Isekai is one of the most common anime genres; light novels, manga, video games and even cartoons take notes from it. Its content revolves around a protagonist from our world who gets transported and dumped into a realm of fantasy, a parallel world or a sci-fi universe, and the main character needs to either find a way to get back home or learn how to live in their new environment.
The isekai genre is famous, but it’s very predictable once you know the standard plotline. Some anime try to change the recipe, like “Overlord,” “Re: Zero” or “No Game No Life,” but the same formula is still there. But what if a story flipped the script entirely? What if, instead of the main character getting sent to a new world, they come to ours from an alternate world?
That is the concept of “The Devil Is a Part-Timer!” In a fantasy world called Ente Isla, Satan, the protagonist, seeks to conquer the world but is stopped by a legendary hero named Emilia. Now forced to escape, he and one of his generals, Alciel, head toward a gate, and they end up in modern-day Japan. They must learn to survive our world and find a way to get back to their own.
Eventually, they get new names, a cheap apartment and Satan, now known as Sadao Maou, works part-time at MgRonalds, an excellent fast-food chain that is not like McDonald’s at all. After all, their McFlurry machine works, unlike its similarly-named counterpart. The anime was originally a light novel series that was created in 2011 and ended in 2020 with 27 volumes. The series became very popular, getting three manga adaptations and an anime.
Funnily enough, this particular anime was not trying to do something new. Instead, it appeared just when the isekai genre was starting to get noticed. Some isekai stories try to poke fun at a specific trope in anime, and it comes off as forceful. However, “The Devil Is a Part-Timer!” is genuine and never feels like it’s forcing you to get the joke of the isekai landscape. This is because it simply doesn’t try to, as it came out before the many other isekai anime.
There was no need to insert a meta moment where the character looks at the camera and goes, “Look, we’re making fun of this trope. Isn’t that funny?” “The Devil Is a Part-Timer!” impresses with actual punchlines delivered excellently by a cast of colorful and delightful characters.
The main characters are Sadao Maou, Emi Yusa, Shiro Ashiya, Chiho Sasaki, Lucifer and Suzuno Kamazuki. All have a great dynamic together, and though these characters seem to follow typical tropes, once you witness their growth and actions, you understand the roots of their personalities and end up cherishing them.
Ashiya, also known as Alciel, does his best to be loyal to Maou. Because Ashiya and Maou now live in Japan with no armies to command, Ashiya now commands the kitchen and, instead of Satan’s most feared general, is now a concerned homemaker.
Emilia is also the hero, and as a busy telemarketer, she now has to go by a new name, Emi Yusa. She has to decide between letting Maou live or striking him down since he destroyed many in their homeworld. In the modern setting, however, he is a hardworking, cheerful guy who wants to be the king of fries and earn employee of the month.
His tame demeanor seems like it will make for a boring show, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even Maou himself has his demons to fight, as he is afraid of turning back to his old ways and becoming the devil again. While viewers watch what it’s like to work at MgRonald’s, the war in the fantasy world is still going on, and characters from that world transport themselves through the gate to kill Maou. These crossovers lead to entertaining fight scenes, so you are always on your toes, wondering if this episode will be filled with hilarious scenes or action-packed fights and tension.
The only bad thing about this series is that it is as simple as it can get, and you will want to see even more character development and more plotlines. Once the anime ended its first season, it desperately needed a second. It had remarkable potential, but viewers’ hopes were crushed when the news was revealed that its studio, White Fox, would be discontinuing “The Devil is a Part-Timer!” for unknown reasons. It was rather painful to hear, but after a long wait, the anime’s second season has finally been announced.
The cast from the previous season is back, and the only thing that looks different is its animation. Not much information has been revealed yet, but season two is confirmed to bring much comfort and joy. The announcement offers hope that other good shows that got discontinued could be given a second or third season. In the meantime, why not give “The Devil Is a Part-Timer!” a shot? It is a fun-sized isekai anime with many flavors packed into it, and it’s worth the price of your time to order up.