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NORA – THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM vol. 2 by Kazunari Kakei (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 5, 2009 by  



“A fun and enjoyable manga from the creative mind of Kazunari Kakei.  Volume 2 features more characters and more action-packed battles!”

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

MANGA TITLE: NORA – THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM VOL. 2

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

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!

The Rage Ignites

Nora’s presence on Earth has made him a target for renegade demons.  But when he uses magic to fight them, it takes a toll on Kazuma’s body.  The Dark Liege sends Kazuma a ring to counteract this effect, but what Kazuma really nees is information on the legend of Cerberus, Nora’s true form.  Too bad the one with the info is one of the demons he’s fighting.

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, we were introduced to the situation in the Demon World as the Dark Liege (a female demon who tends to take on the shape of a buxom blonde diva) had banished Nora to Earth because of Nora’s short temper and his constant disrespect for the leader of the Dark Liege army.  The school president Nora, a self righteous and often arrogant but very intelligent individual has assumed the mantle as master of Nora and to train him obedience. Nora can’t use his powers freely unless Kazuma accepts.  Therefore, Nora is pretty much powerless unless he works together with his master.  Which at the time being, he has a hard time with having to play dog to Kazuma.

At the end of vol. 1, we were introduced to Knell, a high-ranking and perverted demon who Kazuma and Nora barely have beaten.  Now, both Kazuma and Nora know that they will have to work together in order to prepare for more difficult battles ahead.

With the latest volume of “NORA – THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM”, we are introduced to a new Dark Liege member named Barik.  Barik is a trainee and dedicated to serving the Dark Liege but can’t stand Nora.  The fin-eared trainee has to deliver a bracelet to Kazuma because in the last battle, by overdoing Nora’s magic, it takes a toll on Kazuma’s body.  So, this time, the bracelet reduces the damage done to Kazuma but there is a catch.  In the bracelet are two tags.  If Nora is able to get one tag, he can nullify their agreement and freely gain his powers back.

Of course, with Barik around, Nora can’t stand him either and the two start showing off their powers against each other and the battle between the two trainees begin.

Meanwhile, Nora tries to find ways of getting these tags from Kazuma and tries several ways to get them.  But each time, Kazuma is one step ahead.    As for Kazuma, he wants to know more about Nora and this Cerberus, with Nora not knowing anything about his past, Kazuma decides to visit the evil demon Knell at the beach (and as usual, flirting with the girls) but before Knell can say anything, Nora finds another Dark Liege member on Earth.  This time it’s Rivan, a General of the Dark Liege who just wants some peace and to go fishing.

Kazuma wants to know about Cerberus and Rivan says he will him if Kazuma and Nora can beat him in fishing.  But Nora, with his hot temper starts getting into a fight with Rivan and both then go to battle.  While fighting Nora discovers he has a power that he was unable to tap into before.  The Dark Liege believes his time with Kazuma has been training Nora quite well and he has become even more powerful.  But Nora is not sure where this unknown power is coming from.

While Kazuma and Nora try to figure out this new power, the Resistance is not enjoying the news about Nora’s increasing power and Cerberus’s presence on Earth and start’s killing off Dark Liege members.  A shark like member of the Resistance named Jeek is now wanting to kill both Nora and Kazuma.  Do the two have what it takes to beat this murderous demon?

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.

The second volume of “NORA – THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM” continues the action-packed storyline of this enjoyable manga series.  Whereas in the first volume, you get to learn how Kazuma is not such a cool guy and he actually is quite arrogant, this time around, you see the two working together and Nora growing in power.

With the introduction of more Dark Liege members to the scene with more killer members of the Resistance on a murderous rampage, it’s going to be interesting to see more of these major battles unfold with each volume.  Especially with Rivan and Barik, you never know if these demons will be there for Nora as backup or they will be more of an opposition.  So, it will interesting to see how the storyline unfolds in future volumes.

What I enjoy about “NORA”, especially with this volume is creator Kazunari Kakei’s ability to have fun with the reader by answering their comments and even including “Manga-ka diaries” and other fun pages (after each chapter) and pretty much, despite the stress and challenges he has with being on schedule, he has fun along the way and communicates with his fanbase.

Another enjoyable volume in the “NORA” series!






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