Demonizer Zilch, Vol. 1

By Milan Matra. Released in Japan as “Kamigoroshihime Zilch” by Fujimi Shobo, serialization ongoing in the magazine Dragon Age. Released in North America by Yen Press.

Before we begin, I do want to note that, even if in Japan it’s meant to be pleasant onomatopoeia or something, having the word ‘Zilch’ in your title is just asking for trouble. As for the manga itself, I once again run into my problem of wanting to read first volumes even though I suspect it’s going to turn out badly. Dragon Age titles are usually not a favorite of mine. And I’m also fond of saying that originality is not as important if your cliched plot and cliched characters are interesting. Unfortunately, at some point you run into a work which can’t even meet that low bar, and such a title is Demonizer Zilch. It’s not difficult to read like some other otaku-oriented titles are, but after reading it, I found it hard to remember what was in this and what was in other similar manga I’d just read.

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The author, for Yen Press fans with long memories, is known over here for Omamori Himari, another Dragon Age title with a similar demographic. Our hero, Haruomi, is passive and aloof, haunted by memories of his sister and childhood friend being taken from him and disappearing. Then, while out at karaoke with his friends, he runs into various mysterious girls with mysterious powers, all of whom seem to want to kill him except one, the aforementioned Zilch of the title. She arrives, kisses him, calls him master, and proceeds to blow away the enemy for him. Turns out Haruomi has latent powers, which his parents experimented with, and they are now coming into play as there is a war between the vaguely evil human Church and the vaguely evil Demons that Zilch is part of.

First of all, this is somehow not based on a light novel. I can only assume, therefore, that figuring out within 15 pages that the two girls who work for the church and are trying to kill Haruomi are his sister and childhood friend all grown up is something the audience is meant to do. I certainly hope so, as it’s thuddingly obvious. Beyond that, you may be getting this series confused with The Testament of Sister New Devil, which came out a couple months back and also features a lot of the same things going on. I certainly did, and had to remind myself which book was which as I wrote this review, which made me sad, as it meant I had to think about Sister New Devil again. Oh, and I didn’t mention the harem antics, or the fanservice, which are there in typical Dragon Age bucketloads.

On the plus side, there was nothing mind-numbingly offensive. The fanservice is nothing we haven’t seen ten million times before, but hey, at least the girls have actual nipples. It reads fast and the action sequences make sense, which is always good. There’s a lot of backstory doled out, but you don’t really have to understand it to get the gist of what’s going on – if you like, imagine all the adults in this title speaking in the Peanuts cartoon ‘wah wah’ voice. Oh, and the biggest plus, this is a brand new series just out in Japan, so we don’t have a Volume 2 for a while yet. If you enjoy harem fantasies with nudity and things blowing up, you likely don’t read my blog anyway. But you can give this a try.

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