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 A Lizzy Led Review: On Devil is a Part Timer

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TK Baha
TK Baha

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PostSubject: A Lizzy Led Review: On Devil is a Part Timer   Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:31 pm

Please let it be known that I have only seen the anime. I haven’t read the light novels or the manga. Perhaps it’s better, but the anime left a bitter taste in my mouth.
I’m a patient person. I see anime through in the hopes they get better. In fact, I’ve tried to see the best in every anime I watch. With Devil Is A Part Timer, I finished all the episodes in two days. I had the time to watch them and I had fate in the series. The concept, of course, sounded interesting enough! Think about it, the head honcho demon, Satan, ends up on Earth after going through a portal from his own world, Ente Isla, and becomes a part timer – with the plan of taking over Earth for himself once he gets enough magic. Honestly, it had a strong start.
We are introduced to Satan, who takes up the name Sadao Maou, and his closest council, Alciel (who takes the name Shirou Ashiya), at the beginning of the anime. Then we meet the Hero Emilia Justina, who goes by Emi Yusa in Japan. Yusa tries to kill Maou, acting upon her natural duties and grudge (since, as Satan, Maou’s actions had taken many lives). We are also introduced to Maou’s boss as Mg Ronalds (the place he’s a part timer) and his cute but clumsy high school co-worker, Chiho Sasaki (whose father happens to be the one who arrested Maou on his first day in Tokyo. The first episodes give light to Maou and Chiho’s work, along with Yusa’s, and it even shows Ashiya’s research progress.
Thing is, Yusa becomes obsessed with keeping tabs on Maou. Makes sense right? She recognizes that he’s Satan, but she mostly follows him around and yells at him. And he isn’t actually doing anything wrong. He’s merely living his life as a part timer at Mg Ronalds.
Eventually we meet more cast members, Lucifer (Hanzou Urushihara), Crestia Bell (Suzuno Kamazaki), and Sariel (Mitsuki Sarue). All three have very clear motives and contribute to something of a plot – the conflict of Satan getting his magic back and the preventing of it happening.
I watched this anime expecting more from it. I thought Maou was going to rise up and really climb the ranks at Mg Ronalds, take it over, and then continue to trying to take over the world. I didn’t expect him to be a good guy all the time. It made sense for him to have extreme charisma – he’s the devil after all – but using his magic to repair destruction instead of taking over Earth or going home with it? Naturally, it would be shocking and, personally, made the main character’s namesake more meaningless. How could he suddenly be so good and have a strong moral compass?
And then there’s Chiho, who has a crush on charismatic Maou – keeping it even after she learns his secret. She even daydreams about him, in his demon form, taking her away to Ente Isla. It’s just… she makes the point of him being better now, excusing the fact that he’s the lord of lies and supposed to be extremely evil – because he’s got morals and everything now.
Yusa is teased about having a crush on him because she follows him around and keeps talking about him butt she, as the Hero, isn’t supposed to work with him. She loathes it and keeps thinking he’s got ulterior motives. I thought so too, honestly. I hoped he did. It would’ve made the anime much stronger.
As a writer and an analyst of character backgrounds, I pay attention to the characters to get a feel for them. It’s how I come to love characters. The characters that had the most focus, Maou, Yusa, and Chiho, were honestly the weakest ones. They were bland characters whose development in the anime went out the window. Maou’s inclination of being Satan didn’t stick. Yusa was basically a stalker who kept saying she was going to do something about Maou, but ended up working with him. And Chiho was mostly there to obsess over Maou (and be one of the main fanservice characters) and she barely had any other development than that. She became a special girl, since she became an Earth human that could understand Ente Islan.
The strongest characters were the background characters, the ones that didn’t have the focus constantly. I loved Aishya – his speaking patterns were nice and proper, and he wanted to keep the betterment of the Lord. He fit his role. He didn’t try to apologize for the destruction of the human countries in Ente Isla; why would he? According to his morals, he was acting in his own interests and the interests of the Demon Lord. Urushihara wanted power. He had motives to kill others and he didn’t apologize for anything. Upon his defeat, he bums on the money Maou makes. He takes and doesn’t give, as a demon (fallen angel) would. He’s been convicted of human thefts, so he’s hiding out. Crestia Bell’s morals come through very clearly as it touches on her past and she becomes a much stronger character this way.
The final episode in the anime was unrelated to the overarching plotline, but it made for a an interesting look at the characters and the possibility of Maou’s usage of his charisma over a very charismatic con man, but he ended up needing to use the legal system to win.
Of course, there are positives to the series as well. Both the dub voices and the sub voices were excellent. The animation was smooth and colors on Earth were bright when then needed to be and dark when they needed to be. I enjoyed the background music as well
It’s unfortunate that the series wasn’t what it could have been. The premise was a good premise. I just wished that the idea had stuck. The characters had initial potential but the main three fell short and the background characters became stronger. I wished it had been about Maou’s climb to the top – taking business and poltics by storm. I wished Yusa and Chiho could have had better development and the anime had not have become just another slice of life. Perhaps the light novels – and the manga volumes – are better and the plot keeps going in a more fleshed out development – but the anime has left a bad taste in my mouth and I really can’t say I want to look at them anytime soon.
Also, Netflix, please put subs on the Ente Islan conversations in the dubbed version. It’s still another language.
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