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Demon Sacred, vol. 1 (2003): Natsumi Itsuki’s Golden Years

Natsumi Itsuki, Demon Sacred, vol. 1 (Tokyopop, 2003)


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Pop singers are actually demons? That certainly explains Justin Bieber.

Natsumi Itsuki, generally known for writing sci-fi-themed manga, turns in the first volume (of eleven, though Tokyopop only published four in English before they went under) of a fantasy series here. We open fifteen years before the bulk of the action, with a Japanese couple on their honeymoon in Finland viewing the northern lights. Something happens… fifteen years later, the world is now host to a new disease called Return Syndrome, which causes people to suddenly begin aging in reverse. The effects are usually instantaneous, but a scientist named Shinobu is cousin to Rina, a fourteen-year-old girl with a rare form of the disease that causes her age to rescind gradually; he’s trying to find a cure before she winks out of existence. The corporation he works for, SMIC, has found out that Return Syndrome is caused by exposure to demonic forces… forces which were unleashed into our universe during the happening fifteen years before. Shinobu has adopted, and now lives with, Rina and her younger sister Mona, and discovers that not only were they exposed to said demonic forces, but that a demon named Mika has been acting as their father all this time…

It’s a good start, definitely enough to make me want to read more (actually, I’m a chapter into the second volume as I’m writing this), and if it stays at this level, I know I’m going to be bummed out when I get to the end of vol. 4 and have to wait for—hopefully–another company to pick it up so we can get the rest of the story in trade-paperback form. It does have that shojo tendency for all the male characters to look more than incidentally the same, but it’s not nearly as bad here as it is in something like, say, Fruits Basket, so don’t let that scare you off. ***

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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