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NORA – THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM vol. 1 by Kazunari Kakei (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

November 30, 2008 by  



“A fun and enjoyable manga from the creative mind of Kazunari Kakei.”

(C) NORA – THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM image is courtesy of SHUEISHA Inc.

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MANGA TITLE: NORA – THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM VOL. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Kazunari Kakei (筧 一成)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: By Shueisha in 2004.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC.

RATED: T for Older Teen

PAGES: 214 pages

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Nora, an unruly demon, has defied his Dark Liege 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 Magari. Kazuma is about to learn the ways of the underworld…and Nora will learn more from the “real world” than he ever thought possible!

A Match Made in Hell – When the seal for Nora’s form is released he becomes Cerberus, the vicious dog of disaster. But Nora can only use magic when Kazuma grants him permission…and Kazuma doesn’t grant permission easily. The Dark Liege wants the two to team up and crack down on renegade demon factions in the human world, but how can they do that if they can’t even get along?

In 2004, manga-ka Kazunari Kakei had his breakout hit manga series “NORA – THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM”. The series has just been released as a graphic novel published by Viz Media under their cutting edge manga imprint known as Shonen Jump Advanced (targeted towards older teens and young adults).

In Japan, there have been many manga and anime series which pits demons going after other demons and “NORA – THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM” fits that type of storyline description but with a twist.

In the first volume, the unruly demon Nora has gotten in quite a bit of trouble with the Dark Liege Army leader and she’s not exactly to keen when Nora keeps calling her “ugly”. But also not too keen about Nora’s uncaring attitude about the Dark Liege’s priority which is to go after the demons that are feeding in the human world.

So, because of his repeat offenses, he is forced out of Hell and forced to live with the humans without his powers.  Where he must be educated on learning about humans.

Unfortunately for Nora, he must become the familiar (or slave) of The cold as ice Tenryo Academy Middle School President Magari Kazuma. The popular president, a genius, athletic but seems to be bored and unsatisfied with life.

Kazuma cares about his student council but he seems to look at everyone almost as inferior and thus treats them like his slaves.  One day, while looking for his student body members who went to fetch him a drink, he is summoned via cell phone by the Dark Liege master who gives him the opportunity to be in control of destructive power.  Kazuma agrees and thus the training begins for Nora who must learn about the human world before he can be let back in to Hell.

And for Nora, he can’t stand Kazuma because despite his feelings towards humans, he is treated like a dog by Kazuma.  To make matters worse, to use any of his powers, Kazuma must approve or deny his request.

So, monsters are unleashed in the human world and these monsters known as the resistance have put Nora and Kazuma as a high priority target.  But what the resistance doesn’t know is that Nora happens to be the legendary demon known as Cerberus: The Hound of Hades

And so both must work together to stay alive but also to protect the human world from these deadly demons.

I found “NORA” to be an entertaining series and because the two main characters do not get a long and it’s twist of a demon having to learn from humans and forced to work with Kazuma (who seems to be doing this because it has made his life so much more satisfying) is quite interesting.  And a fresh twist of the demon vs. demon type of storyline that we have seen in various manga and animated series in the past few decades.

The first volume features the first three chapters and dedicated solely to character development and the interaction between Kazuma and Nora.  These two are just like oil and water but the two must learn to work together.

Because of the bickering of the two, there is a lot of humor between the two. But there is also a lot of action as the two confront the resistance in a few battles.  In order for Nora to use his magic spells, Kazuma must approve for its use but each time Nora wants it to happen, Kazuma tends to deny the request.

Both have two ways of handling themselves during battle with Nora attacking before thinking and Kazuma is more of the genius in observing tactics and strategies of the opponent.  So, despite them not getting along, they need each other to become successful.

ARTWORK:

As for the character designs and artwork, Kazunari Kakei tends to use a lot of simple line art for his character designs but effectively showcases the character’s emotions quite well.

But where Kakei shines is when he features the various battles, the monsters, Cerberus and even the Dark Liege in her buxom blonde mode.  Kakei starts featuring these battles with a lot of lines and these characters with a lot of blacks and grays and really capturing the action effectively on paper.

For the first volume of “NORA”, I really enjoyed the storyline.  Granted, I’ve read a good number of Demon vs. Demon storylines, “NORA” is pretty cool manga series featuring two main characters with two different types of personalities.

I use the oil and water description because these two don’t get along but Nora needs Kazuma in order to get back to the underworld and Kazuma needs Nora to make his life a bit more satisfying.

Also, the storyline doesn’t take too long to get to the action.  One chapter after the other, you’re pretty much watching these two take on a variety of demons and rarely do you see Kakei straying away from that (for vol. 1), although you do manage to see Kazuma’s student council buddies show up a few times but mainly as humans kidnapped by the demons.

So, for action manga fans, “NORA” is not at all cerebral. The storyline is easy to follow, the artwork is not too busy but overall, “NORA – THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM” is an enjoyable storyline with plenty of action, humor and more.  You won’t be disappointed!

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