The Devil is A Part-Timer! and The Importance of Second Chances

  • Titles: Hataraku Maou-sama!; The Devil is A Part-Timer!
  • Genre: Comedy, adventure, supernatural, urban fantasy, reverse isekai
  • Episodes: 13
  • Studio: White Fox

The service industry can be hell, so it’s not surprising the Devil would excel at it. After finding himself stuck in Tokyo and low on both magic and funds, Lord Satan quickly realizes he’s going to have to adapt to survive. But what can someone with no experience and credentials do these days? Yup, work at a fast-food place. And work really diligently and well at that. You can’t keep the Devil down and Satan, or should we say Sadao Maou, is going to take over the world, one MgRonald’s promotion at the time!

I actually started watching The Devil is A Part-Timer! many years ago. I got through a few episodes and then just sort of stopped. I don’t remember why. I didn’t dislike anything about it, I just sort of stopped watching it. But I knew so many people liked it and it was my sort of story so eventually, I decided to give it another chance.

no YOU!

The Devil is A Part-Timer! is a pretty-looking show. Not special but just classic anime pretty. The designs are pleasant and varied. The characters make a lot of goofy faces which are fun to watch. The colours are really rich and the palette sticks to that fast food aesthetic. It’s warm and full of primary colours.

However, I will say that I noticed regular inconsistencies in the art. Nothing dramatic that would make characters unrecognizable or anything like that. I have seen much worse regularly. But there were frequent small slips in the art.

The music could get a bit too loud on occasion. However, the voice acting was superb! And this is saying something as The Devil is A Part-Timer! did require the actors to stretch their skills a bit. The characters have very defined and unique personalities that are apparent through the voice acting and most of them go through a lot of emotions that required some range. Good job team. I saw this in Japanese, to be clear.

and I would recommend the Japanese

Now the story is great. It’s a reverse isekai which is my favourite. You know following a character from another world that gets stuck in our own. And Satan is actually a pretty great guy to discover our world though. Let that one sink in.

Of course, a lot of the comedy derives from the traditional Fish out of Water tropes inherent to the plot but the show doesn’t depend on them. After all, most of the time spent getting used to our world was actually skipped in the show. A few funny moments in the first episode and then it went straight to a month or two later when they had gotten used to the place. The humour comes more from our clash of expecting certain things from a Demon Lord and getting a hard-working, decent guy instead.

And it works, but only because the characters work. The Devil is A Part-Timer! smartly veered away from turning anyone into a caricature. Ironically in a show populated with devils and angels, no one is either a demon or a saint. Ok, Sarue, the ultimate antagonist is a bit of a bad guy is bad character but he’s introduced late in the series and really is meant as a conflict rather than a character. And even he has a lot of eccentricities to bring some flavour.

I couldn’t hate the goofball

What I’m saying is that the cast of The Devil is A Part-Timer! are all surprisingly relatable and down to earth. The sort of people you have probably met or maybe even the sort of people you see yourself in. You would think that Lucifer would at least be out there (also this show has a Lucifer character with a mullet and that makes my day!) but as soon as he settles down, he’s the jaded teenager that just pretends to be cool we all know and some of us love.

I really think that this is what makes the series work. Putting characters that are essentially mundane but that have fantastical backgrounds and are in a completely surreal situation and seeing how it plays out. I keep calling the cast variations of the word normal and I think I may inadvertently trick some of you into thinking they are boring. They’re not. They’re just very human and that makes their reactions to a very unearthly situation interesting.

Now, please take a little tangent with me. I actually wrote down in big bold letters, The Devil is A Part-Timer! has one of the best ending scenes of all time. Not endings per see, but the last scene of the show was brilliant on so many levels and I want to share it with you. Spoilers, I’m going to talk about the last scene of the show and another in the early episodes.

I’m not going to spoil that part

The basic premise of the show is that the Devil Satan is a demon from another world who was locked in battle with the humans there and had to escape to ours. His greatest opponent was the Hero Emilia who is half-human and half-angel. Although he doesn’t know it, Emilia had followed Satan to Tokyo.

Months after all this, Satan now called Sadao has been working at a fast-food chain for a while and is a model employee. He takes his job very seriously. One morning he’s riding his bike to work with his umbrella as it’s raining. He stops at a red light next to a lady who seems to have forgotten her umbrella and is getting soaked. He decides to give her his own saying that he works just around the corner and she shouldn’t get soaked and tells her to just drop it off at the MgRonald’s by the station where he works.

It is later revealed that the lady is of course Emilia and she is in a similar situation. She also threw away the umbrella as it was from her sworn enemy.

obviously

This is just a funny little moment. I think it’s in the second episode. It sets up the close frenemy relationships these two will have throughout the series.

In the very last episode, after the credits and a whole lot of adventures, Sadao is biking to work and stuck at a red light under pouring rain. He never got a new umbrella and he’s really miserable. Emilia walks up to him under an umbrella and hands him a new one. She does a tsundere thing where she says it’s only because she threw out his old one and he’s an idiot. The shot focuses on Sadao’s face, still soaked but at least not getting rained on anymore and a little exhausted from having gotten told off for no reason then it pulls out, showing only the two umbrellas in the dim rainy street, from above.

Not only is the scene itself a very sweet call back to their first meeting, narratively it bookends the story. But it’s different enough to show the character growth both have gone through. It’s also really well constructed mechanically. The energetic and optimist Sadao is tired and lots of quiet lingering shots of his face make the scene calm and meditative. The darkened palette adds a touch of unexpected seriousness. While having the camera pull out from above and show an aerial view opens up the scene. It adds a touch of hopefulness and gives the sense that the story is not over. It’s a really smart scene.

I went on a lot about what is essentially less than a single minute of this show. The point is that even though most of it is just fluffy good times and actually exciting adventure, The Devil is A Part-Timer! is a show produced by the type of team that can put a grade A scene like that together. And this craftsmanship may not be all in your face all the time, but it’s there!

So if you like urban fantasies and light comedies, I really recommend The Devil is A Part-Timer! It’s a well-made show. One last thing and I may be the only person in the universe to think this, The Devil is A Part-Timer! occasionally reminded me of sailor moon in the best possible way. There was something about the dynamic between the characters and the secret fights in the middle of the city. Now I love Sailor Moon, I think it doesn’t get the credit it deserves for the influence it has had on modern anime. So this is definitely a huge compliment!

Favourite character : Chiho, this one seemed like an obvious choice but I really did like everyone.

Suggested drink: Satan’s Circus

  • Every time we see Ente Isla – take a sip
  • Every time anyone ends up at the police station – take a sip
  • Every time Chi gets jealous – gasp!
  • Every time there’s an earthquake – take a sip
  • Every time Alciel overreacts – giggle
  • Every time Emi mentions that she’s a hero – nod
  • Every time anyone uses magic – be amazed!
  • Every time we see the landlady – take a sip
  • Every time Emi and Maou get mistaken for a couple – take a sip
  • Every time Maou and Alciel share a meal – get a snack
  • Every time anyone speaks Entelese (?) – take a sip
  • Every time anyone falls down the stairs – ow
  • Every time the get mail – take a sip
  • Every time Lucifer snacks – get something healthy. Apple slices or something…
  • Every time Alciel is sick – oh no…
  • Every time Chi expected it – awwwwwww

In case you’re new here, I have a Pinterest with all my screencaps (there are a lot!). If you can’t find a show you are looking for in my main boards, just go to Anime Screenshots. I move the shows I have reviewed there. Of course, I’m still going to add a few images here!

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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22 Responses

  1. Aaron Brandenburg says:

    The Devil is a Part-Timer really nails its character interactions thanks to good delivery and comedy writing. I think that’s why it still stays somewhat relevant despite only 1 season and the isekai genre becoming more prominent.

  2. oliveunicorn says:

    I loved this anime 💕I wanted more seasons

    • Irina says:

      That’s something that comes up a lot. If a studio picks it up for a second season, they are going to have a hit!

  3. Dawnstorm says:

    Why didn’t I notice this before: that screenshot with Sadao/Emilia in the rain is totally a Totoro reference!

    I really enjoyed the show. Ashiya(name?) was a great attendent to Sadao, too. I’d like a second season, too, but there are shows with a higher priority.

    • Irina says:

      I liked Ashiya as well. He was extremely dedicated, serious and yet so ineffective, you don’t see that much

  4. I’d have loved a second session two. You sometimes see some hate levied at the series, but honestly, I thought it was a lot of fun.

  5. vartika6790 says:

    I am gonna watch this show. It is so good!! Thanks Irina..!!

  6. This is one of those series I would have loved to have written. Except for, well, skill and stuff.

    You nailed it about the characters. I know you picked Chiho, and I respect that. But I’d have to chose Emi. That scene where she breaks down and asks Maou why he killed her father was just fantastic. I’d rewatch the series again just to see that scene.

    And the expressions! You can see the variety in the screen shots you chose.

    Also, since it’s apparently tradition in the comments for this series, I’d really like to see another season!

  7. Karandi says:

    I really wish there was another season of this. I really enjoyed the characters and story and most of the humour actually landed for me.

  8. crazyidiot78 says:

    I really wish this show had gotten a second season.

  9. Hands down, one of my favorite anime of all time. I loved that he named his bike Dullahan.

  10. TheAwersome says:

    Absolutely agree about the last scene. Sad that there wasn’t more of the show, (not the best ending) but that scene made me so happy. Part of what makes Part Timer so great in my mind is that it doesn’t bank on Isekai or anime tropes but like you said, has such human characters.

  1. January 30, 2021

    […] The Devil is A Part-Timer! and The Importance of Second Chances […]

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