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From CMX: How far will one man go for love? Find out in SEIMADEN, the tale of Laures, who agreed to become a demon in order to free his one true love Alice from a demon king! Laures became the next Demon King, and Alice was freed — with death. Laures, however, realized that his new inhuman status gave him a rare opportunity: by being the cruelest and best Demon King, he survived long enough to see Alice reincarnated, and then he would effectively be reunited with her. Laures, after living through the centuries, has finally found his beloved reincarnated as Hilda, a dancer who has no memories of her own past or identity. Now he must see if she will accept him as a creature of the underworld…
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Starts Bad, then Gets Worse
I don't even know why I even bother trying to find a gem among Higuri You's works. Every time I read something she writes, I want to punch something--or, rather, someone, namely the characters within her work.
Oh, and are her characters horrible or what? Laures is the textbook version of an abuser. He's horrible and evil and conniving and hurts pretty much everyone in the story, including Hilda who is supposedly his true love or whatever. He keeps saying how much he loves Hilda and etc. etc. etc. but he still continues to force himself on her, even when she says that she doesn't want it! And it seems like the manga gives the "I was nice to you and protected you, so you should love me!" excuse for him. No. That is not how love works, Higuri You. Just because you are a decent human being doesn't mean the girl has to like you. (And, he's not even a decent human being either, so.)
Hilda, if anything, is almost worse. But I can sort of forgive her since Laures is an all-powerful demon, and she would probably die if she resisted... So I don't have so much a problem with her personality (though that's pretty shoddy too, by the way) as I do with the way Higuri You uses her. If you look up damsel-in-distress in the dictionary, you'll see her name in big, neon letters. Seriously. The manga keeps trying to tell me that she's this strong heroine and stuff, but it keeps having her being rescued by other people. Now, I understand heroines can't be heroines all the time, and they do need some rescuing every now and then, but when every time she tries to rescue someone else ends up with her being rescued herself... then I have a very, very big problem. She's basically thrown around by the plot for the sake of it, utterly devoid of any positive agency of her own. It's frustrating, ridiculous, and ultimately perpetuates sexist ideologies.
The side characters are, well, mildly more interesting. But that's not saying much because Laures and Hilda are as interesting as a tub of lard. (By that, I mean not very and makes you want to throw up after consumption.) Rod and Asubaru are probably the best characters of the series, since they're the only ones I can read about without wanting to buy the books and burn them to ashes in a bonfire. Teti and Zardi are interesting to read about, but Zardi is also a really abusive boyfriend (and a rapist, basically) so they are also joining Hilda and Laures in the bonfire of death. Karoun and Iria were nice to read about, but their development was ultimately really lacking (but, then again, so is all the other characters in this series)... and Karoun's motivations for his actions were ridiculous to the extreme.
The plot itself isn't horrible... but it gets so convoluted after a while that all I know is everyone hates each other and Laures is an asshole. It's not really confusing in the sense that you don't know what's going on. It's more confusing in the sense that you're left wondering why in the world Higuri You made all these unnecessary subplots when they didn't contribute at all to the manga. But, then again, why did I ever expect at least halfway decent storytelling from her?
Finally, probably the only good thing about this manga is that the art is nice. But, after reading so much of Higuri You's stuff and hating them all, every time I see her style, I just want to throw something. So.
TLDR; this is a series that makes me want to participate in book-burnings. That is not a good thing.
... Last updated on April 6th, 2013, 6:36pm
Must read despite flaws
Definitely one of my fav mangas. Although there is arguement about how Hilda loves someone for no reason, although I agree, I don't care either way. I never liked her from the start.
Laures isn't one that is usually the protagonist, rather, I find it much more common for a character like him to be one of the side chars who loves the same girl as the main. It's a VERY nice change to see him as the main. I can't say much else without spoiling, but I daresay this manga came right out of my delusions born from the frustration of the heroine ending up with a useless and boring protagonist.
I'm in on the sidekicks being more attracting, their love is much more reasoned and touching. I do not think it makes the manga bad however, it just means I hate Hilda. For me, the whole plot was supported by Laures alone. That heroine is useless and meaningless. She's not annoying enough to make me drop the manga, nor do I oppose her and Laures together... it's just that... if it weren't for Laures being too awesome and making me accept anything he chooses, Hilda doesn't deserve being with him.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Well, at least she didn't end up with someone else in the end, or I'll seriously smack my laptop.
the side stories were more compelling than the main couple
Well, I finally finished, and I actually found the ending rather satisfying because I wasn't at all engaged by the main couple of Laures and Alice/Hilda -- they were just so... stereotypical. As characters, they didn't really develop at all. She loved him for seemingly... no reason. From page one she's madly in love with a sadistic demon man who drinks blood and eventually kills a main character right in front of the other competing love interest (Rod). I mean not that there's anything wrong with that, they just don't really explain how Hilda deals with that cognitive dissonance. It seems to go something along the lines of "OMG I HATE YOU" *Laures forces a kiss on her* "Okay I guess we can have sex now..."
However, the side couples and characters were amazing. I loved Teti and Zardi in ways I cannot describe, Iria and the dragon rider general, the story of Iria's brother (Kauron?), and Alubasu (sp?). They definitely carried the manga for me. I'm so glad that Teti and Zardi got a satisfying ending... I was ready to stab my eyes out thinking that Teti would never come around.
I guess that's about it to my review! The art was a bit dated, in a bad way, I definitely wouldn't read it for that.... Zardi's clothes were pretty special there for awhile, like something straight out of Slayers. Come to think of it, he does remind me of that one Slayers character that starts with a Z. It's worth reading if you have some spare time, but there's so much Laures/Hilda BS that I wouldn't purchase this manga.
The Tall Tale of the Demon Prince
I'll start off by saying I absolutely loved this series, and it's worth reading for the art alone, but you get a fantastic plot to supplement it. Just like all of Yuu Higuri's other series it moves at the perfect speed, but this one may be too long for some people. The art also never slacks off, which is amazing considering how detailed the art is. I cannot say much about the plot without giving it away, but the ending does not disappoint which is very important to me in a series. (I wouldn't have minded a few extra pages, though.) The characters are very deep and extremely well-developed, which again refers back to the series not being rushed. The main reason this series is not for everyone is the relationships; personally, I adored every couple in the series, implied or otherwise. (My favorite was Tetiyus and Zardi). If you're against shounen-ai, definitely don't read this, but if you're okay with it I say go for it; in reality, it's just heavily implied.
... Last updated on March 9th, 2013, 4:36pm
Less is sometimes better
I do my best when reading manga to keep an open and objective perspective on the story and art. While diving into this story I found it interesting but began to lose momentum by chapter 35. Sometimes less is more. I realize that you have to build the characters and backgrounds but truly it could have done without some of the details.The art was quite good in this manga.
it says shounen-ai which i am not to fond of... not say i have anything against it.. its just i would rather not see.... is it really alot of shounen-ai?
pretty good for fantasy. BL scenes doesn't start untill the second volume. But it's still kind of disturbing....
hehehe it's kind of hard for me to give an objective opinion on the mangas i've liked this much, but i'll try my best and say that though i loved this manga, it's not worth a full 10! the art is trully beautiful, but not outstanding to the point you can say "it's the best" and though i liked the way the mangaka drew the characters a lot, it still lacked something at times. the plot though tops most of the mangas out there, it might get cliche at times (rarely though), but as long as it stops me from clearly seeing who's gonna end up with who, well u've caught my interest if u can pull that out. The ending was touching, in my eyes atleast, because it wasn't the cliche shoujo ending you see in every manga where the girl starts crying, he grabs her arm and they kiss and make-up or other similar situations, of which i'm so tired of. The characters had depth, though i think there was a bit more to say on the aspect of what's it like to have memories from a past life, but also be offered a fresh start and achieve new ones all over again, that's like having two identities inside in the same time and who laures really loves...ohhh well it's just that i would have wanted to see a clearer explanation and solution to that complicated aspect of their romance. there are other intriguing characters that amazed me in the end by...ohhh well i'll leave that up to you to see why, after all this is a manga worth you're time in my opinion.
... Last updated on October 21st, 2006, 4:32am
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