This really is humor done right.
Hataraku Maou-sama! Review
The Devil is a Part-Timer! Review
(THERE ARE NO SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW)
NOTE: This review does not meet my standards any longer and will be updated sometime in the future.
Whether it’s the marvelous KHATSU-DUM, the brilliantly executed humor, or even some of the more serious sides of the show, Hataraku Maou-sama! certainly does a fantastic job of combining it all in one to bring us one very entertaining anime. Exactly what separates it from the other romcoms out there?
When I was deliberating whether to review the show or not, I ended up doing a first impressions review because I thought, “Hey, why not? WhiteFox is doing it. They had a good track record.” I picked it up and was surprised at how dark everything was in the beginning, but soon enough, as our amazing protagonists enter from the fantasy world of Ente Isla into Tokyo (becoming humans in the process), I knew I was in for some humorous moments. Being not accustomed to the world, the best mom Alsiel and Maou enter the modern world where their reactions are priceless, their random blabbering in Ente Isla’s tongue serves to only entertain us further.
You could be watching this anime for comedy, romance, or perhaps both. The former is something that, at least in my opinion, is done extremely well. The mix of facial expressions, the nature of the situation and the characters truly distinguishes this anime from the crowd. Oh, I forgot to mention that Ashiya and Sadao, as they get named when they register for… citizenship I suppose, are actually demons. Yep. Demons. And as the series goes along, it’s so strange that demons would act in the way they do that it’s very humorous. From working at MgRonalds to trying to fix up their budget, you’ll wonder how they are even considered to be “demons.” Some of the comedy is just very well crafted and this is mostly due to the interesting characters, especially Ashiya, that interact with each other naturally to create non-slap-sticky humor that a lot of us can appreciate. Moreover, if you do understand a bit of Japanese, you’ll understand some connotations that make it even more funny. That, and this anime puts in many, many little details that, when compounded, make the experience all the more hilarious.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “How does that make any sense? Why are these demons so… human-like?” Hell, they were like pillaging villages, and doing all kinds of nasty things, right? Well, as the series does not necessarily go over this in more detail, we can infer that it makes the anime much more humorous, and we can also argue that Sadao and Ashiya just didn’t understand humans because they were demons before. Still, as this is not a completely serious anime, you could just say that an explanation isn’t even necessary. Hataraku Maou-sama! is created to bring us valuable entertainment, and boy does it deliver.
But before we move on and put the more serious aspects aside, let’s talk one of the strongest strengths that this anime has. For me, it has to be the mix of humor and seriousness. I’ve said it multiple times in my episodic reviews of this anime, and it definitely needs to be highlighted here. Hataraku Maou-sama! does not throw the more serious Ente Isla side away after changing the setting nor does it downplay it. In actuality, it uses it to its advantage to create some truly spectacular episodes with both some shounen action, some grave situations, and humor just at the right times. This mix is really unlike what I’ve seen in plenty of other romcoms and it’s a very welcoming change that differentiates Hataraku Maou-sama! from the crowd.
As for the romance, I would say that it’s definitely not the strongest part of the anime. However, this is not an anime focused on romance with humor topped on; it’s the other way around for this anime. That’s not to say that the romance is bad, but it’s more like it’s just not touched upon often, and for whatever times it has been, it’s mostly to create humor. While it is not a strong point of the anime, it does add to what it is trying to focus on, the humor, so I can’t necessarily discredit the anime in my review too much because of the weaker romance side. Is it possible that the romance could have been better without taking away from the humor? Probably. It does seem like the romance may be a bigger focus with how the character relationships have progressed by the end so we’ll have to wait for season 2 to see if Hataraku Maou-sama! can pull off the romance as well as it pulls off the humor when it does want to go in that direction.
Hataraku Maou-sama! Review Recommendation
Watch it. I’m serious. Just go watch Hataraku Maou-sama!. At the very least go see the first episode. Well, unless if you hate to laugh or something. But you should really give this one a go whether you watch comedy-based shows or not because I think there’s a lot to appreciate here even for people new to the genre. Hell, it’s a fantastic starting point. I would say try to stick around until the end of episode 5 if you can because by then, you’ll have a general understanding of what the anime is like. If you still don’t like it, then just drop it. The rest will probably not entertain you that much. Still, that’s going to be a small portion of the viewers as this anime is very entertaining. You may not love it, but I’m fairly certain that you’ll at least like it. You can come back to this review if you have major complaints.
Hataraku Maou-sama! Review Conclusion
I definitely didn’t expect something that looked to be something very generic at first to be one of the best anime of the Spring 2013 Season. It’s hilarious, it has great characters, it mixes various elements together to create something expected, and dammit, it’s just awesome to watch and review. Yes, some episodes here and there are fairly slow and may not be as humorous, but overall, the experience is great. I can’t recall many anime I’ve watched that actually made me laugh, not just smiles or chuckles, numerous times consistently throughout the season. And it also doesn’t seem like I’m the only one. With great sales, almost 10k just for BD alone, and even more than that combined with DVD, we may just get a second season and rightfully so. I’m no expert when it comes to comedy-based anime, but if you don’t love some of that KHATSU-DUM, there’s probably something wrong with you.