The Devil is a Part-Timer Volume 3 – Light Novel Review
The Devil Is a Part-Timer!
Reviewed by: Linny
Synopsis: A portal opens in the courtyard of the Devil’s Castle (a tiny walk-up). From it emerges a little girl who calls the Devil King “papa” and the Hero “mama.” Ashiya and Chiho are shocked to discover that Maou and Emi had that kind of relationship, but nobody’s more surprised than the two new “parents.” Will Maou the breadwinner be able to make the grade when it comes to child rearing? And will this spell the end of the starry-eyed Emi’s romantic ambitions? (Official Publisher Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
Volume 3 picks up shortly after the last volume, with Suzano, having been exposed to be a Church Inquisotor, making amends for destroying Maou’s trusty steed, Dullahan. We’ve finally entered the source material only area, having all new content that wasn’t covered in the anime. Things start off amusing enough with Suzano and Maou both having a very typical conversation, one that reflects all the nuances we know and love about them from the anime and the previous volumes. It’s a nice return to the norm but of course, things soon jump into insanity as certain random events lead to the introduction of a magical baby girl, who calls herself Alas Ramus abd may be only a toddler but is convinced that Maou is her father and Emi, her mother.
Watching Maou, Emi, and everyone around them react to this new addition to their lives is a good source of humour and cuteness. Chiho turns out to be the most competant and the most help while everyone else seems either completely clueless or reluctant to embrace the role of raising and looking after a toddler. Jokes upon jokes pile up as we watch the gang try their best to deal with their new living situation. While they aren’t all laugh out loud, the gags work well enough to produce an amused smile or two from the reader.
Now. let’s break down what I liked about this volume. First off, the most obvious is being reunited with the cast and seeing them react to all the new events and interact with each other. Their character quirks have been faithfully preserved and manifest in the manner that fans of the series have come to love and enjoy. There are no random change in personality for the sake of the plot, keeping things consistent. The new addition to the cast, Alas Remus, being a young toddler, succeeds in bringing extra cuteness to the story, especially in scenes describing her childish joy at the smallest of things. Next, even though it was obvious Alas Ramus would turn out to be part of a big reveal and development, it isn’t obvious exactly how and this mystery keeps readers on their toes. This volume also does a decent job of building up and developing the grander plot that has to do with Ente Isla and the conflict between Maou and the church in the original universe that they came from, making it feel like a more integral part of our characters’ lives rather than just a relic that rears its head up solely for the sake of striking up conflict. Sure, it’s a source of conflict again this volume but we get to also learn and get a better feel of our characters and their lives and pasts in that world. We get new information that helps us connect more with Maou and even learn new things about Emi. We even get a potential tease for love being in the future for Ashiya, Maou’s trusty aide. The volume also ends on a promising scene, one that reveals some interesting new facts that give readers an idea of what to expect next and hopefully, encourage them to pick up the next volume.
Now, it’s time for the bad. First off, the novel has a few minor typos that aren’t a huge issue but could irk more demanding readers. Next, the novel contains soooo much dialogue going to and forth between the character but it isn’t always made clear who just said what, which caused me, and I assume will cause others to re-read the same parts several times just to be able to follow the conversation properly. And thanks to Satoshi’s exposition heavy narration, it’s easy to forget or get confused when things or people mentioned earlier in the book are randomly mentioned in a sentence much later. I do not know if this is due to clunky translation or just Mr Satoshi’s usual way of writing but some of the new characters, in particular, the main villain of this volume, seems to talk in a manner that feels rather try hard than genuinely funny. The characters in Devil is a Part Timer, especially the people from Ente Isla all have rather peculiar manners and styles of speaking so it isn’t unusual that our new villain does too. But maybe because it was all in text and not being voiced and acted out on a screen that the humour falls flat. This is something that makes me concerned that the series as a light novel might fail to impress fans who got into it through the anime rather than the novels. A lot of the comedy came from the voice acting and animation and when it’s confined to text descriptions, the comedy feels a lot weaker. The anime also had the freedom to cut out having to describe every small thing as it could just show it to us visually which isn’t an option a light novel has so instead you find yourself sitting through walls of text for every minor set up. Also, the final scenes of the volume has a dramatic build up that also feels forced solely to be dramatic and if you’re a jaded reader, this forced reveal might leave you disappointed.
For those who love the playful interactions between the cast, Volume 3 delivers. There’s plenty of it and most of it is as hilarious as ever. For those hoping for some more romantic developments between either Maou and Emi or Maou and Chiho, don’t hold your breath. Volume 3 seems to be hinting at the Ente Isla world and conflict playing more and more of a bigger role in the main story so depending on your enjoyment of those factors, your anticipation for the following volumes will vary. And while this volume does a better job of integrating our world events and characters with those from the Ente Isla universe, there’s still a lot of exposition dumps and walls of conversation that might test more impatient readers. Ultimately, if you’re someone who’s familiar with and comfortable with the layout and narration styles found in Japanese light novels, Volume 3 should prove to be an enjoyable continuation of the story for the most part especially if that is how you discovered this series in the first place. It’s still rife with little issues though and that makes the story flow in a less than smooth and ideal pace and thus might prove to be a bit of a challenge for less well read and less patient readers to truly immerse themselves into. In fact, it makes me wish that the series would receive more anime adaptations as what’s here is promising but would perform so much better in an animated format.