Demon Love Spell 3
July 5, 2015
Mayu Shinjo – Viz – 2013 – 6 volumes
This has more in common than I would have thought with series like Kamisama Kiss and Natsume’s Book of Friends. The stories tend to be surprisingly sweet mostly-one-shots about supernatural creatures that come to Miko because of her power, and Kagura’s. There’s still a lot of sexy innuendo (like, A LOT), but man, there’s also some cute stories buried in here.
Having said that, the story that takes up the first half/two-thirds of this volume is about an onmyouji who used to work at Miko’s family temple. He’s very famous now, and has a popular TV show where he exorcises demons. He shows up, expels a succubus that had inhabited Miko (which was more funny than smutty), and then takes up an offer of marriage long ago extended by her father. Miko is on the brink of losing herself to Kagura, and decides to choose being a priestess over being happy with a demon. But her heart wants Kagura still. Kagura also agrees to enter into a contest with the onmyouji to see who Miko desires most “as a man,” as part of the onmyouji’s strategy for breaking that up also involves insisting that Kagura’s incubus powers are keeping Miko enthralled.
Miko and Kagura also go on an adorable date at the beginning of that chapter. Mayu Shinjo knows how to write shoujo.
The second story is about another major demon, named Miyuki. Miyuki winds up staying with Miko instead of Kagura for awhile, protecting her from local demons and (because this is a romance manga) falling in love with her. His story is quite bittersweet, and very enjoyable.
One thing I do like about Mayu Shinjo is that she writes female characters that like good-looking guys without making it a punchline. Miko likes good-looking guys (not just a single one), and that’s okay. It’s just part of who she is. It’s not a joke, or a bad quality, and she doesn’t want to sleep with them. Shinjo has written some rather cringe-inducing series in the past, but it’s rare you see attraction depicted like this in a shoujo manga.
I’m undecided whether sealed/tiny Kagura has a different, cuter personality than full-blown incubus Kagura. It’s possible he does, because incubus Kagura doesn’t like to waste time on anything but putting the moves on Miko. But man, he’s cute when he’s small.