Demon Diary

Demon Diary

DemonDiary1Demon Diary is a seven volume Japanese style Korean manga, illustrated by Kim Yoon-Gyeong and Jeong Eun-Sook that was published by Tokyopop back in 2003.

Raenef V is the ‘black sheep’ of the demon court: small, unthreatening, with minimal knowledge of magic and courtly etiquette. In order to help him claim his birthright as a demon lord, the gods send him the wise and noble demon teacher Eclipse to be his tutor, because whoever heard of a lovable demon lord?! Throughout Raenef’s journey he meets Erutis the knight and Christ the Priest – both who initially try to kill Raenef before they see how oddly naive he is. But Raenef’s greatest challenge comes in the form of his predecessor, Raenef IV. Can Raenef ever become a successful demon lord?

DemonDiary2This was one of the first mangas that I ever read, and probably the very first manga that I ever read from the first volume to the last. It was so difficult to buy a whole series of manga ten years ago that I jumped at the change buy a full series.

This manga starts off light-hearted and humourous as the reader realises just how inept Raenef really is at being a demon lord – especially when compared to his serious, long-suffering teacher Eclipse. Although the humour is maintained throughout, it never really develops along with the characters. The slapstick overtones work well in the earlier novels but become a little repetitive towards the end. However, the situations do continue to be mildly amusing, particularly when new characters arrive and bring a certain freshness to the storyline.

DemonDiary4The storyline itself does get a little side-tracked towards the end. Certain scenes and plot lines introduced in volume one were not followed up on later. I do understand that volume one had a different writer to the accompanying six, but there are times when the complete disregard for continuity was borderline embarrasing. Raenef completely loses his dark, ‘angry’ side and his rigorous demon lessons with Eclipse just suddenly grind to a half and never mentioned again.

The art in this manga is very interesting, as it seems the characters are drawn differently to suit their purpose. Raenef is portrayed as rather feminine; Erutis, on the other hand, can almost be mistaken for a boy. Eclipse is very much a bishounen and this obviously suits the somewhat debated shounen-ai overtones.

DemonDiary3What did concern me was the attention to translation. It’s easy to see when translations become awkward, as conversations don’t flow quite as well or jokes are cringe-worthy or plain just don’t translate very well over cultures. Although this was over ten years ago, it is worth noting that Tokyopop struggled here. There are also one or two speech bubble with nothing actually in them!

All-in-all, Demon Diary was an enjoyable easy-to-read manhwa series that I would definitely recommend to anyone starting out on a manga journey of discovery! It’s light, heart-felt, with colourful characters and can be read at a deeper level depending on how you read it!