In The Devil is a Part-Timer episode 1, "The Devil Arrives in Sasazuka," Satan is waging a war between his forces of darkness and the humans in a world called Ente Isle. Satan's forces initially push the humans back, but then under the banner of a new hero, the humans begin to win battle after battle. Finally, Satan is compelled to face off against the hero within his own castle. Seeing certain defeat, he flees with his trusted general Alciel through a dimensional portal. They emerge in the Sasazuka region in Japan. As humans. Lacking magical power. And penniless. The two of them almost immediately encounter the police. Can they maintain their freedom long enough to get their bearings? Should we even be rooting for a character named Satan, ruler of demons? And why does Alciel have a tendency to throw his cape back and strike dramatic poses?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What's in This Post
3 Favorite Moments
For a comedy series, The Devil is a Part Timer put a ton of effort into the opening battle scenes. I mean, I really liked some of the battles from Record of Grancrest War (and no, I didn't just like that series because Siluca, though as of right now, she's still the lock screen on my iPhone), but I found these scenes every bit as compelling! For example, when the hero faced off against Satan himself in his castle (3:08), it was a hellacious fight! The hero's armor gleamed golden; Satan glowered with red eyes and crooked horns. Their blows were fast and furious. I seriously thought I'd started watching the wrong show -- the fight was that cool! The best part was when Alciel interrupted them to inform his lord that their armies had failed. How did Satan react? Did he go into a self-defeating rage? No -- he withdrew (3:53) so he could fight another day. He didn't act out of cowardice, he acted out of a rational prudence. In that instant, he told us almost everything we need to know about his personality. That's a ton of work for the opening act of a comedy!
Who knew that a human body needed food? Well, I can tell you who didn't know. It was, you know, Satan! Capture from the Netflix stream.
I love the humor in this series. The timing is spot on, and it fits seamlessly into the plot -- even advancing the plot as much as dramatic moments might advance a, well, a drama! We see our hero Satan (still a strange phrase, if you ask me!) exerting more and more effort to establish their base of operations. At the realtor's office, he's making progress, but you can see he's struggling (10:54). He meets the landlady, and you can see the exhaustion on his face (12:12). Finally, having acquired their single room rental unit, Satan and Alciel are strategizing, and Satan gets to the point where there are tears in his eyes (12:27). Then, in the middle of a sentence, he simply collapses (12:34). Alciel doesn't know what to do. He's in a blind panic! Fortunately, they emerged in Japan and not the United States, so they had universal health care. Can you guess what was wrong with him? Can you guess why he collapsed? He summarized it himself when he said, "Sigh. I didn't realize this body was one that required food" (12:44). He had just forgotten to eat! The sub said "I didn't realize this body required food!" I loved the humor and that their arrival on Earth had consequences.
I can't tell if she's angry he's working at McRonald's or is alive at all! Capture from the Netflix stream.
Sadao Maou (Satan's new name after using hypnosis on a ward worker) wanted to sell so many pepper fries that he'd get a raise! But he was betrayed by those very pepper fries. The McRonald's franchise where he worked (yes, McRonalds) was locked in a tight competition with other McRonald's locations to sell the most black pepper fries. Seeing that the fryer seemed to be broken, Maou hesitated. Should he use magic to fix it? His magic power glowed in his right hand as he debated with himself (20:26). Then his manager interrupted him. That was an important development, because on his way home, he encountered the young woman to whom he'd loaned an umbrella (yes, Satan gave his umbrella to a pretty girl -- to me, that's funny on a lot of levels). She says she had been watching him from across the street all day, and before he can be too weirded out, she says she saw him almost cast a spell (21:55). Then he recognized her: She's the hero named Emilia, the hero who had lead the attack against him in Ente Isla. The funny part? She seemed more scandalized that he was working at a McRonalds than anything else!
Before writing this review, I watched both the sub and the dub. Generally, I prefer subs, but this is one of the series where the dub is every bit as funny as the sub. Maybe even a little more since I can get the spoken humor as it's spoken! Around 11:00, when Maou and Alciel are in the realtor's office, Maou is trying to speak the native tongue. He says something the realtor could understand, and Alciel freaks out in shock. Telling his underling to pipe down, in the dub, Maou says, "O-Okay bro! I'm finally getting the grooving!"
Alciel watched on, very intently.
How much do I like this show? My wife travels a lot (she rocks in the genealogy space). There is one series that I'd load onto my iPhone so I could watch it as I sat in the cell-phone parking lot waiting for her flight to arrive. The cell-phone lot was were folks waiting for incoming flights would park to wait for their arrivals to call -- yep, on a cell phone!
Can you guess what series was on my phone? It was this one. For whatever reason, I can watch this series over and over and still enjoy the humor and characters as much each time. This episode was a perfect showcase for what's to come.
The humor's grounded in real-life experiences. Whether it's Maou and Alciel arguing about cash purchases versus installments, Alciel making a reference to Supersize Me, Maou naming his bicycle Dullahan, the devil working part-time at McRonalds, or the hero Emilia freaking out that he's working at all, the humor just works. It's not pretentious, it's not demeaning, and it's not cruel. It's just funny.
I wonder if you can guess my favorite character in this series? It's not an easy guess, because all of the main characters are interesting. I'll give you a hint: It's not the obvious a choice for most males. Don't get me wrong: Chiho is a dear, and she's certainly adorable. But let's face it: despite how she's drawn, she's a kid.
No, my favorite character is Emilia. She was the hero who led the assault against Satan in Ente Isla. She was so dedicated to her mission that she apparently followed the devil and one of his lieutenants to another world. She tracked him across time and space in her quest to vanquish him, and where did she finally meet him? As she was waiting to cross the street, shivering in the rain as she tried to protect herself from the elements using only her purse. She even accepted an umbrella from him before she recognized him.
There's something innately funny about the hero of Ente Isla accepting a loaner umbrella from her old foe. Capture from the Netflix stream.
And let's face it: She's absolutely beautiful. Did you see her yellow/gold eyes? Her red hair? Her determined expression as she (hilariously) asked Maou why he was working part time -- at a fast food joint? And best of all, did you see that she was realistically proportioned? No offense to Chiho or anyone who likes that model of feminine beauty, but given anime's propensity to portray women with breasts large enough that, if they existed in real life, would devastate the poor woman's spine, I cherish characters like Emilia. And it's a huge plus that she's graduated from high school.
What did you think of this first episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts about This Series
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit Discussion of The Devil is a Part-Timer Episode 1
- SOS Bros React - Devil Is A Part Timer Episode 1 - Starting Life In Another World (Youtube)
- Moeronpan! A First Impression: Hataraku Maou-Sama!/The Devil is a Part-Timer! Episode 1