Poor Yuri Shibuya. Not only can this 15-year-old not get a date, but he also has to deal with bullies. The bullies stick his head in the toilet and plan to give him a major swirly, but the worst happens: Yuri actually gets sucked into the toilet. When he comes out, he’s in a semi-Medieval bishonen world with sorcery and mystical creatures. And it turns out he’s the king of this world. Lucky Yuri Shibuya!
To read Kyo Kara Maoh, a reader has to forget about logic and go along with the (ahem) flow. Once the “Hey, that can’t happen” thought is out of the system, Kyo Kara Maoh is incredibly entertaining.
In this new world, Yuri is told he had to be born elsewhere because of a war between demons and humans. As it turns out, Yuri is a demon. (As a matter of importance, demons here are not evil and look human.) Slowly but surely, Yuri learns more about the new world. This zany story, in the midst of all its shenanigans, is feeding readers an increasingly complex plot.
One of its strongest points would be its colorful batch of characters. Besides Yuri, the main characters are Conrad, Wolfram, Günter and Gwendal. Conrad, Wolfram and Gwendal are sons of the former monarch and are as different as possible in both looks and personality. Gwendal is scarily serious, Conrad is helpful, and Wolfram is a tempestuous brat. Günter is the king’s advisor and thinks Yuri can do no wrong. While getting to know everyone, Yuri accidently finds himself engaged with Wolfram. These things happen.
And what else happens? Well, Yuri gets attacked by pirates. He also gets in a magic fight with Wolfram. And then there’s the time when he goes after a demon sword that isn’t as dangerous as it sounds. Yes, there are plenty of adventures in store for the new king, and plenty more promised for the future.
Readers might be familiar with Kyo Kara Maoh, but not as a manga. It actually began as a novel series that has spun into a multi-volume anime. Since the anime has been in the United States a few years, courtesy of Geneon and FUNimation, a good number of readers will probably seek the manga version out after watching the cartoon. The anime fleshes the characters out more, while the manga moves through things more quickly. Likewise, readers who start with the manga might be interested in the anime next. The novel series has yet to be published in America.
So with all this Kyo Kara Maoh stuff out there, it shows there are a few fans of the series. This manga is a fun and whimsical read, because once a reader settles in for the zaniness, they’ll be surrounded by interesting characters and get involved with a strong storyline. Being the king of demons has to have its escapades, after all.
Reviewed by Danica Davidson on October 18, 2011
Kyo Kara Maoh, Volumes 1-4