Akuma-kun – Season 1 Episode 9 “Father” Recap & Review

Episode 9

Sanae is at the movie theater watching a romantic film and crying alone as episode 9 of Akuma-kun begins. Suddenly, a strange man appears and calls for her name. When Akuma-kun is about to leave the institute, he finds Mio and she says “That man is back.” Akuma-kun and Mephisto quickly go to Sanae’s house and find out her missing husband, Hiroki, is there.

He says that 5 years ago he woke up on a beach and walked aimlessly without knowing who he was. His only certainty was that something was chasing him. When he saw the city on the TV, he felt like he needed to go there. That’s how he found them, but he still has almost no memories.

Mio asks them to investigate what is chasing her father. While Mephisto says she hasn’t forgiven him, Akuma-kun says she has and just wants an excuse to admit that. So they talk to movie producers and debt collectors, but no one has many clues about Hiroki’s disappearance. They only know he was trying to write a masterpiece before the child’s birth and was acting quite strangely.

Akuma-kun and Mephisto enter the room he used to work in and find crumbled and torn script pages. Meanwhile, Hiroki watches a romantic movie at the theater alone, but suddenly illusions plague him. He sees a cliff and a demon appears beside him, changing the place’s atmosphere. When Hiroki leaves, he sees Mio and goes home with her. 

The next day, she talks with Mephisto and wants to end the investigation. He is pleased to hear that and says there’s only one thing left to do. Akuma-kun and everyone go to a crossroad, where he forces Hiroki to read part of his script so his memories will return. The father made a contract with the devil so he would write a masterpiece and provide for his family.

The demon Legba appears and says Hiroki needs to pay his part of the deal. Even though Mephisto uses a variety of attacks none of them work, as the contract protects the devil. Mio moves and stands beside his father and Legba, trying to save him. However, the demon doesn’t care.

Before it attacks Hiroki, Akuma-kun shows it the script and says there’s no “the end” written. So, if the masterpiece isn’t finished, the demon has no power over the man.

Then, we have a quick sequence of scenes in which Mio, Sanae, and Hiroki laugh and play together as a happy family. Unfortunately, he still thinks he might be a danger to his daughter and wife. When he is running away, Akuma-kun appears and tries to convince him he doesn’t need to leave. However, as hard as Akuma-kun tries, Hiroki still leaves.

Sanae sits quietly in the empty movie theater without watching anything while Mio cries and Akuma-kun broods over the situation.

The Episode Review

This episode finally nails the complicated and sad situation, making you feel for the characters. The ending especially hits hard. The family has everything they want, but Hiroki is too afraid he might hurt them to stay. The only thing more depressing than that is seeing Sanae alone in the empty theater. That’s a great scene and the fact she isn’t watching the romantic film anymore is well-thought detail.

The anime also gets what atmosphere the episode needs. It feels gloomy and a bit ominous, as you know something bad might happen at any time. And that’s just like Hiroki feels all the time since he made the pact. He and Akuma-kun are great in this episode. Honestly, it’s a surprise to see Akuma-kun with a heavier emotional charge as he’s usually indifferent to the situation. That’s the right direction to follow, let’s hope he continues to be developed like this.

One bad thing about episode 9 is how they deal with the demon. It’s so simple that it contrasts all the other moments of it, as they all have a melodramatic vibe. There’s an attempt to connect the lack of an “end” to the father’s love for Mio, but the anime doesn’t explore that enough.

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