Mizuki just wants to be a normal teenage girl, however, she has one problem. Whenever she gets angry she transforms into a devil! She was born into a family of devils and now it is her mission, along with her partner Sekito, to transform into a devil and fight monsters. What is a girl to do when all she really wants is to be normal!
By Nao Yazawa
Publisher: Digital Mang Publishing/eManga Exclusive
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Price: 250 pts/ea
Mizuki is a two chapter series from Nao Yazawa, the creator of Wedding Peach (originally published by Tokyopop). The setup of the series is very “by the book” for a magical girl title, but the retro art and fun characters make for an enjoyable read. If only it wasn’t so pricey, or exclusive to the eManga website.
It’s hard not to like the main character, Mizuki. She doesn’t want to be a “ghostbuster”, as she says, and is trying to resist her destiny. She is strong-willed, closer to down right stubborn about this, especially in the face of Sekito’s pressuring. She is also very hot-headed, and has to struggle to keep her temper in check, so as not to trigger her transformation. Sekito is her childhood friend, and is meant to be her human partner in the monster hunting. He’s very serious about it, and wants Mizuki to transform so they can start working together. He doesn’t see Mizuki’s transformation as being the problem Mizuki does, but then, he doesn’t have to go through it either. Mizuki and Sekito bicker a lot, as old friends do. And while Mizuki has a crush on a boy at her school, the hints start to drop that it might be Sekito who she actually likes.
The two chapters introduce the characters, show Mizuki’s first transformation, and starts the possible love interest between Mizuki and Sekito. I like Mizuki’s transformation. Not a lot of time is spent on it. It’s not some elaborate scene that takes several pages or resorts to fanservice. She’s actually pretty cute as an oni, with the horn, pointed ears and a cute costume for her to transform into. With the headband, she reminds me of Kei from the Dirty Pair anime. The monsters she has to take on aren’t really scary. Mizuki spends more time worrying about her classmates seeing her than defeating the monsters.
And that’s one of the advantages for this series. Even through it’s rated for Teens, it’s very Tween friendly. The stories deal with trying to be normal, and fitting in. Mizuki’s problems are little more exaggerated, but the sentiment is no different. She doesn’t want to be seen as different, and really doesn’t want to be seen in her Oni form, which turns out to be a justified concern. All of her friends run away from her, calling her scary, even though she looks anything but. The art has a very retro feel to it, but no so much so as to turn kids off because of it. It’s clean, and it’s easy to tell the characters apart. There is at least one panel that might make this title questionable for tweens, but overall, I do think it would do well with them in general.
Mizuki does have some disadvantages. The biggest of which is the price and location. Digital Manga Publishing has this title as an online exclusive on their eManga.com site. The terms of service specifies users be 13 and up, which cuts out the group I think would enjoy this title the most. The price is also rather high. DMP is charging 250 points (~$2.50) per chapter, on a site where most of the full volumes are 400 points (~$4.00). Not a great value. 250 for both chapters would be much more reasonable. My biggest problem with this title though, is that it is only 2 chapters long. I would love to read more of this series. With DMP already commissioning a new series from Yawaza, a few more chapters of this title would be a nice addition, and with enough maybe even see print?
I really enjoyed Mizuki. It was a fun read, and the art made me long for older titles such as Urusei Yatsura and Outlanders. The only thing that would make this series better was if there was more of it. Two chapters just isn’t enough for these characters!