Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Dearest Devil Princess, vol. 1

Story by Makoto Matsumoto and Art by Maika Netsu
Released in the US by Broccoli Books

Slugline: Why do I think this devil's cute and innocent act is the best con job ever?

Natsuki has a magical box that she says has been in her family forever, but she as never been able to open it, so it wants to sell it to her good friendKeita. Imagine Keita's surprise when a 'genie' pops out of it to give him three wishes. He quickly figures out that the genie is actually a devil, and thatMaki will take his soul and kill him once he makes his three wishes. But despite that, he manages to accidentally make a wish, and thus has started a contract withMaki that cannot be broken except by his death. Needless to say, this is not a good thing from the perspective of heaven so they send an angel to make sure that the contract is not fulfilled, even if that means killingKeita themselves. Of course, since Maki is a cute yet powerful demon, she can't let her contract die on her, and so wackiness ensues.

As for the slugline, how else are you going to make a Japanese schoolboy lower his defenses and make three wishes but act all hapless and helpless? This 'innocent' act is the perfect way to getKeita to lower his defenses and make his three wishes. At which point cute little Maki will turn into a 150 ft tall being of crawling chaos and eats his soul. Well, maybe not, but it is still a good image, right? This is a fan-service filled story, but it has been portrayed in a natural way, such asMaki taking a shower. In a public fountain. They seem to flow more naturally out of the characters, rather than being contrivances of the plot. I also like the portrayal of angels here, because it hearkens back more to the original iconography of angels, where in the Bible the first words out of the angel's mouth usually was "Be not afraid" because angels were the kick ass of the Lord, as compared to the modern representation of them being more like "Touched by an Angel." So while there is a lot of the standard plug-in story elements there are also some interesting background character bits.

My Dearest Devil Princess, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.


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