Volume 8 of the manga adapts Volume 4 of the LN to a tee...which means this volume isn't so exciting.
Title: The Devil is a Part-Timer! (Hataraku Maou-sama!)
Publisher: ASCII Media Works (JP), Yen Press (US)
Artist: Akio Hiiragi
Writer: Satoshi Wagahara
Character Designer: 029/Oniku
Serialized in: Dengeki Daioh
Translation: Kevin Gifford
Original Release Date: March 21, 2017
Review copy provided by Yen Press.
With this volume, The Devil is a Part-Timer moves on to the events of the fourth light novel. That book came out almost a year ago in English, so in my mind, the story feels like it happened so long ago. But this isn’t about the manga vs light novel, so I’ll put that to the side.
Sadao has been ecstatic about Alas Ramus’ return, so much so that he has completely missed the fact he’s temporarily losing he’s job and his home. Well, the infamous landlady comes to the devils’ rescue, and the group finds themselves working at a run-down beach house. Emi, Chiho, and Suzuno “coincidentally” tag along.
While I’ve been loving the manga adaptation, this volume feels like a drag. A lot of the volume is dedicated to just getting the group to the beachhouse and then cleaning it up. While Sadao proves he his dream of rising to the top of MgRonald’s isn’t too farfetched, I was bored out of my mind following Emi at a pool accessory store or learning all about how to make homemade cleaner.
Yes, the characters’ personalities shine through throughout the volume (Suzuno is a sand castle master, Ashiya is moved by Sadao’s leadership), it doesn’t take away from the fact that almost the entire 170 or so pages is dedicated to getting on a train and cleaning up a dump of a beachside diner. We finally get to see a bit of the fantasy in the last dozen or so pages, but I’m sure Volume 9 will easily cover the shock Sadao received.
Probably the people who will enjoy this outing the most are Chiho fans. She really likes everyone, but she’s realizing they could easily start new (or go back to their old) lives without her. Even Chiho admits it’s a bit naïve to want the devils and the Hero/Church members to get along, but that doesn’t stop her from actually trying to make sure it happens. She even gets a ray of hope with her crush on Sadao, which is very important considering the manager of the café keeps thinking Sadao and Emi are a married couple. We even get to see more of her close relationship with her mom, a stark contrast to the childhoods of the Hero and the Devil King.
The art continues to do a fine job of adapting 029/Oniku’s original designs, even proving better in many ways. (Most notably less bobble heads.) As a lighter volume, it seems like there are even more comedy faces than usual. This is especially true in the first chapter or so when the devils realize their current situation and the horror of getting a package from the landlady. Otherwise, if you’ve read any of the previous volumes, you should be used to Hiiragi’s more greyscale style.
I still get a little confused when going back and forth between the light novel and the manga because of the honorifics. I do prefer the manga though, as when I hear Alas Ramus in my head in the light novel, it sounds like she’s going around calling Chiho “Jesus” (“Chi-Sis”).
I must admit I wasn’t a big fan of the fourth volume of the light novel, but the manga amplifies the slow beginning. Even the Chiho moments or the final few pages can’t make up for this rather dull volume.