Manga Review: Mugen Spiral Volume One by Mizuho Kusanagi

Mugen Spiral Volume 1 (v. 1)Mugen Spiral is a two-volume manga featuring a powerful exorcist named Yayoi and a demon named Ura, who is the son of the demon king. It is a romantic comedy/fantasy of the “boy decides girl is kind of cool after initially trying to kill/eat/otherwise harm her.” (This is something that tends to happen in romantic manga, and in some Western romances as well.)

We begin with Yayoi, who has brought home Ura, whom she turned into a cat using a “cat god rosary” after defeating him in battle. Ura is not very happy with the situation, and Yayoi’s father seems concerned but not surprised that she brought home the demon that had tried to kill her. Ura makes a lot of threats and vows to find out what Yayoi’s weakness is, she offers him catnip.After a demon attack and someone leaving a lot of dead cats on the grounds of the temple, Ura decides that Yayoi is not very powerful and that the only thing keeping him transformed is the rosary around his neck. When he removes it, he turns into a human, and tries to attack Yayoi with magic but nothing happens. Yayoi explains that removing the rosary will only turn him into a human without powers. In order to completely break the spell, Ura has to break all of the beads on the necklace. (Which he can’t do.)

Ura in turn explains that part of the reason why she is being targeted is because there is currently a competition to see who the next Demon King will be. Part of the competition involves getting as much power as possible, and Yayoi is someone who is very powerful. After talking about this for a while, and about her parents it’s revealed that Yayoi’s “dad” is an imposter. Apparently, the demon had taken the shape of her father shortly after Yayoi had fainted from binding Ura into the form of a cat.

There’s a battle between the imposter and Yayoi, but the imposter has the drop on her. Ura offers to defeat the demon (with the implication that he gets to eat her as payment). Yayoi agrees to the arrangement and breaks one of the beads on the rosary, which releases Ura into his true form. He defeats the other demon and then tries to claim his reward and starts to kiss her (which is how he plans on draining her powers). Fortunately, Yayoi had only broken one of the beads, so Ura gets turned back into a cat instead. This is of course not a happy situation for him, but Yayoi doesn’t seem to mind having a potentially homicidal demon around, and Ura isn’t all that bothered about being a cat.

Then Hakuyoh, Ura’s cousin (and self-proclaimed lover) turns up. Hakuyoh is naturally wondering why it’s taking Ura so long to slay Yayoi and absorb her powers. It seems that the battle for who will be the next king is heating up, and Hakuyoh wants to give Ura a hand with killing Yayoi. Ura however is extremely reluctant to do this, and actively protects Yayoi from Hakuyoh, which results in an argument where it’s revealed that Ura wants the power in order to save his father’s life. A little later it’s also revealed that Ura’s chief rival for the throne is his younger brother Ouga, who is responsible for their father’s illness and is not very tightly wrapped as a result of using the power of “darkness,” (which you would normally expect a demon to be extremely familiar with, but not in this fantasy universe, where it is forbidden).

Ouga turns up and kidnaps Yayoi, forcing Ura and Hakuyoh to go after him. There’s a battle, but it ends in a stalemate followed by a cliffhanger.

There’s a lot about this that reminds me a little of Inuyasha. Mostly I think it is that both Ura and Inuyasha has a stated desire to kill the female protagonist that gets transmuted into something else. Another reason would be the magical rosaries used to subdue them. I like this manga but there are plot holes and a lot of unanswered questions that won’t get answered even in the second volume.

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Filed under fantasy, manga/anime, Review: Manga, romance

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