This is a great new shoujo with a one of a kind heroine. Maria was expelled from her school, betrayed by her closest friends and utterly alone. She transfers from her Catholic school to a public school that has no idea what to make of the self-possessed girl with the strong intuitive streak that says exactly what she sees – like it or not. She has an uncanny knack for seeing people for who they really are deep down and telling them so, despite the consequences. It doesn’t win her any friends except for two boys. Cheerful Yusuke and reserved Shin cannot seem to help themselves from wanting to lend a hand to this girl who is struggling to keep her faith in humanity. Thus unfolds the romantic dramedy that is A Devil and Her Love Song.
More than the usual troubled-girl-at-new-school genre, this offers innovative traits to the style by offering a female protagonist that is truly unique. She is fearless. Troubled and riddled with self-loathing, she sings beautifully to soothe herself and search for the faith she is struggling to keep. Her say-it-like-it-is attitude gets her into trouble but shows a clear mind and astute intelligence not often seen in the main characters of teen drama fare. Her cool head in dealing with bullies and keen insight into people’s nature may not win her friends at school but it sure wins over the reader and Shin.
A love triangle is forming by the end of the first volume between Maria and the two boys, though I do not think any of them realize it yet. Maria contends with rather vicious bullying by the girls, framed for outlandish accusations, and rebuffed at every turn. Yusuke continually tries to cheer her on. However Shin is the one who takes a greater step towards Maria’s heart and it is the only moment where she is moved to tears and it is by a random act of kindness. Shin is also a reserved loner and the two bond despite their wary natures. When Yusuke notices, he appears jealous, though unaware of the foundation for his resentment.
It is a clever and insightful new manga series allowing for a window into the real agendas that motivate people. The art style is great for the subject matter, giving Maria an aloof and distant appearance emotionally to her cool good looks, while imparting the layered emotions contained by the various characters. The imagery of her singing, holding onto her cross, expresses the peace and beauty the moment entails.
Maria is a one of a kind heroine in this romantic drama about a girl trying to find her path and the two boys finding themselves falling for her and her indomitable will.
- Published By: VIZ Media
- Author / Artist: Miyoshi Tomori
- Format: Japanese / BW
- Pages: 192
- Rated: T
- Released Date: 2/7/2012
- Reviewed By: Holly Ellingwood