Comedy is subjective. What one person finds hilarious, another may not even crack a smirk at. With that said it almost goes without saying that anime comedy is largely hit and miss especially with Westerners. The cultural divide creates a lot of barriers for humour to be understood and for jokes to land, but there are an elite few anime that destroy all cultural boundaries and prove to be objectively a good laugh irregardless of the audience. The Devil is a Part Timer is one of those anime series. So how does this part time Devil strike up comedic gold? What’s so funny about the Devil getting a part time job?
The Devil is a Part Timer comes from White Fox studio, the very same people who brought us the modern classic that is Steins;Gate. While stylistically and story wise these two series have next to nothing in common, comedically they both follow a rather simple formula with universal appeal. The comedy is relatable and it is always underlined by genuine sentiment. It is something so simple yet it is something that is so often gotten wrong. Devil is a Part Timer however nails it with a story that hits close to home universally, scraping by and making a living, it is something we all have known at one point or another and this show mines it for all its comedy gold to great reward.
So what exactly is this show about? Well Satan himself gets a job at MgRonalds (Anime equivalent of McDonalds, duh!) after becoming trapped in the human world and losing all of his powers. Many beings of the underworld known as Ente Isla follow Satan to the human world only to find themselves facing the same fate. What happens next is what makes this series so special. These demons and other worldly folk form a family of their own in this world, struggling to make a living and learning what it means to be human along the way. As we see these characters progressively more humanized the human just keeps rolling in all the while true emotional sentiment is forged in the heart of it all.
While The Devil is a Part Timer is uproariously funny and its take on fast food restaurants is pitch perfect, the series actually does have a compelling plot to boot. Satan’s exile on Earth is a captivating scenario and the bonds formed over the series add to the tension of the inevitable moment of his chance to return to his world. With subtle characterization rich with detail, we come to feel for these characters and the struggles they face. They make us laugh, they make us cry, it is one hell of a balance and this part time Devil is working hard for that minimum wage.
Aesthetically pleasing, The Devil is a Part Timer features some phenomenal animation from the ever hard-working White Fox studios.The animation is fluid and the character designs are all very appealing and quite memorable to boot. The opening and ending theme videos are equally well composed and have great artistic direction. The soundtrack is also a roaring success with countless quality tracks proving to be the backbone for this phenomenal series. On top of that this release features Funimation’s excellent English dub which gives viewers the choice to listen in their native language. Interestingly the English voice actors even dub the Ente Isla language which is a nice little moment of attention to detail from Funimation.
The release comes packed with a plethora of bonus features that will add a definite longevity to this DVD collection. While the series itself is worth countless replays, the special features gives you a lot to sink your teeth into. Included are the usual clean opening and endings along with episode commentary for episode 1 and 2 and a special look at the language of Ente Isla. It all comes together to make for a chockablock filled collective release that is more than worth the asking price.
The Devil is a Part Timer is without a doubt one anime’s finest comedies. The series is hilarious to say the least but it is the heart beneath the laughter that makes it a bonafide classic. Just like the Devil works hard at his part time job to make a living, The Devil is a Part Timer is clearly a work of passion with each and every episode lovingly put together by the hard working team at White Fox. Everything about this series scream quality. The Devil is a Part Timer is deadset brilliant, proving that sometimes the things we find most funny are the things that are most closest to our hearts.
You can apply for a part time job at MgRonalds by picking up a copy of The Devil is a Part Timer at Siren Visual’s Online Store.