Thursday, 22 August 2013

Manga | Just Read: The Demon Ororon (悪魔のオロロン)

Ororon was one of the first manga books I ever read. At the time I think I'd only ever read Fruits Basket and thought that was essentially all manga had to offer me, and so this really opened up a whole slew of new genres for me. On a side note, Fruits Basket is in my top 5 manga series of all time, just saying.

I originally had the first two books in the series, however when I was planning on moving out with a previous boyfriend, I put away a few of my manga books and Xbox games in boxes in my parent's house, and they haven't been seen since. I'm being forced to wait until my parents have to clear out the garage when they get the kitchen re-done this Autumn, but being as impatient as I am, I decided to do some cheeky reading online of Ororon as I never finished the series, and voilà, that's how we've ended up here.

The Demon Ororon revolves around Ororon, of course. He is the King of Hell, otherwise known as the King of Devils, but he is not actually the main character of this story. The series revolves around Chiaki, a 15 year old girl (yes, the small boy on the front cover above is a teenage girl, I was fooled too) who has had the misfortune all her life of monsters, bogeys, ghosts, spirits, and the like coming up to her looking for help or salvation.

Chiaki one day finds Ororon bleeding in an alleyway, and winds up bringing him home to heal. In repayment for her kindness, Ororon says that he'll grant her one wish, to which Chiaki asks that he stay with her forever. Chiaki wishes this because she doesn't want to be alone; her parents have been gone since she was born, her Grandfather who raised her passed away last year, she doesn't leave the house because of the spirits who seek her, the general public avoid her because monsters are attracted to her, and the one friend she has, Lika, is moving away.

Ororon agrees to stay with her because he is tired of being the King of Hell, as everyone since he was a child has tried to kill him. He fled to Earth with the injuries Chiaki found him with after his most trusted advisor tried to murder him. He discovers that Chiaki's father is the great archangel Michael, making her half angel. As the series progresses, we learn that she is not just "angel meat", and, in fact, may be something entirely more powerful...

I do genuinely really like this series, however, despite the promising premise of it, the plot wanes thin a few books into it. You'll pass through chapters that are 90% monologue, one of the characters contemplating life and death and good versus evil, while there is something genuinely interesting happening outside of their heads. It can be frustrating, and the fact that it ends pretty much abruptly and not in the way that anyone would hope really killed it for me. It left a lot of things unanswered, and left probably not only me, but all readers of the series, wondering what the fuck happened to al the characters. There was SO MUCH the author could have done with everyone, and it left me quite angry, especially with the ending they chose. Ugh.

Either way, I would recommend this series for those who like shoujo manga, and those who like gore, as there's a lot of it. It's described as a "romantic tragedy" on Wikipedia, and I think the tragedy part is quite fitting, although there's only about 2% romance and given the cut off ending and the author's penchant for killing off characters, none of it really had the chance to be explored. Pity.

Plot: ♥♥♥
Characters: ♥♥♥♥♥
Artwork: ♥♥♥♥

Recommendation: I'm going to say yes, it's definitely worth a read. The idea behind the plot is interesting, and the characters are interesting, but it wasn't delivered well, and I wish there had been more backstory. But then again I wish a lot of things with this manga. If you get attached to books or characters easily, then this may not be the series for you. I'm currently left feeling a little heartbroken and betrayed, so you've been warned, but at the end of the day I can't help but love this series.

You can find it on Amazon here.
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