Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Author: Izumi Kawachi
Genre: Graphic Novel
MSRP: $12.95 US
Rating: YA (Young Adult 16+)
Release Date: August 26, 2008
Love and loss in the real world.
Back when Animanga Nation was an actual print publication, I wrote the review for the first volume of Enchanter and said that it was not only a promising series but also one that had an interesting premise. You see, the main character, Haruhiko Kanou, might be a high school student but he’s not a ninja, magician or defender of the planet. He’s a young boy who just so happens to be learning enchanted tech skills from another dimension where demons are attractive temptations.
We’ve followed Haruhiko as he learns this new kind of craft and that he just so happens to resemble a man the cute-as-a-button demon Eukanaria loves deeply but lost. Eukanaria wants to be around Haruhiko in order use his body to install the spirit of her lover named Fulcanelli into the young human’s body. Then there’s a demon who inhabits the body of a fellow student just to be close to Haruhiko and ends up in a struggle to stay alive when the soul of the real girl attempts to reclaim her body after a 10-year absence. Oh, and a fellow classmate named Hokuto finds out about the other dimension and aligns himself with the evil genius Cagliostro.
In Volume 9, the real Mercurio managed to push back the demon Haruhiko has come to have feelings for and confronts Eukanaria by attacking her. Feeling herself being pushed back into nothingness, the lovely, clumsy yet kind demon Mercurio is tortured by how hard Haruhiko and Eukanaria are battling to save her. I don’t think I have to spell out how badly this battle turns out and – in one of the best moments in this volume – the demon side of Mercurio resurfaces for what might be the very last time to tell Haruhiko how she really feels about him. It wasn’t just the contract that had her staying by his side but Mercurio had strong feelings for the young man who we find out was just beginning to respond to said feelings as well.
In the end, the battle ends in heartbreak for Haruhiko. It’s actually surprising how he responds to the aftermath of the fight and his belief that enchanters of the other world could help have him taking what is left of Mercurio to them. The secret behind demon seizing the body of the human Mercurio is revealed and Haruhiko wonders why Cagliostro was involved in all of this and why he designed the chip that allowed his Mercurio to take control of body.
On the other side, Haruhiko’s fellow classmate Hokuto is still attempting to learn what he can from Cagliostro. It annoys him that his “master” isn’t revealing too much to him and it angers him that his lovely demon caretaker, Nanaera, insists that he binds a physical contract with her to become her enchanter. Hilariously, Hokuto turns her down and stuffs her in a cramped closet when his tech-savvy sister comes to visit his apartment. It’s still a something of a comical highlight to see Hokuto’s mistreatment of the lovely and shy Nanaera and even more so in this volume.
Back in school, Haruhiko doesn’t even have the desire to go to class over the result of the battle and the return of the real Mercurio who is still angry over having been used by a demon for so long. Her anger extends over to Haruhiko who, in a state of depression, tells his main crush – Yuka Fujiyama – something he wouldn’t have dared told her normally. Yuka has always put her profession as a teacher first but something about what Haruhiko tells her makes the attractive young teacher move about in a daze.
Fans who have been following Enchanter will be surprised by Volume 9. It doesn’t answer any of the questions we might have had during the series but it certainly pushes the story forward thanks to the revelations that are made in these chapter. Of course, the demon Mercurio will be missed since she not only injected humor (and fan service for all those that care about that) but she was also downright likeable. Overall, if you’re a fan of the series, picking this one up is a no-brainer.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
The battle of the dueling personalities inside Mercurio comes to a conclusion and Haruhiko is in the middle of it. Meanwhile, true feelings are revealed and Hokuto is determined to learn all he can from Cagliostro.
The art is still good and the action sequences look downright gorgeous. The fan service is never toned down either.
Volume 9 of Enchanter is, by far, one of the best in this series and it comes to show us that there is still a lot of surprises left in this thoroughly enjoyable series. From the heartbreaking conclusion of the last volume’s confrontation to its interesting aftermath, Volume 9 is definitely one of those must-not-miss volumes if you’re an Enchanter fan.