The Demon Lord, his right hand, the Hero that opposes him, and the junior that likes him
Hataraku Maou-sama! ("The Devil is a Part-Timer!" or "Overlord At Work!") is a Light Novel series written by Satoshi Wagahara and illustrated by Oniku. It has two separate manga adaptations and, as of Spring 2013, an anime adapting the first two books in the series.In a parallel universe of magic and demons, the "Devil King" Satan Jacob was on the verge of conquering the world when he was thwarted by a Hero who rose to oppose him. Escaping through a magical portal with one of his most loyal generals, Satan vowed to return and finish the job he started.The demonic pair are dumped into present day Japan, where they soon discover that they have been Brought Down to Normal by the lack of magic on Earth. Completely broke and nigh-powerless, they are forced to adjust to life in this unfamiliar world: while Alciel (under the alias of "Shiro Ashiya") researches a way to regain their magical power, Satan (now "Maou Sadou") gets a part-time job at a fast-food joint to pay for their rent and food.Maou takes to his new role with enthusiasm and competency, quickly becoming an ideal employee and gaining the admiration of his cute co-worker Chiho Sasuki. But Maou's past is quickly catching up to him: Emilia Justina, the very same Hero who defeated him, has also arrived on Earth and is set on finishing the job she started... even though she has also lost her powers and been reduced to working in a call-centre as "Emi Yusa". Hilarity Ensues.
Chiho sees Maou leaving Earth for Ente Isla, and he refuses to let her go with him.
Emi, meanwhile, sees everyone at her workplace disappear, followed shortly by Maou appearing in the sky, having taken over the city.
All There in the Manual: The character files (presented in the resume format) in the light novels reveal some interesting personal details (amongst some funny annotations) about the characters of the series:
Ashiya and Maou are really old. In fact, Ashiya is so old that he was already active in the demon army before Japan adopted the era calendar scheme (in AD 645).
Emi scored 700 (out of a maximum of 990) in the TOEICnote Test of English for International Communication.
Chiho holds a 1st dan rank in kyūdō, or Japanese archery, which is referenced by her brief archery scene in the OP animation.
Suzuno passed the level 1 (the highest possible) Kanji Aptitude Test.
Amusing Injuries: In episode 12, after rescuing Emi with her dress shirt slightly unbuttoned, Maou comments on it. She turns bright red, and in a couple of scenes later, he has a red handmark on his face, presumably from having gotten slapped rather hard.
Anti-Magic: The manager of Sentucky, revealed to be the Archangel Sariel, has the ability to nullify Emi's sacred magic, allowing him to overwhelm and capture her in episode 11.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Emi's ranting to Rika about why she hates Maou she says that he is cruel, greedy, thoughtless, lacks common sense, and that he acts like giving her an umbrella is a big deal.
Happens to Chiho briefly in episode 8 when Suzuno says she's looking for a job, and Maou innocently suggests she work with him and Chiho at MgRonalds. During the transition, she also develops Dull Eyes of Unhappiness. The scene basically plays out such that the quality of art by which she's drawn drops each time she hears something that makes her unhappy.
In episode 9, the art style changed to sketch-like shots when Ashiya is "explaining" to Rika about he and Maou's relationship with Emi.
Badass Bystander: The convenience store clerk who helped to chase away the mysterious assailant cornering Emi in episode 7.
Battle Strip: Maou decides to fight Suzuno and Sariel in just his undies to prevent damaging his work uniform.
Beach Episode: Well technically they're at a theme park with a giant pool in episode 10, but Emi, Chiho, and Suzuno are all clad in swimsuits for most of the episode.
The Beastmaster: Maou uses this trope once in episode 10 to control the alligators which escaped their cage earlier and keep them from attacking anyone. Suzuno, who witnessed it along with Emi and Chiho, is shocked that he's using his powers to help people instead of for his own selfish use.
Used several times when Alciel and Satan first arrive on Earth. Alciel tries to use some powerful magic or something with a dramatic pose. The scene then pulls back slightly to show that nothing happens. The second time this was preceded by some ominous music, which cut out during the beat to further play up the silliness.
When Maou finally reveals the second deck of the lunch box to Chiho, everything goes dead quiet.
Big Damn Heroes: Maou pulls this off a couple of times, first with the fight against Lucifer, later at the amusement park when he took control of the alligators to prevent them from attacking humans, and against Sariel in episode 12.
Big "WHAT?!": Both Emi and Suzuno in episode 8 quite loudly after the former realizes that the latter is also from Ente Isla and the latter realizes the former didn't till now.
In the first episode, Maou gives a girl, who later turns out to be his arch-nemesis Emi, his umbrella. In episode 13, she returns the favor to him after he's caught in the rain without one, on the opposite side of the corner where he first gave her his umbrella.
The season both begins and ends with a bowl of "khatsu-dum".
Boring, but Practical: In episode 5, Olba shoots Maou with a gun. He then explains that he has to conserve his magic power to reopen the gate back to Ente Isla. HE doesn't screw around either, he just shoots people around the heart area and in the leg and tries to pull off pot shots from behind them. In contrast, Lucifer shoots Maou with a beam that creates a large hole in his torso. Which likely would've killed him had Maou not had the foresight to teleport himself and Emi into a large crowd of people to restore his powers through their fear.
Miki-T sends Maou a photo of herself in a bikini. Maou and the audience are spared from the horror, but Lucifer faints upon seeing it and Ashiya vomits uncontrollably.
Maou initially scolds the both of them for being demons affected by a simple photo. Lucifer calls him out on this and insists he take a look himself. Cut to Maou staring fearfully at the photo covered by its envelope (with just the bottom partially revealed, displaying the initial curve of the landlady's thighs) with slow zoom in and ominous music more befitting for an eldritch abomination's artifact. He immediately changes the subject to Lucifer's chagrin.
Ashiya attempts to weaponize it against whatever enemies may await them in the forbidden classroom scene, but fortunately he never gets the opportunity to do so.
Another letter with a photo arrives from the landlady through Suzuno. When she mentions it and starts pulling it out to give them, time slows down (with her voice getting distorted)and colors fail as we switch to Maou's and Ashiya's growing horrified expressions.
The subbers even lampshaded this by showing only part of the sentence when she started and revealing the rest only when she actually said the words and revealed the letter. The end of the sentence is even translucent and faded where its spoken equivalent is distorted by time slowing down.
Episode 6, in stark contrast to the high paced action previous episode, is largely filled with a lot of comedic hi-jinks.
Episode 13 has nothing too serious occur, and is fairly light-hearted compared to the previous episode where Maou was once again in a fight for his life.
Brought Down to Normal: Magic doesn't flow on Earth as in Ente Isla, and so the visitors have to get by as regular humans until they figure out how Earth's magic works.
Brown Note: It takes a lot to horrify the likes of Demon Lord Satan and his loyal general Alsiel, who have each had centuries of combat experience to harden their hearts. Yet, a single picture of their Gonk landlord in a bikini is enough to utterly break them.
Random earthquakes that aren't so random. They were sonar pings used by Emi's companions in order to locate her on Earth. They later explain in episode 5 that it was specifically targeting those who were thinking about the Dark Lord, hence why Chiho was subjected to them as well.
The string of muggings. Maou deduces that the muggings were to put fear into people that Lucifer could then feed off of to regain some of his powers.
Emi's missing wallet. Lucifer is the one who finds it, and is able to use her contact information to his advantage.
Holy Vitamin B helps Olba regain enough magic to bring the moon closer for Sariel in episode 12.
Comically Missing the Point: In episode 10, Chiho visits the theme park that Maou is asked to work at for the day to help with the busy schedule. She's wearing a revealing swimsuit, and asks how it is. He then tells her that it's a lot busier here than in the store they normally work at, and as he goes on about the work, she increasingly becomes irritated at his Oblivious to Love mentality (which Emi calls him out on moments later), showing off some Dull Eyes of Unhappiness shortly afterwards.
Companion Cube: Dullahan, Maou's trusty steed and most certainly not just a cheap bicycle. Starting to reach insistent terminology levels.
Corrupt Church: The Holy Church of Ente Isla turns out to be one. Their plan was to raise Emilia as a Tyke Bomb and secretly sabotage the war effort so that the fate of the world fell on the shoulders of their chosen "Hero". Then after Emilia defeats Satan, the Church quietly gets rid of her (by faking a Heroic Sacrifice) so that they can take the credit and political influence. They even used Inquisitors to act as their own personal secret police and eliminate anyone who stood in their way. Though High Priest Olba is the chief architect of this, the other higher-ups aren't much better.
Played for Laughs with Emi in Episode 2, being reduced to tears while begging Maou to open up the door for her, then more seriously at the end of said episode after she had to accept Maou's generosity in allowing her to stay at his (and Alciel's) place for the night after she lost her purse.
Chiho does this a few times.
In Episode 11, Suzuno breaks down in tears after Emi decides to side with Chiho — both girls she came to trust — in sparing Maou, at least for the moment.
Date Peepers: Emi and Ashiya do this in episode 3 while Maou is out on a date with Chiho.
Defeat Means Friendship: Once Maou defeats Lucifer, he takes him in. Thus Lucifer stays at Maou and Alciel's home, so he doesn't cause further trouble, and helps them searching for sources of magic on Earth.
Diving Save: Maou protects Emi in this way when they're unexpectedly fired on.
Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: After Maou catches Emi when the latter falls down the stairs at his apartment, he calls her clumsy, prompting her to viciously punch him, followed shortly by a brutal kneeing to his face. However, in this case, Emi doesn't escape unscathed, as he was holding her at the time, and when he drops her, she lands on her upper back and head in a rather painful manner.
When confronted by the traitorous Lucifer and a power hungry Olba Emi, Maou and Alciel work together to bring them down. They constantly bitch about it during and after the event.
In episode 8, Suzuno suggests this to Emi, but the latter refuses for a variety of reasons, such as Maou saving people's lives in an earlier attack.
Epic Fail: The masked assailant who attacks Emi at the convenience store in episode 7. He rushes at her...only to slam into the sliding glass door.
Everybody Knew Already: Turns out Maou and his roomies all knew from the beginning Suzuno was actually from Enta Isla. They just didn't bug her about it because it's free food and not a big deal to them. Lucifer even remarks on how the food tastes a little Sacred for his liking.
Evil Is Bigger: Satan and Alciel's Demon forms were bigger than the Hero Emi. Their human forms are much smaller, though, so when Maou temporarily regains his form, his clothing is instantly stretched to the breaking point over his frame.
Evil Is Petty: In addition to the whole 'conquer the world' thing, Ashiya says he would steal the keys of someone who had done him a favor, while Maou seems to feel it's his job as an overlord to annoy Emi. They even prank call her at work to test Lucifer's hacking skills (her expressions during this scene are hilarious).
The series initially had a placeholder opening as well as ending, despite having the accompanying songs for both. The first two episodes have no opening. The third episode starts with the cuts taken from the light novel covers, before transitioning to using flashbacks and scenes from the first two episodes, to finally showing the fully-animated version in episode 05. Even the "real" opening animation features slight changes between episode 5 and 7, like going from showing just Maou, Ashiya, Emi, and Chiho during the walking sequence, to including Lucifer and Suzuno, incidentally spoiling the latter's identity as the Church Inquisitor. All this is because the studio, for whatever reason, couldn't complete the actual opening on time.
The ending placeholder, on the other hand, is initially a reverse replay of the first episode, then transitions to a basic animation taken from the light novels, then goes to a slow pan-up of Chiho while wearing a bikini, sun hat, and semi-transparent sundress (which had been drawn by the director). The final ending sequence that appears in Episode 06 still retains that particular pan-up, but shows a whole lot more montages — including Chiho sitting seemingly naked covered only by a round cushion, as well as wearing a bunny-girl outfit. It's still very much Chiho-centric however.
The pan-up in Episode 06 now shows multiple but faint clocks appearing on Chiho's body.
The ending credits change again for episode 13, showing slice-of-life moments for the main cast after everything's wrapped up.
Expecting Someone Taller: Chiho figured that supernatural entities would be a bit more impressive. Emi concedes her point.
Chiho: I'm sorry! I always thought angels and demons and stuff would be more... like, imaginary and amazing.
Played very straight with Suzuno, who is not only a fish out of water but a fish out of temporal water as well. This severely complicates her adjustment compared to the others. She argues with a train station gate insistently blocking her way and stereotypically freaks out about a flatscreen tv having "tiny people" in it. Even after being corrected, she's shown to be hard-locked into some habits such as speaking Japanese in a very old, formal and traditional style and wearing kimonos (she still buys more kimonos during a shopping spree when told about western clothes and given magazines about them). This just seems to be her personal preference however.
Food As Bribe: In episode 9, Ashiya makes himself known after hearing Emi insult Maou inside the SFC restaurant. At first it seems things are going to end up in a very heated argument, but then Emi offers to buy him some dinner if he'll tell Rika about Maou. He immediately accepts and sits down, proclaiming that there's nothing he wouldn't do for Maou and to save on their money.
Four Is Death: Satan's Four Generals. At least one has turned traitor.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: In episode three, if you go frame by frame through the collapsing tunnel scene you see magical barriers going up around the people as Maou protects them..
The gestures and body language of the characters is well animated. Some of these occur in less than half a second. During the lunchbox scene, pay attention to Chiho's expressions and how she throws herself across the table to grab, yank and then shake Maou. Emi is a powerhouse of expressions to the point where you can read the escalating stages of "pissed off" she's going through in a single moment.
When Emi tries storming Castle Overlord (read: knocks on the door of their one room apartment and begins yelling at them to come out and fight) Alciel locks the door and begins discussing the situation with Maou while in the backround Emi first rants at and threatens them before beginning to cry in frustration.
When Emi and Suzuno go to Moonbucks, Suzuno copies Emi's gestures - being out of touch with modern Japan, she sees Emi as being more experienced. When she copies Emi spilling some cream for her coffee, she makes a triumphant fist for a brief moment at having gotten it 'right.'
Suzuno again in Sentucky. After taking their seats, look at her face for the entire length of the scene while Rika and Emi bicker. She takes a small sip of her drink and then just stares at it the entire time as if it's the nectar of the gods.
Lucifer often complains about how poorly he is treated by the other characters, who, of course, ignore his rants, relegating him to background noise.
Gilligan Cut: In the first episode when Satan and Alciel arrive on Earth they encounter a pair of police officers who try to make them get in the police car. Alciel leaps back and attempts to use magic on them, loudly proclaiming that he'll never go with them. After his spell fails, there's a beat and the scene cuts to the pair in the back of the police car.
Girly Run: Emi pulls it off during the opening credits sequence.
Grey and Gray Morality: Emi and her closest allies are genuinely heroic while Maou's greatest moral failing is his inability to lead his forces properly, causing them to go out of control against civilian targets. There are very few genuinely bad people in the cast.
Both Emi and Suzuno in episode 8 after they both realize that they're both from Ente Isla. Their heated debate gets the attention of some passersby.
Most of Emi and Maou's arguments start out or devolve into this eventually.
Haunted House: Emi, Chiho, and Suzuno visit one in episode 10. Despite having probably seen much worse, it scares all three girls. Emi later wonders who would create such a thing, while Suzuno thought she was prepared for stuff like that. All three are holding their face, probably in tears afterwards.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: Lucifer was originally one of Maou's generals, then shows up with Olba on Earth to kill him. After Lucifer's defeat, Maou accepts him back rather easily. Once Olba returns, he goes to Lucifer to team up against Maou again, and Lucifer appears to agree at first. However, Lucifer turns on Olba after using him to help Maou gain the upper hand in his own fight, making this a subversion of this trope.
Hero Stole My Bike: In episode 8, while walking Chiho home, Maou brings his bike along to go to work afterwards. After she gives him a Love Confession, they realize Suzuno was watching them. Chiho then grabs his bike and starts taking off with it, and apologizes profusely later for it.
Same goes for a sociopathic backstabbing Fallen Angel.
Hypocritical Humor: In episode 6, Emi pays a visit at Maou's restaurant, saying she wants to talk to him. He tells her that disturbing him at work is extremely rude, which causes her to immediately call him out on this, as he had called her while she was at work the day before.
I Lied: In episode 12, Lucifer runs into Olba again. The latter offers to work together again, and Lucifer agrees to it. However, he tricks Olba into summoning the moon closer to get Sariel into a false sense of security, and helps Suzuno cause panic on the streets to give Maou some magical power, then knocks out Olba and ties him up once he's got Emi's bag back.
Ignored Enemy: Confronting Lucifer is not as important as lecturing Maou on his movie expenditures.
Involuntary Shapeshifter: When Satan and Alciel come to Earth, they become human with very little magic. They can become their true demon form again when they get enough magic, like when Maou grows to his true size in episode 3.
Is It Something You Eat?: Suzuno asks this when they are about to visit the reptile house in episode 10. She then relates to Chiho a story of how she was invited to eat some down south.
Knight of Cerebus: Sariel and to a lesser extent Suzuno. Both their arrivals mark the part where the comedic nature of the story is toned down a little and things get serious.
Letting the Air out of the Band: When Emi reveals her true identity and confronts an aghast Maou, and threatens him with death, she pulls out a knife to show she means business. An unimpressed Maou then recognizes it as being a dollar-store (and very small) knife bought from nearby and the music slowly fades out before getting back into gear as she regains her composure and charges at him full tilt with it. Hilarious in that his reaction is not smug or sardonic, he's blank and completely unthreatened by its presence.
Rika, in episode 9, attempts to pry some information out of Emi regarding her exact relationship with Maou. Interestingly enough, none of the characters who talk to her mention anything about Ente Isla, and instead describe things to her that isn't entirely out of context from their point of view, but to Rika, sounds like they have a bitter rivalry due to working at competing companies in the past.
Chiho to a lesser extent. Although she knows a little about Ente Isla from Maou and Emi, she's initially unaware that Suzuno is also from there.
Status Quo Is God: Things stay like this for eight books, until Rika finally forces the issue when Emi suddenly disappears without a word, apparently taking Arras Ramus with her. Much like Chi-chan, she takes the revelations quite well.
Louis Cypher: Maou Sadao (真奥貞夫) is one of the most blatant ever, although he's never called on it by anyone except Ashiya. A semi-literal translation would be "John Secretlythedevil" and the official English translation is "Jacob Satan".
Loophole Abuse: In episode 13, Lucifer ends up buying a lot of items which Maou's apartment has no use for, nor can he fit inside, such as seven beds. He tries to return the items, but the business owner refuses to take them back, since they were legally purchased. As Maou and Ashiya try to figure out what to do since he now owes a lot of money for those items, Emi asks how old Lucifer is considered in human years. After Maou tells her, she gives him a way out, by telling him about "cooling off". Since Lucifer is technically under Maou's guardianship, he's not allowed to spend that much without Maou's approval, so they utilize that loophole to get the business owner to take the items back and not owe him any money.
This is in fact a running gag, each raise and promotion a step forward to his goals. When he becomes assistant shift manager, Chiho (who knows of their origins at this point) even brings up the fact that he technically has human underlings now under his power (with added hilarity from Emi appearing and saying she'll never allow it in typical hero fashion... for a mundane situation).
Mistaken for Gay: Maou and Ashiya with some frequency. Half the time Ashiya acts like a harassed housewife and Maou like a henpecked working husband. Also they've started to get much closer (in a bro-ship manner) and their relationship, while retaining the general undertones, has long since progressed past the boundaries of a regular villain and his loyal dragon.
*Maou and Ashiya joyously hugging each other* Lucifer in foreground - "...boneheads..."
This starts really early on in the manga, when Ashiya and Maou are setting up their family registry. The old couple watching them thinks they're getting married.
While it's not a romantic moment for them, Chiho and Ashiya interrupt the argument Maou and Emi were having just moments earlier. However, it's played straight for Chiho, who suspects Emi is really dating Maou when she finds the two at his apartment.
During the fifth episode, the story takes a much more serious turn, but to keep things from getting too heavy the story makes sure to pull out its usual humor every now and then, flipping the story between drama and comedy quite quickly.
In episode 11, the masked attacker shows up again, and delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle to Emi. Suzuno also seems to be helping him, although all she seems to do is keep Chiho from interfering/getting hurt.
Episode 12 is heavy on the action and drama, first with Ashiya being attacked by Olba, then Emi being tortured with an Agony Beam, and later Maou getting beat up rather badly first by Suzuno, then Sariel, before getting some power back and returning the favor to the latter. Like the fifth episode however, it also has its comedy in between to keep the mood from getting too dark, such as Maou taking off his work clothes before fighting to avoid damaging them and having to pay for a replacement pair.
Ashiya attempts to use magic when he and Maou first land on Earth. Although he tries to make it dramatic, to the cops, it just looks like he's cosplaying.
Emi threatens to take down Maou when they first have a serious conversation in a very Large Ham fashion. She then pulls out a really tiny knife, which he isn't threatened by in the least (he even blankly reveals that he knows where she bought it: at the local Japanese equivalent of a dollar store).
Maou talking about incinerating and enjoying eating something at the beginning of episode 6, only to then reveal that he and Ashiya were at a restaurant. The latter points out that the former's weirdness was freaking out the other customers.
The intro has an over-animated scene of Ashiya chopping vegetables and shaking dirt out of a pair of boxer shorts.
Named Weapons: Emi's holy sword is named "Better Half". This is also a Meaningful Name as well — "Better Half" can only be used by a half angel, half human hybrid.
NEET: When Lucifer winds up moving in with Ashiya and Maou, it takes him almost no time at all to go from a feared Fallen Angel and general in the Demon Lord's army to a lazy layabout.
Not the Fall That Kills You: An unconscious Chiho is tossed carelessly to the side by Lucifer from quite a height. Emi manages to catch her and she's fine. Oddly enough, though, the impact breaks Emi's legs.
Considering how far away she was and how fast people fall, Emi probably boosted her speed to catch Chiho and didn't think about the effect the impact would have on her human knees.
Not What It Looks Like: Maou and Emi tend to get into a lot of public spats (usually due to the latter freaking out over one thing or another), which make them look like a couple having an argument. As noted by one of the other entries on this page, Emi usually blushing immediately afterwards only helps strengthen the impression for bystanders.
In episode 8, Suzuno inquires more about what Emi's exact relationship is with him. She's shocked to find out the hero doesn't want to outright kill Maou after hearing that he saved a lot of people from Olba and Lucifer's attacks in earlier episodes.
One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Emi and Suzuno's exchange in episode 7/the start of Volume 2. Emi thinks another girl has a crush on Maou while Suzuno assumes her cover is blown. Which doesn't happen until they do the same thing the next episode.
Perpetual Poverty: Maou and Ashiya, unfortunately. Emi's only a little better off (to her initial chagrin when she realizes her day is about the same as theirs).
Please Put Some Clothes On: In episode 12, Maou begins to strip off his work clothes when confronting Suzuno, causing her to blush and cover her eyes. He then explains that if his work clothes get damaged outside of work-related use, he has to pay for replacements. He also ends up fighting Sariel with just his boxers, socks and shoes on.
Potty Emergency: Ashiya spends much of episode 10 locked in the bathroom because he ate too many noodles due to trying to finish them off before they expired the next day.
The Power of Love: In the manga, Emi guesses that magic on Earth may come from the human heart, be it love (for her) or fear (for demons).
Purple Eyes: Apparently a racial trait for Angels. Becomes an actual plot point, as later books reveal that only angels born after the cataclysm caused by an ancient overlord have these as a feature.
"Rashomon"-Style: Very briefly. We see the original war at the very start of the series from largely human perspective: Demons fighting humans and demons killing villagers. Emi has a flashback about how her father's village was destroyed. However, we later get a different interpretation from Ashiya's perspective as he relates a mundane version of the situation to Rika. To him, the demons were the underdog struggling to survive while Emi represented a larger, stronger group that eventually crushed them with resources. From his perspective, Emi's group had no malice but his group was doing nothing wrong, making them more rivals than anything. His view of events can be rather telling when it comes to interpreting his actions and attitudes.
Reality Ensues: Since Emi and Maou's are not humans in their world (half angel in Emi's case) and posses innate abilities like defying gravity, break castles with their hands, being punched through buildings without hurting themselves and use god-like level magic with ease, becoming humans had led to such shocking revelations as:
Maou, forgetting that he is human, neglected to eat anything throughout his first day in Japan and ended up passing out from hunger.
There is no such thing as talking is a free action and evil monologue is just plain stupid.
Emi can't even knock down a door, breaks both her legs catching Chiho as she falls from a great height and learns that if you fall down even 3 feet upside down onto the back of your head it is going to hurt so terribly bad that you will squeeze into a fetal position, hold your head tight with both arms and squeal like a pig. Welcome to being a human in our world.
Having no earth education or even papers, you end with low end jobs and living in medium low (or sometimes plain poor) salaries after months of hard work.
Out of the things Maou learns, the most notable is that BULLETS HURT LIKE HELL and wondering how is it possible for humans to handle so much pain. As a demon he can have holes through his body and not even be bothered.
Reasonable Authority Figure: The police in this show are not useless, but they seem really lax on the uptake! The police officers in the first episode think that Satan and Alciel are tourists who were mugged and only want to help, and later on, another one thinks they're actors rehearsing a play and laments his own failed pursuit of acting.
Reassigned to Antarctica: Maou's manager talks about this after a former coworker was sent to a remote MgRonalds for letting business slip after a rival restaurant chain opened up nearby. She then threatens Maou with it as well.
When not on her job, Emi is determined to carry out her vigil (read: stalk) on Maou and co. She constantly runs into him performing mundane or innocent actions with the assumption that he's up to no good. Wherever Maou goes, it's safe to assume Emi is not too far away.
Alciel acting like a harassed loyal housewife. He saves money secretly, does the housework, avoids spending for his own leisure, manages expenses and purchases, often scolds Maou and Lucifer for wasteful spending, actively seeks opportunities to save (even at the cost to his honor and pride without hesitation) and even keeps an eye on all the bargains and discounts that are both active and seasonal. Even when gravely wounded from a gunshot to the chest, his last words for Maou before passing out are to take advantage of the month-start bargains were he to expire.
Chiho's misunderstandings about women going after Maou. Justified because to an outside observer, Emi looks like a stalker, and that bento Suzuno gave him was certainly well-prepared.
Maou may be empathetic, good natured, caring and dedicated but he can't help occasionally indulging in his Overlord tendencies when given the least bit of opportunity. Emi and Ashiya are only a little bit behind him in this regard. Ashiya even goes as far to retrieve his attire as Maou's general after being healed from near-death and bestowed a level of magic power before launching into the fight. They do come from a world where Hammy behavior is the norm (and serious business) for people of their status and ability.
Safety In Muggles: When they're being fired on by an unknown and otherworldly assailant, Maou and Emi race to the nearest train station with the assumption that there will be more people around there.
Screams Like a Little Girl: Both Ashiya and Maou do this in episode 6 when Chiho tells them about some urban legends at her school, including one with a cell phone that rings when you find all seven mysteries there. They both try to disregard it at first, but then Maou's cellphone rings, hilariously causing both of them to freak out.
Serious Business: Competing fast food restaurants. To Maou, his part-time fast food job. Every raise and promotion is a major victory.
Smug Snake: The SFC manager across the street from the MgRonalds store Maou and Chiho work at gives off this vibe, which irritates both of them. He later does this to Emi and Rika as well, and both women also get disgusted by his actions.
Soundtrack Dissonance: The anime loves playing really dramatic music. Given who the characters are and what was going on before the story got going, you can tell it's music that would fit the war that was going on beforehand. Now? Now it's when Alciel attempts to cast magic and instead calls a taxi or when Maou boasts about his plan to conquer Japan by becoming a full time employee at MgRonalds.
Maou:How does it feel to be helplessly incinerated by the flames? Your flesh, your guts, and even your bones will be consumed to fuel my ambitions! Let the feast begin! The first sacrifice I shall accept... will be you!
Staircase Tumble: The staircase of Maou's "fortress" evidently bears a massive grudge against all of humanity, especially Emi.
Supervillain Lair: The demon king might have to settle for a six-tatami apartment, but that isn't gonna stop him from dubbing it Castle Maou.
As mentioned above, the stairs to their room could easily be classified as a death trap after the amount of damage it's done to visitors.
Sympathetic P.O.V.: The more serious part of the series is drawing back from a standard fantasy setup, showing that while Emilia is really heroic, not all her allies are, and Maou, her archnemesis, is roughly morally equal to her. From the demon point of view, as explained by Ashiya, they viewed humans more like rivals than enemies and were struggling to survive.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Lucifer's attempts this to Emi by burying her and hundreds of other people underneath rubble. Maou later returns Lucifer the favor by giving him a Megaton Punch with layers of magic circles reaching far beyond his magic barrier.
This Is Gonna Suck: Lucifer's expression as Maou is about to punish him with a very BIG windup, followed by a Megaton Punch so powerful that the impact can be seen from orbit. Archangel Sariel also experiences this as Maou uses his Demonic Blade to drive him into the concrete. The impact can also be seen from orbit.
Sariel: O God, save this lost little lamb...
Time Skip: After Satan and Alciel arrive in Japan and make their false Maou and Shiro identities, there's at least a three month gap before we see them again, fully acclimated.
There's a two month skip between episodes 5 and 6.
Translation Convention: For the first section of the first episode, Satan and Alciel still don't know Japanese, but the dialogue still switches to that rather than the cyphered English they were speaking before. When attempting to lease an apartment you can hear Satan's actual attempts at Japanese: His accent is awful. After this, he apparently becomes completely fluent in the language.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When a nurse comes across a collapsed Alciel in the hall, she instantly starts fussing over him for what she assumes are more issues with his food poisoning. Directly across from him is a collapsed, unconscious police officer, whom she completely ignores, as well as Alciel's protests and attempts to tell her about the newly awoken Olba.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Emi's mother, Laylah. Much of the problems affecting Ente Isla in the present day can be traced directly or indirectly to something she did. The foremost example being her saving the life of a lowly footsoldier in the demon armies, whom she then educated in politics, diplomacy, and warfare. The same lowly footsoldier would soon rapidly rise up the demonic hierarchy, eventually turning into the greatest threat Ente Isla had seen in three centuries: Maou Satan.
Utopia Justifies the Means: The primary source of contention between Emi and Suzuno in Episode 11. Suzuno wants to erase Chiho's memory and destroy all traces of Ente Isle in Japan, but although she agrees to some extent, Emi sides with Chiho against Suzuno because she believes that whatever their ultimate goal may be, it's not worth hurting the people they care about to do it, reasoning that she has to find a way to make everyone happy because that's what heroes do.
Visual Innuendo: In Episode 10, when Chiho appears in her bikini, the scene cuts to Maou serving two one-pound hamburgers (with pickles conspicuously topping the meal for extra innuendo). When Emi is shown in her bikini, the scene cuts again to Maou, this time serving two regular burgers.
We Named the Monkey 'Sadao': A mischievous monkey at the amusement park happens to be named 'Sadao'. Emi takes no restraint in taunting Maou Sadao about it.
Episode 4, when Lucifer, one of Satan's generals, reveals himself on Earth.
Near the end of episode 7, Emi is attacked by a cloaked assailant, who also gains the upper hand on her by nullifying her magic sword.
Episode 11, when the aforementioned assailant, revealed to be the Archangel Sariel, overwhelms and captures Emi, with Suzuno following his orders.
Wham Line: Played for Laughs when Chiho calls Emi at the end of episode 7. She sounds extremely distraught, and tells Emi that Maou did something terrible. Emi goes into Hero "time to kill him" mode and inquires about it...
Chiho: He brought a lunchbox with a heart drawn on the rice! Hand made! From a girl! A double decker lunchbox! A double decker!
Emi (Same serious face but now frozen with an added, understandably confused, look on her face): Huh?
Downplayed; when Maou is vehemently threatened by Emi, due to the particular contents of the threat, he responds "That's not very heroic."
Played for Laughs in episode 5, when Maou claims some lines Olba says wouldn't even be mentioned in a B-movie anymore. Ashiya immediately asks him where he had money to spend on movies, and Maou quietly pouts that he can do whatever he wants with his pocket money, which causes his friend to threaten cutting off his pocket change for that month since he's been working hard, saving money and hasn't spent a dime on himself like that since they've been on Earth.
Reversed as What the Hell Villain? Emi is at her wits' end as Maou is more like the good guy than the bad guy and even goes out of his way to make certain others are safe, even helping her, his sworn enemy. She's been raised to hate and kill him, yet he's doing more good on Earth than she (the supposed Hero). He's supposed to be the BAD GUY! What's going on?!
Lucifer gets called out on this too in episode 6, when he has Maou and Ashiya investigate Chiho's school about a rumor that they could restore their magical power in an abandoned classroom. Turns out that it was where Lucifer and Olba stayed for a while. He had simply forgotten his handheld game console there, and wanted them to pick it back up for him. Ashiya suggests selling it to make some money, but they ultimately give it back to him, on the condition that he can only play it one hour a day.
Emi gets called out after destroying a health class mannequin with her sacred sword.
Chiho and Suzuno have a heated argument in episode 11 regarding Maou. Suzuno wants to kill Maou, but Chiho is against it, and they both argue about the various things he did, such as controlling the alligators to prevent them from attacking humans in episode 10 and fixing the highway in episode 5, or had his armies do, in the case of Ente Isla. Emi intervenes as well, but ultimately sides with Chiho rather than Suzuno.
Maou gets more upset at Suzuno in episode 12 that she destroyed his bike accidentally than the fact that she was trying to kill him, or at least stop him from interfering with Sariel.
Why Can't I Hate You?: Having spent the majority of her life either preparing or actively attempting to slay him and avenge her father, Emi is very annoyed that Maou isn't acting remotely evil enough to justify slaying. And it turns out that not only did Maou not kill her father, he isn't actually dead at all.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In episode 10, Chiho, Emi, and Suzuno visit a reptile house. Chiho says she doesn't like them because of how they appear out of nowhere sometimes, and we see a brief Flash Back of her seeing a tiny reptile on her family's screen door. Emi doesn't like them either, but her Flash Back shows her fighting off against a gigantic basilisk which has petrified some of her companions.
Writer on Board: Naoto Hosoda, the director of the anime, is enough of a Chiho fan to include his own art of her in the ending. While it's generally agreed that he made a very entertaining adaptation, he also felt the need to push his favorite ship at the expense of altering Emi's character to be more aggressive, cutting some scenes that work against a Chiho/Maou pairing and dropping important references to Emi's mother, something that might cause some problems in season three considering that she's still very much alive and quite involved in Maou's backstory as well as events of the novel itself.
Yaoi Fangirl: One of Chiho's friends at school gets rather excited when she finds out that Mao and Ashiya are roommates, and wonders if there's only one bed, much to Chiho's chagrin (she's already got more than enough potential competition to misunderstand/worry about)
Chiho: Wh- you're wrong! It's not like that! Why are you imagining that kind of stuff?!
Zettai Ryouiki: Chiho's non-school outfit sports this in episode 13 while she's following Maou around with Emi.