Manga Review – Stray Little Devil (Vol. 1-5)
Stray Little Devil by Kotaro Mori (the mangaka of Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagan, he also did the character designs for the anime series) is a supernatural, fantasy set in the realm of Angels and Devils with some yuri elements published by DrMaster in 5 volumes.
Pam Akumachi was what appeared to be your average if not very energetic 13 year old girl. One day Pam and her friends summon “The benign devil”, but something goes wrong and Pam is sucked through the magic circle to awaken in a strange world. Instantly she sees what she believes is the familiar face of her best friend Rinka standing upon a ledge above her, upon closer inspection she realises this isn’t Rinka but a beautiful angel who is bears a striking resemblance to her best friend. This Angel is called Linfa ‘The Successor of the Aureole” a very high ranking young Angel with a haughty attitude who takes an instant dislike to Pam. After escaping Linfa’s wrath, Pam is informed the only way she can return home is to become a fully fledged Devil, and attend Devil School. What succeeds this is a series of events that delve deep into the secrets of the realm of Angels and Devils, revealing age old feuds, eternal love, unlikely friendships and you don’t need to be the best at anything to succeed just have strength in your heart and the will to succeed. The question is will Linfa ever accept how she truly feels about Pam? Will Angels and Devils ever be able to coexist in harmony? and why the hell are all the Devils in black hot-pants?
“Stray Little Devil” is a good read, it’s humorous, the character designs are very likable as long as you don’t mind slight loli, the story is engaging enough and it’s the classic tale of the haughty, cool, well respected girl who has feelings she can’t handle for the clumsy, but always happy girl she is strangely drawn too.
The story can be seen on two levels, the classic two girls in school who like each other but are very different or the supernatural, fantasy about two girls who have to save the world they inhabit from the forces of evil, of course the happy cheery girl has to also save the cool, haughty girl when she goes ’emo’ because she can’t handle who she is. Either way I read all 5 volumes over two days so I found it a pretty easy enjoyable read, that although nothing original, it kept me throughly entertained. SLD has enough plot twists and back-story to create a believable and engaging world.
The characters are the age old yuri stereotypes but it’s one I particularly like. Pam is lovable, very funny and courageous as she tries her hardest to make Linfa notice her, but also in her battle against all odds to become a fully fledged Devil and return home. I love Linfa and her overly haughty attitude problem where she just can’t admit she has any feelings at all, so she instead conveniently coughs to hide her blushing. Ok they’re only 13 but Linfa did look strangely hot when she went ’emo’ avec black wings, skimpy leather corset et al. Pam’s Devil friends make for engaging entertainment Vine and Raim are a riot whenever they are on the page, and the shape shifting En Zu is also particularly funny due to all the situations he gets himself in.
I love the artwork in this, the characters are beautifully designed, but bear in mind I like this style of art. The lines are clean, the backgrounds are beautiful and I personally thought the character designs were great, each character has their own unique features which add to their personality. I still have no idea as to why the black hot-pants on the Devils but hey it works and I have to admit it saves us from fanservicey pantsu shots.