Stray Little Devil Manga, Volume 4 (English)

November 11th, 2008

Stray Little Devil , Volume 4 continues the adventures of human girl Pam who was handwaved into a dimension occupied by devils and angels and forced to undergo trials and tribulations in order to be returned to the human world. In the meantime, power struggles both big and small fill the background of the angel and devil worlds, and Pam spreads her cheerful friendship across the befuddled characters who inhabit her new life.

Many adventures befall Pam as she rises to the challenge of becoming a full-fledged devil, many of which seem to require her ass being shoved in our face and or her clothes disappearing. Ah, MediaWorks, how much joy have you brought to the lives of lonely people…

The main attraction in this volume is Pam’s bonding with Lin-fa, the angel who looks exactly like her best friend forever back in the human world. The two make their way through a series of amusingly predictable scenes; Pam smiles gamely in order to cheer Lin-fa up and get her to work together and Lin-fa looks stricken a lot.

Today’s review is an exercise in the subjective nature of Yuri. I have been told by many people if only I would get to the fourth volume of Stray Little Devil I would see that it is undoubtedly Yuri. Well, I’ve gotten there, and I see what you’re all saying. But I still don’t agree.

That is to say – I am absolutely, perfectly aware that these two are being set up in a way that lends itself to being labeled Yuri by people who believe that girls have only one possible kind of friendship. Because I know that women have many more levels of friendship than just “sex-friend” and “not sex-friend,” I see this as a very intense friendship. Even if they should embrace, I will still continue to see it as an embrace between shinyuu, between close friends who find themselves with an incredibly strong bond.

So when Volume 5 comes and the inevitable climax of the plot arises, I am not likely to find their protestations of love and caring for one another to be anything more than protestations of love and caring between friends. I trust my gay-dar. I have never been wrong except for once (and I’m still convinced he was lying about his girlfriend.)

Ratings:

Art – 6
Story – 6
Characters – 6
Yuri – 1 for me, 4 for those who wish to see it
Service – 4

Overall – 6

As a tale of predictable crises, with predictable outcomes, Stray Little Devil is predictably entertaining.

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7 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, volume 5 sure will shake your confidence into your clairvoyance.

    After all, a scene where two blushy characters lean in for a mouth-to-mouth kiss, while naked, together with a caption saying “only together with you…” is generally considered to be undoubtedly romantic, no?

    Be honest. Were one of them male, would you even think it wasn’t a relationship beyond friendship? ;)

    It’s Yuri, sorry. And people are saying this mostly because they already saw the ending.

  2. That’s fine. I’ll look forward to being proved wrong. lol

    At *this* point, in volume 4, if they were male/female, I’d think they were friends. Or both male. Or if one was an alien and the other a mango. :)

  3. Anonymous says:

    I actually ordered the box set of this from amazon.
    Don’t know when they’ll ship it, but its indicating tomorrow at the 12th.
    I do hope so.

    And on a side note:
    Love your blogs about Yuri Erica!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s as the first Anon said. Volume 5 will convince you, if anything can. I hope you will enjoy it.

  5. anon – as I said, I look forward to being wrong. :-)

    anon – glad you enjoy the blog. :-)

  6. Greta says:

    I feel similar as far as the whole gay-looking-friendship thing goes. I have no time or money to waste on a mediocre series that only maybe-kinda-sorta looks lesbian if you use your imagination!
    Especially since now we have series available with may more confirmed Yuri content, I don’t have to go fishing through everything else. Maybe when I was 14 and didn’t have a choice, but not now.

  7. yh says:

    I would have to agree with your take on the Yuri-ness of this series. I didn’t really see anything until—since another commenter already mentioned it— the very end of volume 5. And the fan servicey-ness of 13 yr olds kinda squicked me out, but presumably this appeals to some *people*.

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