What’s the show? Dropkick On My Devil!, Episode 9.
So what happens in this episode? … I had something of an epiphany while writing the review of this episode… I ended up deleting most of what I’d written because of said epiphany too. So here it is, it took me this long to realize the kind of story this show was telling through its characters.
Right, uh, so what’s this show trying to say then? Basically this show is Japanese society boiled down to five (maybe six or seven if you count the side-characters) character archetypes and I can’t believe it took me this long to realise that! I mean ~maybe~ I’m reading way too much into it—I am fond of doing that after all—but I seriously believe this is what the mangaka was going for.
Okay, care to explain your “epiphany”? I’m going to put this into bullet points to make it easier to follow.
- Jashin-Chan represents the worst of civilised society; the gambler, the leech, the glutton, the bad friend, the bad roommate, just the general kind of douche who makes other people’s lives difficult by virtue of existing.
- Yurine represents karma—say what you will about it, maybe you don’t believe in it but the Japanese do—she is reactionary and strikes down Jashin-Chan maybe not immediately but eventually and with the unrelenting and unapologetic wrath that’s almost always proportional to the crime.
- Medusa represents the kind soul who always helps a friend even if said friend is an irredeemable parasite. She’s unfailingly forgiving, she keeps giving and giving because it makes her happy to give—but she’s also attractive and well-off enough that she’s never put out by having to give.
- Pekola represents the everyman, downtrodden by society, judged for struggling to make ends-meet and always on the receiving end of bad luck or bad people. The more life wears her down the more bitter she becomes at those who have it well off and the more difficult continued existence becomes.
- Minos represents the everyman who embraces difficulty, finding joy and satisfaction in a hard days work and blowing off steam at the end of the day with food, booze and friends.
Wow, okay, I see you put some thought into this! What about the two side characters, who do they represent in Japanese society?
- Poporon represents those blessed with exceedingly good genes and charisma but don’t suffer fools gladly. They are in ~somewhat~ positions of power but only over “stupid men” who idolise their physical attributes. Basically they are idols but ones who have to work hard all the same.
- Mei Tachibana represents the obsessive otaku—it needn’t be anime related, just someone obsessed with something. They fawn over the materialistic, crave a completed collection, and desire adulation in the eyes of their peers—even if it’s hollow praise.
You have way too much time on your hands. I know, I know.
But what about the episode itself? It’s all well and good to speculate about deeper character meanings and how they relate to Japanese society but what about the people who just wanted a review of the ‘silly comedy about angels and demons’? It’s not the funniest of episodes but it’s still pretty good, there’s a lot of fun little references thrown in, some of them obvious like a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ reference to the Payday game series and some of them distinctly Japanese like Konyakku and induced nightmares by placing wet towels on people’s feet as they sleep…
Sometimes I don’t even know what you’re on about… That’s fair enough. Also it’s worth mentioning that Jashin-Chan is such an absolute c-word and an a-hole here, she’s like the unholy combination of a c-word and an a-hole—whatever that would be.
A cloaca? Don’t bring logical biology into this…
Fine! Anything else you want to add? Yes! Best girl Minos finally gets a decent whack of character development with a ‘segment’ of the episode devoted to her daily life! Man I love Minos’ character design so much, plus she’s just such a high-spirited gal! Oh and the episode ‘ends’ about 5 minutes earlier than normal for an elongated post-credit sequence that involves a zombie apocalypse and it’s undeniable how well-made this show is, something else that I ~also~ only came to realise this late in the game. As much as I hate Jashin-Chan sometimes, I almost feel like that’s the point of this show, the very Japanese mentality of “hate things that make people’s lives more difficult” and, well—it’s hard not to sympathise with that mentality!
Previous Dropkick On My Devil! Reviews:
Snake Girl Sashimi – Episode 1 Review
Don’t Eat The Yellow Shaved Ice – Episode 2 Review
No Use Crying Over Spilt Milk/Blood – Episode 3 Review
Police Sexuality – Episode 4 Review
Angels, Demons And Minimum Wage – Episode 5 Review
Currying Favour – Episode 6 Review
A Snake With Legs – Episode 7 Review
Reality Isn’t Funny – Episode 8 Review
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