6 Mar 2013

Akuma to love song manga review

Synonyms: Devil and Love Song, Devil and Her Love Song
Type: Manga
Volumes: 13
Chapters: 91
Status: Finished
Published: Dec 2006 to Apr 5, 2011
Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo
Authors: Toumori, Miyoshi (Story & Art)
Serialization: Margaret

"Devil and Her Love Song" 's a refreshing shoujo manga because it escapes the usual stereotypes you can find in this genre. The main character, Maria Kawai, is quite original for a shoujo heroine. She's brutally honest, has no tact whatsoever, and is usually so serious she tends to be scary. She also seems harsh and rude. She was expelled from the exclusive St. Katrina's school (she claims it's because she beat up her teacher) and ends up in a regular high school where her bad reputation precedes her.

That's the surface, but this manga obviously invites the readers to dig a little deeper in their characters. The really insteresting aspect of Maria is her apparently lack of understanding of how the world works... She's actually so transparent, that she fails to act acordingly to what's socially acceptable. And just as layered as she is, you'll find that the other main characters are equally complex: a guy called Yuusuke who seems nice and cheerful but seems to hide a different character beneath; Megumu, the rude, antisocial loner who, despite himself, can't help but get tangled with Maria... 

At least in the first two volumes, you only catch a glimpse of the true characters hiding beneath the exterior, and this proves to be very interesting: nothing is that obvious nor predictable, as it often happens in this sort of stories. 

Often the mangaka can focus too much on the story and not enough on the art, or vice versa, but Toumori Miyoshi has it spot-on. The art style is one of my very favourites - close ups of the characters leaving me in awe of her work. She has a way of making every character portray exactly what she wants them too in every scene, almost like a movie, setting the mood with just a few body language changes, something rare to find (from what I've seen) in a manga.

This is not your average "bad girl/boy who is actually nice" plot. I'm curious to see where the story will go ( I am still reading), but be warned that this (at least for now) is a character driven plot. There's not much going on in matters of action or conflict. So far is mostly about showing the true nature of its characters, and that is done in a beautiful way, with gorgeous art to boost. It's a very enjoyable read and promises even more entertainment in what's to come

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