When I openly admitted that I have completely made up the Akira x Alicia couple from Aria in my head, I was accused of being a moron. (My ongoing discussions of Aria as Yuri are in no way based on that completely fictitious and decidedly alternative-universe pairing – it is based on *other* fans’ perception of Aria as Yuri. Mostly, I really don’t think so at all.)
Conversely, when I pointed out that I didn’t see any Yuri in Murder Princess – not *yet* at any rate – I was…you guessed it, called a moron. ^_^
So today’s review is a chance for those of you who love to hate me to yet again call me a moron, because after reading the first two volumes of Stray Little Devil I’m really not seeing anything that I consider Yuri.
Let’s recap for those who are just joining us – In Volume 1, Pam is accidentally transported to the realm of devils and angels. She learns that no one believes she is a human, and is turned into a devil intern with the understanding that if she attains full devil status, she will be returned to her human life. It’s a devil’s bargain, as anyone who is not Pam can see. But being the chipper, friendly manga girl she is, Pam throws herself into her side of the deal and starts collecting the usual allies and sidekicks.
In Volume 2 we get a little more detail as to just *why* no one believes her story about being a human. And the book climaxes with a Iron Chef-style cookoff with Pam on the side of the devils against an (of course) loathsome, lying, cheating angel. No only does Pam win, but she thaws her angel adversary and best-friend-forever doppelganger Lin Fa, just a bit. In fact, Lin Fa goes so far as to not eat too much of Pam’s food so Pam will not suffer harm under the conservation of luck rule. That’s sweet, isn’t it? :-)
And that’s about it – it was awfully sweet. I would definitely say that there’s some akogare/admiration going on there on Pam’s side, accompanied by a little missing of her best friend Rinka…but Yuri? I shrug. I don’t see it. On Lin Fa’s side, Pam is probably the first being at all who hasn’t given a hoot about her status and is certainly the first devil who has ever been nice to her. So for her part it’s the Ice Queen thawing and maybe thinking about friendship between equals for the first time. If you see more than that, well that’s your prerogative, isn’t it? :-) If you don’t piss and moan at me about Akira and Alicia, I’ll let you have Pam and Lin Fa, okay? ^_^
I can’t say I like the art particularly, especially the tiresome obsession with little girl’s butts, but I very much do like the book cover. The Mucha-esque border (complete with lilies, so you can make assumptions right off the bat), and the textured feel provide a pleasant setting for the book. Overall the reproduction is quite good. I haven’t the vaguest clue how the translation is, but I don’t have any problem following the story, so I’ll err on the side of saying that the translation is good. ^_^
Stray Little Devil is definitely going to appeal to a crowd who favors cute over cool. For a shounen version of a shoujo story it’s an enjoyable enough read.
Art – 6
Story – 6
Characters – 6
Yuri – 1
Service – 4
Overall – 6
I’m will to go the distance and see if my interpretation of what you’re all saying is adorable Yuri is, in my opinion, adorable and/or Yuri. ~_-
Oh an my deepest, sincerest thanks to the sponsor of today’s review Brent A.! Thank you for you kindness and generosity!