Shamiko is a girl on a mission: Now that she and Momo have conquered the perils of summer homework, our heroine must face the even greater peril of making the perfect bento lunch for her upcoming zoo date—er, I mean, “group outing. ” At first, I was just as miffed as Momo when all of The Demon Girl Next Door‘s side characters started crowing in on the zoo adventure, but I also eventually came to value all of the zaniness. It helps that this week’s zaniness was particularly funny and cute.
First off, I have to commend TDGND for finally demonstrating what Lico and Shirosawa bring to the ensemble. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always thought the characters were fun, but this season hadn’t quite given them the same top-tier material to work with as the other members of the team…until now, that is. Lico’s “oblivious trickster” clicked perfectly this week, whether it was her casually admitting that she spikes her food with “special herbs and mushrooms” to give her meals a psychedelic kick or casually bullying Momo with her earnest attempts to make friends (and feed Momo raw leaves). Likewise, Shirosawa played the straight manimal to Lico’s shenanigans as well as he ever has this week; One of the funniest gags of the episode has to be his over-animated slow-motion dive into an immediate groveling bow after Lico’s plot to feed Momo leaves is quickly foiled. I also can’t fault the show for really committing to the bit of Shirosawa suffering from the ails that come with forcing himself to be bipedal in order to “blend in” better.
If anything, the Café Crew overshadows the Magical/Demon girls this week, if only because Shamiko, Momo, and Mikan are basically delegated to responding to the insane crap happening all around them. This isn’t a bad thing – the girls are up to the task of just barely keeping the picnic adventure from imploding completely – but it is a different vibe from what I was expecting going into the episode. Still, there’s lots of cute material to go around. Mikan is as observant as ever when she recognizes that Momo clearly wanted this lunch with Shamiko to be a one-on-one kind of deal, and when you combine that with her attempts to help Momo up her wardrobe game, Mikan walks away from this episode with the “Wing Woman of the Week” award. Momo also has too many great dead-pan reactions to count this week, though the best one is saved for last, when she furiously tries to deny how happy she is to cuddle Lico in her cute little fox form. I also loved how quick she was to straight-up body slam Lico to the ground when Lico was impersonating Shamiko. Don’t anyone doubt for a second that our magical heroine doesn’t gladly let Shamiko occupy her entire head rent-free, all the time.
The brief snippets of lore we get concerning the Light Tribe’s deals with the Magical Girls satisfy the weekly quota of casual world-building, which makes “Sparks Fly?! Light and Dark Go on a Joint Excursion!” a great episode of The Demon Girl Next Doo all around. I’ll admit, I’m not quite sure what to do with the…cliffhanger(?) of Ogura shacking up in Shamiko’s attic, though I’ve never been sure of what to do with Ogura in general. That said, if any show could get me to suddenly love my least favorite character of its cast out of nowhere, it would be The Demon Girl Next Doorso we’ll just have to wait and see what next week has in store.
The Demon Girl Next Door Season 2 is currently streaming on HIDIVE.
James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitterhis blog, and his podcast.