I pick up anime by how much I like the first seventeen seconds of info I get about it, and by jove that’s how I’m going to keep on doing it, regardless of quality. And with a title as downright stupid as The Devil is A Part Timer, I could not justify not digging into it and see how the hell anybody could justify throwing money at such an absurd idea. Yet, after taking my sweet-ass time to finish this thing, I’m still not sure why.
The title of The Devil is A Part Timer is a bit misleading. The story begins with a demon king conquering a series of islands, but his ploy for world conquest is brought to a halt by a legendary hero and her associates. With death being the only outcome if the demon king stays in his native world, he opens an interdimensional portal to another world, the world of modern Tokyo. Leading to a series of hijinks and misunderstanding as a ruler from a fantasy and magic filled Kingdom tries to survive in these modern times. Well, for the first episode and a half.
Following the first introduction to the world, learning a new language, and adapting to being the lowest of the Japanese low, the whole fish out of water premise more or less oddly evaporates. Despite how one would assume it to be a focus, if not for how quickly the protagonist and his lackey managed to get a house and some cash. Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with such a choice, as the focus can be something else entirely… shame I don’t know what it is.
Is it the demon king who is named both the Devil and Satan trying to rise in the ranks of MgRonalds? No, as he is already made an oddly devoted employee, who cares very much for his job, almost going a bit against his previous lifestyle. Is it Satan’s quest to go home, while being hampered by the legendary half-angel hero who also arrived into the human world? No, seeing as how Satan needs power to return home, and when magic does return to the world, he uses it to help people out. Though, I’m not entirely sure why he wants to.
The problem with using a stereotypical character is that you need to establish what makes them different and unique early on, while Satan always seems a bit perplexing as a character. Never all that malicious, or lustful for power. While his right hand man goes through being a housekeeper, and the hero goes by wanting to kill the big bad lord of demons turned human because of magic. Despite him being the titular character and being one of the six protagonists that are rolled up through this show, I really have no clue what his goals or desires are, let alone why.
Although, I’m not sure the show knows where it is going either. It is mostly just the group of dimensionally misplaced characters and one big breasted high schooler for good measure going about their lives while dealing with about two threats from their old world that cause the characters to use what little magic they have and become as powerful as they once were. As well as allow them to continue their mildly humorous adventures.
While having the name of a show that realizes how dumb this premise is and wants to have fun with it, humor is kept as a secondary objective at best. With the actual quality of said gags being more hit and miss. Monkeys fondling underaged breasts is just odd, as is Satan talking about how durable his undies are. And while I understand why having a character becomes a NEET might seem funny, it is more confusing as to how a former demon became interested with the internet so quickly. Or maybe it was just not mentioned as the story leaped ahead two months before throwing in another character. One who was unfamiliar with modern Japanese culture, seeing as how the show never had the opportunity to use that idea with any other characters.
It is not so much that the show does anything that makes it warrant a series of spite from me, as much as it confuses me as to what was happening or why it needed to. You have an important character running a competing restaurant called Sentucky Fried Chicken. Why was he running that KFC knock off? I dunno. Why was there one random plot point about the hero’s age? Not a clue. Who decided it would be funny to give a character chronic diarrhea? This flower… I call him Rupert. Is the former demons dealing with a shady businessman in the last episode suppose to say something about humans being worse than demons? Probably, but that’s just silly, seeing as how well trodden that ground is.
Missteps aside, I can’t help but find something cute about the show, as it is very clearly trying to go through with its concept as best as it could, but the overall goal for the show is somewhere in the wind. Yet, it warranted an adaptation into another medium, and I should probably elaborate on that. There is not a lot to say though, as it is a competent enough looking series of decently expressive characters with the only downside being what I’m assuming is a mainstay for a few years, and have there be quite a bit of bloom shoved into scenes where it is not necessarily desired. Things do pick up in the more action heavy scenes, and the two big ones do look rather keen with a sense of satire overlaying the exaggerated use of magical powers. However, neither sequence lasts all that long, and the rest of the series hits the needed marks of something that I am tempted to call a comedy/slice of life show.
After dragging my feet through this show, and scrambling to make sure that I am at least able to review two shows a month, I don’t have a lot to say about The Devil Is A Part Timer beyond a, “It’s all right”. Not doing much in terms of something special, but also not making massive mistakes in storytelling. It follows the trend that I have dug for myself with most anime I’ve been watching this year, of being only okay or not very remarkable and almost dulling my views on the medium to wanting to take a break from it, as I have in the past. Which may sound a bit off topic, but I say it shows how indifferent I am to the blasted show.
Fans of the genre or premise might enjoy the product. There is a kernel of goodness, but it’s still surrounded by some non-goodness, making the final product a bit “bleh”.