The Devil is a Part-Timer attracts attention in the U.S. and otaku are lovin’ it.

No matter what country of the world you’re in, if you were to think of a fast food burger chain, McDonald’s would likely be at the top of the list. The chain’s brand recognition is so high that anyone involved with it is likely to shoot to super stardom, and that’s what’s happening at the moment with a light-novel-turned anime from Japan called Hataraku Maou-sama! or The Devil Is a Part-Timer! 

The reason why this particular anime is on everyone’s radar at the moment is because it’s said to be appearing at chains in the U.S. While anime tie-ups aren’t uncommon in Japan — the chain’s second largest market, with roughly 2,965 stores nationwide — it’s unusual for an anime to make an appearance in the U.S., which is the chain’s largest market with over 14,000 stores.

Once our otaku reporter Seiji Nakazawa heard about the anime’s presence overseas, he thought it was too good to be true, so he asked our boss Yoshio, who just happens to be in the U.S. at the moment, to stop by a branch to find out what was happening.

▼ Yoshio reported back from a branch in San Diego

Looking around the store, the only posters he could see were once advertising items on the menu. Then, suddenly, he saw something flash by on the video screen next to him.

Hataraku Maou-sama!

Well to be precise, it was the devil, in disguise as Sadao Maou, who takes on a part-time job working at a fast food restaurant in Tokyo called MgRonald’s, according to the storyline in Hataraku Maou-sama! MgRonald’s, which utilises Ronald McDonald’s first name, is an obvious play on McDonald’s, and the red uniform worn by the character mimics the outfits worn by staff in Japanese branches.

Fans in Japan have long been captivated by the story of the devil working at MgRonald’s, with the light novel series running from 2011-2020, spanning 30 volumes, a manga and anime series in 2012 and 2013 respectively, and a new manga and anime series currently available, having started in 2019 and 2022 respectively.

Having achieved success in both Japan and overseas, it’s nice to see McDonald’s is now tipping its hat to the series as well, by giving it a spot in its latest promotional video, as seen below.

And just to show Seiji that the above video really was screening at McDonald’s branches in the U.S., Yoshio sent him this video as proof.

Seiji almost squealed in delight at seeing the anime flash by on screen, even if it was just for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. And when he checked the credits, sure enough, The Devil Is a Part-Timer! was listed.

▼ Complete with its Japanese title, はたらく魔王さま! (Hataraku Maou-sama!)

As it turns out, it wasn’t just Seiji who was surprised by news of the anime being included in a video at McDonald’s branches in the U.S. — the illustrator, Oniku, written as “029”, also expressed surprise at it all, sharing a tweet that read:

“‘Hataraku Maou-sama!’ has appeared in an original McDonald’s commercial. When the person in charge contacted me about the collaboration, I was so surprised that I read the email three times… For my work to appear alongside big titles of foreign movies I’ve been watching since I was a child is mind-blowing, it’s like a wonderful dream. Eat McDonald’s!!” 

▼ Oniku’s tweet

Seiji agreed that it was mind-blowing to see an anime like this pop up amongst other big name shows and films like Friends and The Fifth Element. Now if only they’d create a menu tie-up with The Devil Is a Part-Timer!, Seiji would be a very happy McDonald’s customer — after all, it’d be a perfect collaboration.

Related: The Devil Is a Part-Timer!
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