Man, don’t you just love the rival’s trope? I’m just very big on shipping and half the reason I even started watching anime is because I like the potential two characters can have when it comes to their relationship. Couples like Sadao Maou and Emi Yusa are bound to get together, like instantly. Like, there is no question that those two are the canonical couple because how can they not be? Like that’s literally one of the only reasons I started The Devil Is A Part-Timer, despite being so over Isekai anime.
This is why it was so jarring when Sadao Maou, our protagonist, doesn’t end up with Emilia Yusa. But instead, goes off to be with Chiho Sasaki, the other part-timer at his job in the regular world. And like, what? Satoshi Wagahara, the creator of The Devil Is A Part-Timer, built this entire narrative between Sadao Maou and Emi. They even got a pseudo-kid, became a found family situation and Maou ditches that to be with Chiho, of all people? Make it make sense!
Look, rare pairs are a thing, I won’t deny that. And, sure, plot twists are good. But when you’ve built up so much chemistry between two characters in your story, to the point that it’s basically following the ‘enemies-to-lovers’ formula? And it doesn’t pay off? It isn’t interesting or shocking in a way that keeps the reader invested.
At that point, it was just a bad writing decision on the writer of the story. You can’t just work on a relationship for multiple chapters, giving them exposure and back story that works as a slow burn, only to turn around and pull a ‘Gotcha!’ moment. While The Devil Is A Part-Timer is a decent Isekai, it’s the ending that really dragged it down. But how did Maou end up choosing Chiho over Emi in the first place? Let’s discuss!
Is Emi Yusa a Perfect Fit For Maou?
Emi Yusa and Sadao Maou dynamic is what pushed me to start The Devil is A Part-Timer in the first place. Their relationship and growth are what made the anime show interesting, taking it from fun Isekai to a genuinely witty story.
With their history, Emi was such a perfect fit for Maou. They were sworn enemies who got transported to a strange land, with only themselves who knew the truth. When Emi realized the Demon Overlord was not the Maou she got to know, it took their bond to the next level. I mean, they were still antagonistic towards one another, but it was much more subdued, reduced to being friendly banter.
It’s safe to say that Emi and Maou were written to be enemies-to-lovers, and so the time spent on their chemistry was paying off pretty well. Emi played off of Maou’s personality so well, and then the whole plot with Alas=Ramus happened, and it was going perfectly.
Like no one could’ve doubted the ship, Emi and Maou were going to get together and live happily ever after, right?
Is Chiho Sasaki In Love With Sadao Maou?
When Sadao Maou, or the literal embodiment of Satan, got transported to Modern-day Tokyo, he was pretty much on his own. This God-like being who was waging war to conquer Ente Isla had to retreat through some portals because the pushback from the ‘Chosen One’ was too much.
He starts working at MgRonald’s where he meets Chiho. Chiho is a polite and good natured teenager who falls irrevocably in love with Maou because he’s nice and kind to her. And genuinely, that’s it.
Yeah, she’s a human who ‘accepts Maou being Satan’ which is cool, I guess. But there is barely any connection between them beyond friendship. Like Maou would get actively annoyed at her for being clingy, and she’d pine after him and that was the extent of their relationship.
She’s fine for a love interest, maybe. But as the love interest? I’m not sure about that one.
Why Maou And Chiho Get Together:
There’s no ingenious loophole where Chiho becomes the one Maou falls in love with, especially with how much he deflected her advances before. There is no build-up about how and why Maou chooses to be with Chiho instead of Emi.
And that’s really the entire issue here. If Chiho’s relationship had gotten even a fraction of the exposition that Emi’s did, it would’ve made sense and been easier to digest. As it is, however, it’s no wonder so many fans were angry at the finale for the light novel.
Really, Maou thinks that they can’t grow together as a couple one moment and the next he’s appointing her as a general in his Demon Army? It just came out of so left field that fans couldn’t understand. It just seems like a bad decision on the writer’s part, and one that sadly dragged the entire story down.