The Devil is a Part-Timer Season 2: Curl, the Monkey Paw Does.

While it is a minor miracle that this show even got a second season, the joy at that happening doesn’t mean it gets a free pass for what it actually is. I am not a harsh critic here at Shallow Dives in Anime, but I also don’t pull my punches. If something doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. I won’t call it an abomination or the worst thing to ever happen, but I won’t look the other way either. I call it like I see it, praising the good and what works, along with the bad and what doesn’t. With all that said, let’s take a dive into the second season of The Devil is a Part-Timer after the cut.

I have always thoughts that it is important to be aware of the ‘times’ and when something came out. For me, part of the reason that Part-Timer was so well received, and remains such a fan-favorite almost eight years after it came out, was that it was such a breathe of fresh air. Back then, the Isekai genre as we know it today was still in its infancy, and most of the shows that were coming out were the same usual formula: A guy gets thrown into a new world, gets godlike powers and a harem of hot girls all in love with him. And while there is nothing wrong with that formula, that being the only thing on the menu started to grate people’s on peoples nerves. That is one of the reason while the backlash to say, Sword Art Online, was as big as it was (even though that show isn’t even an Isekai in the season where it is most like an Isekai).

Isekai is not longer dominated by the same plotline for each and every series, and many have evolved beyond those strict confines.

Part-Timer however, was the ray of light to many people. With a rock-solid premise, terrific voice acting and comedy that hit every time, it remained a beloved cult classic for everyone of that decade. Even now when I watched it last year I was floored at just how fucking good it was. How everything just clicked and how tightly written the episodes were. It was an example (not the only one) of what the Isekai genre could BE, and how it could evolve beyond the narrow scope it had put itself in.

The series first season was cold water after spending a day in the desert. A trail-blazer in what the Isekai genre would end up becoming.

And it has done that. Nearly eight years later, the Isekai genre has for all intents and purposes, made that evolution. While the old formula is still present, there are plenty of more now on the menu. Reverse-Isekai, Female-led Isekai, Comedic, Dramatic, Mecha. All of it in one way or another has been sprinkled all over this genre. There is more choice, more flavor, and much of the criticism, valid at the time yes, thrown at these types of shows seems like a relic of a bygone era. Things got better, and The Devil is a Part-Timer no longer has to be the standard bearer for what the genre could be.

Which is great, because the second season of the show isn’t that good.

Whether it was the weight of fan expectations, the seemingly barebones animation budget, or the weakness of the apparent source material (many readers say the show loses steam after the initial few volumes). Part-Timer’s second outing never feels like it is able to recapture the magic of its first. While it never is truly actually bad, there just seems to be something missing. The characters don’t click nearly as well, the comedy doesn’t really land, and there are episodes where everyone seems to be just hanging out.

The solid chemistry of the main leads is sadly absent throughout this season, and everyone feels like they’ve said everything they can say.

Gone is the great back and forth between Maou and Emi, the over-the-top plot antics at the MgRonalds, or the fish out of water feeling of being stuck in present-day Japan. Instead we have a show that seems content in just watching these characters make their way through the world and react as other demons or angels come into their lives. All of which feels too stiff in the animation department to have any weight, or the writing behind it make it pop. Even the new character, the cute little Alas Ramus feels like an attempt to chase the Anya-fanbase even though her character existed long before. She’s cute, but doesn’t have any of that childish glee and wonder that has rocketed Anya to the stratosphere, and often just feels like a plot device. The whole situation is ripe for comedy as Emi and Maou are forced to become parents, but the show does very little with it. And while there are a few moments where the show does recapture the fire that made it’s previous outing so beloved, they are few and fare between and frankly I was just bored watching the whole thing.

Alas Ramus is a cutie, but we live in post-Anya world and that isn’t enough.

And that I think is the biggest fault I can lay the second season of The Devil is a Part-Timer. It’s just boring. Not bad, not horrible, just a full on bore that slogs its way through episodes that reek of not having faith in itself. That is a shame, a damn shame, because I will always recommend the first season to any anime fan. A lot has changed in the last seven years, and the anime fandom and Isekai in general have moved beyond needing one show to demonstrate the potential of the genre. Part-Timer will always have that, and should always be proud of being different when different was new, but things have changed and not everything can catch up, or even try too.

But hey, maybe the confirmed third season will turn things around. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another seven years.

Emi rocks the hat though.

One thought on “The Devil is a Part-Timer Season 2: Curl, the Monkey Paw Does.

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