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Demon Flowers, Volume 1

Review

Demon Flowers, Volume 1

Ushitora has one duty and one duty only --- he and his fellow agents must hunt down and exterminate the wayward children of ancient Japanese gods and humans.  He has always been good at his job, skating from mission to mission with a cool glare and a half-smoked cigarette. Then, in the midst of getting rid of one more half-breed, he meets Masato. Masato is bright, cheerful, impulsively sweet, and one of Ushitora’s targets. So why does this cold-blooded assassin decide to give it all up to take care of this one charming boy? His fellows may let him be for a time, but he knows in the end they will come after him for desertion, and Masato will eventually start displaying powers inherited from his supernatural bloodlines.

Years later, Masato is still his guiding light, and the two have now added the rambunctious girl Nao to their makeshift family. What happens when Masato realizes his gentle caretaker is responsible for the death of his previous, half-forgotten family?

Mizuki Hakaze first hit the U.S. with the stylish, wrenching tale of an angel and a demon falling in love, THE DEMON ORORON. Her flair for remarkable art, dangerous heroes, flashes of humor and building tension is once again in evidence. I especially enjoyed how she occasionally breaks the fourth wall and characters comment on their roles in a manga, as well as her departures into silly humor for a panel or two. 

Hakaze’s art is spiky, minimalist and more exaggerated than many manga, and she favors fine lines and strong blacks over screen tones. As with her previous series, she does not shy away from violence, though it’s dramatic rather than excessive. She has a fondness for cool characters caught between evil impulses and a pure affection, and the series seems very likely to illuminate Ushitora’s struggle between his past evils and his fragile, self-made family. This volume ends on a cliffhanger, as the trio seems set to fight anyone and everyone to stay together.

Reviewed by Robin Brenner on September 11, 2007

Demon Flowers, Volume 1
by Mizuki Hakase

  • Publication Date: September 11, 2007
  • Genres: Manga
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: TokyoPop
  • ISBN-10: 142780298X
  • ISBN-13: 9781427802989