Single Chapter Seeking Reader: Tokyo Demon Bride Story

    So I awaken a rainy morning, back to work after a 3 day weekend. I think to curl up with my tablet and catch up on some Shonen Jump before work starts and ooh what do I see but a new manga series that just started. There's something special about jumping on a series when it's just Chapter 1. This exciting sensation that I'll see something I've never seen before and watch it grow into a big hit. This is the exact opposite of the feeling that struck me as I read the first chapter of Tokyo Demon Bride Story, a story so devoid of original ideas that even it's name is just a light novel-eqsue direct telling of what the story is about. 



    Little boy Jinta, and demon girl Manaka, meet up in the mountains and vow to get back together in 10 years to be married. There's three pages of set up and little to no extra details besides the idea and them parting ways. Jump to 10 years in the future, or the now as we currentists say, and we've got 17 year old Jinta working hard because his family is big broke and they need cash to survive. Then the demon girl shows up with her entourage. Surprise! She's a demon princess and still madly in love with Jinta and wielding a samurai sword. They do the really overdone cliched “she's madly in love with him and won't take no for an answer and he's aloof and doesn't believe a word of it”. There's zero chemistry. I do not want these two together, there's no thread of “oh hey, this would be really cute if they hooked up”. Manaka shows off her powers which the boy still doesn't buy and he leaves. More women show up, I wasn't really clear on who they were or their relation to Jinta and are all anime stereotypes I remember from when I was in high school long ago. 


    We learn that our main boy has special blood which draw demons to him but his demon princess will help protect him, setting up our teenagers fighting demons situation which is another structure I'm really loosing patience for. There's some series in that genre that are some of my favorite manga of all time. Jujustu Kaisen and Dandadan come to mind and they work because they're trying to do something unique and original within that space and it's not just a set up to have conflicts occur without really anything else. Seriously, if you want some good romance, super natural fighter manga I highly recommend Dandadan. It's the only manga I've found relatable and meaningful in the way it's handling the romance between the two leads. I'm getting distracted by compelling manga, let's get back on track. 

Go Read Dandadan Instead

    Jinta continues to assert that he's not the same person he was 10 years ago, he was in fact a child, and wants the demon girl to go away. Then a random arm of water pulls Manaka away which is quickly followed by Jinta diving in to rescue her. Cue flashback to 10 years ago when he did the same thing, rescuing Manaka from drowning as she can't swim. Oh course! He did one good thing saving my life and now I just HAVE to love him forever despite being complete strangers. Then we find the water arm came from a frog demon girl. Her and our demon princess have a very by the numbers shonen fight making it very clear they cribbed their notes from Demon Slayer. Manaka shows off how much of a total badass she is in a way that seems like they really want to make you think she's tough and unleashes her power to defeat the frog girl. Our male lead begrudgingly accepts his demon stalker princess staying with him as they have both now saved each other and more wacky hi-jinks of misunderstood meanings and disrespected boundaries ensue. 

    Now sure, it's the first chapter, Rome wasn't built in a day, look where this popular series you love started, yada yada yada, etc. Could this get better over time? Yes. Do I think it will from what it's shown me at the start? No. Am I treating this a little like an effigy for all the really shallow, samey series I've seen pop up and subsequently die off in Shonen Jump? Absolutely! Long story short, unless you want to relive your high school anime days, I would very much suggest you don't check out Tokyo Demon Bride Story.



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