I have a bit of history with The Devil is a Part-Timer! I needed a few tries before I got into the first season and properly finished it but once I did, I quite enjoyed the show. I was particularly taken by the cinematography. Because the art style and camera work aren’t very flashy not that many people talk about the visuals of this show. But I thought some of the framing and visual direction were stunning. I talk about the last scene of the first season for 2 paragraphs in my review. I still remember that scene. Just masterful!
As you can imagine, this second season had a bit to live up to. A legacy if you will. I, along with a heck of a lot of people, was really looking forward to this premiere. Did it live up to expectations? I can’t really answer that for anyone else but here’s what I thought.
Let me get this out of the way first as it doesn’t really have to do with the episode itself. One thing that I have found when going back to a show I haven’t seen in a while is that I get very easily distracted by trying to figure out if the characters still look and sound the same. It doesn’t actually matter but when the changes are subtle and I can’t quite tell, it does an uncanny valley effect on me and I spend way too much time analyzing character models instead of paying attention to what’s happening. For the record, my conclusion of the cast of The Devil is a Part-Timer! 2 is that they have all changed a little and it’s most apparent for Ashia. Here are some of my screencaps for comparison, I tried to pick ones that would be most similar.
As for the episode itself. First of all, it’s unfair to compare this first episode to the first episode of the first season. Because that episode had the huge advantage of introducing us to an awesome premise. By contrast, we mostly got a soft recap of previous events and a reintroduction to the characters this time around.
And although I found the first two-thirds of the episode a bit uneventful if pleasant enough, I was happy to just go with the flow and let the season rev up at its own pace.
Even though they might look a little different, everyone was acting like themselves. A bit exaggerated maybe but still basically what I expected out of the characters. I remembered the run-down apartment and Pro-forma MgRonald’s as if they were real places I had gone to countless times. It made me realize that the settings of The Devil is a Part-Timer! are just as impactful as the characters. And this second season captures those settings perfectly.
I’m sort of dancing around the point here. For me, everything that happened in the episode was sort of eclipsed by that last act. It really felt as if it was set dressing and a slow build-up to Alas’ introduction. Oh except out-of-shape Sariel. I remember that bit quite well although I’m not sure if it’s meant as anything more than a one-off punchline.
Sooooo…. How do we feel about Alas? I’m asking because I don’t really know how to feel. Traditionally, I’m not a fan of little kid characters but I’ve warmed up to them quite a lot lately. As such I’m more willing to be optimistic about this. Still, this slightly forced scenario where she designates Maou as her father and Emilia as her mom rubs me the wrong way for some reason. At first glance, it feels like the sort of gimmicks writers come up with when they’re out of ideas. And cute little girl characters are super popular in anime. So it’s always tempting to drop one in your show even if there’s no real place for her.
I know I said I was trying to be optimistic but as you can see, my gloomy side is pocking through. A lot of this is just assumption and knee-jerk reactions. We know nothing of where this storyline is going. It might be the most delightful arc yet. I’m just a little uneasy for some reason and I’m not used to that. I’m such an anime enthusiast usually. Oh well, let’s hope that we all get pleasantly surprised, even those that are expecting greatness!