Gaba Kawa

November 18, 2008

I was actually kind of surprised when I got this and found out it was by the same author who did Wild Act.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about Wild Act, and I was kind of excited about reading one of her other series.

This is a one-shot, and I would guess the age is a little younger than the normal shoujo-romance-type story that gets translated in the US.  The story is a bit simpler and a little less developed than I would like, which is a shame because I really liked the plot and would have loved to see it as a multi-volume series.

Basically, a girl comes from the demon world and has to make mischief among humans in order to be the best demon she can be.  For some reason, she attends school as part of this process.  Her actual motive for coming to the human world is to track down a superstar demon who apparently does so many bad deeds that he’s been elevated to a celebrity status.  She wants little else except to hook up with this guy, which puts this firmly in the realm of the aforementioned “OMG I NEED A BOYFRIEND”-type series.  But again, I kind of liked it, so it’s actually not as shallow as that makes it sound.

The celebrity was dumped pretty quickly in favor of a human.  The dumping itself was actually pretty funny, and something I was hoping for as soon as Rara and her best friend (who also came over into the human world) started talking about him.  The friend is pretty antagonistic, but she comes through in the end in more ways than one, and I always like to see these best friend characters in shoujo series.  Shoujo heroines often lack female company, for whatever reason.

Once the human comes in, it becomes a pretty sweet, if quickly-developed, love story.  Rara tries to find ways to get close to the human and wants him to like her for who she is, so she tries not to use her demon powers to sway his opinion.  The boy himself is kind of a strange one, and it’s pretty cool to see him open up more and more as the story goes on.  Of course, having supernatural powers means you don’t really mix well with humans, and everytime Rara uses her powers to help the boy, she loses a specific power.  You can guess where this goes, eventually Rara has to decide between being a demon and loving a human, blah blah blah.  The ending is sort of bittersweet, and the logic behind the final scene didn’t quite make sense to me other than I knew what was supposed to be going on, but I liked it all the same.  Similarly, I didn’t quite understand how it was that Rara lost one of her powers because… well, it just didn’t make any sense.

But otherwise, this is a pretty cute one-shot.  It’s got a teen rating likely because of a scene where a ghost tries to convince Rara to have sex with him so that he can be transformed into a demon (stated less explicitly than that, but although the blunt language isn’t there, it’s more than clear what’s going on), and it’s a shame that part is in there, because otherwise I would say this is pretty good for younger girls.  I liked Rara as a main character, and again, even though she starts off very boy-crazy, she winds up being developed pretty well throughout the course of the story.

There are, of course, better things you could be reading, but for a cute one-shot, this story does a pretty good job, and like I said, it’s kind of a shame it didn’t get turned into a real series.  I’m actually very interested in Rie Takada’s other series in English now, which include Happy Hustle High and Punch as well as Wild Act.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.