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Akuma to Love Song
by PrincessVera on August 14th, 2008, 1:59pm

Rating - 8.4 / 10.0

User rating of this review - 4.5 out of 5
Story/Plot - 4 out of 5
Characters - 4 out of 5
Drawing Style - 4 out of 5
Enjoyment - 4.5 out of 5
Overall - 4.5 out of 5

Click here for series information

Plot/Story
The premise seems fairly unoriginal at first: a transfer student gets bullied at her new school, but two handsome guys stand up for her and become her friends. However, the unique characters in the story deviate from the shoujo norm.

The story revolves around Maria, a girl from an elite Catholic girls' school who is expelled and sent to a low-standing public school. Maria's perception and straightforwardness cause her to be disliked by the girls in her new school; however, she befriends two guys who slowly assist her in getting along with others. She attempts to learn better social interaction - revealing along the way the hypocrisy of pretending to be friendly or putting on a face.

There's also a love story in the works, in addition to a few secrets in Maria's past that have yet to be revealed.



Characters 4/5
Maria is an outstanding character, unique from other heroines. The two guys, Shin and Yuusuke, are fairly typical (the cold, but kind guy and the friendly, popular guy). The bullying girls are hardly unique, but one of their kind, Kousaka Tomoyo, shows promising character development.

First, Maria is a self-assured, intelligent, and perceptive. Because of this, she's hated by everyone else. It's said that Maria is a "mirror" that makes people realize all the bad things they hate about themselves, which is why they come to hate her and why she's called a "Devil." On the outside, she's cool and composed. Yet her desire for acceptance and redemption conflicts with her blunt, honest personality. She accepts bullying without confrontation and without seemingly standing up for herself, which annoys other characters (both friends and bullies) to no end. She also has really cute moments - singing "Amazing Grace", polishing her frilly shoes (which she's named Augustine), and teasing Yuusuke. At times, she seems so "good" that it's unrealistic - but since the manga is classified as shoujo, this is to be expected.

Yuusuke is the more interesting of the two male leads. Maria reveals early on that he simply is friendly to everyone regardless of whether he's actually interested, because he desires to be liked. And Tomoyo, otherwise known as Nippachi, is one of those who is deeply affected by Maria's "mirror." She is developed more than the other bullying girls, and begins a journey toward change.



Drawing Style4/5
The drawings in this series are absolutely gorgeous. Everything is very neat and clean, and the character designs are stable even across outfit changes and emotional expressions. I feel like the character designs suit the personalities very much - Maria's angular eyebrows, usually stern expression, and clean appearance suit her straightforward, perceptive personality; yet her round face, simple haircut and slim figure indicate that she has cute and attractive personality traits. Additionally, Maria's chibi-expressions are just hilarious.

Maria stands out much more than any other character, which is a slight problem - however, it also reflects the fact that she really is different from the others at school - she is the most honest, and although she's called a devil, she seems to be the most pure and angelic - despite having what appears to be a cunning personality. However, the two guys and Kousaka Tomoyo have unique and memorable appearances, so I don't consider Maria's outstanding figure a big problem story-wise.



Enjoyment
This series is one of the most enjoyable I've read, even though there are only a few volumes out. Humor is suddenly mixed in with seriousness - I find myself moved almost to tears and then laughing aloud. However, it doesn't feel forced or out of place at all. In only one-two chapters, the characters show depth and development. There are many puzzles and secrets to be discovered (some of which never may be answered) - why is Maria the way she is? Why did she hit her teacher (and consequently get expelled)? Will she fall in love with someone? What did she do in her past that makes her want to be "saved"? The series really builds up a lot of anticipation for future chapters.




Overall
In one word, this series is refreshing. The main character isn't shallow, ditzy, and clueless. I also feel like the themes of this series are very serious and relevant, especially to a rigid Japanese society that places emphasis on not standing out and on being polite and proper even to the point of lying. From the bullying of other students who are jealous of Maria or dislike their bad traits being mirrored, to the teacher who submitted to the prejudice of Maria and believed the lies told about her, to the boy who is friendly to everyone in his desire to be universally liked -- all of these situations and characters show a depth and realism that other stories are missing. This series is highly recommended for shoujo fans. However, it's still incomplete, so only time will tell how it turns out.
 
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No Subject by Innocent-Dream on May 8th, 2010, 9:06am Rating: 5

I agree with your review and I would also rate the series that way, although i have nothing to complain about on it...

Anyway, great review
 
Drawing Style4/5 by l0c0 on October 19th, 2009, 2:10pm Rating: 4.5

I dont understand your rating because did not mention a negative point about the drawing, so why just 4/5?

nice review btw.
 
love... by margiepeace08 on September 3rd, 2009, 7:09pm Rating: 4

I LOVE this series SO much! I've never felt quite that much love for a manga before! wink lol

Your review is great too! (although I'm taking off a point because it's not a 10/10 smile hehe)

I can't wait to see where this story is going!
 
.. by Mantoki on September 27th, 2008, 7:27pm Rating: 4

I agree with alot of your comments but i think this series deserves a 10/10
 
Re by NightSwan on August 22nd, 2008, 5:54am Rating: 5

I really enjoyed reading your review. I agree with it completly.
You described the manga percetly.
Nothing much I can say, but that it's very well written.
^
 
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