make this any less of a two-episode filler arc, but it does mean that it could have some minor impact or reference back to it going forward.

Unlike the beach arc, the threat here turns out to be a much more mundane one: wholly human thieves out stealing from farms in the vicinity of the Sasakis and a thoroughly normal bear who gets startled into charging Maou, Emi, and crew by said thieves. That leads to the first of two mildly amusing scenes, where Emi winds up pulling wrestling moves on the bear. The second comes later, after Maou and crew reason out what’s going on and come up with a plan to stop it, and that leads to the scene shown in the screenshot above, where Crestia stops the thieves’ SUV in its tracks while Emi rips the roof on them and goes nearly as demonic in her intimidation as Maou does; this may easily be Crestia’s best screen shot between both seasons. I also have to give the episode a little credit for linking Maou momentarily getting his powers and demonic form back to the Kappa museum introduced last episode and the way the Sasaki family just rolls with the clearly-abnormal capabilities of Maou and crew under the grandmother’s “being with power used to be born from time to time, but there’s no need to make a fuss about it” logic.

However, the thoroughly ordinary nature of what’s going on here is also thoroughly underwhelming. If this was a more ordinary series than this two episode sequence might have been passable, but the series has shown that it is capable on way more than this on all fronts. It does allow Maou to ruminate a bit more on matters in the Demon Realm which led to the invasion of Enta Isla, and this may be a replacement for some minor scenes skipped here and there to this point, but it does not allow the episode to escape feeling like it is just killing time in between story arcs. (Leaving Chiho completely on the sidelines in this whole affair also didn’t help.)

At least the epilogue seems to be ordering things back towards the main storyline, though I am a little curious what the production team is aiming to do with the last arc based on that epilogue scene. In the original novels, the revelation to Emi that an angel named Laila was her mother came at the end of the first novel, during the scene that happened at the end of episode 6 of the first season. But that was skipped over in the anime version, only to be delayed until now. The delay has not really had any impact on the story prior to this point, so this may be intended to combine with the scene at the end of episode 7 to be a lead-in to a major plot point in novel 5. If so, I am quite curious to see what else about novel 5 they are going to have to jury-rig to make this work, especially with only three episodes left. Guess we’ll find out next week.

The Devil is a Part-Timer!! episode 8

Rating: B-

This episode represents a very odd decision in what has otherwise been a solid adaptation so far. While part of one of the episode’s early scenes – where the Devils return to their repaired home and Ashiya makes the comment about the faucet being fixed – is at the beginning of novel 5, the episode is in anime-original territory from the point where Maou and his minions get called on to help Chiho’s family. Since this looks like it is going to be a two-episode arc, presumably the intent here is to use this as filler and then adapt the important parts of novel 5 (which is about the same length as novel 4) into episodes 10-12. Given that what little is shown of Villa Rosa in this episode skips over a lot of dithering about moving furniture and belongings back into the apartments, this is feasible without rushing the plot too much, but I still have some concerns.

The scenario the production team chose to go with involves the devils taking another out-of-town side job while waiting for MgRonald’s to reopen, this time at the family farm operated by Chiho’s grandmother and uncle. Naturally Emilia ends up there, too, in part because Alas Ramus fusses when too far away from “daddy,” though Emilia also has misgivings about the devils working on a farm. This is quite understandable, as Emilia was originally raised on a farm herself and the loss of that farm was one of the major personal costs the rampage of the Devil King’s Armies had on her. Indeed, that results in a proper degree of awkwardness between the two when she has to explain to Maou the reasons for being so particular about harvesting vegetables.

However, there’s one significant problem with this scenario, one that should be utterly out of character for such a detail-conscious franchise as this: while Maou is temporarily unemployed, Emi isn’t. She is again taking off a couple of days from work after just having done so very shortly before. Perhaps the previous outing could be explained as a weekend excursion, but two trips like this so close together sounds problematic. But I suspect that this might not even be acknowledged when they get back to Tokyo.

And hey, the crew is out in nature, so of course they have to get menaced by a hungry bear! Bears have long been pests to farmers and hunters in Japan, with a couple of deaths and a several injuries typically being reported each year, so this isn’t at all an unbelievable incident. Will Maou be able to calm this one down like he did the alligators in season one? Time will tell, and this time I am left wondering every bit as much as anime-only viewers are.

Other Titles That I Am Following – Isekai Round-Up:

Engage Kiss eps 2-9: Essentially, this series is what you’d get if you took Strike the Blood and reversed the genders, down even to which gender is using the other to power up. For better or worse, it absolutely follows the model set down by the Raildex franchise, with the only minor variation being a more tragic undertone to the way the power-up works. The male MC in this one is also more than a bit of an ass at times, but I actually find that refreshing. On the downside, the tone is a mess and the writing can be extremely clunky at times. The series is hampered by an unwillingness to let loose and be as crazy-ridiculous as both its predecessors can be, and I didn’t fully appreciate how important that attitude was in the other series until I saw this one. Watchable if you liked either predecessor, but not a high-priority view.

Black Summoner episodes 2-9: Though I wouldn’t call this one a good series or must-see entertainment, either, it is at least making some attempts to do something interesting with its isekai reincarnation premise, and that includes a significant twist in the most recent episode. Worth watching if you appreciate the genre, but there isn’t enough here to generate a wider draw.

My Isekai Life episodes 2-10: This series gets too much of a pass because the slimes are endearingly cute. The series does have a certain amount of flair to it (especially in the way Yuji moves in casting scenes), but Yuji has no personality and the plot isn’t all that interesting. That is never really explains its set-up also bugs me.

Harem in the Labyrinth of Another World episodes 2-9: No isekai series I’ve ever seen is more of a one-trick pony than this one. It has the most frightfully dull dungeon-delving sequences imaginable, and even its featured Sexy Time regularly proves that being more explicit doesn’t necessarily make its fan service any sexier. The rare sparks it showed early on haven’t amounted to anything meaningful, either. At least, after nine episodes, the series might finally be to the point of introducing a third core character.

Uncle From Another World episodes 2-5: This is a series that I feel I should like less than I do, as some of its visual style points don’t work for me at all. Still, there’s something endearing about how matter-of-factly the uncle describes some really awful experiences and how tantalizingly close he came to having some really awesome ones. This one gets my highest recommendation.

Parallel World Pharmacy episodes 2-7: This one is very much in the vein of Ascendance of a Bookworm, which may be part of the reason why I appreciate it so much. It looks good, can even handle its rare action scenes well, and provides more thoughtful world-building than any other isekai title this season. Also a recommended title, especially if you want something less intensely-paced.

Overlord IV episodes 2-9: Not the strongest of the Overlord seasons, but it still keeps regularly delivering everything that has made it a fun series so far: powermongering, Ainz sometimes accidentally being competent, both his servants and others utterly misinterpreting him, and so forth. It’s more comfort food as isekai go than anything else at this point, though the very mecha suit-like adventurer who popped up in the most recent episode has some intriguing possibilities.

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? episode 7

Rating: B+

Whether goddesses or adventurers, Guild workers or waitresses, DanMachi has never lacked for sexy female characters amongst its recurring cast. While fan service has never been a focus of the series, DanMachi has also not lacked for opportunities to let its diverse cast of beauties show off; in fact, it has periodically manufactured original content just for that purpose. Because of a combination of her disposition, the way she carries herself, the way she dresses, and the way she hides half her face behind an unflattering long, straight hairdo, Cassandra would be far from the first female character one would expect to get feature fan service treatment. The one previous time she did show off any skin at all (in the season 3 OVA episode), we didn’t see much, either. That’s part of what makes her early fan service scene in this episode such a jaw-dropper. Damn, girl; that’s one fine figure you’ve been hiding under that dress, and the animation team certainly put in the extra effort to make sure viewers could appreciate it. (But then, she was recruited by Apollo, who was practically obsessed with beautiful things, so perhaps this shouldn’t have been too surprising.)

The timing of it – in the wake of a very dark and serious vision – is also interesting. The production team certainly isn’t above making that scene mostly or purely gratuitous, but perhaps that was also meant to suggest how much she is at the mercy of her visions. Much like her mythological namesake, Cassandra seems doomed not to be believed, yet her visions have proven to be on the the mark either figuratively or literally. That makes her yet another interesting side character in the franchise’s retinue, and this is the episode where she gets to shine the most. I had been concerned that the production team might strip her extensive inner ruminations – much like they did for the Moss Huge – but it looks like they were deemed essential enough to receive attention. She even gets in the episode’s one funny moment, at the innocent Haruhime’s expense.

While Cassandra’s part is an integral set-up for this phase of the story arc, the actual plot focus is on the presumption that Gale Wind (aka Ryu) murdered one of Riviria’s adventurers. Viewers can surmise from Asfi’s brief comments that the dead fellow is connected to her past vengeful exploits, but seeing Bell and others quickly piece together that something was fishy about Turk’s claims was still satisfying; Bell is finally starting to develop some intuition as he levels up. Still, if someone finished off the adventurer that Ryu had been interrogating – presumably both to silence him and to set Ryu up – then who or what is Ryu pursuing down on the 27th floor, and what is Bell about to get himself dragged into?

One other thing also deserves comment: the musical score. I have extolled the virtues of the soundtrack on many occasions, but once again, it is in fine form here. It plays no small role in creating the dramatic ambiance needed for the big events to come. The adaptation of novel 13 is now underway, so the fun is just beginning again.

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV episode 6

Rating: 4

In the original novels, the downtime between the Moss Huge part of this arc and Ryu part of the arc is an epilogue that amounts to only five pages. That doesn’t allow anywhere near enough content to make a full episode, so that the revelation about what Ryu is seemingly up to can happen at the end of an episode – as it should. (In the novel, it is the last scene of novel 12.) Hence episode 6 is a rarity for the franchise: an episode made up predominately of anime-original content framed around the few bits that are true to the novel. While this doesn’t quite result in the masterful use of such fleshing-out seen in a series like 86, the adaptation still, pleasingly, makes the transition between the arcs seem logical and seamless.

This also allows the series to stick back in a scene from the beginning of this arc that the adaptation initially skipped: the Denatus scene where Bell gets his updated title. Putting it here makes timing a little awkward; since Hestia knows that her familia is safe and there’s time for word to get back down to Bell before the move to the Ryu part, the series is implying that Bell and crew are spending several days in Riviria. However, it does fit better with the flow of the story in this spot, and putting it back in is a welcome acknowledgement of having entirely skipped the first Denatus scene (from back around episode 9 of the first season). Also, the specific inclusion of it here may be implying an eventual intent to animate content after this arc, since this Denatus scene has some vague but consequential hints about the story after this point.

The rest of the episode is really just some proverbial house-cleaning with a touch of extra character development. The elves and dwarves are naturally very grateful to both Bell and Lily, but both of them have trouble accepting that gratitude for different reason; Lily is unused to praise from the adventurers she grew up hating, while Bell can’t quite appreciate that seasoned adventurers consider losing a limb a fair price to pay for coming back alive from an especially hairy situation in the Dungeon. The rest is mostly Lily’s oft-thwarted efforts to get some precious “me” time with Bell, which is both entirely in-character and entirely fitting, given that, in the previous episode, she staked all her resolve on what Bell would do. The scene between them is a sweet affirmation of Bell’s longest-term relationship with another Dungeon-delver.

As for what Ryu is up to, based on anime-only content, some reasonable deductions can be made. She is a serious-minded, earnest type who is, by her own admission, both a retired adventurer and a retired vigilante. The slaughter of her familia put her on the vengeful streak that got her blacklisted, and she ended up at the Hostess of Fertility only after Syr found her collapsed at the end of her task. Given Chloe’s mention about her “remembering stuff about her past,” the only reasonable explanation for what she’s doing here is that it has something to do with someone who got away last time. Who all is involved? How far will she go this time? That’s the juicy teaser for the next arc.

The Devil is a Part-Timer!! episode 7

Rating: B

As expected, a crisis is afoot involving the demonic appearances, and as some of the characters started to suspect last episode, Olba is connected to it. In the end, though, resolving the demon part of this affair seemed anticlimatic compared to the indications at near the end of the episode about who and what Amane is.

That Amane isn’t exactly a normal human was implied at the end of last episode, and this one confirms that she is the one who controls the fog and gave the demons a good thrashing. She’s also strong enough and/or confident enough in her power not to be fazed by the Enta Islans or present any actual threat to them, even though she clearly could. She’s got her task, and as long as they don’t get in the way of her task, she’ll let them take care of their business. And that task, it seems, is serving as one of the guardians to a sacred place of cleansing for the spirits of the dead, which seems to be the real purpose of her shack. The bigger revelation is her admittance that she’s “the daughter of Earth’s Binah.” In the Jewish Kabbalah, Binah is one of the highest-positioned sephira, which in this series’ terms means that her father is an incarnation of one of Earth’s Sephira, which probably puts Amane on a power level in line with Alas Ramus. Since Mikitty is her aunt, that means that Mikitty is likely an incarnation of another of Earth’s Sephira, too, and thus one of the most powerful beings on Earth. No wonder she could single-handedly thrash those demons!

The reference to “find the Daath of your word and restore it to its true form” is also interesting and another Kabbalah reference. In the Jewish Kabbalah, Da’at is the unity of all of the sephira into one, where they all exist in their perfected state. That suggests that Enta Isla’s metaphysical issues run much, much deeper than any but the angels know and that whatever the angels are doing is interfering with the delicate balance of Enta Isla’s Tree of Life far more than just a Sephirot being shattered into fragments would indicate. In other words, these are significant pieces to the overall story’s Bigger Picture.

The more immediate concern, though, is dealing with a bunch of demons which have been fooled by Olba into coming to retrieve one of two sacred swords – i.e., Better Half. (But where is the other one, then?) Between the efforts of Emi and the Devils in empowered form, that matter gets resolved almost too easily, though Maou will no doubt have future consequences for implying that Emilia has fallen under his sway. That scene and a later one where Maou may or may not have intentionally made a double-entendre when he said he was going to “dominate” Emi recapture the cheekiness which made the first season so fun, as does the revelation that the short sword was actually Maou’s missing horn for his Devil King form, but I cannot help but feel that the episode, overall, lacks some punch, hence the reason I cannot give it a stronger grade.

This concludes the adaptation of novel 4. With episode 8 and a return to Sasazuka, the adaptation of novel 5 should begin.