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The Summer 2022 Preview Guide
The Devil Is a Part-Timer!!

How would you rate episode 1 of
The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.1

What is this?

In another dimension the Devil King Sadao is only one step away from conquering the world when he is beaten by Hero Emilia and forced to drift to the other world: modern-day Tokyo. As "conquering the world" are the only skills the Devil King possesses - and are obviously unnecessary in his new situation - he must work as a freeter to pay for his living expenses.

The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! is based on Satoshi Wagahara's light novel series and streams on Crunchyroll on Thursdays.

How was the first episode?

Richard Eisenbeis

I'm not going to lie, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. But the thing is, when I look back on it, it wasn't a particularly stand-out episode—not as a standalone story nor as part of The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! overall. There are no greater themes explored and the larger plot is basically in a holding pattern until the episode's closing moments. Because of this, I can't help but wonder just how much of my enjoyment came from nostalgia alone.

I have to admit, I had long since given up on ever seeing a second season to The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! I mean, there aren't many one-cour series that suddenly get a second season nearly a decade after their original release, after all. So the fact that this season exists at all is already enough to make me more than a little excited going in.

Though the change in art style threw me for a bit of a loop, it was great to see all the characters again. They fell back into their roles perfectly: Maou the breadwinner, Ashiya the put-upon “housewife” doing everything he can to keep his family alive despite their shoestring budget, and Urushihara the rebellious teen with an amazon addiction. Watching them deal with a cockroach infestation (a real struggle in Japan, let me assure you) and doing the laundry with a downright ancient laundry machine was worth a few laughs at least.

But really, when it comes down to it, this episode (and the series in general) succeeds or fails depending on how much you can identify with the everyday struggles of the working poor—how much empathetic humor you can get out of it. Because for all of its fantasy aspects, The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! is really social commentary more than anything else. The final moments of the episode decidedly raise the stakes by adding an unplanned child into the mix. I look forward to see how this found family of oddballs manages this newfound responsibility, along with the otherworldly threats that pop up from time to time.

James Beckett

It's hard to believe that it has been nearly ten years since we last saw the likes of the MgRonald's crew, but it's true: The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! is back. Given the amount of time that has passed since the first season of this loveable reverse-isekai sitcom debuted, it makes sense that the premiere of The Devil is a Part-Timer!! (note the second exclamation mark) is mostly dedicated to simply catching us all up on the basics of the program. Maou (aka Satan) is a former demon lord turned enthusiastic Japanese fast-food slinger; Emi is the former heroic knight that begrudgingly lives as said former demon lord's next-door neighbor, etc. A decade may have gone by in the real world, but The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! is here to remind you that it is the same show it has always been, for better and/or for worse.

Thankfully, I'd say things mostly fall on the “for the better” side of the spectrum, and it's actually kind of nice that this premiere spends so much time just reintroducing folks. I obviously remembered the likes of Mao, Emi, Ashiya, and Lucifer, and it was great to catch up with the dorks as they navigate the ever- so-dire tribulations of squashing bugs, flipping burgers, and figuring out who is going to take care of the household chores. Conversely, I had completely forgotten about characters like Mitsuki and Suzuno, so getting reacquainted with them was also appreciated. All of their shenanigans and banter remain basically unchanged from 2013, which will either be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you feel about the comedic tropes that dominated the light-novel comedy landscape back in the day.

I'm here for it, myself. This season in particular has been chock-full of frankly dreadful attempts at comedy, whether it be in the form of lecherous familiars or criminally unfunny stand-up routines, so even the sometimes-corny shtick of The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! is bound to play well in comparison. Admittedly, I did have to recalibrate my brain to get in touch with the James that was just graduating college and figuring out the terrifying world of independent living, and I think the comedy would have hit even harder if I was still living in the same head-space as the protagonists of the anime, but that's really more of a “Me” problem.

If the show itself has any problems, though, it's the big twist that gets introduced at the end of the episode: The tiny little ragamuffin that claims to be Mao and Emi's daughter. On the one hand, there's a part of my soul that will forever be the little ship-nerd that got obsessed with cheesy romance as a kid, so all of the built-in drama that the kid's existence is going to produce for Emi, Mao, and (sigh) Chiho is probably going to be entertaining. On the other hand, she could very well be the kind of cutesy-poo shark jump that has felled many a sitcom before, and my tolerance for poorly-executed kid characters can only go so far.

Still, I would be lying if I told you that it wasn't nice to have The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! around in a season that has been really stingy with the must-watch programming. This isn't high-caliber art or anything like that, but it is a decently made comedy with loveable characters that will actually make you laugh (at least most of the time), and I'll take what I can get.

Christopher Farris

That delightful Devil and all of his wacky part-time pals have returned after nearly a decade! If it's been a while since you last caught up with this series, don't worry—this new-season premiere has you covered with what amounts to a resourceful refresher course on the whole situation. All the main players are dutifully reintroduced to the audience, reminding us of what their individual bits are and how their dynamics interact at this stage in the status quo. Part of that is definitely in service of making sure we're on board by the time the new shake-up for this storyline drops into everyone's laps at the end of this episode, sure, but it also means this whole premiere is less a 'triumphant return' for The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! and more a moderately insecure appeal from the show itself to remember it even as we're watching it.

Don't get me wrong: the rapport between everyone that made this bunch so lovable in the first place hasn't really slipped even after nine years. Maou and Emilia still make for an amusing frenemy duo sparring with each other, Chi continues to be absolutely worth rooting for, and this is a show whose big dramatic return to television can be marked by a B-plot involving Ashiya teaching Urushihara to do housework and make it entertaining. That's a consistency that tracks, since esoteric conversations contrasted against the fantasy background material has always been the lifeblood of this show. And there's an amusing anticlimax to waiting this long for the series' return only to be welcomed back with the thrill-ride content of Ashiya teaching Urushihara to fold shirts.

That said, The Devil Is a Part-Timer!! has some ambition from the start that it'll be following through as the season goes on. The opening features a re-recap of the Hero/Devil conflict that started this whole situation in the first place, with the tease of a new character who may be stepping in to fill Maou's power vacuum over in Ente Isla. And the actual ongoing plot for the apparent future rolls out as a literal apple of discord at the very end, raising plenty of questions for us to spend this season answering. But when the rest of the episode spends its dramatic bulk setting up a climatically anticlimactic battle with a cockroach in the apartment (delightful as it is to see my boy Lucifer dramatically take the bug on wielding a vacuum cleaner), it's hard not to feel a little underwhelmed if you've been waiting nine years for this comeback.

As well, the visuals will probably be a point of contention for devilish returnees. The studio hop from White Fox to 3Hz has seen a shift in the stylization; everyone looks noticeably rounder now (not counting the unfortunately-returning Sariel, whose whole joke is that 'He's fat now', which, uh, great). Obviously, stylistic sensibilities of anime have shifted since that first season ages ago, but having watched that one recently myself, I already miss the more angular face game it deployed compared to everyone's more…loose expressions in the new one. There also seems to be less movement of both the camera and characters, which was crucial in selling even the simplest domestic humor of the original. Though I'm aware that catching it recently means I was seeing the 'cleaned up' version of that one, so perhaps the trade-off will be Season 2 looking more consistent overall through its televised run.

The Devil Is a Part-Timer!!'s second season seems happy to welcome back any previous fans, though this premiere isn't out to set the world on fire or draw in new people to see what all the hype is about. As the series is wont to do, it's likely things will escalate as episodes go on, but for the time being, it's just fine. It punches in, does what's asked of it, and goes home at the end of the day, with just the faintest implication of going on to greater things in the future.

Nicholas Dupree

For years, this sequel season was the Half-Life 3 for my graduating class of anime fans. If you got into following seasonal shows between 2012 and 2015, you probably had “Part-Timer S2 when” drilled so deep into your brain that it'll never leave. But after nearly a decade of nothing – with even the light novel author saying it wasn't going to happen – somehow the long-awaited follow-up to the surprise reverse-isekai hit of Spring 2013 is here. And while this is a perfectly alright return for the show, the fact that it exists at all – albeit with a totally new adaptive team, studio, and art style – is kind of more notable than anything that happens in this premiere.

Mostly that's because not much really happens in this episode. Instead of jumping back into the thick of the ongoing inter-world plotlines, the goal here, probably wisely, is instead to get the audience fully back up to speed with the characters. So nearly all of this premiere is just re-establishing character dynamics and the general status quo. Maou and Emi are still adversarial, but not outright enemies. Ashiya is the ever-neurotic househusband who's trying to take NEET Urushihara under his wing and take over the duties of keeping up the demon lord's budget apartment. Chiho is smitten with Maou and just takes all the fantasy stuff in stride. It's a useful way to get reacquainted with the cast and the jokes they provide, and even having not seen season one in almost a decade, it was pretty painless to slot back into these characters' lives. Despite the long absence, there's not a lot of visible daylight between this and the previous season.

That's both a good and bad thing. It's good because most of the charm of the original is preserved. While the direction is decidedly more pedestrian than its predecessor, there's plenty of solid comedic timing and some choice facial expressions to keep the energy up. It's a bad thing because a few bits of humor have aged less-than-gracefully, and they go on just long enough to be irritating. Like, the running joke about Emi's breast size was always eye-rolling, and seeing it return was like the show slamming on the comedic brakes. Boob jokes have never gone away, but these days you at least see more effort than just having somebody insult a lady's cup size, y'know? And in general that's my biggest worry with this series returning. There's been a lot of developments in how anime and light novel comedies operate in the last 9 years, and Part-Timer may not be able to hold up with the new blood, which would be a shame considering how refreshing the first season felt at the time.

Whether that happens remains to be seen, but I can't deny it was nice to see these characters in action again. And the new introduction of a random baby(?) claiming to be Maou and Emi's daughter is a pretty great hook for this new season. So for now I'm cautiously optimistic about going back to MgRonald's for another combo meal.

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