Would you like fries with that?
Demon overlord one moment, fry cook the next. Based off the light novel series, Hataraku Maou-sama (also known as The Devil is a Part-Timer) is the spring season’s comedy that tells a real fish-out-of-water story. How was the service? Find out!
In the realm of Ente Isla Overlord Satan and his demon generals are making an advance to crush all humanity. However, a Hero appears and backs the Overlord into a corner. In a last ditch effort, Overlord Satan and his right-hand Alsiel escape into a dimensional gate and accidentally end up in 21st century Japan with no demonic legion, no magical powers, and transformed into humans. The Overlord, now named Sadao Maou, finds a job at the MgRonald’s fast food restaurant and the shenanigans begin.
First off, the comedic writing is amazing. There’s tons of parody and satire all over the place, from Alsiel complaining about health insurance to jabs at action series cliches during the fight scenes. The humor is varied and actually quite witty and subtle oftentimes, so it’s not all boob jokes. The story itself has a nice twist of drama, especially when the Hero Emilia enters the picture, set on vanquishing the Overlord, but is in the same debacle of crazy shenanigans as the Overlord and his right-hand.
Of course, romantic subplots will begin, and while expected, is not too offensive and if anything pries open more opportunities for jokes and meta-humor. It doesn’t matter if someone truly evil is trying to terrorize the city, a double-decker bento is just as traumatizing. I had initial reservations as more girls were put into the Sadao Maou’s life, but it was rather well executed instead of resorting to cheap fanservice grabs all day or trifling romance plots. It’s pretty meaningful romance too. And even then, the function of comedic parody helps and is massaged into these moment to perk it up and make sure the show doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The animation is par for the course, as is the OST. If anything the voice actors and actresses seemed to have lots of fun with it, the delivery from bombastic take-over-the-world to “would you like fries with that?” is very noticeable and well-appreciated. Really, this anime stacks up in a really solid well-rounded way and the only thing I could honestly say would strike nearly against it is that it’s overall very short, in-spite of a fair amount of source material to pull from. All in all, Hatarku Maou-sama is one of spring season’s best, and if you want a comedy with romance and action elements, look no further. I give a solid 4.0 to Hatarku Maou-sama. Season 2! Season 2! Join me next time when I order a mighty bowl of Khatsu-Doom.
– Great jokes, gags are clever and cover various “types” of comedy
– Writing is solid, can be dramatic one point, but then fake-out the viewer for great effect
– Good voice work makes for good delivery of gags and serious moments
– It’s incredibly short, a mere thirteen episodes
Studio: White Fox
Director: Naoto Hosoda
Writer: Masahiro Yokotani
Character design: Oniku (written as 029) (original), Atsushi Ikariya
Music: Ryosuke Nakanishi
Original creator: Satoshi Wagahara (light novel)
Original run: April 4, 2013 – June 27, 2013
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