DEMON FLOWERS VOL.1

Posted On October - 1 - 2007
  RELEASED BY:   TOKYOPOP
  AUTHOR / ART:  

MIZUKI HAKASE

  FORMAT:   JAPANESE / B&W
  PAGES:   180
  RATING:   OT
  RELEASE DATE:   09/11/2007
  REVIEW DATE:   10/01/2007
  REVIEWED BY:   SCOTT CAMPBELL

From Mizuki Hakase, creator of the already well-known “The Demon Ororon” series, comes a dark, chaotic manga about three lost souls in search of the true meaning of family. “Demon Flowers” proves the author/artist knows more than a thing or two about the demon world, and what great stories can come out of it!

Demon Flowers melds together stories of past and present to create a complete package of demon-wrought goodness. Long ago, when Japanese Gods descended upon humans, their mixed offspring inherited supernatural powers, and the name of “Kuruizaki No Hana.” Now those of the demon world are rising up to wipe out these offspring – led by the cool and confident assassin, Ushitora. He’s worshipped as a deadly professional, but when he falls in love with one such gifted boy, Masato, everything changes. Ushitora betrays his people, sacrificing himself to a life on the run in order to care for Masato and a spirited orphan girl named Nao. Those still involved with the demon world that Ushitora has forsaken are after him now, as they still crave Kuruizaki flesh.

The story is pretty interesting in the first volume. It’s very free flowing, moving quickly, though never leaving out anything important. The time frame of events is just quick – it leaves the fine details to the imagination, giving it a dream state kind of feel at times. The relationships between different main characters also stick out because they aren’t explained in great detail – the motivations and feelings for why one character chooses to risk life and limb for another aren’t always made totally clear on the surface. It’s different – it makes you as a reader pay more attention to what is being said so that you can try your best to read into it. It’s nice to have to actually think and work when reading a manga now and again – it’s a different experience form many others.

The art is just as unique. Characters are mostly tall and lanky beyond what would actually function in the real world, but it makes for a really cool style. The view points and angles in the art are interesting as well. There are close ups on characters faces, half their faces, and different important actions, etc. It’s like a really artsy movie where the camera will focus on something supposedly unimportant, or not what you would first think you should be looking at. It makes you see and think differently – pretty cool. The contrast between lights and darks is very straight up. The darks are the blackest of blacks, and the light areas are straight white. Lots of long wispy lines are used to make up the style that is present here – everything is elongated in a way that makes the style unique.

As for readability, the text is great. Everything flows well visually, so it lends well to the reader being able to follow along with ease. The text is actually a bit larger and a bit bolder than many other manga that you may have read – it’s a nice plus. Little whispers and sound effects are of course smaller for effect, but that’s just common sense to line things up visually. As for the older teen rating, Demon Flowers does include some moderate sexuality as well as some moderate violence. But it’s nothing crazy over the top, and nothing that most readers won’t have seen before in a manga title.

IN SUMMARY:
Demon Flowers builds a great story around striking visuals of a unique style. It’s a horror tale that takes the genre in a different direction because the story has real meaning and depth, and the visuals are still beautiful even when depicting violence. This series has a unique mix of style and story that is very much worth checking out.

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