Nothing demonstrates the tenets of the Jump ethos better than this penultimate volume of the series.
Writer/Artist: Kazunari Kakei
Translation: Nori Minami
Adaptation: Park Cooper
What They Say
At long last, Nora and Kazuma face Fall in a final battle. But not only is Fall overwhelmingly powerful, he surprises our heroes by taking the battle to the Human World! Will changing into Cerberus give Nora the power he needs to face Fall's true form and stop the demonic invasion of Earth, or will Kazuma be forced to make a brutal sacrifice? Nora, an unruly demon, has defied his superiors one too many times. For the sake of his "education," Nora is sent to live among mortals and enters a bond of servitude with cool-as-ice star student Kazuma Makkari. Kazuma is about to learn the ways of the underworld...and Nora will learn more from the "real world" than he ever thought possible!
Viz has done a great job with the look and feel of this series. The red covers are eye-catching and the story summaries and character bios are presented with the humor and vitality typical of the series. Kazunari Kakei's artwork is very much up to the task of the shounen fighting series. Battle actions are clear and comprehensible with direct cause and effect, no muddy impressionism here. And while Kakei's overall style can be described as generic shounen, his character designs are inventive with voice and attitude that deliver real personality.
This volume really gets down to business. All of the Dark Liege Army is now pitted against the Resistance and its mega-powerful leader, Fall, in a struggle for the survival of the Demon World and the human world as well. Fall proves to be a very formidable enemy after siphoning off whatever power the Demon Liege had left and, as expected, it's up to Nora and Kazuma Magari to take him on in a battle that is neither easy nor straightforward. Nora and Kazuma are easily overmatched by Fall and, after many trials, it's not might that overcomes Fall, but the mediation of a memory of the intention and sacrifice of a fallen comrade from the past that saves both worlds from Fall's destructive power. While the resolution seems a little too easy and a little too pat after the grueling buildup, it's appropriate to the aims of the story.
For Nora and Kazuma, it's "Friendship" and "Effort" that has allowed them the "Victory". But is there a victory? There is one major character who has yet to make a parting appearance. Will this character, whose agenda was always different from that of the Resistance, snatch the peace from Nora and Kazuma?
This is nine volumes that delivers the kind of experience expected of a series that is a lot longer. If there is any fault here, it's in that the reader doesn't get enough time in the demon world with the fun and quirky characters that Kakei has created in support of it. For those not willing to commit to the more epic length of many a Jump series, this could be satisfying. Plus, there's the bad-ass behavior of Kazuma, admirable and a little creepy at the same time. Recommended.