June 28, 2015
Mayu Shinjo – Viz – 2013 – 6 volumes
Finding and reading the last volume of Sensual Phrase put me in the mood for more Mayu Shinjo. I’m further along in Ai Ore, but a story about an incubus appeals to the large part of me that loves dirty shoujo manga as well as demons.
The first story in the volume is actually rather heartbreaking. Miko encounters a fox demon while on a school trip, and the fox demon confuses her with a priestess he used to know. Kagura gets jealous, meanwhile the fox spirit turns into a fox-boy and is kind to the students on the trip, all while earnestly trying to convince Miko that he is the one for her. He is adorable, and the end to this story is touching in a way that I was not expecting from Demon Love Spell. It was an awesome story.
The second story in the volume is more what I imagined. To keep Kagura from groping her and entering her dreams, she makes him promise to not touch her for a month, and in return he can do whatever he wants on “lovey dovey day” that isn’t sex. Meanwhile, a small demon tries to rescue his kidnapped sister by stealing Kagura’s powers, and he eats Miko’s soul to get at him.
Actually, that story was kind of touching as well. The brother demon was adorable.
Demon Love Spell isn’t quite as… heartfelt as Sensual Phrase. Little is. But it mostly scratches the itch, and I was pleased with how much I enjoyed both of these stories.
Mayu Shinjo’s author notes were a little depressing here. In one, she says she always uses up all her ideas for a series in each volume, because she never knows when it will be the last. Then she has to think of more, and that’s just her job. Later, there are several anecdotes about how popular the fox spirit was, and how she had to be really adamant about how the story had to end. There’s even a little strip at the end where she has to explain to her editor over and over again what has to happen with the fox spirit. Another talks about how busy she is all the time.
These are a far cry from the gushy music fan notes in Sensual Phrase. I’ve been noticing this more and more lately… on one hand, I know these ladies are aging right along with me, but on the other hand, the recent author notes from Mayu Shinjo and Chika Shiomi depress me more because they reveal just a little bit more of what a hard, horrible grind their job really is, and the toll that has probably taken on them in the last 20+ years.
I… see that Mayu Shinjo only draws BL comics now? While a series called “A Teacher’s Innocence, a Student’s Lust” doesn’t really sound like something I’d be into, I still have high hopes.
January 2, 2013
Mayu Shinjo – Viz – 2012 – 5+ volumes
Admittedly, I love demons, and I love terrible shoujo manga, so I was pretty much sold on the title alone here. But seriously. Mayu Shinjo demons? The girl isn’t merely the average high school girl, but a shrine maiden who needs to touch the demon in order to exorcise others? I’m pretty sure Mayu Shinjo knows her audience like the back of her hand. I’ve read Akuma no Eros by her, which was delightfully trashy beyond all belief, and I was very excited about this. But I would be lying if I didn’t say I felt really guilty about it.
The main character is a Shinto priestess named Miko. Within a few pages, her best friend comes into her shrine and complains about being thrown over by the hot guy at school, and gets Miko to pay attention to her sob story by telling her that the boy must be possessed by a demon. Miko takes her far more seriously than the friend intended, and rushes off to school to exorcise him. Nobody believes the guy is really a demon, including Miko, but Miko wants to prove that the exorcism power that runs in her family didn’t skip a generation. To everyone’s disbelief, it doesn’t, and Miko manages to seal the hot guy (named Kagura) and turn him into a tiny version of himself.
Kagura is a demon, and an incubus at that. He needs to touch and make out with women in order to stay alive. Miko finds that when she holds the diminutive demon in her hand, his power flows into her and she is able to see the demons she has so desperately been trying to spot since she was a girl. But now they’re after her, since she managed to seal the most powerful demon, and she needs Kagura’s help to see and exorcise them.
While that’s going on, Kagura is trying to seduce her. Because this is a Mayu Shinjo manga. Duh. Most of the naughty business happens in Miko’s dreams, which Kagura invades since she won’t turn him big or give him any sort of attention while conscious. But her subconscious is more than willing. Again, because this is a Mayu Shinjo manga.
There are delightful touches throughout. At one point, Miko leaves Kagura behind in her hamster cage. Kagura pouts, and admits that he’s starting to get desperate for any sort of love he can get. Then he turns on the hamster, and the scene changes. Later, he’s wearing a hamster skin to stalk Miko, and for a terrifying moment I thought this went someplace even weirder. Miko also has a best friend that gives the story a dose of reality from time to time. She makes a great disgusted face, and will sometimes call Kagura out on the crazy things he does.
Overall, it does just about what it says on the box. I’m not completely sure where it’s going, because certainly Kagura can’t really seduce Miko? But I’ll be along for every somewhat smutty, unbelievably cheesy volume.