Filed under: Series Introduction | Tags: Akuma to Love Song, Author: SheWhoSnacks, Devil and Her Love Song, Shoujo
A student from one of the top prestigious school transfers into the ordinary Touzuka Public High School after being expelled, and stirs up school life from within. On her first day, she makes a bad impression and gets on the bad side of the females(who are very much like pack hounds, mind you). Trying to be friendly but failing miserably, coming off as arrogant and cold hearted, the socially inept – but uncannily perceptive of the human nature – Kawai Maria becomes the prime target for bullying and rumours.
’tis a high school drama galore!
Kawai Maria, a tall, pretty, smart, and vocally talented teenager who has a weird sense of fashion, is termed the “Devil”. Since her first day in her new school, dirty rumours about her spread like wildfire incensed by jealousy and feelings of anger at realising flaws in self characters. She is the “Devil’s” mirror, seeing through masks and lies and responding to the “truth” instead of what is shown. When faced with her, people are forced to notice the flaws and “ugliness” in their own characters. Almost ruthlessly, she tears down these layers where ever she goes and when ever she talks, and as a consequence, earns more enemies than friends. We follow her journey through her high school life in this public school, and watch as she slowly gains support from her scarce, but growing, circle of friends, as they accept themselves and her.
Maria is a self-possessed protagonist, and though her ability to be so perceptive could have been used in a way to control people around her, she doesn’t normally think that far about how her words would affect a person. Only thinking of how to use her perception in seeing and responding to point out what someone really meant (or to use it to help a situation), she always ends herself in a worse position. She seems to not to give a care about how others think of her but in fact, does feel the hurt of rejection – she just doesn’t seem to know how else to express it. Kawai Maria is an interesting character, and quite the special one. She doesn’t go into any overly angst mode, or annoying arrogance, but seems to be quite the opposite. Constant attempts at “lovely mode” by tilting her face (taught to her by a classmate-friend) makes her look absolutely intimidating to her fellow students, and worth a few laughs. Her own character is not without flaws, and can actually be explained by various mental disorders, trauma, or childhood developement. A problem with such a strong character as a protagonist is that you either love her, or hate her.
The manga is enjoyable, even for one such as I, who is a long time avid advocate against dramas. However, the ongoings in the manga are, in my opinion, exaggerated, or at least I’ve never had the misfortune in encountering such a large gathering of such persons. I must say, though, this manga sure does give an insight as to why it sucks to be a female sometimes. The way “battles” are fought…Sly, cunning, deceptive appearances, staged words and actions, ample and proper usage of rumours…
Character depth is mostly here, seeing as this manga does have to do a lot about the different sides to the characters, though I believe the transformation of certain individuals as they leave the proverbial nest of safety, and show their “true” character is a little too abrupt. The change from A to M happens a little too fast. Even if you knew of your true character, but pretended to be something else, habit grows on you. Just because you took a leap of faith does not cast off the mask you have been using over the years in simply a night. In that view, the manga’s characters do get unbelievable even if the mangaka did give reasons to which such actions or reactions were wrought. They get predictable and typical. Nevertheless, the lead characters in the plot or arcs are expanded upon more than in most mangas.
I find the art endearing and bearable enough, though if you’re no fan of big doe eyes that are almost prevalent in all mangas (especially shoujo) and a large-ish forehead, you won’t enjoy the art much. The art is simple and clean cut, and I do enjoy the style of the mangaka in drawing expressions, and in comedic situations.
If reading the introduction makes you think of Kimi ni Todoke and Perfect Girl Evolution(or The Wallflower), you’re not entirely wrong. The majority crowd in these mangas do not see the like-able sides to the protagonist that we do see, and we follow the journey in which that situation starts to change. Devil and Her Love Song, however, takes on a noticeable degree more of seriousness and deviousness. There is less comedy and more slice of life than in Perfect Girl Evolution, and less innocence than that found in Kimi ni Todoke. While Kimi ni Todoke has it’s share of drama with rumour mills, tricking individuals, martyr-ness, the style it is written in is considerably less heavy than what is found in Devil and Her Love Song. In this manga, it pretty much has a basic plot line which I can surmise in a sentence. The beauty’s in it’s developement and characters.
Conclusion: If you liked something like Kimi ni Todoke, but want something heavier and denser, this is for you. If you want something more light hearted and..happier, well, obviously, this isn’t what you’re looking for. If you’re out for romance, yes, there are elements of romance here, but the developement isn’t one of those in which the attraction becomes blatantly obvious on both sides in just one volume that makes you want to smack both characters on their heads and just ask them to get on with it. Nope. There won’t be those over the top blushing, shy girly moments with Maria (Thank God for small favours). Maria is no tsundere.
Sorry. No picture Conclusion this time round. (:
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