Mania Grade: B+
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- Art Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: C
- Text/Translatin Rating: B-
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: ComicsOne
- MSRP: 9.99
- Pages: 216
- ISBN: 1-58899-220-9
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Bride of Deimos Vol. #02
By Mike Dungan
December 08, 2004
Release Date: November 01, 2002
Bride of Deimos Vol.#02
Writer/Artist:Story: Etsuko Ikeda / Art: Yuho Ashibe
Translated by:Sahe Kawahara
Adapted by:What They Say
Continuing his search for a bride, Deimos stumbles across an underground palace whose female soveriegn is also a demon. The new demon takes an immediate liking to Deimos and presents him with an ultimatum: if he doesn't marry her she will indiscriminately kill the surface-dwellers. Has Deimos reluctantly found his new bride?The Review
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Deimos was once a god who lived on Mount Olympus with his sister, Venus. They fell in love and the gods in their anger turned Deimos into a demon and imprisoned Venus at the bottom of the sea where her body still rots. Deimos now looks for a suitable bride so that Venus may take her body. Minako Ifu is a beautiful high school student, and Deimos has targeted her to be his new bride.
Two brothers meet Minako and it creates friction between them. The older brother is a cruel and violent motorcycle riding gang member, and the younger brother is a gentle and studious genius. Deimos manipulates their jealousies to his own ends.
In a side story, Deimos is wandering in a desert when he encounters the queen of a hidden kingdom. She decides on the spot to marry Deimos. He refuses and must escape from her traps and illusions.
A young woman collapses and dies on a street corner. The only person around is a petty thief. He takes her purse and dumps her body at a cemetary to let the local priest take care of it. Minako is a parishoner of the priest and he's given her a sword to use against Deimos, a sword that it's claimed once pierced the heart of the devil himself. When the body of the young woman is found, she is placed in a coffin and prepared for burial. However, she awakes and comes after the priest. It is all an elaborate plan of Deimos to disgrace the priest and prove to Minako that God has no power over her.
Minako walks through a swamp and finds a bell. She returns home, except that no one knows her. It's not her home at all, but the home of Beniko, a famed violinist who died a year ago. Beniko's twin sister Momoko refuses to believe this strange woman's story that she is Beniko. Deimos watches from a distance and can tell that Minako is possessed. Rather than do something about it, he decides to watch the tragedy unfold on it's own.
In another side story, Deimos meets Thumbelina, the heroine of a Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale. She is tired of her unchanging life and wants a real life. Deimos allows her to see what living in the real world is like. Though she has what most would consider a happy ending, she still isn't satisfied. He then gives her what she asks for, though it's not what she wanted.
In the last chapter, an escaped murderer holds Minako hostage. He claims innocence and tells his story. He and a young woman named Mitsuko grew up in an orphanage together. When a fire swept through the building, she stayed and saved his life, though she nearly died. The fire consumed her hair and left her bald. The young man worked for years to raise the money to send her to a doctor so she could grow hair again. Now adults, he found her living in a house where she was adopted. The family was quite well off and she valued her place there. She told him to leave and never reveal the fact that she's both an orphan and bald under her wig. She tried to pay him off with three millions dollars, but that happens to be exactly the amount he saved up and had with him. The family's butler overheard, and was killed that night. The young man was seen at the house and has three million dollars on him, so he was arrested and put in prison. He took the blame for the death rather than let Mitsuko be arrested. He's now escaped and waits to meet Mitsuko to find out if she killed the butler or not. Deimos is watching and gives Minako an ultimatum. If he proves the young man killed the butler, she will marry him immediately. If he's wrong, he will withdraw.Comments
Bride of Deimos is a shoujo horror anthology from nearly 30 years ago. It's an unusual choice for a license, but the stories and art prove the worth of the title. Ikeda's inventive stories weave human frailty and passions together to create chilling tales of love and anger, hope and despair. Ashibe's art is well crafted. Pages of terrible horror are interspersed with occassional images of stunning beauty. Clever panel composition, cross-hatching and well-placed screentoning is used to create an everpresent feeling of dread.
ComicsOne has not done a terribly good job of reproducing the art in this volume. Screentones suffer from terrible moiring, and some pages are muddy with shading blending together. The adaptation reads well, though rather melodramatically at times. Considering the subject matter, though, the hint of melodrama is a good thing. The front cover is an image of Minako seen through a spider's web in which several butterflies are trapped. It's rather striking in effect. The back cover is the same as the previous volume, an image of Venus sitting in what appears to be a shimmering pool of blood against a black background. CPM's covers and binding feel stiffer than just about all the other publishers out there. while it feels sturdy, I'm reluctant to open the pages too far for fear of breaking the stiff spine.
Despite my complaints about the art reproduction, I find myself enjoying Bride of Deimos immensely. Despite it's age, it's not just an artifact for manga historians. It's full of well-crafted tales of greed, jealousy, love and hope. For shoujo fans, it's a classic and highly recommended.