The title of this show (The Devil Is a Part-Timer) made me think that it was either going to be the greatest comedy series of all time, or the dumbest piece of retarded mung that the world had ever seen. It was neither, but it was infinitely closer to my first thought than my second.
I had been recommended The Devil Is a Part-Timer back when it first debuted, but I was convinced it was a wacky, slapstick, FLCL-like show due solely to its name, and it took me a while till I was ready for a silly show such as that. Eventually I was, and we started watching it, and the first 5 minutes made me wonder just what the fuck was going on. See, the opening of the show is violent, pretty serious, and has amazing visuals and animation... All of which are usually not applied to shows that star the Prince of Darkness wearing a fast food employee's hat in all the production art. I was confused and honestly thought I downloaded the wrong series.
Everything begins in a fantasy-themed world (Ente Isla) that has 5 giant continents clustered together (one center, one North, one South, one East, and one West) where the Dark Lord Satan rules the center land mass, and he's using his armies of the damned to take over all the rest. He nearly succeeds, but the united front of humans on the remaining lands unite, and with the help of a Holy Hero they are able to repel the Lord of Evil, and push him and his dark generals back to Castle Overlord that is his own personal Hitler bunker. But just as the Hero is about to deliver the killing blow to the ultimate horned one, Satan calls forth a mystical portal to carry himself and his only remaining general away from the bloodshed, in order to collect his thoughts and start planning a counter attack. Unfortunately for the Lord of Darkness, he and his most loyal underling end up in modern Tokyo where magic does not exist as he is used to, and he is powerless to do much at all (beyond hypnotizing a policeman to let him and his general go after they were brought into the station for making a scene — using up some of the last of his magwer [an abbreviation of "magical-power"... I just coined that!] in the process).
In this no-magic realm of 21st century Japan, the 2 demons find themselves in human bodies (with Satan in the form of an 18 year-old kid), with little hope of returning home. Together they take on Japanese names, rent a shitty 6-tatami mat apartment (the NEW Castle Overlord), and then Satan (now going by Sadao Mao) — realizing that he and General Alciel (now going by Shiro Ashiya) need cash for living and not starving — goes out and gets a job at a local MgRonald's fast food restaurant.
Things start to finally go smoothly for Satan though, and he soon becomes the number one employee at his MgRonald's. Satan becomes so comfortable with his new life that he even considers using the last remnants of his magical powers to fix up a broken fryer during a dinner rush instead of saving it to eventually open a portal back to Ente Isla... But things take a turn for the worse for our Dark Lord soon enough when it's revealed that the Holy Hero of the Church (who led the humans to victory against Satan in his homelands) traveled to Earth as well, and is out to make sure that Satan never comes back.
If there's one thing that really truly works for this show (beyond the paper-thin, but hilarious, premise of putting the King of Evil behind the counter of a burger joint), it's the characters. I loved all the characters, good and bad (except those whom we are supposed to hate... You'll know them when you see them). Satan/Sadao Mao and his general Alciel/Shiro Ashiya are actually pretty damn sympathetic as they try to survive in (and climb to the top of) 21st century Tokyo, and the Holy Hero, well, they could have played the Hero up as some douchie, full-of-himself a-hole, or some holier than though asshat, but instead the Hero came out just as sympathetic and likeable as Mao and Ashiya. And Satan's junior MgRonald's coworker, Chiho (the short girl with the HUUUUUUUGE ol' titties), was not anywhere as obnoxious as I feared she'd be. I was worried we'd get a KOR Hikaru character (you know, a totally annoying, loud, annoying, retarded, stupid, annoying, cunt and a half), but she was pretty cool and not a complete dumbass. They put together a very well-rounded cast of characters for this dang ol' thing.
This series was absolutely great fucking fun. As soon as they jumped to modern day Japan it found its tone, pace, and humor, and it never forgot it. It's silly, yeah, but it's never over-the-top ridiculous. It never goes full-on Dragon-Half or anything. If I had to pin the feel of another show onto The Devil Is a Part-Timer, I'd choose The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Lots of dry humor placed on the main characters formed mainly by their very strange situations that they find themselves in. Coincidentally enough, both Haruhi and Devil started out as a series of light novels (of which Haruhi still has quite a few that need to be animated goddammit!)... Nothing more to that fact, just found it interesting is all. Anyway, despite the humor found in a Dark Lord and a Holy Knight living in magic-less Tokyo, the show never does let you forget that a bloody war between demons and humans just occurred in another realm. We often get some flashbacks to the carnage and despair that Satan brought to the people of Ente Isla, and later on we get to see what the Church is doing in the magic world with both Satan and the Holy Hero missing. There's a lot of pretty dark shit going on still despite the basic zany premise. So just don't go in expecting nothing but Level-E levels of insanity with no drama at all.
Overlord At Work... I can't wait for more! If there never ends up being more I'll be really, REALLY pissed. This is the silly fun thing that I typically don't go in for but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it! Even though it was a bit goofy it played by the rules it set with its tone and carried it through very well. The main characters are pretty "classical" developmentally and the set up is nothing so far fetched that you're left going "but who the hell is that guy?" or "what do they want and why?!" every five minutes. But it does have little plot twists throughout that keep things interesting. All and all a very enjoyable series to watch thus far!
カツ丼とシーズン2は、迅速にしてください！ or "pork cutlet bowl and season two swiftly please!*"
*not a direct translation
I'm not going to lie to you, I'm both flattered, but also kind of annoyed over this show.
Yes, they made a show where a devil is the main character, and he's pretty awesome in his own right, but they make him kind of a wuss after he moves to Tokyo. Originally he was a total bad-ass, wrecker of all, stone-willed evil overlord in his own land, but then he comes to modern day Japan and just rolls over like a puppy and takes it up the ass like a $10 crack whore. If it were I who transferred to Tokyo, I would have made that city my bitch in less than 3 weeks. Even if I only started out as a french fry wrangler at the BK Lounge. The Satan in this show just needs to man up, roll up his sleeves, and get fucking busy!