Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Manga Review: Demon Love Spell Vol 2 by Mayu Shinjo
Title: Demon Love Spell Volume 2
Author: Mayu Shinjo
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: 03/05/2013
I have to say that this series is starting to bring me closer to the type of fan I was when I began reading Shinjo's work with Sensual Phrase. You could argue, and be correct, that her work suffered due to various companies forcing her to churn out SP clones, but it's taken her a while to really get her creative juices flowing again. This has to be one of her strongest works lately, in my opinion.
A supernatural romance by the creator of Ai Ore! and Sensual Phrase
Miko is a shrine maiden who has never had much success at seeing or banishing spirits. Then she meets Kagura, a sexy demon who feeds off women’s feelings of passion and love. Kagura’s insatiable appetite has left many girls at school brokenhearted, so Miko casts a spell to seal his powers. Surprisingly the spell works—sort of—but now Kagura is after her!
Shrine maiden Miko has sealed the powers of the sexy incubus Kagura, who has vowed to protect her. But now a fox spirit has transformed himself into a human to proclaim his love to Miko, making Kagura jealous. Miko relents and allows Kagura to enter her dreams again, but now he can no longer regain his incubus powers?!
I think part of what makes this volume work is that the romance between Kagura and Miko is being built relatively slowly while still having plenty of nice steamy situations for them to tumble into. Miko does want Kagura, more so than she's really ready to admit, so most of the romance development in this stems from that aspect. Kagura's rather patient for a demon so much older than Miko is, but at the same time it kind of hammers in that Miko's still an inexperienced teenage girl. I kind of like that because this type of series is better when you have to make the two main characters work through their own personal issues before getting together. There are other plot points that come in and try to separate them, but the biggest issues are the ones that come directly from themselves and their own hangups or problems. This is part of what made Sensual Phrase so good, that even though the plot d'jour might have been sparked by some guy/girl/potted plant out to take one of the two people in the couple for themselves, the main problem was really some pre-existing insecurities or issues that the rival brought to the surface. I'm starting to see where this will be the case with this series and I'm pretty excited about that.
The artwork is, of course, top notch. Fans of Shinjo's steamier works will be a little sad to see that there isn't anything graphic in here, meaning no sex, but there are still a lot of pulse pounding scenes to be had. The artwork does a great job of bringing across the emotions. I'll admit that some of it is typical Shinjo and it'll be the same type of character designs that you've seen before, but the nice story lines help keep it from being too familiar.
I really loved this volume and when it ended, I was sad that I didn't have at least another chapter to flip through. This is turning out to be a series that I'd recommend to fans of steamier stuff and to older fans. Since Kagura is an incubus I wouldn't recommend it to younger readers for obvious reasons, as much of his actions are sexually driven. Incubi gotta eat, after all. There are no sex scenes, but there are sexual-ish situations and it's referred to frequently. Older teens would be fine with this, although parents will probably want to exercise some caution. You know what you want your kids reading, after all.
4 out of 5 stars
(ARC provided by VIZ Media)