Friday, December 7, 2012

Review: DEMON LOVE SPELL, Volume 1

DEMON LOVE SPELL, VOL. 1
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia

CARTOONIST: Mayu Shinjo
TRANSLATION/ENGLISH ADAPTATION: Tetsuchiro Miyaki
LETTERS: Inori Fukuda Trant
EDITOR: Nancy Thislethwaite
ISBN: 978-1-4215-4945-3; paperback, Rated “T” for “Teen”
192pp, B&W, $9.99 U.S. $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

Mayu Shinjo, the creator of the manga series, Ai Ore!, has another series being published in North America. It is a shojo manga entitled Demon Love Spell. This supernatural romantic comedy focuses on Miko Tsubaki, a young shrine maiden who is trying to follow in her father’s footsteps. Gyotoku Tsubaki is the head priest of the Otsubaki Shrine and is a master at banishing demons and other assorted spirits. Miko is not good at seeing or banishing spirits.

As Demon Love Spell, Vol. 1 opens, Miko learns that her friend, Shino, has been spurned by Kagura, a teen lothario. Miko believes that any boy who loves and then rejects so many young women must be possessed. One spell later and Miko learns that Kagura is not possessed by a demon, he is a demon – specifically an incubus who needs female contact to gain power. Now, the size of mouse, Kagura is demanding that Miko, who forgot the spell she used on him, return him to normal size. Plus, he’s in love with her.

Girls in love with otherworldly boys seem to be a staple of shojo manga. The Demon Love Spell manga is a mixture of paranormal romance and supernatural comedy, and creator Mayu Shinjo does both quite well. There is much sexual tension between Miko and Kagura. She desires him, but fights her desire to the point of confusing herself. He wants her, but is he in love? Who can ever trust the motivations of a demon whose very life depends on the sexual/amorous energy he gets from the teen girls he woos?

Shinjo mines everything for comedy. There are scaredy-cat friends, exasperated demons, ill-timed bickering, goofy parents, and young lust. Because of Fawn Lau’s excellent design work on the book, Demon Love Spell Volume 1 looks like it is going to deliver a lot of good stuff. It does, and I hope the series will remain a good one.

A

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


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