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Akuma na Eros
Synopsis | Review

Hmm. I was wondering if I should put together this page. After all, it's about a girl who falls in love with Satan, and the topic of Satan usually makes people queasy. I figured it won't make me as queasy if I call Satan as Kai. After all, that's his earth name in this story. He can also be called Akuma, which is the Japanese equivalent of Satan. And besides, if Haou Airen can make its way into this site, then Akuma na Eros should too. Hakuron and Kai pretty much came from the same mold.

Akuma na Eros translates into "Satanic Love" and it's by mangaka Shinjo Mayu, who wrote it before Haou Airen. It consists of four volumes and has a happy ending. And ah, therein lies the rub. Because how should happy ending be defined for this story? Would it be considered a happy ending if Miu went to heaven or to hell? Well, I figured since I basely gave away Haou Airen when I initially introduced it, I'll let you figure things out for yourself this time. And yes, I'm still in a bad mood over what happened to Hakuron. There's probably nothing that can cure my bad mood over that. Unless Shinjo writes a sequel, which would be pretty hard to pull off. Then again, her stories really don't have as much effective storylines as they have sex.

Actually, I take that back. Akuma na Eros actually has a nice storyline, even though it's shorter than Haou Airen. It's about angels and devils and going to hell and back. Actually, it can even make you laugh to some degree.

Synopsis
One day, Sakurai Miu goes into a small bookstore and finds a book on witchcraft. She was drawn to this book so much that she ended up purchasing it. When she went to school, though, she forgot all about the book as she continued to admire her crush, Amamiya Shion, from afar. Shion is the son of the school church pastor and is always surrounded by a lot of beautiful girls.

Miu's depressed with the fact that these girls that are always with Shion are a lot more well-endowed than she is, and she despaired of ever getting his attention. While she was mulling over this later that evening, though, she remembered the book. On an impulse, she decided to cast a spell to make Shion fall in love with her.

Unfortunately--very unfortunately--Miu ended up summoning Akuma by mistake. So he appears at her window, all black wings, ram's horns, and pointed ears, and grumpily demands who summoned him. Apparently, the book is very old and nobody has used it in a while. Or maybe everybody who had used it before is already dead. That's probably what happened, because Akuma kills whoever summons him.

And so Akuma proceeded to execute Miu, who naturally freaked out and was very upset that she's going to die without ever being kissed (obviously, she has her priorities straight). But when she fell faint into his arms, he realized she was a virgin. This resulted in a change of plans. Evidently, Akuma loves virgins. He agreed to grant her wish, which is to make Shion fall in love with her. In return, however, she must give him her virginity. Miu didn't have much choice in the matter (it's kind of hard to back out of deals with Akuma). He proceded to use his magic to make Shion fall in love with her. For some reason, though, it didn't work.

Piqued, Akuma decided to go to Miu's school to see what the problem is (he loves a good challenge). He posed as her handsome older brother, Kai. For a good measure, he made his pet crow, Marupasu, into Miu's younger brother, Tsubasa. The two of them effectively brainwashed everybody, including her mother, into believing that they are indeed her brothers. And gradually, Kai manipulated people and events in school so that Shion became attracted to Miu.

Miu wasn't very thrilled with the fact that Akuma had to step in so she could get a man. She was even less thrilled of what would happen if Shion does fall in love with her. But slowly, she discovered that Kai's not as bad as she thought he is (which would be very bad in this case) and can actually be endearingly mischievous at times. She's also ecstatic over the fact that he gave her a younger brother. Finally, Miu realizes that she is in love with Kai, which has some implications. What would happen if Shion falls in love with her? And what would happen if her deal with Kai is over?

Review
Kai's a total bishounen. Which is to be expected. Where else would the term "you handsome devil" come from? No, I don't mean Shinjo Mayu coined the term. Ah, you know what I mean. He kind of resembles Hakuron in his human form, except Hakuron has slightly longer hair and a dragon mark on his temple. Ah, my poor Hakuron...

Oh, where was I? Oh yes, about how hot Kai is. Well, he is. He has this tendency to wear black clothes that just emphasize his hotness. And there's something special about a guy with supernatural powers. Shinjo sure knew how to work it, with all these pictures where Kai's magnificent wings would explode from his back and where he would thunder across the desolate plains of hell on a large, frightening horse and where he would appear out of thin air when Miu's thinking about him, and he would ask, "You called?" Damn. Yeah. She knew how to work it.

To a lesser extent, Shion's hot too. But it's obvious that Shinjo's not much into nice, fair-haired guys. Shion kind of reminds me of Fuoron in Haou Airen. They kind of resemble each other, except Fuoron wears his hair into a braid. I just realized that a lot of mangaka have an established set of molds for their different characters in different stories. It's not something that's exclusive to Watase Yu, it appears. Akuma's austere right-hand demon, Beelzebub, also resembles Hakuron's sullen sidekick, Fuuron. Howabout that.

This manga may be distubing at first sight (okay, and maybe on subsequent sights as well), but it's actually not that bad once you read it. That's probably because Akuma in the story has a certain character that belies, or is inconsistent with, popular beliefs. I laughed more at this than at Haou Airen. Actually, it's less dark than Haou Airen. In addition, Miu was a well-developed character with her own set of beliefs, biases, confusions, and desires. Notably, she did a lot of things in the story out of her own freewill, which is more than what I could say for Kurumi in Haou Airen. Hmm, will I ever stop comparing these two series together? Probably not.

Anyway, if you're conservative and don't like reading about these kinds of stuff, then don't. But if you want a relatively short manga series that is out of the ordinary and can make you smile somewhat (and give you a little guilty pleasure on the side), then it's worth checking out.

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