The Devil is a Part-Timer


by Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

A topic that will continue to be debated is whether there is an existence after we die, and more specifically, if there is a God and a Devil. Regardless which way one may view this topic, it is something that will continue to be prominent in society. The world of anime, like any form of storytelling, spins their renditions and takes on the subject, sometimes with drama and deep philosophical views and other with comedy and lightheartedness. Funimation, by way of White Fox studios, brings us The Devil is a Part-Timer!, a different approach to the world of the Devil and those that would stand against him.

On Ente Isla, the Devil (Satan), along with his four generals, have all but taken over the land without anyone able to oppose him. Then, like a beacon from above, the hero Emilia Justina, appears and, one by one, is able to take out the devils armies and generals. Without much left at his disposal the Devil and his main general, Alciel, jump through a portal gate and end up in present-day Tokyo. Not only are they both unfamiliar with this world they have arrived in, but their looks have changed with them both now resembling what they would look like if they were humans. They have also had to take on new names, going by Sadao Mao and Shiro Ashiya, respectively. With very little magic to use in this world, they have to learn to survive in a world without magic. To make matters worse, the hero Emilia (now going by Emi) has made a jump to this world to defeat him, only to find out that she, too, has little magic powers. How will they all survive in a new world?

The Devil is a Part-Timer! provides a new take on the classic “good vs. evil” story, and particularly that of such characters from religious text. While the series may appear to be more comedy-based, there is far more depth. Amid the Devil’s desire to eventually return to Ente Isla and regain his dominance, there is that of character growth. It shows that no matter how bad someone can be, at the heart is an individual and the idea that everyone may, in actuality, be inherently good to some degree. But is that true with the Devil or could certain acts be an ends to a means? We are able to watch as certain views of people are able to change over time as we get to further know someone. First impressions, while important, may also change with dialogue and really getting to know a person. And the fact that, no matter how difficult a situation may become, people have the ability to survive and adapt when they put in a conscious effort.

The Devil is a Part-Timer! introduces numerous characters throughout the course of the initial season (thirteen episodes). There are those who both fought along the side of the Devil in Ente Isla and those who fought alongside the hero Emilia arrive. Plus there are others from governing or religious factions on Ente Isla who are able to make their way to Tokyo. Much of the direct fighting/combat stems from new characters entering Tokyo and causing a problem for the Devil (and why wouldn’t they?), to which he, with the limited magic he has, must confront.

But the real fun of this series revolves around the day-to-day living. Mao, working at MgRonalds (yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking), must earn money to pay for food and rent for he and Ashiya, while Ashiya stays at home all day to clean, cook and manage the budget. Meanwhile, Emi is forced to work at a call center to make ends meet while trying to keep tabs on Mao. And with other characters coming over who can’t return to Ente Isla, plus the people they meet in Tokyo, it’s all fun for the audience.

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that there will be a second season, considering where the first leaves off and how much more story there is to be told. The Devil is a Part-Timer! may not push the boundaries of anime experimentation with new fight sequences or character design, but it provides a thoroughly fun story with plenty of humor and character growth to keep the audience more than entertained throughout. And their stories are so relatable, especially considering the financial crisis much of the country is going through at the time, that it becomes that much more relatable regardless if we’re working alongside the Devil at a MgRonalds. Fun characters, humor and drama for good measure, and the fact that heaven can be found here on Earth, what’s not to like?

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


  1. EJuly 16th, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    This is a popular series, but your review is coming after the last episode has already aired. lol. That’s like giving a review of SAO or Naruto now.

    You gave a decent synopsis, but you should really draw attention to a series while it’s in production. That way it attracts a larger audience and as a result there is a higher probability of renewal for another season.

    What you discover in the series is that Mao can return to Ente Isla at any time. His power is drawn from fear, so he can easily collect it at any time. What you find is that Mao is not an evil tyrant and is in fact very similar to Emi. Both were surrounded by demons or people that had manipulated them to wage war and obtain power.

    The church and merchants were using Emi and the war on demons as a means to gain power. She was led to believe that Mao was directly responsible for the death of her father, but it was Lucifer that indiscriminately attacked her village. Mao was never on the front lines and therefore was relying on his generals to provide him with intelligence. This allowed them to manipulate his perspective on humanity. We saw how Lucifer was working with the church to help them to maintain power and eliminate the hero and satan to prevent their return. If they returned, then they would end the war and expose the truth. If you had watched the entire season you would see that this is the reason why everyone that was sent to kill Mao becomes his friend.

    On the surface the theme looks like a good vs evil story, but it’s actually much more complex. As the story progresses we see that it’s more about how the church and merchants in power are corrupt and not much different from the demons they fought.A better interpretation would be a present day satire of politics and the wealthier members of society.

  2. Logan HodgsonJuly 16th, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe you guys actually wrote an article on this anime! I love it! I started watching it two weeks before season one ended and couldn’t stop. I was so upset when it ended. Can’t wait for a second season!

  3. JustinJuly 18th, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    E: Haha, man, I can’t give all that information in a review. That’s WAAAAAAAAAAY too much of spoiler overload. As far as reviewing, the goal is to review an entire series and give the impression of it for TNM. So I had to watch the whole thing and then write the review. But websites like Hulu track viewership and production companies are able to see these numbers like they are able to see DVR numbers for network and cable television. So it all pans out in the end. But I totally understand what you’re saying about reviewing a show early on. But, for TNM, I wait for the series to finish, and me to watch the whole thing, then review it, haha

    Logan: It was a fun series, and I have no doubt they’ll produce a second season, though I haven’t read anything about it as of yet.

  4. EJuly 21st, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Justin: Gotcha. You were trying to keep it a light teaser to get people curious. I think what struck me was that when you’re looking for the next best anime to watch you sometimes end up having to rely on a generic synopsis to make a judgement call if you should watch it or pass. I had seen the phrase a “classic good and evil story” in a lot of those descriptions before, so I really wanted to elaborate a little more. I had only cited those specific scenes to support my spin on the theme, but would never include that much detail in a review.

    If I had to describe it then I would say: “It’s a slice of life comedy where good and evil square off in modern day Japan. The biggest twist in this classic tail of a hero versus a villain is that you might actually find yourself cheering for the villain instead.”

    I had genuinely enjoyed this series and would like to see a second season.

    Thank you for doing the review and following up. =)

  5. JustinJuly 22nd, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    E: Definitely hear what you are saying. I’ll try to take that into consideration for future anime reviews. I know the reviews can be very broad at time, so as to not give much away, but I’ll work on adding other types of content in which doesn’t give anything away but adds some substance.

    And, I, too, hope they make a second season. I mean, they left it wide open for one, and we know there’s plenty more story to be told. I’m sure it’ll be just a matter of time before they get to producing a second season. Until then, there’s plenty of good anime out there to keep us entertained!

  6. WARBLADEMarch 28th, 2014 at 7:43 am

    “Devil is a Part-Timer” is an an alternate story were the devil & demons are the heroes,while the angels are the evil villains. Were their battlefields sets in 2 rival fastfood joint: McRonalds(McDonalds) & SFC(KFC). I watch this anime this every morning. 🙂

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