So often in the mass media, we’re shown demons as monstrous, grotesque manifestations that revel in causing pain and misery to all they encounter. So then, what if I were to tell you that in this week’s manga morsel, we have a treat – a series where well-known and renowned archdemon Beelzebub, the acting lord of the underworld, is revealed to be a moe anime girl. On this trip down the otaku rabbit hole, we’ll be checking out the manga As Miss Beelzebub Likes, published by Yen Press, and finding out if it’s infernally bad or if it’s one hell of a good time. With those bad jokes out of the way, buckle up guys, and let’s jump right in.
As Miss Beelzebub Likes follows the lives of acting lord of Pandemonium, Beelzebub, and her long-suffering attendant, Mullin, as they go about their daily business. Beelzebub is totally in fascinated with anything fluffy and is certainly not what you would expect from one of the fallen angels of legend – much to Mullin’s dismay. What we come to find throughout the first volume is that Mullin holds a deep admiration for his charge, and this admiration has the potential to blossom into something more. Shockingly, despite him being an underling, and relative nobody, it also appears that those feelings may also be reciprocated by Beelzebub. Throughout their days, Mullin and Beelzebub find themselves involved in some truly bizarre situations alongside a plethora of colourful and lovable characters that will both melt your heart and make you laugh out loud within seconds of one another. A personal favourite character of mine is the mute yet magnificent gentle giant, Azazel, who cuts an intimidating frame while simultaneously being a lover of all things cute and cuddly. Azazel is also a perfect representation of what makes this manga something truly special. This manga and its cast of characters, while on occasion venturing into the realm of tropes, masterfully draw the reader deeper into the world of Pandemonium, only to make them fall in love over and over again with each subsequent panel. To give any more information on the story would ruin some of its greatest moments, but please know that, should you decide to check this out, you have a story that is simple yet effective and will definitely make you smile.
This manga uses a range of storytelling styles as a key part of its presentation, ranging from full page spreads to a series of small 4-panel manga shorts, all coming together to build an overarching plot within each chapter. This style of storytelling is an incredibly insightful move and works remarkably well for a comedy manga of this type. I have to admit, personally, I have never been the biggest fan of 4-panel manga. This is due to the fact that, in many manga of this type, the stories told in each set of four panels may in no way relate to one another, jumping between time and place, and becoming ever more confusing and messy for the reader. However, As Miss Beelzebub Likes is probably an example of what other manga should aspire to, as each page has enough charisma and humour to stand on its own, while at the same time allowing it to fit together as a comprehensive chapter and is enough to convince me that 4-panel manga is, at least somewhat, worthy of a second chance.
This manga takes a light-hearted comedy and weaves it together with some delicate, if not-so-subtle, romance elements in an expertly crafted way. If you’re looking for a relaxing read this winter, then I would definitely point you in the direction of this manga. There are currently four volumes of As Miss Beelzebub Likes available to read both electronically and physically, with more on the way. If this first volume is anything to go by, this series has a great deal of potential, should the subsequent volumes build on it. I for one will definitely be picking up the next volume to see more of the exploits of this rag-tag group of demons. If you decide to check out this manga and find it to your liking, there is also an anime adaptation that is currently airing that may just help to scratch that itch that Beelzebub leaves in her wake.
With that, we’ve finished yet another trip down the otaku rabbit hole. I hope you guys enjoyed this review and are having a wonderful holiday season. Until next time, keep it weeby!