A well paced storyline and solid artwork make the manga version of the LN title a fun read.
Title: The Devil is a Part-Timer! (Hataraku Maou-sama!)
Genre: Action, comedy
Publisher: ASCII Media Works (JP), Yen Press (US)
Story: Satoshi Wagahara
Artist: Akio Hiiragi
Character Designer: 029 (Oniku)
Serialized in: Comic Dengeki Daioh
Translation: Kevin Gifford
Original Release Date: October 25, 2016
Review copy provided by Yen Press
I really look forward to new volumes of The Devil is a Part-Timer!. But I was a little worried when the first sentence on the back cover read as such:
“Maou (the Devil King) has a suspicion about the mysterious child Alas Ramus, a wee lass whom he and Emi (the Hero) have wound up parenting.”
It just seemed really unnatural. The “wee lass” had me cracking up. It’s exactly the way Americans would make fun of a Scottish accent. Has The Devil is a Part-Timer! turned into The Devil is a Part-Time Scotsman!?
Well, the same translator as the other The Devil is a Part-Timer! manga and the original light novels is still around. The weirdly Scottish vibe is, fortunately, limited to the description.
If you’re wondering, no, Maou and the gang don’t head off to Scotland. He and Emi continue their visit to the amusement park with their “child” Alas Ramus. Maou quickly puts the pieces together about Alas Ramus’ existence, and then the angel Gabriel descends to take back Alas Ramus as well as Emi’s sword.
If you are reading the light novels, this volume corresponds to the end of Volume 3. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting the manga to finish the battle against Gabriel so quickly. I mean, two manga volumes covering a whole light novel? That often leads to a rushed adaptation. However, everything is paced rather well. Very little of the story is superfluous here, and that is why this volume is so essential to your collection. Of course, some things get cut, and Hiiragi throws in a couple of extra drawings from these skipped scenes.
What I really liked is that this volume brings out everything that makes The Devil is a Part-Timer! so engaging. There’s action (Emi versus Gabriel), comedy (Lucifer and a fan), and even light romance (the new “family”). While those have been found in previous volumes, this outing also adds world-building and background information. The information – especially about the Tree of Sephiroth — is presented in a bit of a dump, but the details don’t really seem important to memorize at this point. Maou’s revelations in particular a lot of insight into why someone who once waged a war for control of the world really doesn’t mind the human world, and this helps Emi grow a little (a lot?) closer to the Devil King.
I also liked how the girls really shined here. Alciel in particular is worthless this time around, but the females are the ones who end up driving Gabriel back. (All in different ways, of course.) Despite the budding love triangle, Emi and Chiho really have a nice friendship. It’s so nice not to have love rivals who hate each other! Also flipping the script on the standard tropes is the fact Sadao is the emotional one. His happy end moves him to tears, a rarity for males.
If there’s really any issue with The Devil is a Part-Timer! Volume 7, it’s that the volume is clearly divided into parts. First there’s Gabriel’s arrival and Alas Ramus’ identity, then the strategy meeting and Emi’s overnight stay, and finally the battle. If you prefer the mysterious enemies and smaller battles before the arc’s big confrontation, you are going to be disappointed. There’s lots of talking, and then finally some fighting. Of course, a lot of this goes back to the original light novel, but it is something to keep in mind.
The art continues to be solid. I especially loved the childhood storybook-style when Maou tells Alas Ramus a bedtime story. I also want to blow up the opening color image. It’s a cute, bright picture of the outing at the amusement park.
Seeing a young Maou was also a treat. Meanwhile, I noticed the translation kept going back and forth between Mommy/Daddy and Mama/Papa. I’m guessing this is a leftover from the different styles between the light novels and the manga. (The same translator does both, but the light novels don’t use honorifics and the manga does.) It’s a minor quibble.
Otherwise, though, fans won’t want to miss the latest entry starring the Devil King and his crew. This volume includes pretty much everything that makes this series so much fun while also setting up for a long-term conflict. I can’t wait for the next one!