Tuesday, November 21, 2017

[Retro] The Devil is a Part-timer: Good from start to finish.

This show can get unnervingly serious at points...

Summary: The Demon Lord Satan begins to conquer the land of Ente Isla with his vast demon armies. However, his efforts are foiled by the hero Emilia, forcing Satan to make his swift retreat through a dimensional portal only to land in the human world. Along with his loyal general Alsiel, the demon finds himself stranded in modern-day Tokyo. Powerless in a world without magic, and reduced to a weak and frail human form without it, Satan assumes the guise of a human named Sadao Maou and begins working at a local fast-food restaurant to make ends meet. He soon realizes that his goal of conquering Ente Isla is just not enough as he grows determined to climb the corporate ladder and become the ruler of Earth, one satisfied customer at a time!
My Opinion: So. This is a very old one, isn't it? Also, Holy crap, Evil Cat already had a post about it. I'm watching shows so old they were reviewed before I even started writing here. Ah Jeez, Rick.


Seriously though, that tells you how mediocre Black Clover is, that I went and watched an entire show from like, 4 years ago, before I could muster up the willpower to watch one new episode of that one. I hear the manga is better, from a source whose opinions I trust, so there's that I guess.
[Aside end]
When this show originally aired, I actually made the call to not pick it up based on the glut of "Maou" show's that were buzzing around, kind of like how the Isekai(another world) theme is recently. That, and Evil Cats less than enthused first impression. Honestly, I wasn't impressed either with the first episode that includes the magic and fighting in Ente Isla. This show's shine comes out when they get to our world.

What got me to pick it up, was I was just floating around youtube videos trying to put off watching Black Clover long enough that I could follow it up with Juni Taisen to rub the bad taste out, and one of my recommended videos ended up being a clip from this show. I busted a gut laughing, and that's how the binge of it began.

This show is quality comedy, from start to finish. Of course, comedy is one of those things that are to each their own taste, but this one was 100% refreshing and enjoyable for me. Maybe it has something to do with how I actually work in Retail, but almost all of the gags and jokes feel very much like the kinds of bickering you'd actually hear from people working and living like the characters are. More importantly, its not just all jokes, all the time. The world has this...consistency to it. Both of them. Things keep happening in Ente Isla, even though we don't spend much time watching it, and the whole thing has this ridiculously holistic feel to it for a comedy, like watching drops of water causing ripples that randomly collide with each other. It doesn't feel like the comedy is trying to apologize for the shows serious notes, nor does it feel like the serious notes exist only to break up the comedy. Rather, it feels like the everyday lives of the characters are naturally funny, and that Life being Life, bad things happen.

Actually, that's more or less the kind of feeling I get. The characters, despite being completely fantasy characters, feel human and real. The Demon King isn't just cartoonishly evil just for the sake of being evil, he actually acts and adapts like a thinking person would, and most of the characters act that way as well. Unfortunately, the villains are a little flat, but not glaringly so.

You know, I have a benefit that writing in the future provides. This show feels like Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. I do believe that the entire feeling and impression of the show is exactly the same, from front to back, with the dragons just swapped out for demons. There's a feeling of ... authentic'ness? to the show, even when the crazy magic is flying all over. For example, when the Maou and his general arrive in our world, reduced to human forms, the Maou actually comments, "hm, perhaps humans are the base for all life" or something to that effect. Of course, his general just laughs it off as a poor joke, but the Maou seriously thought it for a brief moment. This single moment actually ends up playing into the shows entire theme as the rest of it plays out, and I utterly adore such a finely detailed touch to making sure a worlds general concepts are consistent. It isn't just, "Oops! the Demon Lord suddenly turned into a human! For reasons! LOL", so that the show can have its gag humor. It actually had some thought put into it that affects the show later as the story progresses.

Something I wouldn't have noticed years ago, this show was produced by White Fox. Back then, that probably wouldn't have meant anything to me even if I had noticed, but these days, I recognize that as a stamp of 90% quality production. There's very few shows I haven't loved that this studio has managed the production of. Take that as you will, opinions and such.

All together though, for solid characters, world-building, and comedy, I rate The Devil is a Part Timer:

With a Recommendation on top. You couldn't find a smoother way to kill 13 episodes worth of time, in my opinion.

Maybe it's just refreshing to find a show like this because I'm watching a season with Dies Irae, GARO-Vanishing Line, and Black Clover in it, all of which are suffering from either a horrendously chaotic assembly, or an utterly undecipherable sense of direction or tone. That and feeling Shounen'y for the sake of being Shounen. Because Shounen is a genre that is popular and profitable, right? Absolutely not childishly irritating on endless repeat. At least GARO feels like it could end up someplace good. Gonna have to stop being lazy and start writing the posts for those shows.

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