Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kyo Kara MAOH!, vol. 1

Temari Matsumoto with Original Story by Tomo Takabayashi
Published in the US by TokyoPop

Slugline: Smart kid. The first thing out of his mouth after traveling between worlds was were was the princess he needed to rescue.

The toilet must represent some deep repressed fear, for once again a hapless guy is transported to another world through one. YuriShibuya meets up with angry human villagers but it is rescued from representatives from his kingdom. Yes, his kingdom, for rather than being brought to this new world to confront an ancient evil or rescue a princess, he has been brought there to be a king. Which doesn't sound so bad until he is told that it is a kingdom of demons (who look just like humans) that has been waiting for their reincarnated king (that's him) to lead them against the humans and wipe them out. Thatis not the worse of it, since Yuri manages to trample all over local traditions and gets engaged and agrees to a duel to the same person with five minutes of each other.

First of all, the yaoi subplot that is mentioned in all of the descriptions of the title is something very minor in the first volume. You may breathe a sign of relief or disappointment as necessary. This is a fairly standard 'welcome to a strange new world' story with a couple of minor twists to keep it out of the ruts that trap many other stories of a similar type. Though I wonder if the baseball references in the original version were for Japanese rather than American teams. I wish the difference between humans and demons was clearer, so that the conflict between them would be more understandable. Hopefully that will be something that changes in the later volumes but a solid foundation has already been build with some small interesting feature, it just needs something more to be truly exciting.

Kyo Kara MAOH!, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga


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