What does a demon-Lord do after fleeing to our world to escape his enemies? Why, starts working for
McDonald’s MgRonald’s, of course! The-13 episode comedy anime The Devil is a Part-Timer! (Hataraku Maou-sama!) (2013) is based on this premise.
What’s it about?
In an alternative world, Ente Isla, Dark Lord Satan is defeated and has no choice but to flee with his loyal Demon General Alciel to another world. They arrive in modern-day Tokyo, and, because magic doesn’t exist, they find out they are both powerless. Living as humans, Maou Sadao (Demon Lord) and Ashiya Shirou (Alciel), they are introduced to the reality of this new world; working, rent, and money. However, with pursuers from Ente Isla not far behind, including the Demon Lord’s sworn-enemy, Emilia the Hero, and the pressures of being a star-worker at MgRonald’s, the two struggle to get by!
Whilst the entire series doesn’t quite keep up the hilarity of the first couple of episodes, this anime is genuinely funny and certainly entertaining. I like that it has a bit of a unique concept, and, although comedy is its main pull, there’s a fun mix of action, a couple of dark themes, and (very slight) romance thrown in. It certainly keeps you entertained and it’s very enjoyable to watch.
Although you can’t deny that the characters in this anime are pretty stereotypical, they are still strong enough to carry the story through to the end. They are all likeable, bright characters, and their interactions on screen are funny. Similar to the characters, the art is pretty standard, but the colourful palette and good styling makes it stand out (with the exception of Emi’s styling, which looked a little odd to me).
Another thing I really liked about this anime was the creation of the two words; Ente Isla and our world. As mentioned, the colours were very bright and catchy for our world, but for Ente Isla, the world is a lot darker. I also really liked the different language that they speak; it’s English but with the constants reversed (see more here). You also get a brief insight to the different institutions at work in Ente Isla, and what ordinary life is like. It’s not much, but it is a nice touch and adds a little more atmosphere to the anime.
You may find that the comedy gets a little old in the second half of the series, when, as with most comedies, jokes have to be recycled. However, given that this anime is only thirteen episodes long, it really isn’t much of a big deal. The only other slight negative is that the last episode feels slightly out-of-place compared to the episode that precedes it; it’s obvious that the writers were expecting a second season (no announcement as of yet). Given that is doesn’t introduce anything new, though, it’s hardly a negative.
Apart from a slightly bland sound-track and opening and ending themes, there’s not too much to fault this anime on.
Art: 7/10: Pretty standard animation, but bright colours and good character styling.
Story: 6.5/10: The plot is straight-forward and simple, but the anime is very entertaining.
Characters: 6.5/10: Although the characters are stereotypes, they are still strong and funny.
The Devil is a Part-Timer! is a great anime for a bit of good, enjoyable entertainment. It never tries to accomplish more than what it sets up in the first few episodes, it’s genuinely funny, and the somewhat-stereotypical characters are strong enough to carry the series. The first episode is definitely worth a watch, and if you like it, don’t be afraid to follow through to the end. Overall, I give it a 6.5/10.