"Akuma de sourou"
by Mitsuba TAKANASHI
Margaret Comics, 1999
I had been seeing this series pictured on the cover of issues of Betsuma Margaret for awhile, but I had never actually bought an issue of it, even though the art for this series looked interesting. However when the first collected volume of this series finally appeared at my local Kinokuniya, I finally caved in and bought it, having no idea what the series is about. I am glad I bought it, it is a cute story :) I really like the style of the artist, Mitsuba TAKANASHI. She gives her characters the strangest clothing styles! For once the characters in a shoujo manga series go to a high school that does not require uniforms. In fact it is just the opposite, everyone dresses very wildly! Lots of layered clothes, freaky hair, and unique accessories ^_^ The detail on the backgrounds is average, but the characters are very cute. Their noses can get a bit too rounded for me sometimes, but the awesome look of the eyes makes up for it :) I think Takeru-kun looks a lot like Hyde from L'arc en Ciel, but with pink hair ^_^ Then again, the manga artist is a fan of the late Hide from X-Japan, so perhaps that is who Takeru-kun is supposed to look like :)
Ahh now for the story! The main character is a 17 year old girl named Kayano SAITOU. She has a crush on the captain of her school's basketball team, a guy named Kamijou. One day she finally (with the support of her friends) gets up the nerve to go tell Kamijou that she likes him and give him a love letter. However when she runs up to deliver her message, he doesn't notice her, and walks by. Instead, Kayano delivers her letter and declaration to a totally different guy. (She doesn't realize this, as her eyes are closed). When she opens her eyes, she sees a guy she doesn't know very well, a sort of punk-ish looking boy named Takeru-kun.
Takeru listens to her love declaration to Kamijou, then rudely calls her and idiot. Mortified, Kayano runs away, leaving the letter behind. Takeru picks it up and pockets it. When Kayano realizes she left the letter, she looks for it, but cannot find it anywhere. Kamijou sees her rummaging around in the grass and asks her what she is looking for. They strike up a conversation, and Kamijou turns out to be a very nice guy. Kayano is glad she met him, but still worries about her letter. She finds out Takeru-kun has it, but when she confronts him about it, he won't give it back. Next thing you know, the letter appears taped to the classroom chalkboard for everyone to see. How horrible! Kayano is SO embarrassed, and Takeru is responsible for it all! He and his strange friends seem to delight in teasing Kayano and making her generally miserable. Meanwhile, Kamijou is friendly to her and things seem to be going well between them. However things take a turn for the worse when Kayano's mother makes an announcement- she is getting remarried, and Kayano will soon have a new family, including a new younger brother! You guessed it. Kayano's mom is marrying Takeru's father, and now Kayano will have to live with that horrible akuma (devil) boy! The title of the series means 'Careless Devil' :) What a set up! :)
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