I talked about this show ages ago, back when the blog was just starting, and I always wanted to come back to it. It remains a beloved series for so many, and it’s continued love has made it last a very long time. Now that a second season is actually happening! It’s no better time to do so! Join me after the cut as we re-dive into one the classics of the Isekai genre: The Devil is a Part-Timer!
One of the biggest fears I have is when coming back to a beloved series, that it won’t be as good as I remember. That those feelings were locked in to that time, or atmosphere, or where one was during life. It is always a risk, and I have struggled (greatly with High School DxD) to go back to these series because of that fear. Thankfully I have been blessed each time by not just enjoying those anime again, but seeing why I loved them so much. And once again I find myself thinking that with Part-Timer! With news of the second season coming out, almost nine whole years since the original came out, it came as a shock to someone. Doubly so because the light novel, with their controversial conclusion (shipping stuff, don’t ask), it felt like that was going to be it for the series. But things weren’t meant to be, and I knew I needed to go back and see if the series was as good as people and I remember it to be.
Three episodes in, I said to myself. “Oh yeah, that’s why!”
Part-Timer! remains, even after all of this time, a bonafide home-run hit. A marvelous and hysterical fish out of water comedy that hits every shot it takes. Starring Maou and his loyal servant Alciel. We follow their self imposed exile to real world Japan where, after a few hijinks trying to find their bearings, secure lodgings and work. The former devil king ends up working at a fast-food joint aptly called MgRonalds. Hot on his heels though is the hero of justice Emi-Yusa, who has taken a job at a call center and seeks to bring Maou to justice. And it this scenario that Part-Timer! is able to hit comedy gold, but not for the reasons you think.
While it might have been expected for a show like this to shit on jobs like flipping burgers or being a tech support worker, but Part-Timer! does the opposite. These jobs, while not glamorous are treated with a respect and dignity that few shows, east or west, really do. Maou and to an extent Emi both love their jobs, and the freedoms and joys our world present. There isn’t any war, any demons, any fear of magic or death. None of it. For Maou, the idea of flipping burgers and packing happy meals is a dream come true, and that it is that straight up joy that Emi, who has personal reasons for her hatred of him, just can’t stand, and leads to so much of the comedy. While yes, it is a romanticized version of these jobs, it was fun and refreshing to see it done.
Of course the secret of the sauce is the characters and Part-Timer! has them in spades. Maou and Emi are always at 100% with their bickering, arguing, Maou’s true enjoyment of his job and Emi’s over the top tsundere paranoia. But the rest of the cast is solid too. Chie the bubbly and busty co-worker provides an excellent fish out of water perspective whose obvious crush on Maou is as sweet as it is comedic. Alciel the loyal henchmen and his constant attempts to try and save every penny he can has you snorting in laughter, Lucifer going from weekly baddie to shut in NEET helps round the male cast, and the demure and backwards thinking Suzuno does the same for the girls. Each of them fills their role perfectly and there is that genuine rapport and eventual friendship that helped make series like Persona 4 Golden and Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls! really resonate. If there is any issue it is that much of the world building (which is also excellent) doesn’t really pay off in the series 12 episode run, and until recently, would force you to go to the light novels.
But that is a minor issue for a show like this. The Devil is a Part-Timer! is an anime that has completely, truly, absolutely and wholly 100% earned the cult status it has achieved. It is a classic through and through, a great anime with great comedy, great characters, great animation, a truly wonderful English dub (Josh Grelle as Maou and Felecia Angelle as Emi are giving career defining performances here) and a great premise that treats it’s world seriously and with genuine respect. Even nine years later, when the Isekai genre has twisted and turned into many different things, Part-Timer remains the best of its class. There just hasn’t been anything like it, and in a genre as bloated and stuffed as the Isekai, that is saying something. The news of the second season has been nothing short of a miracle, and if it is as half as good as what we have here, then we are really in for a treat. If for some reason you haven’t yet checked this show out, and are curious about it. Change that at once. This is not one to be missed, and like myself, you might end up going.
“Oh, that’s why!”