This week, Shamiko faces the most daunting and dangerous task of her short career as a would-be demon: A part-time job in the food service industry. She might have thought that conquering the magical girls and saving her father from his cardboard doom was an impossible challenge, but now our girl has to reckon with the cutthroat world of waiting tables, and anyone with experience in that particular line of work can tell you that there is no hell hotter than the back of the house during lunch rush. This is especially true when the kitchen is run by another demon whose culinary skills can literally drug the customers (and staff!) into a magical stupor.
I was wondering when Demon Girl Next Door would start exploring the larger world of demons that must exist alongside the magical girls that fight them, and leave it to the show to introduce them in the most lackadaisical way possible. Shamiko is back on her mission to seek out potential leads in the search for Sakura, and when wandering around aimlessly for hours doesn’t work, she takes the logical next step in her search: Asking Anri for help. I do love how completely unfazed Anri is by the insane world that she lives in, to the point that she can just casually point Shamiko in the direction of a local demon-run restaurant, because of course Anri knows more about all of this than anyone else. It’s another one of those details that works both as a funny running gag and a ShamiClue™ for us to add to our handy-dandy notebooks.
(On that note, I am officially commissioning fanart of Shamiko as Blue from Blue’s Clues, with Momo serving as an increasingly exasperated Steve.)
Café Asura is the perfect location to add to this hangout comedy, mostly because I like the funny dynamic that Lico and Shirosawa add to the ensemble. I was already on board with Shirosawa’s shenanigans when the show dropped the god-tier “top tier tapir” pun, but real payoff for the character comes when you learn that he was apparently completely oblivious to the incredibly obvious magical side-effects of Lico’s absurdly delicious food. It would have been easy for the show to have Shamiko’s gradual descent into a hypnotized stupor be the result of some kind of maliciousness on the Café’s part, but the only thing that Shirosawa is guilty of is being a well-meaning but incompetent and almost criminally negligent boss (a.k.a. “a completely average restaurant manager”). How was he supposed to know that his nine-tailed fox chef was making food that is so good that it can completely consume the bodies and minds of anyone who eats too much of it all at once? He’s too busy groveling at the feet of complete strangers to rope them into working part time for his understaffed café!
For their part, Mikan and Momo get a really fun side-story where they team up with Doll!Lilith to break into the Café and rescue their friend from her dark fate, since they’re concerned about how many days in a row now that Shamiko has forgotten about her mission (and Mikan can’t just go on playing hours of Pretend Restaurant with Shamiko every night). Not only is there a lot of funny banter between the trio, but we also get to see Mikan’s lovely Magical Girl transformation for what I am pretty sure is the first time. It’s an amusing reminder of the alternate universe version of TDGND that is actually just a straightforward and well-executed Pretty Cure! clone.
So, all in all, we got to chill with a very fun episode of The Demon Girl Next Door this week. The little seeds of plot and world-building that the show has been planting since season one continue to pay off as the scope of the story expands. Maybe someday our heroes will even manage to find out the truth of what happened to Sakura, and how to rescue Daddy Box from his box. At the very least, we can only hope and pray that our heroine is successful in slapping a big ol’ smile onto Momo’s face. Don’t give up, Shamiko!”
The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 is currently streaming on
James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.