The Devil Is A Part-Timer!, Vol. 4

By Satoshi Wagahara and 029. Released in Japan by ASCII Mediaworks. Released in North America by Yen Press.

As this series goes on, and more and moe horrible demons attempt to break into Japan for some reason or another, it has become more and more apparent that Maou and company are eventually going to have to go back to Enta Isla and deal with the giant power vacuum that they have left in their absence. I don’t expect it will be permanent – the whole point of the series would be lost if you take Maou away from McRonald’s for long – but Maou seems a responsible enough guy, and Emi definitely is, to try to fix what they may have inadvertently broken. We see part of that in this book as well, even though if you don’t look too closely it feels like a typical “beach episode”.


The best part of the volume is when the author builds on the character development we’ve seen in prior books, particularly in regards to Chiho and Emi. Chiho is starting to realize that, as the only person in Maou’s circle without any power, there’s little she can do beyond be emotional support, and is resolving to better herself so she can help in other ways as well. (Her declaration that she wants to be one of his Four Generals is possibly the funniest part of the book.) As for Emi, she’s made of stronger stuff than I had envisioned at the end of the last book, and it only takes a few well-worded lectures from Chiho to have her helping out Maou in both his attempt to restore a beachside cafe and also defeat an invading demonic army – without killing them, much to Suzuno’s surprise. Emi is realizing that not everything is clear-cut.

There were parts of the book that didn’t work as well for me. I enjoyed Amane more as a relaxed and absent-minded shop owner more than I did a Guardian of Earth, and I felt that this was shoehorned in just a bit in order to avoid padding out the already substantial volume with too many fights. And I was just as annoyed as the rest of the cast with Camio’s unfortunate tendency to peep every other sentence due to being trapped as a cute little bird. On the other hand, the best part of the book was once again seeing how well Maou can do middle management when he tries hard. Seeing the run down and decrepit beach cafe transformed into a bustling popular spot is impressive, and shows off everyone’s talents (and comedic foibles) at their best. Yes, even Lucifer, who is still unloved and unlovable, but proves here to be far more aware of external events than some of the other demon generals around him.

While not the best volume in the series – the ending also felt very rushed, and I suspect the book may have been heavily cut in editing – this is still a solid addition to the series, and will please those who have been following Maou and Emi’s adventures in the past. I am hoping that the next volume will give us more fast-food shenanigans – that’s where the series seems to do its best.

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