Original Run: July 14, 2022 - September 29, 2022 Number of Episdoes: 12 Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Isekai Based on the Series Created By: Satoshi Wagahara and O29
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for The Devil is a Part-Timer!!. Reader discretion is advised.***
Having settled in Japan, the once-feared demon king Sadao Maou (voiced by Ryouta Oosaka) lives a mundane human life. Still, having once been an all-powerful ruler, “normal” doesn’t come easy.
Still, Sadao makes the best of his situation. Even if that means juggling daily interactions with loyal subordinates and ardent rivals.
Besides wondering when denizens of his old world might appear, Sadao tries to make peace with his arch-rival, the former Hero, Emi Yusa (voiced by Youko Hikasa). However, that task becomes especially difficult with the arrival of a most unexpected newcomer.
Out of nowhere, a young girl, Alas Ramus (voiced by Hina Kino), bursts onto the scene. To make matters even more complicated, Alas Ramus claims her parents are none other than Sadao and Emi.
The Devil is a Part-Timer was done.
Not “done” in the sense that the story wrapped up, and we got a satisfying ending. No, by “done,” I mean the series succumbed to the same fate many other solid anime have experienced. It was a fun show that deserved a continuation that never came. For nearly a decade, that was the case.
Then low and behold, nine years after it ended, The Devil is a Part-Timer got its second season.
Season one – and it’s so weird to say that now – was a hit. It was funny, addictingly silly, and satisfyingly action-packed. Naturally, the general reaction towards a continuation was one of anticipation. To finally come back to this series, what could go wrong?
We will return to that question, but understand that this won’t be a glowing review.
On the whole, there were two aspects to The Devil is a Part-Timer 2 that made sense for a sequel to do.
I had to word that last sentence carefully because there are some glaring caveats to these said aspects. They fall within the category of “On paper, they were a good idea.” As such, we will keep them under that classification for the time being.
With the parameters established, The Devil is a Part-Timer 2 was more willing to bring up a reality its predecessor didn’t entirely ignore but didn’t readily acknowledge either. Despite the overwhelming goofiness of this series, the background of our parallel-world-hopping characters is quite dark.
Sadao – a.k.a. Satan – was an all-powerful demon lord who brought death and destruction to the land of Ente Isla. His actions ended (presumably) thousands of lives, both soldier and civilian. And disregarding the possibility of any potential justifications Sadao might give, at the very least, Emi – a.k.a. the Hero Emilia Justina – dedicated her life to defeat the demon king.
Therefore, no one would expect Sadao and Emi, with their shared history, to be friends. In season one, their rivalry primarily manifested as childish bickering with the occasional magical punch to the face. Although season two didn’t abandon this dynamic, there were moments that sought to explore the impacts of Sadao’s more monstrous deeds.
If nothing else, there was never a moment in The Devil is a Part-Timer 2 where the memories of past strife didn’t hang over the characters. And even under this heavy umbrella, this season found ways to have bits of the same sense of humor that the original what it was.
So, yes, this season wasn’t devoid of good comedy.
The other thing The Devil is a Part-Timer 2 did that was decent was the inclusion of Alas Ramus.
There is no denying that there are annoying children characters in anime. However, Alas Ramus doesn’t even come close to qualifying as one. On the contrary, she gave season two the backing to claim it would not be a straightforward rehash of season one. Alas Ramus was a necessary monkey wrench who could and did playfully disrupt our characters’ dysfunctional yet working situation.
That and she was adorable – come at me.
The point is: Neither the greater acknowledgment of the histories nor the addition of Alas Ramus was not the problem. No, the problem was despite introducing these well-intentioned elements, The Devil is a Part-Timer 2 did nearly jack all with them.
This season needed to answer a crucial question after nine years of nothing: What was the reason for coming back now?
The easy answer should be “to continue the story, grow the personalities of the characters, and give a popular show the second chance it deserves.”
Unfortunately, since that is such an obvious answer, one can’t help but wonder, why didn’t that happen?
I didn’t make it five minutes into this season before asking, “Why does this show look weird?”
The first season of The Devil is a Part-Timer wasn’t a paragon of animation; its visuals weren’t its crowing jewel. That said, there is a colossal difference between average effort and laziness. Take a wild guess which designation season two fell under.
There’s no real way to describe it without seeing it yourself, but The Devil is a Part-Timer 2’s animation was awkward. It’s almost as if this season did come out ten years ago. Except the visuals in anime since the first season end have, on the whole, gotten better. What we got in this installment came off as incredibly dated.
Yeah, immediately, this season didn’t start brilliantly. Luckily, you can grow accustomed to poor visuals provided the characters, the dialogue, and – in the case of a comedy – the jokes are strong. And when you have The Devil is a Part-Timer season one as your expectation, why wouldn’t you expect those things to be as such?
Sadly, if you carry that mindset into season two, prepare yourself for some disappointment.
Yes, The Devil is a Part-Timer 2 had chuckle-worthy moments, but this was not a particularly funny experience. The charm that came from powerful magic wielders needing to live a mundane life in Japan did not make a return. The amount of world-building and lore-craft in this season was jarring.
The final episode of this season was particularly heavy-hand with the amount of information it dumped on us. Suddenly there were things to worry about; there was tension.
Those things would generally be fine. The trouble is, “worry” and “tension” are not words to describe season one. The first installment rarely took itself seriously, and the characters were quick to dispel any amount of conflict. That same sentiment was nonexistent in season two.
Also, it didn’t help that whatever was occurring in the final episode of this season was confusing beyond belief. The word vomit that was the last few moments of this series was shocking.
Let’s put it this way: If season one had concluded on the note season two did, no one would be happy to see another entry to this series a decade after the fact. Thus, it’s probably a good thing that there are already plans for The Devil is a Part-Timer 3. But whatever excitement there once was, isn’t around anymore.
Even if you were to watch them back to back, it is painfully apparent how much time exists between seasons one and two.
This nine-years-later second installment struggled to recapture its predecessor’s charm, humor, and entertainment value. Despite a handful of neat ideas, this season failed to capitalize on what many hoped would be a triumphant return.
Alas, that wasn’t meant to be.
The Devil is a Part-Timer!! was not worth the wait, and it is one you can skip.
But these are my thoughts; what are yours? Have you seen this show; how would you advise The Devil is a Part-Timer!! Leave a comment below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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