Review: Demon Diary Vol. #7

“If you run across the same person three times in one day, it’s not coincidence…it’s what you would call ‘destiny’.”

I was going to do some writing, but I managed to get two sentences down before mom someone broke my concentration and demanded chores out of me, and then I was going to do a serious post, but then I just decided “Screw it, I’m finishing Demon Diary!”

And so I did.

So here we are at volume #7, last time, the plot took a turn into WTFery with Raenef IV setting off a master plan to integrate Raenef’s split personalities (caused by a temporal paradox) which was to end with him taking over Raenef V’s body. Our heroes manage to stop him, but Raenef collapses in Eclipse’s arms soon after and is left in his room to recuperate from his ordeal.

So, I’ll just come out and say it, volume #7 is pretty much volume #2 with more character development. As in #2, Raenef goes wandering off and Eclipse and co. have to search for him. The difference here is that Raenef has amnesia.

Yep, that old chestnut, not that this series hasn’t been full of old chestnuts.

The remainder of #7 is comprised of an amusing scene in which Chris FINALLY becomes High Cleric (for about two seconds) and two epilogues in which Erutis tries to find a job, and Chris, Erutis, and Raenef attempt to clean Raenef’s place (“Scrub!”).

In previous volumes, I ignored glossed over the subtext, but I think it’s interesting to note how Raenef spends a significant amount of time talking about himself, Eclipse, and destiny. I can’t help but think that if Raenef were a girl, everyone would probably be going on about how they had a “thing”, and, seriously, the first thing amnesiac Raenef notices about Eclipse is how attractive he is.

Then there are the last few lines of Eclipse and Raenef’s story arc:

“Eclipse will always be by my side.

(Panel from the very beginning of the series, with Raenef asking “Eclipse, can you stay with me forever?” )

Because that is what he promised to do.”

Raenef: Let’s go home then.

Eclipse: As you wish.

(Cut to Chris being named High Cleric, turning into a despot, and losing his position in the space of a few seconds.)

I would definitely say that the series’ end goes out with a whimper rather than a bang, but that’s not really surprising considering the light tone of the series as a whole, and some people like whimpering. The one part that I found a little incongruous was Erutis’ epilogue, which actually ends up being rather dark. In sum, Erutis keeps getting rejected by mercenary guilds, finds a job with a wealthy family which involves dressing up as their daughter and being taken by bandits, is betrayed by her employers….

….at which point Krayon shows up, burns down their mansion and kills them all.

Yeah, he’s a demon lord, they do stuff like this.

Also, he’s been stalking following her around this whole time, making sure she can’t get steady employment (and nearly starving to death) because (and I quote): “It’s downright embarrassing, you know, that a demon lord’s woman should apply for work like a shopgirl.”

Needless to say, she gets a rad upset (Krayon’s response is to basically ignore her) so…yeah, not the healthiest relationship (understatement) and it’s the reason I ship her with Chris. I should also note that she NEVER reciprocates his feelings (and in fact, laments that she’s cursed and should have stayed at home with Raenef).

In any case, by the end of the second epilogue, Chris and Erutis appear to have come for a visit at least, or perhaps they’re staying on a more permanent basis since the High Cleric and job-hunting stints didn’t really work out, which is how I like it: the main cast together again, as it should be. No demon lords to fight, no wonky time travel plots, just everyone being themselves (although Raenef is much less ditzy and Eclipse much less serious, even to the point of teasing Chris).

The art is the same as always: great.

Now for the big question:

Is this shounen-ai?

Wanna’ start a fight on the Internet? Ask a bunch of kinksters whether it’s okay to Top from the buttom. Ask a bunch of Demon Diary fans whether Demon Diary is shounen-ai.

My verdict: Well, not really. There’s a truckload of subtext that points to a possible relationship between Eclipse and Raenef IV and a relationship between Eclipse and current Raenef that is a bit more than a teacher-student relationship, but you could also see it simply as a really affectionate teacher-student (or even vassal-lord/servant-master) type of relationship. The thing is that the series isn’t really concerned with romance at all (apart from the Erutis/Krayon stalking thing and Leeche wanting to marry Raenef when she grows up). The maintext is strictly platonic.

I think you know where I stand, though. Eclipse/Raenef OTP!

Overall though, this is a very lighthearted romp that occasionally takes a turn into darker territory. It’s (mostly) cute, funny at times, and while there is some violence and action-y bits, the violence is toned down and the action mostly consists of demons (and clerics) flinging spells at each other. This isn’t a series you read for the stellar storytelling and depth of characterization, you read this series because you had a bad day and you want something light and fluffy. Provided you can tolerate the stalker-ish bits and you can manage to track down all seven volumes, Demon Diary might be worth a look, and there are definitely worse ways you could spend an afternoon.

So there you have it, the entirety of Demon Diary. It might be awhile before I do another one of these, because I don’t read a whole lot of graphic novels/manga/manhwa, so for now I think I’ll stick to books. I am slowly but surely demolishing my to-read pile.

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