Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Devil is a Part Timer! (Hataraku Maō-sama!)

This show is a lot of fun and it is easily one of the better situational comedies I've seen in awhile. Of course, it's not all comedy. There is a some drama, but this show doesn't take itself too seriously most of the time. But, generally, when it does get serious it works.

Since being forced to escape his world of Ente Isla through a bizarre wormhole to his arrival in modern day Tokyo, Satan has had a lot of adjusting to do. First of all, he's been stripped of much of his demonic powers and reduced to a mere human form. His trusty general Alciel also accompanied him through the wormhole and he is pretty much the same way. 

Together they have to survive in this bizarre world of humans and hopefully find a way to reclaim all of their lost magic to travel back to Ente Isla and reclaim their stolen throne. But in the meantime they are stuck and have to survive by following the ways of the humans. After establishing much more human sounding identities and finding a new "Devil's Castle" (a sad little one bedroom apartment owned by a rather frightening fat landlady), Satan decides to become the primary breadwinner while Alciel stays at home to do the cooking and do research about ways they might find magic on earth. 

Naturally, what drew me to the series was the fact that King Satan was a fast food worker. There's a natural kinship between fast food workers I think because all of us pretty much don't want to be working in fast food and seeing someone else going through the same crap makes us feel better. In Satan's case he works at "MgRonald's" and there he is one of the better workers. His drive to be the best earns him a tremendous reputation and before long he gets a raise and then a rise in position to substitute manager. Satan treats his workers like soldiers and when the "Sentucky Fried Chicken" opens across the street, Satan does everything in his extremely limited power to make sure the enemy doesn't steal his customers and that his crew doesn't lose heart. Satan takes his job very seriously, folks. And that's one of the reasons this show is so freaking funny. 

Following them through the wormhole is Emilia the Hero. Emilia is of course the "hero" of the story and she is a descendant of an angel. She is stripped of her magic and has to adhere to the ways of humans as well, but Emilia keeps tabs on Satan and Alciel in her spare time. Realizing that Satan plans to work his way up through the ranks of MgRonald's to a place of greater power so he could eventually conquer Japan and then the world, Emilia begins to wonder about Satan. While Satan's goals seem like the kind of thing Satan would do, it's his willingness to help his crew and people in general that throws her for a loop. This is the ultimate evil? 

During this show Satan really is more of the straight man hero while Emilia the Hero is the bitter cynic who has to fight every urge just to kill the king of demons. It's role reversal and that is another thing that makes this show funny and well as a bit deeper at times. 

Eventually, we meet up with General Lucifer (not to be confused with King Satan) and his hijinks bring a bit more comedy since he has a penchant for buying a lot of things from "Jungle" (read: Amazon) and that sends Alciel through the roof because Alciel is the keeper of King Satan's modest budget. 

While only 13 episodes are in the show (hopefully we'll get another season, but who really knows), I can honestly say that I enjoyed this show more than I have just about any other show I've seen in the last year. And I've seen a couple, folks. The last half of the show isn't quite as good in terms of keeping up the tension, but I'd say that's a minor complaint. This show is fun. 

And like Emilia the Hero, please just give Satan a chance. Watch this show. As of now it's streaming the subtitled version on FUNimation. If there's ever an English dub I think Johnny Yong Bosch would make a great Satan. But we'll see what happens. 

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