The Devil is a Part-Timer Volume 2 – Review
The Devil is a Part-Timer:
Reviewed by: Tom
Synopsis: Sadao Maou, formerly The Demon Lord Satan from another world known as Ente Isla, continues to work his way up the MgRonald corporate ladder, finally reaching a new standing as Store Manager! Despite his service worker level success, he still has to contend with Emilia the Hero, who continues to keep an eye on him and his two demonic generals, Ashiya and Urushihara. As if that wasn’t enough a new girl moves in next door, one Suzuno Kamazuki, a traditional Japanese girl from the country side. Her kindness isn’t the problem, but Chiho’s jealousy is! And if all the personal problems weren’t enough now Sadao Maou finds an adversary moving in across the way from his MgRonald workplace: Sentucky Fried Chicken, and they’re stealing all the customers! Can the Demon Lord ever catch a break?
Review (Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
The Devil is a Part-Timer! Volume 2 picks up pretty close to where the first volume left off. There’s been a slight time jump and a few minor developments in between the two novels, but overall much of the status quo from last time is the same, minus introductions to certain new characters, like one Suzuno Kamazuki. Outside of the story’s progression, Volume 2, for some odd reason, seems to read better than the first.
The word flow and phrasing feels much better this time around, making the translation more of a joy to read and less of a chore. I don’t know if this is due to improvements in the translation itself (Kevin Grifford, the man responsible for the 1st Volume’s translation, returns for this 2nd volume) or perhaps the original author, Satoshi Wagahara, reinvented his own style. Either way the book reads better, letting the reader get more easily sucked into the story of Sadao’s attempts to climb the MgRonald’s ladder while dealing with periodic nuisances from Ente Isla.
Where as the first book seemed to wrap its MgRonald’s story between the more fantastical aspects of its narrative, Volume 2 is more squarely centered on Sadao’s food service efforts. Sure there’s a subplot involving the traditional Japanese girl, Suzuno, who moves in next door and her efforts to get close to Maou, or Emilia’s late night run in with another mysterious individual from her home land, but the majority of the story focuses on Maou’s attempts to thwart a take over bid by the new Sentucky Friend Chicken store across the way. Coupled with that is a bit more “everyday slice of life” content between Emilia, Suzuno, and Chiho’s ever growing affection for Maou. Despite that refocus on the more mundane world, Volume 2 manages to keep that struggle interesting, even when it perhaps shouldn’t be. There’s something oddly appealing about the Demon King working to defeat a fast food rival.
Fans of Ashiya might be disappointed however, as his character is very much shafted in the book’s last third. His character becomes relegated to bathroom humor and doesn’t get quite the presence he receives in the anime’s adaptation. The same can be said for Urushihara, who also plays a larger role in the anime’s finale.
The more fantastical action feels like an after thought, with many of the action scenes reading poorly, lacking in detail, and sometimes altogether confusing as to ascertain exactly what’s supposed to be playing out between the characters. The way in which Maou comes to defeat his newest adversary at the book’s climax is also disappointing. A ‘quick off page fix’ allows Maou to attain all the power he needs to squarely thwart the enemy in one brief, one sided exchange of combat, making for what feels like a significantly rushed finale, even if Devil is more about the comedy than its action and fantasy. The anime, comparatively beefs this final conflict up by quite a bit and it’s a shame to see such a lackluster conclusion here.
Anime fans will find there isn’t too much reason to jump into this volume either. In fact, the anime buffed up the contents of this volume considerably, and not just the final battle alone, adding in two anime-only episodes, along with a subplot for Ashiya and Urushihara entirely absent from the novel. There’s no amusement park trip, no ‘haunted school,’ the landlord sending then items they need to sell off, or Urushihara falling for a con. Instead the novel is squarely focused on Maou’s MgRonald plotline and the subplot concerning Suzuno and the mysterious individual from Ente Isla.
Overall Volume 2 feels like an improvement from the first, reading with a more smooth and appealing style, feeling far less clunky than before. Action scenes are disappointingly short however, lacking in detail to really make them pop and amaze. When it comes down to it, I still believe the anime does this content better justice, adding in more bang for your buck, but if you’ve entered the series with the Light Novels, and wish to remain so, Volume 2 is still generally a step up from the first.
The Devil is a Part-Timer Volume 2 is available for purchase via Amazon.com.