The Devil Is a Part-Timer! Volume Four sees the characters heading to the beach.
The Devil Is a Part-Timer! Volume Four
Written by: Satoshi Wagahara
Publisher: Kadokawa Corporation
English Publisher: Yen On
Release Date: April 19, 2016
The story begins with Satan learning that the MgRonald’s he works at is closing temporarily for renovations. The news was actually delivered a couple of weeks earlier, but he hadn’t been paying attention because that was during the time that he thought that Alas Ramus was gone. It’s interesting to note that the reason for the renovation differs between the light novel and the anime adaptation. In the anime, it was stated that they were simply upgrading machines in the restaurant. In the light novel, the MgRonald’s is being renovated to include a café on the second floor of the building. To be honest, I think the light novel’s reason for the temporary closure makes more sense for the amount of time that Satan isn’t working.
Things go from bad to worse when Satan returns home and learns from Suzuno that the tenants of the apartment building are supposed to be vacating starting the next day so the building can be repaired after Alas Ramus headbutted Gabriel out of the apartment in the previous volume. It was a combination of Satan being preoccupied and the three demons ignoring a video tape the landlady sent because they didn’t want a repeat of “That Photo.”
Fortunately, Chiho still has a VCR at her house, so Satan and Emi go with her to watch it. The landlady explains about needing to vacate the premises, and also mentions a temporary job opportunity for Satan, Alciel, and Urashihara at a beach shack owned by her niece, which would include lodging. With Satan temporarily out of a job and needing to vacate the apartment, this seems like a dream come true… especially with the pay being offered. The only drawback is that the beach house is in Choshi, which is a significant distance away from Tokyo.
With help from Emi and Suzuno, Chiho finds a way to be able to spend a couple of days around Satan and his roommates while they are in Choshi. But it turns out things aren’t what they seem, starting with the dilapidated state of the beach house. Satan uses skills he learned both at MgRonald’s and the other temp jobs he’s worked to find ways to get the beach house ready for the next day.
But more unexpected things happen, which include demons from Ente Isla arriving and remaining in demon form, as well as revelations of things happening in Ente Isla that Satan, Emi, and the others are unaware of. There’s also a secret that’s revealed about Amane, the landlady’s niece, near the end of the volume.
After finishing The Devil Is a Part-Timer! Volume Four, it was interesting to realize that the roughly 250 pages of this volume were condensed down to two-and-a-half episodes for the second season of the anime adaptation. And what’s even more interesting to notice is how little was changed or removed from the story to condense it down to two-and-a-half episodes. I already mentioned one of the differences at the beginning of the review, but another thing that was changed is the fact that in the anime, we don’t see Ms. Kisaki giving Satan a printout of other MgRonald’s locations that he can temporarily work at while theirs is shut down. The other main difference I saw is the fact that Urushihara’s lack of skill for washing dishes and folding clothes was cut. But this makes sense, since at the beginning of the anime’s second season, we see Ashiya make Urushihara go through a “house cleaning boot camp,” which, at least in what I’ve read up this point, doesn’t exist in the light novel. Ashiya gives the boot camp in the anime because he’s thinking about going back to work to help support “The Devil’s Castle,” but in the light novel, it’s blatantly stated that Ashiya sometimes takes on temp jobs to help shore up their finances.
When I watched the second season of The Devil Is a Part-Timer! anime, it felt like the two-and-a-half episodes that covered this light novel felt anti-climactic and that the resolution happened too easily. At the time I watched it, I wondered if it felt this way because it was the way it was depicted in the light novel. Now that I’ve read this section of the light novel, I can say that, yes, my assumption was correct. While the way this story arc progresses in the light novel isn’t as noticeable in the written form, it was more blatant in an animated format, which relies a lot on action. I’m feeling more and more convinced that the anime studio behind the first season passed on making more episodes after seeing what was coming up next in the light novel series because they could see the difficulty in adapting it. The story told in Volumes Three and Four of the light novel aren’t bad, but they don’t translate as well to an animated medium.
In previous volumes of the light novel, I had noticed the occasional typo, but it wasn’t enough to truly stand out to me. Volume Four, however, has more typos and they really stood out like a sore thumb. The worst offender was mistyping “Olba” as “Obla,” especially when his name appeared correctly just a paragraph or two earlier on the page. Hopefully this was just an anomaly and it won’t continue being this noticeable in future volumes of the light novel series.
If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous three volumes of The Devil Is a Part-Timer! light novel series, then you will likely appreciate reading this volume. If you’ve seen the second season of the anime adaptation but haven’t read this volume, you can go into it knowing that you know the basic gist of what’s going to be happening in this volume because of the anime.
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