Demon Love Spell Vol. 1 TP
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: 12/4/2012
Creator: Mayu Shinjo
Format: 200 pgs., Black & White, Trade Paperback
Age Rating: Older Teen
ICv2 Rating: 3 stars out of 5
In this shoujo manga from the creator of Ai Ore!, the main character is a high school girl named Miko Tsubaki. But she's no ordinary high school girl, she's also the soon to be 43rd head priestess of the Otsubaki shrine. One day, her best friend, Shino, comes to her crying because her boyfriend has cheated on her again and exaggerates that she thinks he is possessed by a demon. Having little talent for actually sensing demons and spirits, Miko takes her seriously and goes to exorcise this demon from the evil womanizer Kagura. What she doesn't realize until it's too late however is that Kagura really is an incubus and now that his powers have been bound into a pint sized form of his original self, Miko is going to be stuck with him for quite a while longer.
Now, you know how with most shoujo manga you're stuck with an incredibly boring set-up that requires you to sit through predictable plot hooks until you get to the point that you already knew the story was headed from page one? Not the way it works here. In the case of Demon Love Spell, this book gets to the point almost right away. Within the first few pages, we know who the main characters are and what their motivations are. By the end of the first chapter you will see Kagura bound. By the end of the second chapter you already know who is who, what their relationships are and how they feel about each other and by the end of the third chapter, you're already dealing with their first lover's quarrel. And there's something about that that feels refreshing and nice.
There are no confusing love triangles to parse through. There is no predictable story hooks that you have to sit through just to get to the point that you know is coming. There is just pure story that moves forward with every single page paired with some beautiful character designs that remind you every step of the way that this is most certainly aimed towards a female audience. Every male character in this book is beautiful. From Kagura to Miko's father, every male that you meet is a beauty and sight to behold and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
The one complaint that one could have with this book is that since the male lead is an incubus, there is quite a bit of sexual material within the book. Kagura is able to (and frequently does) visit the dreams of Miko and give her subconscious sexual pleasure in order to receive the energy he needs to survive. Obviously, this isn't a book that is appropriate for younger readers and should probably be kept out of their hands until they're in their mid to late teens.
Overall though, this is a solid introduction to the series. It's not perfect by any means but girls and women of an appropriate level of age and maturity should be able to pick this one up and enjoy it with little problem. Recommended.