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The Devil is a Part Timer! Vol. #02 Novel Review

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The Devil is a Part-Timer Vol. #2
The Devil is a Part-Timer Vol. #2

Devilish angels and saintly sinners face-off once again.

Creative Staff
Story: Satoshi Wagahara
Art: 029 (Oniku)
Translation/Adaptation: Kevin Gifford

What They Say
Do you want fries with your hellfire?
Sadao Maou, the Devil King, has finally been promoted to store manager! And who should move in next door to his fortress (actually a tiny studio apartment in a dingy walk-up) but a lovely kimono-wearing lass. But the former devil-crushing hero Emi Yusa is none too pleased with this turn of events, to say nothing of high schooler Chiho Sasaki, who’s still nursing a terrible crush on the Devil King. Meanwhile a Sentucky Fried Chicken has opened up right across the street from Maou’s beloved MgRonald! It’s the first real test of his managerial prowess, and he’s facing a pay cut unless he can top Sentucky’s sales! Between the two new neighbors, the Devil King’s troubles are anything but part-time!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Maou might finally be moving up in the ranks from a part-timer to an assistant manager! We might need a title change! Ah, but wait, it’s never than simple, is it?

This second volume of The Devil is a Part-Timer, which clocks in at an impressive 271 pages, starts off with a new challenge for the displaced King of Demons. Maou is in line for a promotion to shift manager while his boss is out of town for training. In a stroke of terrible timing, a new competitor opens up across the street, Sentucky Fried Chicken. (Yes, the off-brand naming scheme is still in effect.) How can anyone expect to make a positive reflection of profits in the face of the new and exciting competition? For Maou it becomes a serious matter, a life and death struggle! Or at least that’s how he treats the situation, even as the women in his life make light of the matter.

This volume really has very little to do with Maou and more to do with those women. Emi decides to resume her surveillance of Maou while her friends from Ente Isle send her care packages consisting of holy power disguised in the form of energy drinks. Chiho is in a weird place with Maou, still crushing hard on him which has made their relationship a bit strained. However, the new trouble arrives for both of them in the form of a strange girl who acts like someone out of the Meiji era. Traditional girl Suzuno immediately moves in next door to the trio of displaced demons and moves into their lives. Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe her behavior, and while Emi picks up on the weirdness she dismisses her instincts. Maou doesn’t however, yet he also surprisingly doesn’t care who Suzuno really is until it’s almost too late.

The reader doesn’t have to spend long figuring out who Suzuno really is. The story makes it clear she’s actually an inquisitor from Ente Isle named Crestia Bell right away. It does let the reader pondering the identity of the masked assailant who stalks Emi and what their motivation might be. That enemy ends up being far more troublesome and obnoxious than expected.

The majority of the action in this volume is relationship drama, and not necessarily of the romantic sort. Crestia ends up going through the same internal battle that Emi did, and ends up at the same place but with slightly different reasons. It’s becoming clear that the longer that Emi and Maou are in our world the more difficult it might be for either to return to theirs. For Maou the simple truth is the longer he lives with humans and a human the more human he’ll become. For Emi and Crestia it’s a simple matter of the Church turning against them. Crestia was in a unique place where she was stuck carrying out the Church’s dirty work before the Hero Emilia was wiping the floor with the demons. She saw the worst humanity had to offer and often participated in it. Her sense of duty is not to the Church hierarchy but to their ideals.

There are a few moments where due to the quick pace and lack of attribution I lost track of who was speaking. Other than that the work reads smoothly. Any moments that might have been ‘lost in translation’ because of English readers missing cultural clues are explained away with an extra sentence framing the object in question in context. It’s never clunky in context because the majority of the displaced cast would naturally take a moment to question the culture shock moments. Emi likely wasn’t going to realize right away that the new girl wasn’t actually some weird Japanese girl, and the English reader might not either if it wasn’t so obvious for other reasons.

Much like the first volume there’s an Easter Egg for readers at the back of the volume, two more resumés. Three if you count Suzuno’s do-over. Yen also includes the color lead-in pictures at the front of the book reintroducing the cast. The black and white illustrations are intact as well.

In Summary
This second volume of The Devil is a Part-Timer follows the form and function of the first volume very closely. Perhaps too closely when you end up with almost the same showdown occurring at the end with similar circumstances putting all the players into position. While Maou and Emi might have settled into life in Japan, they have some new guests who have not. For those that have seen the anime, this volume was adapted almost word for word, and no major scenes were left on the cutting room floor. You do get a bit more insight into Suzuno’s previous life and what’s driving her, which does improve her character quite a lot. After this volume everything should be fresh to English readers, and I’m curious about where the story will go. They can’t keep introducing new characters from Ente Isle forever, or can they?

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B +
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: A –

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 25th, 2015
MSRP: $14.00