Anime Worth Watching: The Devil is a Part-timer

The Devil is a Part-timer (はたらく魔王さま) is a 13 episode comedy series from 2013 by Studio White Fox based on a series of light novels.

Synopsis

In the world of Ente Island the Demon King Satan has very nearly conquered all the human kingdoms when a Hero appears and manages to lead the counter-attack to defeat him. Barely escaping from their final battle Satan vows revenge before fleeing through a gate with his top demon general only for the two of them to end up in Tokyo, and in human bodies at that due to the lack of magic in the air. Intent on conquering Earth before he returns home he gets a job at not-McDonalds to begin earning the status and fortune that will eventually come as he works his way up the corporate ladder.

Appeal

Sadao Maou, as the Devil begins calling himself in Tokyo, is a mix of a oblivious dunce about everything humans do and super intent on being the best at them (he constantly worries his McDonal-, Im sorry McRgnolds, branch isn’t number 1 in the district) which is an odd mix that shouldn’t work for a lead character yet kinda does. It lets the series mine a lot of humor out of his strange obsessions without having to reduce him to an idiot who you question how he was so strong before. The other big source of humor is Sadao and Alciel’s constant money woes; Alciel goes from being a demon general in the old world to more or less a “motherly/head of household” character on Earth constantly trying to scrimp and save every penny he can, while Sadao loves to indulge himself with movies or comic books when he can. The two end up playing off each other nicely where theyll stop in the middle of a battle scene for Alciel to lecture Sadao about wasting money when he finds out he’s been blowing money keeping the show firmly focused on its comedy anytime it threatens to get too serious.

Its not just Sadao/Satan and Alciel on Earth though, the hero Emilia followed him as well and is now working in a call center with her own problems; namely that everyone keeps mistaking her for Sadao’s ex-girlfriend. She ends up putting up with a lot of crap as Sadao has absolutely no qualms about using his rival as his guarantor when the cops are asking him questions or he needs other things taken care of, while she can’t leave him alone since shes not sure if his sudden apparent appreciation of humanity is real or an act.

Downside

The light-novel-ness is strong with this one, where there’s a bit of variance between the arcs based on how strong their source volumes are. In particular the first arc is the best and it gets a little uneven in the later episodes as it spins its wheels a tad. Thankfully its core premise of absurdity in its humor doesn’t get old as it keeps finding new ways to make Sadao look silly, it just gets formless in the plot around him.

Why is a monkey crashing the standard pool episode? This show dares to ask why NOT.

Sadao himself does raise a potential problem as a central character, which the show itself lampshades before sorta-ignoring. As the Demon King he tried conquering Ente Island and slaughtered untold thousands of humans, and now you’re supposed to root for him since hes turned out sorta silly on Earth. Emilia directly challenges him on this and he brushes the greater point aside with a shrug which the series accepts as good enough, when in all honesty he has a lot of shit he needs to make up for to Emilia in particular and never does.

Conclusion

Weeb Level: Fairly strong. Its full of goofiness and light novel tropes, including Sadao’s high school friend at work getting a crush on him, which keeps it from being the most casual thing to watch.

Content: In line with the tropes there is a fair amount of fan service. While it keeps it to the occasional panty-shot or slightly obscured girl in a bathtub, its certainly got male gaze within it. There is some violence in its action scenes, albeit thats kept mostly off screen and fairly brief.

Worth Watching: Seek it out if you like absurd comedies. Watch it if you’re just looking for something funny in general. Skip it if you want something more serious or with a strong plot.

Where to watch: At this time Funimation is the only place streaming the anime as its been removed from the other services.