Thursday, September 06, 2007

Demon Flowers, vol. 1

By Mizuki Hakase
Released in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: I don't think I have ever been so impressed by a manga's art before!

The Japanese gods, before they were consumed by demons, sired human offspring so the demons are hunting the human children of the gods, because only by consuming them can the demons gain immortality. Ushitora is one of the hunters, but after a lifetime of killing he finds that he cannot kill one more small boy named Masato and runs from his fellow demons and hides the boy. We flash forward a dozen years when Masato is now a teenager and they have added an orphan girl named Nao to their family. Masato has realized that he is different from other people, and has spent most of his life on the run, knowing no other family than Ushitora. But by the end of the book at least some demons have caught up with them while Ushitora is away and Masato faces them alone, having hidden Nao away.

I feel that while the story seems rather pedestrian the art, for once, has impressed me. There are several different easily recognizable schools of manga art, and finding an artist with their own unique art style or who even use art styles outside of their normal genres is very refreshing. The characters here are very elongated and willowy, more so than one would find in a shoujo manga. When demons appear, their squat bodies and strange faces jar the reader far more than one would expect, because of the style of the art so far. Even though the story is anything but original, when it is coupled with an unique art style is suddenly feels fresh and something to follow up on to see how they further integrate the story into the art.

Demon Flowers, v.1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.


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