Manga Village

Enchanter Volume 1

April 3, 2008

Haruhiko is 100% head over sneakers for his sweet, shy science teacher Yuka.  After all, she’s a total brainiac…and incredibly hot!  But what’s he supposed to do when an enchanted vixen named Eukanaria suddenly falls into his lap (in a tiny miniskirt) and demands Haruhiko’s help?  Demonic battles, powerful sorcery, and a busy bee who can’t mind her own business…what will happen when magic and mayhem mix?

By Izumi Kawachi
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Genre: Fantasy/Action
Rating: 16+
Price: $12.95

Coming from a publisher that is known for mostly publishing BL manga, this title is a nearly complete 180.  Enchanter has all the action, hot girls and fan service to appease any teenage boy.  There’s actually a story in here too, though for me the fan service nearly cancels it out.

Haruhiko is just an ordinary boy with a crush on his teacher and next door neighbor, Yuka.  His feelings are perfectly natural for a 16-year-old boy, but the situation he gets thrown into isn’t.  While trying to fix Yuka’s MD player, a demon, who could be Yuka’s twin falls literally into his lap.  Eukanaria is being hunted because she carries the soul of her lover, the Enchanter Fulcanelli, who Haruhiko could be a double for.  Haruhiko’s life now becomes doubly complicated as he must balance between fighting off the demons that want to possess Fulcanelli’s power, and Yuka trying to seduce him so that Fulcanelli’s soul can take over Haruhiko’s body.

I had heard lots of good things about this title, so I was thrilled when I received it for review.  And on just the story, it is a very good title.  The story of Fulcanelli and the enchanted items he builds is interesting.  It’s obvious that Eukanaria really loves Fulcanelli, as we see some sweet flashbacks.  Haruhiko is enough of a gadget hound that he can ignore the weirdness of being transported to another dimension when he sees Fulcanelli’s workshop, prototypes and plans.  The action is this first volume is fun too, as Haruhiko gets accustomed to using magic and fighting demons.

There’s plenty of humor too, though most of it relies on Haruhiko’s hormone-driven mind.  It’s here in that’s the problem for me.  There is fan service on nearly every page, and almost always involving Eukanaria, whether she’s bending over to find some plans, shoving her breasts into Haruhiko’s face, to sleeping in Haruhiko’s bed while wearing Yuka’s lingerie.  While I can tolerate some fan service in shonen titles, you know it’s going to be inevitable, this title just has too much, and it really ruined a lot of the volume for me.  I couldn’t enjoy the story as much as I wanted as I was overwhelmed by the fan service.

The art isn’t bad, but it isn’t anything special either.  It is very generic shonen.  DMP’s presentation of the volume however, is a step above.  The book is printed in the oversize format, and it comes with a glossy dust sleeve, just like the Japanese editions do.  We don’t see these in American editions, so it’s nice when a publisher takes the time to do one.  Unfortunately, is also ups the price, as this title is $3.00 more than regular manga.

There is a lot of potential in Enchanter, but the ecchi elements pile onto so much that it can be hard to see.  If ecchi’s your thing, then you will love this title.  If you’re looking for an action title, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Review copy provided by publisher.

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About the author

Lori Henderson is the writer and reviewer for the manga blog, Manga Xanadu. She also keeps a personal blog at Fangirl Xanadu, and a writing blog at Muse of Xanadu. She contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. As the mother of two teen daughters, she needs all the escape she can get, which reading and writing about manga gives her.

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