The Devil Is a Part-Timer!, Vol. 11

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

This book can mostly be divided into two parts, and while I won’t say that they’re good and bad, I will say that they’re good and less good. The less good involves three large scenes that serve as giant infodumps, telling us a lot about the backstory of some of the characters and revealing most of the worldbuilding and machinations that have been going on. It’s framed all right (at least the first two – the third is just the landlord blatantly spelling things out for them), but it can read awkwardly at times, as it amounts to a lot of listening to other people talking, and, unlike Emi and Suzuno, I am not particularly lovestruck by how Emi’s mom and dad fell in love. I’m not entirely sure that writing Alas Ramus and company out of the series is a thing that’s going to be happening, but certainly it’s the next big crisis, and will no doubt carry us through the next book or two. Hopefully along with some McRonald’s antics, as that’s where this volume shines.

Honestly, Emilia working at McRonald’s is such an obvious plot complication that I’m amazed that it hadn’t come up before now. She’s not living at the apartment complex yet (the explanation apparently involved her swank apartment being haunted or something, so the rent is cheap – I think the author just likes keeping them separated), but having her work with Maou and Chiho will certainly add to the fun of this series, and help keep us from, well, long infodumps. This is all kicked off by Maou possibly being the stupidest he has ever been, misunderstanding Emilia’s pride and acting (seemingly) like such an ass that Chiho tears him up one side and down the other. Of course, his goal and Emilia’s are the same, but she’s absolutely right in that she needs to get the job and commit to it on her OWN terms, not his. Maou spends much of this book getting yelled at and humiliated, and it’s actually pretty fun.

There is also some attention paid to the love comedy in this title, which honestly takes a backseat a lot of the time. The question is whether Maou actually has romantic feelings for anyone. With Emi he’s having enough trouble simply acknowledging her as a friend, so we have a long way to go there. With Chiho it’s far more practical – he doesn’t want to get a normal human involved with everything that being the lover of Satan of Enta Isla, and there’s also the fact that he and the other demons are very long-lived, and Chiho as a human isn’t. Honestly, though, all this boils down to “I am keeping her at a distance”, and I get the feeling Chiho is somewhat aware of this. Despite the snarking of the other male McRonald’s employees, the harem does not appear likely to be resolved anytime soon.

The cliffhanger ending (of a sort) promises even more backstory revelations in the next volume, but I hope that it finds time for fast food wars as well. Devil Is a Part-Timer! is at its best when it’s thinking small, and not dealing with demons vs. angels and where Enta Isla actually is in relation to Earth.

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