As it is a whole series, I’m not going to limit myself to 100 words.
The joy of a long weekend in Australia. Time to marathon an old favourite and introduce someone new to a series. Well, not really, we’d already started The Devil is a Part Timer months ago but finally we got to disc two together and finished the series in one sitting.
Satan is evil (who’d have thought) and his demon armies have overrun Enta Isla and now the human armies are fighting back with the Hero (Emilia) taking over the castle and forcing Satan and his demon general Alsiel to flee through a gate. This wasn’t a terribly well thought out plan, however, as they end up in Japan without knowing the language or having any money. After some initial problems and using a little of the limited magic they have left, they have a place to stay but need to work in order to continue to live. Enter MgRonalds. Life settles down until Satan encounters Emilia in Japan.
The comedy in this show is fantastic as it balances absurd humour and satire fairly well throughout most of the series while still managing the odd moment of touching friendship and drama. While the occasional boob joke may intrude, for the most part the show relies on situational comedy and it plays the fish out of water card with precision and for merciless laughs.
Highlights include Satan’s dilemma over whether to use his power to cook chips when the fryer breaks. This is a moment stretched out for dramatic tension. He stands poised but frozen in indecision. He doesn’t have much power. But they won’t be first in sales if they can’t sell the chips. What should he do? And then the moment is broken and we see him hanging his head in utter defeat.
Also, Emilia’s dissatisfaction with her own mundane life and her inability to accept her changing relationship with Satan is regularly played for laughs even while it addresses real issues about not judging books by their covers and learning to move on. That and to stop projecting onto other people.
Lucifer’s portrayal as an introvert and lay about also brings on some good laughs later in the series. As does his plaintive complaints about his treatment (given he did try to kill most of the other cast members).
In addition to comedy the show offers some good satirical commentary about the nature of the modern world and whether or not our current work/corporate culture is evil. This point is further emphasised in the final episode that moves entirely away from the clash between angels and demons and focusses entirely on sales scams.
While some of the characters remain one dimensional and the basic premise never really evolves beyond Lord Satan is working part time and somehow believes he will one day rule the world, this series is more than entertaining enough. The few complaints about the odd missed joke and the sleazy portrayal of Sariel seem petty when looking at the overall.
The music is neither good nor bad (it fulfills its purpose but is readily forgotten after the fact) and the animation is neither particularly good or bad.
That said, I have to nominate Ashiya/Alciel for being the single most useless minion of all time.