The Devil is a Part-Timer!
At this point, there is little doubt that we’ve entered an entirely and drastically new face of The Devil Is a Part-Timer! The show is not just becoming fully serialized, it is heavily changing its tone, too. Of course, this isn’t exactly new, and as recently as Attack on Titan, we’ve seen shows change their tone heavily, but even that show did it more gradually over time, so the big change and time skip of season four didn’t come out of the blue.
The change to a straight-up fantasy comedy show isn’t inherently bad, as moving away from gag comedy about McDonald’s would eventually have grown stale and tiresome. This is especially true now that Maou is good at his job and understands the inner workings of Japanese culture, so there was little else for the show to do with its initial premise. The problem is that the change came too sudden, and so far, season two hasn’t fully justified this change.
This is at least partially due to the animation and editing this season. This week especially, the show took a huge dip in animation, with characters suddenly changing head shapes from scene to scene and the editing skipping any and all moments of emotional impact.
This season seems to be so focused on its fantasy lore and in not leaving this adaptation hanging once again that it is telling the CliffNotes version of the story without realizing why people watched the show in the first place. Like The Promised Neverland season two, it feels like the studio just wants to end the show as quickly as possible, which is a bummer both for the fans and the animators working on this.
We start right where we left off, with Maou wanting to protect his friends from Gabriel’s incoming attack. Suzuno explains everything about Alas Ramus and what the sephirah are — components of the universe that keep it in balance. She says that if Gabriel, the guardian angel of the sephirah, then the components of the world Yesod governs are in danger, and the world may end if there isn’t universal balance.
Of course, Maou won’t just give up his daughter, he’ll fight for her. When Emi asks why Satan would fight for anyone but himself, he says his demon army would have put their own lives on the line to save their kids, so he owes it to them to do the same for his daughter — real or not.
Now that this season has doubled down on interrogating Maou’s role as a demon king and the wrong assumptions that the title carries, the episode does ponder some interesting questions about his goal of conquering the human kingdom. If he had already done the impossible and gathered all the demons peacefully — who he said used to be just nomadic barbarians that fought all the time for domination —then why did he need to conquer another kingdom? If Maou is like the King Beyond the Wall in this scenario, wasn’t getting his people to safety enough? Did he need to also try and make himself king south of the wall?
When Suzuno asks Ashiya, he points out how much nicer Suzuno’s apartment is compared to theirs, how she has fresh food and a fridge to store it in, and how she can afford luxuries. He believes that is why Satan and the rest invaded, because they wanted something like that, they were jealous of the humans’ luxuries and innovations. Later, Maou tells Alas a bedtime story clearly inspired by his own life, with a traveler that is saved from a demon by an angel and is told to lead others like him. The story ends with the traveler becoming a king and living happily ever after, but Emi asks what happened next and why exactly the traveler from the story wanted another country when he was already king of his own country. Maou genuinely reflects on this and says he probably got greedy once he had power.
Despite its issues, season two of The Devil Is a Part-Timer! has been at its best when interrogating and developing Maou from being just, well, Satan to a tragic and more complex character with a few similarities with Attack on Titan’s Eren Yeager. That character started out with noble intentions to save his people but got lost in greed and grief along the way, driven to immense wrath by his circumstances and the cruelty he had witnessed all his life, and led him to go from a hero to his people to a villain to the rest of the world. We don’t know exactly what Maou’s plan for Ente Isla was, but we get some hints of what he may believe his destiny is in this episode.
When Gabriel finally shows up the morning after (ever the gentleman, he doesn’t attack while team Satan is asleep but stands quietly on the other side of the room watching Emi and Maou until they wake up), Maou offers himself up as ransom if Gabriel lets Alas Ramus go. He says Alas reminds him of the hope he received when he was saved from death and how he strayed away from that path to become a ruler of demons. He then reminds Gabriel that he knows the legend of the “ancient” King Satan, using that almost as a threat. What exactly does this mean? We have no idea, but it strikes a chord on Gabriel, who later, as he battles Emi, tells her to reconsider her alliance with Maou because he could cause the second coming of something called “Demon King Satan’s Calamity.”
Is this something Maou himself did? Or are they talking about someone else? Could it mean Satan is not a name but a title? It always felt weird that Lucifer was just slightly younger than Maou, so perhaps there is another Satan that is much older and closer to the biblical one? After all, this Satan has only fought against humans, not really against angels.
And I haven’t even talked about Alas going Super Saiyan, beating Gabriel up while flying through the air, and then fusing with Emi’s magical sword, which apparently also has a shard of Yesod? In any case, she now lives inside the sword and only comes out when Emi summons her.
This is a mighty convenient end to the Three Devils and a Baby arc, as the show moves to the next stage of the fight against Gabriel. Hopefully, that won’t mean Alas completely disappears, as she’s been an excellent addition to the show.
Snacks & Sides
• Emi confessed her love for Maou! Sure, it was under pressure from Alas and in the middle of a fight, but she did say she’ll be with him until death do them part.
• We finally get Lucifer acting like his name, as he reminds us that he was once the top archangel before his fall and pulls rank on some of Gabriel’s angelic knights and makes them stand down.
• Maou continues his transformation into Devilman Crybaby by tearing up with happiness when he sees Alas alive and well.
• There is a post-credits scene! Gabriel talks to Sariel at a KFC, and while they’re eating some delicious fried chicken, Sariel drops the bombshell that the angel who stole Yesod, the same angel that saved Satan all those years ago is named Lailah, and she is none other than Emi’s mother. That’s right, the Hero’s mother essentially helped create her biggest nemesis.