Devil and Her Love Song 2

June 6, 2012

Miyoshi Tomori – Viz – 2012 – 13 volumes

This series is my new favorite thing. So good! I’m a complete and total shoujo junky, I admit, but this is good stuff. I love that the series has a snobby main character that is made completely sympathetic. Maria really doesn’t know how to interact with others, and it makes her sad. She tries, but so far, has not really been succeeding. The fallout comes in bizarre, bittersweet moments where Maria both fails to make friends and manages to come off as scary when she uses a technique she thinks makes her more friendly.

A triangle forms in this volume when main squeeze Shin is all but forgotten as cheerful Yusuke tries to help Maria overcome bullying from both classmates and the teacher. The two grow closer as Yusuke helps Maria through a couple difficult situations. By the end of the volume, Yusuke declares war on Shin, and the two are apparently now on equal ground with Maria, romance-wise. It’s interesting, because I’ve never quite seen an even triangle like this. Usually one boy has the clear advantage. Perhaps my heart is merely rooting for sulky Shin, since cheerful Yusuke is stealing the show here, but the two do appear to be equal.

After the resolution to the Tomoyo storyline last volume, Tomoyo comes around and begins to see that Maria’s gruff, off-putting personality is simply how she is, and isn’t her trying to be openly antagonistic. The two become friends, of a sort, though not much passes between the two of them after the first chapter or so. The observation is made that their respective tastes would suit the other’s personality better (Tomoyo likes black clothing, Maria likes frilly things), and Maria offers the tidbit that few people can be who they want to be.

The teacher begins to ride Maria hard in class, and Maria is put unwillingly as the head of the choral competition committee. Most of the volume is Yusuke struggling to get the other students to play nice with Maria, and Maria realizing she’s hated a lot more than she thinks. But this book is all about making lemonade, and nice things are happening by the end.

There are some parts of this where the bullying truly is difficult to read, and you can watch as Maria digs her own grave by saying the wrong things. It really is a bittersweet book, and touching in a way that few shoujo manga are. Rarely do we see a heroine who is reviled for as good a reason as Maria (usually the story goes the Fruits Basket route where the cheerful heroine is an outcast just because), and again, watching Maria try to sort out her problems and be as good a person as she knows how makes for an interesting story. I can’t wait to read more of this. Luckily, volume three just came out!

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