The Devil Is a Part-Timer!
The Devil Is a Part-Timer! has a fun concept with a tiny bit of social commentary behind it. It’s a multi-platform franchise, beginning as a light novel series by Satoshi Wagahara, translated and available from Yen On, with four volumes out so far.
There was a great war of supernatural forces. The demon generals were defeated at the cusp of victory by a hero rallying the human forces. They all fled to other dimensions, and Sadao (formerly Satan), accompanied by his second-in-command Shiro, wound up in Tokyo. With no money, in a world that doesn’t believe in magical power, Sadao winds up working at a fast food restaurant just to keep body and soul together.
That’s funny, in itself, with an undertone of “if even a demon king can’t make it from paycheck to paycheck without worrying, no wonder everyone’s having so much trouble getting by”. Plus, as the two navigate our world, there’s the usual culture clash humor.
They still dream of returning to complete their conquest — Shiro is trying to find a way to replenish their magic abilities — although as time goes by, they get caught up in the struggles of everyday living. Sadao’s current goal is to make it from part-time to full-time salaried employee as a first step on his path to world domination.
This is complicated by the presence of Emilia, the hero, who has followed them to Earth and is still trying to kill the devil king, although she’s similarly without supernatural abilities. They end up thrown together, since they have more in common than not, despite the conflict.
I came to the series through the manga adaptation by Akio Hiiragi. The character designs are pretty generic: the demon king looks like a standard everyday guy, while the hero is a long-haired pretty girl (although they have the same face, his with tiny fangs).
My favorite bits were the daily life elements. Sadao as the almost-perfect fast-food counter jockey. The teenage co-worker who has a crush on him. How Emilia takes customer service calls. Her new friend from work. There’s a bigger plot about someone from the home world trying to kill both of them, and a flashback to how Emilia became a hero leader, but the fantasy is almost a distraction to me. Particularly when it allows for magic powers to appear whenever the story needs them.
That’s what volume two was about, introducing more refugees from the other world, so I quit the series (five manga volumes out so far). I also didn’t care much for how Emilia keeps winding up needing Sadao’s help. If she was such a powerful leader, why does the story feel the need to send her, for example, to his apartment asking for help because she lost her purse? Or rescued by him in an earthquake? I know the answer — because she’s a girl — but I don’t care much for it.
There’s a second spin-off manga series, The Devil Is a Part-Timer! High School!. These volumes are slimmer (110 or so pages) and in a larger trim size than standard manga, made to match the novels. The characters are all recreated as students, in very light situations and short chapters. Of course, there’s also an anime adaptation of the light novels as well. (The publisher provided review copies.)