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Anime review: ‘The Devil is a Part-Timer!’

The Devil is a Part Timer!
The Devil is a Part Timer!© WAGAHARA SATOSHI/ASCII MEDIA WORKS/HM Project. Licensed by FUNimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The Devil is a Part-Timer!

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On July 22, 2014, anime publisher FUNimation Entertainment will release “The Devil is a Part-Timer!” in limited and standard edition Blu-ray/DVD combo packs, and they provided us with the opportunity to review this entertaining anime about what the Demon Lord would do once his kingdom falls.

Based on the series of light novels written by Satoshi Wagahara and illustrated by Oniku, “The Devil is a Part-Timer!” follows the adventures of Satan, the lord of the demons. As his kingdom in the world of Ente Isla falls to the humans, thanks to the hero Emilia and her companions, Satan and his trusted general Alciel abandon their world through a portal, swearing to return and enslave humanity once again.

Once they cross through the portal, Satan and Alciel find themselves without the ability to use magic and taking on human forms, in modern Tokyo. Because most of their magic is gone, and magic doesn’t exist in our world, Satan and his general are forced to adapt to human life, taking on the names Sadao Maou and Shirou Ashiya. As Shirou (Alciel) spends his days researching magic, so they can return home, Sadao (Satan) finds work at a restaurant named MgRonald, as a part-timer.

Sadao spends most of his days as a hard working and well-liked, especially by his coworker Chiho Sasaki, upstanding member of Japanese society. His new, less dangerous life doesn’t last too long though, as he once again crosses paths with Emilia, who followed them through the portal and has taken on the name Emi Yusa, working as a call center employee, when she isn’t stalking her arch enemy.

Emi refuses to believe that Sadao has really changed, so even when it results in some awkward moments looking like a jealous ex-girlfriend in front of everyone around them, she keeps a close eye on him. This results in the hero and villain getting to know each other much better, despite always arguing with each other, and the two even find themselves working alongside one another, when others from Ente Isla find their way to Earth.

“The Devil is a Part Timer!” was much different from what I was initially expecting, the first episode had a bit of violence and Satan did seem like a true villain. Once he and Alciel find their way to Earth though, you see a completely different side of the demons, and it is especially surprising to see Satan working the counter at a fast food restaurant. He seems so dedicated, and although he still comments about taking over both worlds, he takes the most pride in receiving praise and advancing at work.

The relationship between he and Emi is also interesting to see, even though Emi is a hero, she always finds herself looking a little petty and jealous around Sadao, although her hate for him is explained. They do have some nice teamwork moments though, and throughout the series you see that the demons aren’t the only evil they should worry about. Chiho was also an interesting character, she crushes on Sadao so hard, that any mention of someone in his life results in her flipping out.

Visually, “The Devil is a Part-Timer!” had a good look, the picture quality was clear and colorful, everything had a fair amount of detail, and the battle scenes looked smooth. This review is based on the DVD version of the series, so the Blu-ray version may have slightly better quality. The characters also look good, their designs match up with their personalities pretty well, and Satan’s demon form was almost comical in comparison to what he usually looks likes.

The Japanese and English voice casts both seemed to do well with their characters. I enjoyed watching the series with both options, so I can’t really recommend one over the other, it will just depend on your personal preferences. The subtitles were clear, easy to read and had good flow, but they did feel like they moved a little too fast at times.

Included as on-disc extras is a U.S. trailer for the series, the textless opening and closings, trailers for other FUNimation Entertainment releases, and commentary for episodes one and twelve. Also included is “The Ente Isla Languages: With Jaime Marchi”, where script writer Jaime Marchi (one of my favorite English language voice actresses) discusses how she created the language of Ente Isla, which was used in the English dub.

“The Devil is a Part-Timer!” was a fairly lighthearted series that really surprised me, it offered plenty of comedy and although there wasn’t a ton of action, it was timed well, breaking things up nicely. The story was a little strange though, it focused so much on the daily life of Sadao and his companions, even with the occasional action and magic, you could almost forget that there is a fantasy element to the anime. With both Chiho and Emi around, and seeming like potential love interests, you would have also thought the series was going to have a lot of panty shots or other fanservice, (there was almost nothing) but the show did a nice job of making the girls appealing, without showing skin every episode.

If you enjoyed series like “Wagnaria!!” and “Demon King Daimao” (a lot less fanservice), then “The Devil is a Part-Timer!” is a series you might want to look into.

The Devil is a Part Timer!

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Runtime: 325 minutes
Number of Discs: 2 DVDs (also on Blu-ray)
Number of Episodes: 13
Languages: English, Japanese with English subtitles
Age Rating: TV-14
Release Date: July 22, 2014

(A review copy of “The Devil is a Part Timer!” on DVD was provided by FUNimation Entertainment.)