Anime Spotlight: The Devil Is a Part-Timer!

The Devil Is a Part-Timer! (which is known in Japan as Hataraku Mao-sama) is based on a Japanese light novel series written by Satoshi Wagahara and illustrated by Oniku. The anime was produced by White Fox and was directed by Naoto Hosoda. The series aired on Japanese television from April 4-June 27, 2013. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American license for The Devil Is a Part-Timer!

The prologue of the series explains that in another dimension called Ente Isla, the Devil King Satan has almost conquered the world, but is stopped by Hero Emilia. Satan, along with Demon General Alciel, end up drifting into another world: modern day Japan. Specifically, they both end up in Tokyo. They also discover that they have taken on human bodies and that their ability to perform magic is limited. While Satan still retains some of his magic, Alciel’s is gone.

Through using some hypnotism, Satan learns about Earth and about some of the various things that he and Alciel will need to do in order to survive. Satan takes on the identity of Sadao Mao, while Alciel takes on the identity of Shiro Ashiya. They acquire identification, open a bank account, and rent a house.

Satan takes on a job at MgRonalds in order to earn money for the two of them to live on, where he works his way up to an A level position by the end of the first episode. Chiho Sasaki, one of Satan’s co-workers, develops a crush on him.

At the very end of the first episode, Satan discovers that Hero Emilia has also ended up in Tokyo and is in the form of a human female. Emilia now goes by Emi, and she works at a call center. Early in the series, Emilia is determined to do what she can in order to defeat Satan and return to Ente Isla. But later, Emilia discovers a secret about someone from Ente Isla that starts to make her question what’s going on.

Later in the series, two other individuals from Ente Isla find their way to Earth and take on human identities. Lucifer, a fallen angel and one of Satan’s generals, takes on the name of Hanzo Urushihara and becomes a freeloader at Satan and Alciel’s place. They acquire a new neighbor who goes by the name of Suzuno Kamazuki, but she is the grand inquisitor of the church of Ente Isla that is tasked with killing Satan.

While watching the first episode, I found myself either chuckling or laughing out loud at Satan and Alciel as they try to figure out how things work in modern day Tokyo. It also helps that Satan and Alciel make for a good pairing: Satan is the “straight man” of the two, while Alciel helps to provide a bit of the humor for the series.

The Devil Is a Part-Timer! has its serious moments, but it’s primarily a light-hearted comedy. While Alciel provides a lot of the humor, the other characters get their moments of funny dialogue that elicits laughter from the audience. When Lucifer joins the series, his NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) tendencies provide some more humor for the series.

Overall, I really liked The Devil Is a Part-Timer! The only complaint I have about it is the fact that it doesn’t truly end. But considering that the light novel was still ongoing at the time the anime was being produced, it’s not surprising that there wasn’t a proper ending.

I would recommend The Devil Is a Part-Timer! to anime viewers who appreciate comedic series. However, be sure to go into it realizing that the story doesn’t truly conclude at the end of the final episode.

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