If you ever wondered what a show would be like if a evil demon lord worked at a fast food restaurant then look no further! The Devil is a Part Timer! is exactly that. If you're looking for a character driven comedy that has elements of a drama and a dash of romance, while also maintaining a great story then this show is most definitely for you.
At the start of the series, we're told a bit of a back story about the evil demon lord Satan gathering his four generals, Lucifer, Alciel, Malacoda, and Adramelech, to take over the multiple Islands of Ente Isla. Eventually, one hero, Emilia Justina, steps up and rallies the humans to overthrow the evil lords. Emilia causes a revolution, overthrowing each lord until just Satan remains, causing him to retreat to his castle. As Satan is cornered and must admit defeat, his most trusted ally, Alciel, opens a portal, and the two together make a tactical retreat after vowing to return and take revenge against Emilia and her cohorts. It is here where our story truly begins.
The story then shifts to modern day Japan, where Satan (voiced by Josh Grelle) and Alciel (voiced by Anthony Bowling) arrive through the portal in Sasazuka, a district in Shibuya, Japan. In order to successfully blend into modern society, they disguise themselves to resemble the appearances of typical 20 somethings. They're both soon arrested and learn a few things about the world they now live in, which lacks magic. Without enough magic left in his reserves to open the portal again to Ente Isla, the two get new identities, Satan being further known as Sadao Mao, while Alciel takes the identity of Shiro Ayashi. After getting ID's, the pair manage to buy a house and open a joint bank account with the money they were able to acquire by using what little of their magic they do have left. In order to survive, Mao and Ayashi decide to go job hunting, Ayashi's hunt proving unsuccessful, while Mao gets a job at the local MgRonald's, a burger chain known best for their famous black pepper fries, so the two agree that Mao will make a living, while Ayashi takes care of the home tasks... cooking, cleaning, maintaining their budget, looking for ways to get back to Ente Isla, etc.
While Ayashi looks for ways to replenish their magical abilities so they can get home, Mao works his way up the chain at their local MgRonald's, something Mao takes with great pride, telling Ayashi that it can help him get a step closer to ruling the human realm. Unfortunately for them, Satan's plans are dashed when a woman named Emi Yusa (voiced by Felicia Angelle) appears, claiming to be there to take the life of the demon lord. Mao quickly deduces that Emi is in fact the rebellious hero Emilia from Ente Isle. The two fight and just as Emi is about to land the killing blow, once again the cops intervene and they're arrested. Emi threatens Mao vowing that she will kill him before he can harm anyone else, Mao shrugs it off claiming to have pure intent and wanting to settle down in peace in his new world as a proud manager at MgRonald's. Emi is baffled by the behavior of the once evil lord.
As Mao continues climbing the ladder of success at MgRonald's, he catches the attention of Chiho Sasaki (voiced by Tia Ballard) through his excellent work ethic and kind nature to customers. Chiho is a small girl in stature whom is well endowed (much to the annoyance of Emi due to her being flat-chested) The two develop a brother/sister relationship with one another although Chiho eventually falls for Mao and wants him to see her as more, although he is completely oblivious to her real intentions. One thing I really loved about this show is the way they handled the relationships between Mao and the 2 lead females. It's very obvious that both are going to eventually fall for him, and that he will like them as well, but this show isn't about romance and the creator knew that, so why try to force a relationship in just for the sake of it? Thankfully the focus remains on the main focal point of the series... the lead characters' moral dilemmas and the comedic fallout of every choice the characters make.
The series is split into three different story arcs. The first I already covered, with the first 4 episodes revolving around Mao and Ayashi trying to grow accustomed to modern Japan. The second covers episodes 5-8, where we're introduced to the rest of our main cast. The first is Lucifer, a fallen angel whom was one of Satan's generals in Ente Isle, he's now known as Urushihara (voiced by Aaron Dismuke.) He is arriving in Japan to track down Satan and take him out so he can re-enter heaven. The two have an all out battle that proves to be some of the most entertaining episodes of the entire series. The last core cast member introduced is Suzano (voiced by Alex Moore.) She comes in around the halfway point, moving in next door to Mao, Ayashi, and their new tenant Urushihara! (yes, you read that right.) There is something very clearly off about Suzano and Mao picks up on this right away, as she seems to have a bit too much knowledge about the underworld and how it operates.
The final story arc comprises of the final 5 episodes of the series. Mao has successfully blended into life as a modern citizen, and has worked his way up as the manager of MgRonald's. His livelihood is threatened when a rival business known as Sentucky Fried Chicken (come on!) opens up just across the street, stealing the patrons from MgRonald's, something that greatly annoys Mao (and by association, Ayashi, whom goes undercover to try and find out why they're taking MgRonald's business.) After some digging, they find out Mitsuki Sarue (voiced by Scott Freeman), the current manager of Sentucky Fried Chicken, is in fact an archangel from The Church of Ente Isla, whom has been tasked with the mission of killing Satan once and for all. He boasts the magical abilities of being able to nullify any sacred powers, making those like Ayashi and Emi useless against his powers.
The series comes to a proper close with Mao defending the honor of his friends (and MgRonald's especially) by taking on Sarue in an all out war, and also with Mao having to face the decision of either returning to Ente Isle, something he has been trying to attain for the entirety of the series or remaining on Earth with his new found friends and the life he has built.
+ The characters. They're what made this anime outstanding. It's a very character driven show and they're well written enough to the point of making something simple like budgeting their money or cooking burgers extremely fun.
+ Quite a few legitimate laugh out loud moments.
+ Great dub work.
+ Unique plot that is executed perfectly.
+ The series has a made up language for the world of Ente Isla and it's hilarious!
- Some of the gags got a bit too repetitive.
- A few episodes in the middle aren't too interesting.
Video and Audio:
The Devil is a Part Timer! looks absolutely beautiful, the series utilizes a very gorgeous color palette. Just about every character is uniquely drawn, with each character being well detailed. The battle scenes are fantastic and fluid throughout. The series has absolutely stunning production values.
The series comes with two available language tracks. The first is a 5.1 TrueHD English Dolby track and the second is the original TrueHD Japanese 2.0. As per usual I watched the series in English dubbing while sampling a few episodes in it's original language. The dub is absolutely fantastic. Throughout the course of the series there were no signs of dropout or distortions.
- Episode 1 commentary with Christoper Bevins, Josh Grelle and Anthony Bowling whom are the ADR director, and portray the 2 leads, Satan/Mao and Ashiya/Alciel, respectively.
- Episode 12 commentary with Felicia Angelle, Tia Ballard, Aaron Dismuke, and Alex Moore, whom play Emi, Chiho, Urushihara, and Suzuno, respectively.
- The Ente Isle Language: with Jamie Marchi. A 13 minute interview with Jamie, the script adapter for Devil is a Part Timer!. She talks in length about the process of coming up with the language used in the Demon world from the show.
- Textless opening theme song.
- Both Textless closing theme songs.
- U.S. trailer for the dub.
- Standard FUNimation trailers for series' such as Toriko, Code:Breaker, Dragon Ball Z, Shakugan no Shana, Hetalia, Heaven's Lost Property, and a Certain Scientific Railgun.
- If you purchase the limited edition box set, much like other FUNimation releases the series comes housed in a slick looking chipboard artbox that fits the tone of the series quite well.
Devil is a Part Timer! started out with a really promising story about war and demons but slowly became a character driven story. The tone of the series quickly turns to comedic as we watch Sadao and one of his generals fumbling their way around Japan and being overly conscious with money, cooking at a fast food restaurant, menial tasks that you'd think would be dull to watch, actually turn out fantastic. The series is a TON of fun with a very unique plot, seriously who would come up with a show about the devil working part time at a McDonald's ripoff, while simultaneously wanting to take over the world??? One hell of a cool concept. All of the characters were well done, which was a necessity considering the fact that this is a character driven show. The series is able to give the majority of the lead character's development. The gags are great, with some even being legitimately laugh out loud funny (which is actually hard for me when it comes to anime humor.) It's a comedy anime done right, which is pretty rare nowadays. Highly recommended