Stray Little Devil Vol. #04 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2007



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Mori Kotaro
Translated by:Misato Sakamoto
Adapted by:Misato Sakamoto

What They Say
Something dreadful is unfolding in the precariously balanced Spirit World. The Acting Angel Conference Chair Aregna is imprisoned for stealing the heirloom from the Church. Not only that, his prison has mysteriously exploded and Aregna has been missing ever since. Thinking he has sided with the devils, the Angelic council has decided to engage in an all-out-war against Deamonea. Meanwhile, with her power sealed under her master's absence, Linfa realizes something amazing about Pam.

The Review
Pam is a a crossroads. Well I guess you can say she is at another crossroads in her life as a devil. For the longest time she has had the notion that she could have an affinity with high-strung angel Linfa. That was her lone solace for being in this strange new world with new strange rules. Pam now has little to have faith in. Her friends are being dragged down by her ineptitude as a devil. Her actions often bring misfortune to those she tries to protect. She cannot do anything right and now that she has lost Linfa why is she even around?

Pam is not aware of her big role in this game she has been playing in. Since she arrived in this world there have been forces at work looking to use her to bring chaos to this dimension. Its an old manga vehicle and one that lends itself well for fantasy titles like this. What sets this apart is Pam. Here you have a relatively moe character. Cute, petite and very very sweet, Pam doesn't look the part of the tough heroine but she sure can be. She can be plenty tough on baddies when circumstances need her to be. However, with her emotions down and her sense of "reality" in doubt Mori-sensei has set her up for a downfall. And with only one more volume I have to wonder if Pam will recover or not.

Winding down in this penultimate volume, Mori-sensei reveals the true antogonist and his purpose. Maybe the timing is a little late but considering how well the mangaka has paced this series so far, I have little doubt this title will end well. Mori has been tuned into old-skool fantasy story-telling from the start and has given me a great new heroine in the process. SLD is unorthodox in the way it almost has created a yuri story in the realm of knight and wizard filled fantasy. At the same time that has lead to some fine character development and some unexpected drama on a personal level that is not seen in titles like Lodoss Wars or Emblem of Rodo. Add Mori's delicious art and DrMaster have themselves a winner in a title that possibly went under the radar of most manga readers when this series launched last year.



Mania Grade: A-
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: DrMaster
MSRP: 9.95
Pages: 196
ISBN: 1-59796-046-2
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Stray Little Devil