The Devil is a Part-Timer!! episode 10

Rating: 4 (of 5)

With this episode, the series is fully back on track with the novels, picking up in the early stages of novel 5. The one change is that Emerelda didn’t bring up Lailah at all in the novel; as speculated last episode, that’s clearly meant to be a replacement for references skipped during the first season. While bringing up Lailah may presage developments in the next couple of episodes, it does not sidetrack in the slightest the overall story thrust: other events are percolating on the side as Maou is on a holy quest to obtain a TV.

Yes, that means a full return to the franchise’s tradition of having fun with over-dramatizing minutiae, and perhaps not surprisingly, that makes for the most purely entertaining episode in a while. Even Gabriel, who has (in the series’ classic ironic style) taken up residence in an Internet cafe, gets in on some of that action. Most of the rest is an overly-big deal about whether Maou is justified in getting a TV – or, perhaps more precisely, how he justifies it. The bigger shock to Emi is that Rika, her friend from work, is getting dragged into that as well when she mistakes Ashiya’s no-actual-ulterior-motives request for advice on evaluating TVs as a date. That Rika is flustered rather than bothered by this is not half as funny as how much trouble Emi has dealing with it while at work. With all the other crazy things going on in her life, this is what she is completely losing her composure over.

The plot is not being overlooked here, either, as several potential threads spin out here. In another bit of irony, just as Maou is on a quest for a TV, something happens to Chiho involving a flash from her TV. Gabriel’s visit to Lucifer reveals that he’s shifted focus from Yesod fragments to artifacts related to the legendary Overlord Satan (rather than Maou, the current Satan), which is certainly suggestive of a bigger scheme at work amongst the angels. The arrival of another angelic visitor also seems imminent (in fact, based on Gabriel’s phone call, he’s already in Japan), while Emi is using her enforced off time to look for further Yesod fragments, which may or may not have something to do with her mother. And oh, yes, Enta Isla is going to war in the continuing wake of the power vacuum left by the defeat and disappearance of the Demon King. If that all seems to anime-only viewers like more than can be resolved in the remaining couple of episodes, you’re absolutely right; the war reference is a teaser for later events (ones that might be reached if a third season is animated), so it may not even get mentioned again this season.

The other interesting point is a little more background on Lucifer/Urushihara. As in Biblical lore, this Lucifer also “fell” from Heaven, but in this case the impetus was boredom rather than pride. To him, Satan (was simply doing something far more interesting. Which Satan – Maou or the earlier Overlord Satan – he means is a bit in question, but seems to be Maou. If that is the case, then that means that the original Satan was also from Heaven. Again, not a revelation that will have immediate enough consequences to impact this season, but it is a plot element for the series’ long haul.

So yeah, it definitely feels like the series is back on track after a weak side track.

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