Title: Diabolo vol 1 (of 3)
UK Distributor: Tokyopop
Created by: Kei Kusunoki & Kaoru Ohashi
Suggested Retail Price (SRP): £6.99
Number of Pages: 208
Reviewed: 27th August 2007
Reviewer: Tom (Webmaster)
Ren and Rai are two orphans who, at the age
of seven, want to stop Ren's cousin Mio from dying due to her weak and frail
body. In desperation they unwittingly sell their souls demons in an
attempt to save Mio. Mio disappears, presumably dead, and the pair are
accused of her murder.
Years later, at the age of seventeen, the pair travel in search of Mio and help
others to overcome the lure of false demon promises along the way. The
pair call themselves Diabolo and have become more powerful with age. This
ever-increasing power gives them the strength to fight demons but the power
comes at a price - when they reach they age of 18 they will lose their sanity
and change into something not human, something demonic.
Well my first impressions of Diabolo were certainly not the description above.
When I saw the cover I expected a standard action manga with little gore, due to
stylings of the main characters. The plot, two orphans attempting to save
their friend by using unknown powers, sounded similar to Full Metal Alchemist so
I was expecting Diabolo to appeal to a similar demographic. After reading
a few pages I quickly realised my first impressions were unfounded.
Diabolo is a horror manga in the true sense of the word, completely unforgiving
in showing the reader gore as well as very emotional scenes that cause the
characters great mental pain. It is a very gloomy read from start to
finish which focuses on our doomed heroes trying to save doomed humans from the
clutches of Satanic forces. With less then a year to go until they both
turn into something evil, they haven't really got time to sit around and have
Despite featuring more misery then the diary of a teen into emo rock though,
Diabolo is a tremendously exciting read. The fact that our heroes could
become demonic at any time gives a real sense of urgency to the story and this
urgency is reinforced by the structure of this volume, a collection of
self-contained stories. Three stories feature in this volume (two over two
chapters, one over one chapter) and each story contains characters who show the
inevitable fate that faces the main characters.
I previously mentioned the yaoi-style artwork, but do not let this put you off.
The art-style does compliment the story very well, sucking you in from page one
so much that the art-style will not be an issue. Gore is handled very well
throughout, with a sensible mix of on and off screen gore so it never become too
much, or too little.
An exciting, scary title then which did
leave me wanting to read volume 2 immediately. Diabolo is therefore a
great buy - a genuinely scary title with a relentless pace, action and sense of
urgency that will freak you out - as a good horror title should do.
Usual Tokyopop extras of a quick preview of volume 2 and adverts for