Machikado Mazoku – Episode 2
This week’s episode was all around a good time, though the humor seemed to take a different path than the last. In the last episode, we saw a lot more of the punch lines focusing heavily on magical girl tropes whereas this episode placed it’s jokes on Yuuko, or Shamiko’s, weak and pathetic nature. Coming into the episode, I definitely wanted to see more jokes focusing on the concepts of demon and magical girls and the general fantastical nature of those series, however we saw very little of it this time around and instead got more cute slice of life moments. That isn’t to say this episode was bad! It still provided solid laughs and was all around a nice, light hearted fix for the week.
The focus this week was on the slice of life scenes and interactions between Shamiko and Momo and boy oh boy do I love their dynamic. Shamiko’s “I’m trying my best, but I’m definitely not succeeding” personality is charming and is played off of well. I love her wavering confidence, where she can go from “heck yeah! I can defeat this super strong person with absolutely no training” to “please no, you’re asking me to do the impossible” within the span of a couple seconds. So many times we see this sort of character who is absolutely helpless who just ends up being the butt of every joke and serves no other purpose. Don’t get me wrong, this personality of hers definitely lands her as the butt of a lot of jokes, but the way the other characters play off of it really makes them more enjoyable. Yet, it’s only the second episode, so I hope they don’t rely on this too much going forward and fall into the trap of just reusing the same joke over and over again. Next we have Momo’s fixation on fitness which is something that is really refreshing to see. I love how this focus ends up affecting Shamiko in a lot of different scenes, even if just for a brief moment. And ultimately, it does seem like Momo has only good intentions towards Shamiko to the point where the anime is able joke about the relationship. “Remember you need to take down a magical girl! But also, she wants to make sure you’re taken care of and could probably kick your butt in her sleep,” just gets me every time.
Despite enjoying the relationship between our two main characters the concept of them being a demon girl and a magical girl was pushed waaaaay aside. Aside from the opening scene and a couple lines here, and there we really don’t see anything that connects them to those identities. It turns into just a simple slice of life comedy – which on it’s own is okay, but I wish they would have done a little more with those characteristics. This would probably have been equally funny if the it was just a one-sided rivalry between two normal school girls, but they have already established these aspects of the characters so, I personally would have liked to see more done with them. To be honest, if Shamiko didn’t have horns and a tail I would have forgotten that she was a demon girl, and even then… there were times I forgot. Of course we’re only two episodes in, so I think the more fantastical elements will make their appearance down the line. Plus! I looks like we’ll get to see more about the Dark Clan next week. So for now I’ll continue to enjoy the humorous interactions between characters and the situations they find themselves in.