(Weekly Shonen Jump 2016)
Story and Art by Kentarou Itani
Summary: Takuan is your average, everyday boy who desperately just wants to live an average, everyday life. To the point of which he will lecture often to one of his few friends about the importance of simple minded peace in simple minded things. That’s not a bad philosophy to live up to, but a philosophy the cosmos don’t seem to be willing to allow him to live. One day when Takuan meets Batsu, King Enma’s only daughter, his life begins to become much more entertaining…
[MAJOR SPOILERS from this point on…]
Review: This is where Daily Demon Diary’s initial 3-chapter run in Weekly Shonen Jump finally comes to an end. And though the series hasn’t gotten picked up for a full serialization in America at least the series is still going on in Japan. Funny story, I initially had a review for this written up where I said goodbye to this manga I loved so much until I learned that the series was still going in Japan.
I was going to let it run as well and then just go ahead and do a chapter 4 review with a surprise “look what I found!” vibe going for it. However, I decided against that. Unfortunately since making that discovery I’ve also discovered that unless someone decides to translate future chapters the series may fall into obscurity. We’ll have to just watch it and see.
Full disclaimer: I prefer official translations so that I can support the industry. But in trials like this I can’t speak or read Japanese and VIZ has decided to pass on fully translating this awesome work so if other people are willing to do it then they have my full support as well. – I don’t like it but I’m also not morally strong enough to just blindly give up on a series I am loving because the distributor in my country decided to effectively cancel it.
One day, I will have the resources to learn Japanese.
Fortunately the ‘final chapter’ is damn good. Funny as hell and entertaining as hell, Kentarou Itani doesn’t pause the breaks as we meet a new character named Mako who hates that Batsu has chosen a human to be her partner in fighting other demons. He’s a fellow demon who knows Batsu personally and the issue sees him mostly making it his mission to beat Takuan in a mission against a demon in order to prove himself superior.
Who is this mysterious Mako however? It’s actually revealed at the end of the chapter that he’s King Enma’s dog taken human form which explains his fierce loyalty to Batsu and jealousy of Takuan throughout the chapter. Mako is actually a very fun addition to the cast and I would love to see his character expanded more.
The moment he and Takuan meet is a moment of pure gold as Mako bursts in on Takuan while he’s taking a bath by bursting through his home’s wall. And low and behold we get our first penis joke of the series. But instead of the usual making fun of the “tiny size” of the main character’s junk it’s actually implied that Takuan is very well-endowed. This is later confirmed when Batsu also accidentally sees it and exclaims that it is not unlike her father’s which she once accidentally saw many years ago.
Remember, her father is the Demon King.
We get so much fun interaction between the characters and we also get to continue relating to Takuan as well as he tries to scrounge up some money to pay for his home’s wall and surprise surprise he’s flat broke like many of us can identify with. It’s great things like that that allow me to fall in love with these characters.
None of them are one note, all of them have dimension and all of them just play off of one another so very well. Daily Demon Diary is going to be an incredibly missed series no longer being able to actually read it in WSJ as I could see this series becoming one of my all-time favorites if it ever got the chance to continue for a longer run. Hopefully it still will if I can read further chapters.
I very much look forward to anything Itani does in the future and will follow his works closely and hope they’re all as good as this one was. Perhaps one day DDD will be fully translated in English and I will wait patiently and excitedly for that day. If it ever gets physically published here in the U.S. I will buy every single volume that comes out.
Final Score: 5 Loyal Hell Hounds out of 5
Derrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.
You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net