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