Sunday, August 31, 2014

One Week Ramblings: Looking Back at The Devil is a Part-Timer!

Even the Demon King needs 10000-yen bills.
There isn't much to say about this show, except that it scores very high marks in overall execution and pure entertainment factor.

Yen Press has recently announced that they will translate and publish three more light novel series from Japan: Log Horizon, No Game No Life, and The Devil is a Part-Timer!. All three shows have had anime adaptations recently and I highly enjoyed all three of them, so I am really looking forward to reading all three of these in their original novel forms. (They also have a Pandora Hearts side story collection, but I'm not familiar with that franchise at all.)

The fact that I liked The Devil is a Part-Timer!, known as Hataraku Maou-sama in Japan, the least, is no knock against that show; it just goes to show how great all three of these shows are. And I found plenty to love about Part-Timer, the focus of this week's ramblings.

The first half of the first episode, though, tells an almost entirely different story from what the show is, though it does so to provide the basis for its comedic dissonance. In the opening, the Demon King Satan (not really the Biblical Satan) is about to take over a fantasy world, until a series of events allow a Hero, Emilia, to fight back and push him back into a corner. Knowing defeat is near, he performs one last magical spell, which allows him to escape... into modern-day Japan. (Naturally, Emilia follows.)

What results is a hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy as both the Demon King (now named Sadao), his demonic assistant Shirou Ashiya, and the hero Emi(lia) as they lose their magical powers and are forced to instead make ends meet as part-time workers. Seeing the grand Demon King relegated to a mere MgRonalds worker would be funny enough, but he approaches the entire endeavor with the same enthusiasm as he did with world domination in the past, and the result is comedy gold.

It's not all comedy, though, as the show also has a fair amount of heart to it, as one human, Chiho, starts to get close to Sadao, and Emi herself starts to understand that the Demon King might not be all evil. There's also plenty of action to be had as the war between good and evil in the fantasy world also moves to the modern world (and the lines between said good and evil start to get blurred).

I don't really have too much to say about this show, really. All things considered, everything it does is standard stuff, but the show works so well because of its execution, and the result is highly entertaining, with characters plenty likable to form an attachment to them. My scores for it are a B+ in raw score and an 8.7/10.0 for a personal score, meaning it is both highly recommendable for others and something I liked a lot myself. I would very much welcome a second season of this show--the sales in Japan are definitely there for that to happen--but until then, I would be glad to read the original light novels.

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