Thursday, May 7, 2015

Part-time work can be a special kind of hell...

A good worker is a good worker, whether he's leading demon hoards or slinging burgers, in The Devil is a Part-Timer! (Light Novel) Volume 1.

It was a humiliating retreat. The Devil King Maou could not hold ranks, and the only avenue left to him was to open a portal for himself and his top general Alciel to flee through.

But after battling to a standstill against the Hero Emilia Justina, neither had the energy to control the intermensional portal they had created. They fell from the portal into a world unlike any they had ever seen before. Buildings reach up to touch the sky. Lights line the streets, stretching into the distance. 

And there doesn't seem to be the supply of magic that they're accustomed to in Ente Isla.

After a humiliating few days trying to acclimate themselbes to this strange, human-run world, The Devil King Maou and Alciel begin to get their feet under them. Using a bit of their remaining magic, they obtain the background paperwork necessary to obtain housing and employment.

Of a sort.

What folows is a hilarious fantasy/slice of life. The Devil King, now known as Sadao Maou, finds work at the fast food giant MgRonalds, and begins his plans for world domination through climbing the ranks within the MgRonalds corporation. Alciel - Shiro Ashiya - is focusing on his support role for Maou, keeping the household and budget in order, as well as researching any possible sources of magic in this new world.

Maou and Ashiya aren't the only ones frmo Ente Isla to find their way to Earth. The Hero Emilia followed her quarry through the portal, and has also set herself up with a job and a new identity. Being rather more pragmatic than her enemies, she manages to use her ability to comprehend and speak any language she hears to obtain a relatively cushy job at a call center.

The longer our exiled warriors stay on Earth, the more involved tehy get in their new lives. Maou earns the respect of his manager and subordinates alike. Ashiya becomes involved with the same challenges as any househusband, competing to get the best deals at market and bemoaning their lack of funds. Even The Hero Emilia - now Emi Yusa - makes a friend at work.

And strange things have been happening around Sasazuka station. Odd earthquakes that are very tightly centered around a coworker of Maou. Voices warning her of a bigger event happening soon. Even an attack on Maou and Yusa as they argue after Maou's shift at MgRonalds. It soon becomes clear that they are not the only new people in the area.

And whoever it is, they're upping the stakes.

The Devil is a Part-Timer! (Light Novel) Volume 1 gives more depth to the story than either the manga or the anime is able to. Motivations are more clear, and the interactions more detailed. The thoughts and feelings of Yusa, and the straightforward befuddlement of Maou, are both hilarous and telling. Th\is format lets the writing of Satoshi Wagahara shine, and shows why this is such a well-received series.

The Devil is a Part-Timer! (Light Novel) Volume 1 is both a great introduction to the series, as well as a supplement to the collection of media surrounding this story.

Highs: Maou's day out with Chiho was totally a everybody but Maou.

Lows: I'd love more details about some of the side characters back in Ente Isla.

Verdict: This is perhaps the best way to first experience the series, and is both hilarous and endearing in turn.

Further Reading: The Devil is a Part Timer! (manga), My Neighbor Seki, Moribito, Rin-ne

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