Fun Fashion with the Beast of the Apocalypse
Having successfully trapped the Beast of the Apocalypse in a human form that is the duplicate of a popular idol singer (which is pretty funny to type. That almost seems like a joke but it is the real story…), Rika and Mona are having to deal with having a monster houseguest that doesn’t know how to live in a human world. Even though he is bound in human form, K2 still has some pretty remarkable powers and resilience, as well as a growing attachment to Mona who is his “chain” binding him to Earth. Demons, it seems, somewhat enjoy being bound if their keeper is strong enough. A confrontation with some bad boys brings K2 rushing to the scene, but restraint is not his strong point and his rescue can be a little too deadly for human tastes. Also, Mona and Rika are finding that giving the Beast of the Apocalypse the face and body of idol singer Keito brings some complications, like not being able to bring him out into public with such a famous face. Eventually, the real Keito comes on the scene, and things get even more complicated.
This volume was almost all relationship-building, only a little action beyond what was happening in people’s hearts. It is a nice contrast to Volume 1 and it always is worth taking the time to develop characters. Some scenes stretched credulity, like Mona and her friend Maiko being rescued from a gang-rape by K2, then getting upset with him for being to harsh on the bad guys. I don’t know many women that would have so much sympathy for their rapists. But this is fantasy, not reality, and a shojo manga so kind hearts and flowers are more to be expected than brutal revenge.
There is some more information on the nature of demons in “Demon Sacred,” and we find out more about the relationship between “demons” and “chains.” It looks like author Natsumi Itsuki is dipping into world mythology to set up rivals and enemies for Rika and Mona, and so far we have a Unicorn (Mika), the Beast of the Apocalypse (K2) as well as some new players in the form of a Griffin, an Oni and a Kakoku the origin of which I am not sure. Also looming on the horizon is a conflict with the Red Dragon, the most powerful of all of the demons.
The art is good and consistent, and I enjoyed this volume but I am going to need a stronger mix of action with relationships to keep my interest with “Demon Sacred.” The first volume had a better balance, and while Volume 2 has some important exposition for me to keep interested the story will need to be leveled up. The mythological elements work well, as well as the sci fi aspect of Return Syndrome. However, if you have all of these earth-shattering demons running around I want them to be doing more than posing for fashion photo shoots and munching on snack food.