Daemons of the Shadow Realm, vol. 1 | Review
Daemons of the Shadow Realm, vol. 1
Story and art by Hiromu Arakawa
Square Enix Manga
Rating: 16 & up
The creator of Fullmetal Alchemist is back with a brand new series, and I’m all for it. Daemons of the Shadow Realm is classic Hiromu Arakawa, with artwork that is her trademark, along with a story of family, magic, and mystery.
In an isolated village, twins Yuru and Asa couldn’t be any more different from each other. Yuru is raised to be a hunter while his sister Asa is locked in a cage, ordered to perform special mystical duties that prohibit her from meeting more than a few individuals. When helicopters descend onto the village and begin to attack the inhabitants, Yuru rushes to help his sister only to find her dead. Standing next to Asa’s body is another woman who looks similar to Asa but is wearing an eyepatch. She is the person who seemingly killed Asa.
However, the killer claims to be the real Asa, and she’s there to kill everyone in the village. Before anything can escalate further, an outsider named Dera rescues Yuru and has him give a gift to the deity of the village, summoning a pair of “tsugai,” or daemons, whose existence is bound to reveal the truth behind what is occurring.
While the violence can be extreme at times, the first volume of Daemons does a great job of character exploration to keep the reader engaged. While there are questions that linger, for example, who was the real Asa, and will Yuru accept either woman as her, the story shows a lot of promise. While this is not anywhere near Fullmetal Alchemist, the reader will see familiar artwork and facial expressions reminiscent of the classic series. While Yuru is not Edward and Asa’s spirit is definitely not in a suit of armor, I can see readers wanting to compare Daemons to Fullmetal Alchemist. However, this is its own story and is just as enjoyable. Even though the series is rated for older teens, I believe fans of Fullmetal Alchemist will find Daemons enjoyable and will look forward to the adventures of this new sibling duo.
About Renee Scott
Renee Scott is a young adult librarian based in NYC, as well as a dedicated otaku and gamer. She is a lifelong fan of comics, anime, and manga. She can be found on Twitter at @libraryladynyc, and on her review blog, The Library Lady of NYC Reviews.
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