Book Review: ‘Demon Diary 1-7’ by TOKYOPOP

Posted: 29 February 2016 in Book reviews
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Demon Diary Volume 1

Synopsis

Demon Lord Raenef the Fifth is not your typical Demon Lord. He is nice, sensitive, and so damnably likeable, which is very unbecoming of a Demon Lord. Eclipse, his tutor, finds it overly challenging to whip his charge into a form befitting his title before he becomes the laughing stock of the demon-dom. It doesn’t help that when Raenef is attacked by a knight, Erutis, whom he defeats and then employs.

Raenef realises he embarrasses Eclipse so he decides to leave, only returning once he has become a respectable Demon Lord. While in the east, he is summoned by Chris, a high cleric in training. They fight, but Eclipse appears and resolves the situation. As Raenef is about to leave, the current high cleric forces Chris to go with him. They all struggle living together, especially considering Chris and Raenef’s pasts, but they make it work.

One day, another Demon Lord, Krayon, appears and challenges Raenef in a bid to steal away Eclipse. Raenef is distraught at Eclipse getting injured for him and wishes to be a proper Demon Lord. A mysterious book appears and grants his wish. The enchantment supposedly cannot be undone, but is and Raenef is turned back to his normal self.

While Chris and Raenef are exploring his castle, Eclipse appears and tells them about the curse and demise of the previous Raenef. Shortly thereafter, creatures of heaven appear and try to finish the curse and destroy Raenef. But an unlikely figure shows up to help him. Or so they think. Instead, the unlikely group of friends must band together to fight and save Raenef from uncertain doom.

My Thoughts

I bought this series at Bookoff in NYC (a secondhand bookstore Jeffry and myself frequent). I am recently expanding my manga collection (which only less than 10 before I moved here) and this one looked interesting. I have to say I am much pickier with my manga than I am with my anime. At first I wondered if I had made a mistake buying them, but now I’m happy I did.

For starters, I really enjoyed the premise for this series. It was a fun read. The story was great. It is a different take on good versus evil. More like evil that’s good versus evil that’s bad. It also held a very profound message for me, that people are rarely ever what they seem. Raenef is a Demon Lord and Chris has a deep-rooted hate for demons, but they still end up as good friends. Give a person a chance and you might be surprised. I know I have.

The artwork is done by Kara (an illustrating duo) and is a bit confusing in the beginning. Raenef is drawn with very feminine features which kind of threw me off. Likewise, Erutis is seemingly androgynous. It isn’t until like the second or third volume that it is made perfectly clear, very humorously, that she is a woman. It’s fairly obvious that Raenef is a boy, but he just looks girly. I find that many male characters are given quite feminine attributes. Mainly their hair. Lord Krayon has very girly hair. I’m not trying to be sexist, you just have to see it to understand why I say this. Otherwise the art is very good. It is pleasant on the eyes and the lettering is very distinctive and easy to read.

The writing is really good from the second volume on. The first volume was written by Lee Chi Hyong, who was evidently a high schooler. The dialogue was decent, but nothing amazing. Lee Yun Hee picked it up after with the second volume and really prefer her writing. It was fun and light, but not too juvenile. I really enjoyed it.

The characters were very interesting. They were all so different. And funny. Raenef is so loveable and charmingly oblivious. Erutis is fiesty. And Chris has blinding over-the-top ambition. Together they clash, but within time they form a beautiful friendship. Eclipse puts on airs, and at one time was quite notorious dangerous, but Raenef brings out a softer side to him. Funny how some people can do that to you.

All in all, I really enjoyed this series. It’s fun and has a great overarching moral. This would be a good choice for those who want something mildly graphic. It is also a good choice for kids. Enjoy 😉

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