You are currently viewing The devil is part-time!  & 9 other anime series that have an absurd premise but make it work

The devil is part-time! & 9 other anime series that have an absurd premise but make it work

After the better part of a decade since its first season aired, The devil is part-time! is finally back for a second season and fans are already hailing the return of the demon lord who is forced to find a normal job. With such a wild premise, it could easily have been a disappointment, but the positive reception to Season 2 suggests it’s a show that just keeps getting better.

It’s not the only anime that manages to make the most of an amazing premise, with Spy X Family also being one of the biggest anime of the summer. Tackling a bizarre concept isn’t easy, but all of these anime make it work.

One Punch Man (2015–2019)

Many iconic anime series use an absurdly strong protagonist, but A punch takes this idea one step further and creates a main character that really can’t be disputed. With years of relentless training, Saitama can defeat any supervillain with a single punch, which, in theory, is a terrible idea for an action show.

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Fortunately, A punch makes it work by leaning into the comedy of the premise and giving the protagonist a completely new problem – since he can defeat any opponent so easily, being a superhero is boring for him. It’s a testament to how they used this that Saitama is still considered an iconic central character.

Assassination Classroom (2015–2016)

Assassination Classroom is an anime that surprised almost everyone with its quality, and that’s partly thanks to a truly unique premise. In the show, a group of junior high students suddenly have a new teacher. The twist is that this teacher is the yellow-tentacled Korosensei, who threatens to destroy the land if he can’t improve his assassination skills and bring him down by the end of the year.

While that makes the stakes pretty high, one of the best parts of the show is seeing the central characters grow and realize their potential under Korosensei’s direction. Besides the well-executed action and comedy, the weirdness of the show’s concept almost doesn’t matter.

This Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (2018–present)

Just like with The devil is part timethe hilarious title of This time I got reincarnated as a Slime manages to encapsulate the absurdity of the show before it even begins. The central character of the series is Satoru Mikami and, as the title suggests, he is an ordinary guy who is transported to another world but arrives as a humble drop of drool.

In this isekai, nothing is quite what it seems and so Satoru soon discovers the hidden benefits of his unusual form, which includes the ability to devour any object and take on his appearance and abilities. Its hilarious and action-packed journey proved, much like the character itself, to be much more successful than expected and it is considered one of the best fantasy anime ever made.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (2016-2018)

Centered around pink-haired Saiki Kusuo, a high school student who possesses godlike powers such as mind reading, telekinesis, super strength, teleportation and more, you’d think there wouldn’t be many space for conflicts in the world of The disastrous life of Saiki K.

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However, the twist is that Saiki just wants to live an ordinary life, something that proves surprisingly difficult with the group of oddball characters who become his friends. While there may be some issues with the premise, the jokes arrive so thick and fast and in such short, self-contained episodes that it’s easy to get carried away.

Noragami (2014-2015)

Although it may be easy to think that The devil is part-time! captured lightning in a bottle getting its premise of a powerful deity falling on hard times to work, it’s actually not the only show to pull off the feat. Noragami focuses on a minor deity who calls himself the god Yato and finds himself granting small wishes for 5 yen due to his lack of followers.

With a girl whose soul is dislodged from her body after saving him and the spirit that becomes the sword of the god Yato, the characters of Noragami are what really make its premise work, and they are one of the best found families in anime. In a world full of demonic threats from an unseen realm, there are also plenty of amazing actions to sell it.

Cells at work! (2018-2021)

Thanks to its inventive concept, Cells in action! is a show that gained a ton of fans when it first aired in 2018 and its second season last year only cemented its place as a truly compelling series. Located inside a person’s body, all of the series’ main characters are cells that work together to keep it functioning properly.

While it’s possible to learn quite a bit from this show, its premise also proves to be a great source of comedy as its main red blood cell character gets used to the hectic environment of a human’s inner workings. Although all of the cells are heavily anthropomorphized for obvious reasons, they lean into its odd concept and constantly reference the unique setting.

Spy X family (2022–present)

One of the best action-comedy anime series of this year, Spy X Family captured a ton of fans thanks in large part to the unique family dynamic that is at the heart of the series. What sets their family apart is that not only are they a front for a renowned spy under the alias of Loid Forger to gather intelligence, but the wife and daughter also keep secrets of their own.

The show takes advantage of this premise to perfectly balance its action and comedic elements. It also takes time to develop each of the central figures, which goes a long way to adding credibility to its fictional world of danger and subterfuge. It’s because Spy X Family delivered on its promise so well that fans are eagerly awaiting the next part of the show.

Samurai Champloo (2004-2006)

Samurai Champloo has as ridiculous a premise as one would expect from a show that smoothly brings together hip-hop and Edo-period Japanese samurai, so it’s no surprise that it’s a cult favorite. In the show, two samurai destroy an entire teahouse and are sentenced to execution before being rescued by a waitress there.

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Now in debt to her, the samurai both agree to go on a journey with her in search of a mysterious warrior who smells of sunflowers. With the three very different characters, it’s the perfect adventure full of action and very real laughs. It’s because the show is set to be so unapologetically unique that fans still love it so much.

Konosuba (2016–present)

It takes a special premise to stand out in the isekai genre, but Konosuba is a show that has just that. While the protagonist is usually transported to a new world after being hit by a truck, KonosubaKazuma suffers the same fate after dying of shock when a tractor nearly hit him.

That’s not the only way the series eschews genre convention in absurd ways, as Kazuma’s choice to bring the goddess Aqua with him to defeat a demon lord turns out to be a huge mistake, as it turns out to be a huge mistake. turns out to be even more useless than him. is. The series’ silly sense of humor is perfect for its hilarious premise.

The devil is part time! (2013–present)

Although long and overly descriptive titles can backfire on some anime, The devil is part time! says just enough to capture everyone’s imagination and make them want to experience the show. The show delivers on the promise of the title as The Demon Lord Satan forms the show’s central figure after being stuck in modern Tokyo and forced to work part-time.

Even more hilarious, he finds himself inspired by his new job and soon begins to think of ways to move up the corporate ladder. Sure, the ridiculousness of it all is played for laughs, but a well-developed romance also helps grow the show beyond its mere fun concept.

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