The Devil Is a Part-Timer!, Vol. 9

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

Sometimes there’s one scene or chpater of a book that has more impact than the rest of the volume. This is not uncommon, and does not mean that the rest of the book is lacking in any way. It just means that the chapter or scene in question is JUST THAT GOOD. In Vol. 9 of this series, we get that in a chapter entitled “The Hero Discovers That She Can’t Go Home Again”, which flashes back to show us Emi arriving back on Enta Isla and how she ended up in the position we saw her in at the end of Vol. 8, captured by Olba and being blackmailed. We see her being a detective, we see her learning more about her parents (indeed, possibly far more than she’d have liked), and we see that the bond she has with Alas Ramus may not be as direct as she’d though,. though to her credit she doesn’t reject Alas Ramus in any way because of this. And we see her longing for Japan, and modern times. If this light novel series ends up with the main cast back in Enta Isla, they’re going to need to modernize.

As for the rest of the cast, well, they’re back in Japan, getting ready for a rescue mission. This is not as easy as it seems – Maou has to get people to cover his shifts for a week, so that he doesn’t get fired from his McRonald’s job (the way I suspect Emi is going to be fired from her call center one). He and Suzuno need to buy supplies, which leads to them clashing over everything, as he’s a penny-pinching scrounger, and she has enough cash that “just buy the best thing” is always the first option. And they also have to deal with Rika, who after the events in Vol. 8 now knows their secrets. Do they erase her memory or let her in on the full story, which might put her in danger? The answer is not surprising, but it’s nice to see them asking the right questions. It’s also nice to see Chiho has come so far in nine books, and even though she can’t come along on the rescue mission her intelligence and calm is a great help.

Of course, Chiho is in love with Maou, and we see some jealousy flare up here, mostly as Acieth has the appearance of a clingy 14-year-old who keeps going on about being inside Maou. More seriously, though, Suzuno begins to realize that she may also be developing feelings for Maou. This is something of a surprise, as the ‘harem’ aspect of this series has really mostly been a love triangle before now, with Emi and Chiho – not that Emi will admit it, but she’s still the clear favorite. But when Suzuno hears the backstory explaining why Maou raised up a demon army to invade Enta Isla, she begins to realize that he’s not the demon she’d thought. Combine this with the ongoing revelations that the Angels may be the actual villains of this story, and she has the classic example of a maiden’s trembling heart. The sleeping bag helps take the edge off that, though.

Unsurprisingly, things end in a cliffhanger here, with every single character in Enta Isla about to get involved in something nasty. I’m not sure how long this arc will be, but I am sure that if you’ve been reading Devil Is a Part-Timer, you absolutely will not be disappointed with this book.

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