Sunday, August 25, 2013

Anime Review: The Devil is a Part-Timer

New review, and it's about time. I've spent too much of August talking about Anita Sarkeesian, Atlus being sold, and Capcom shooting themselves in the foot with how they are handling the classic Breath of Fire series which almost makes me want to write the entire company off. However, in that period of time I have finally beaten Shining Force III Scenario 2 and watched several anime, but since I can't find good screenshots of SFIII-S2 I've decided to write this review for the anime I just finished watching: The Devil is a Part-Timer.

But I'll return... with hookers... and blackjack.
The land of Ente Isla is facing a grave threat. The Demon King Satan has sent his armies to conquer all of the human kingdoms, but the human forces united under the Hero Emilia and the Demon King and the Hero came face to face for their duel to the death. However, that battle ended with the Demon King's retreat, along with his most loyal general Alciel, into another world, an exotic strange world known as Earth. Landing in Japan, Satan realizes the magical energy of this world is so low that he can't even conjure enough power to throw a fireball, let alone return to Ente Isla. Even simple acts like hypnotizing humans and learning Japanese instantly cause an immense drain on his power. In fact, Satan's once imposing physical presence has been reduced to that of an average looking human. But Satan will not despair at his current predicament, he will return to Ente Isla and continue his conquest, but first he needs a job to pay his rent. And so Satan takes the name Sadao Maou, a part-time employee at the fast food restaurant chain "MgRonalds" and he will climb the corporate ladder to become a full-time employee and get that raise so that he and Alciel, adopting the name Shiro Ashiya, can afford more nutritious meals. He will become a model employee, help his junior co-worker Chiho Sasaki learn how to operate the ice cream machine, and strive to make this MgRonalds restaurant the best MgRonald restaurant in Tyoko. But Sadao has more to worry about than making sales goals when the Hero Emilia, now adopting the name Emi Yusa, followed after him and is dedicated to ridding both worlds of the Demon King Satan, that is when she isn't working at her call center job. What's a Part-Timer to do?

"I'm the Devil, and I would like to make a deposit."
As you can probably gather by the title of this anime, The Devil is a Part-Timer is all about taking conventions about good and evil and completely spinning them on their heads. I mean, you have evil incarnate working at McDonalds for heaven's sake, and his concerns are about whether or not he can make his sales goal rather than how to crush the puny humans. The series also avoids much of the "fish out of water" cliches as possible, as most of the jokes are not derived from the characters misconstruing common occurrences for deeper meanings. Instead they play on the surreality of demons and heroes having to do mundane things, even while greater events are happening in the background. It's hilarious, especially with how quickly not only the Devil but also the Hero adapt to their new surroundings, and they would fight to the death... but there is a sale going on at the convenience store and they have a strapped budget. Besides, how many other series have you seen where the devil is such a moral, upstanding citizen that he doesn't want to take advantage of a "one per customer" sale by going outside and coming back? Well, maybe Maoyu.

"Do you know any place that hires people without work experience?"
There isn't much I can say that is negative about the series. Since the story is suppose to take place in the real world, but they can't use real world names, they have to replace the common names with placeholders, obviously MgRonalds is suppose to be McDonalds, and sometimes they are kind of clever when they do that, like Starbucks Coffee becomes Moonbucks Coffee, but other times they are just lazy as hell, like Kentucky Fried Chicken just becomes Sentucky Fried Chicken. And while episode 12 has a great climatic ending, the final episode, while having a nice bookend to the series, feels like it is just a filler episode inbetween what was suppose to be a longer series.

Aside from my very VERY minor complaints, the series is awesome. It's funny as hell, the characters are likeable, and the scenario is so ridiculous yet mundane that just watching these people interact is surreal in of itself. It's only 13 episodes long, which is kind of a detriment since there is so much more potential in the series, but that's why I hope for a second season. The Devil is a Part-Timer is a Must Watch!

Until next time.

-Crescent, "HOLY POTTER! You've been gone so long in the midnight sea. Oh what's becoming of me!"

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