What I Read Last Week: "Dictatorial Grimoire" Volume 1
Initial Impressions —
Oh, I remember this from Comic Gene. I was looking into making this an OS project, until I started to translate it and got bored within the first 10 pages. Maybe in English, since I don’t have to fight the Japanese, it’ll be better. The artwork is soooo very pretty! “Cinderfella” is kinda cool. What’s with the bondage gear?!
Artwork — A: It’s gorgeous, well laid out, detailed, and the action is easy to follow. I was very much attracted by the artwork when I was looking at the series in Comic Gene. Unfortunately, in the two or three years since this came out, many artists have taken on this style, so there’s nothing distinct about it to me now. It’s typical shounen for girls artwork. Still, it’s very nice.
Presentation — B-: I like the larger-sized paperback books. There’s a lot crammed in each page, so the larger size prevents the text from being too small to read. Most of the sound effects are left in Japanese, but they are all subtitled. I would have liked it more if they had stuck to one style — either subtitle all the sound effects or redo all of the sound effects in English. A mix is fine for scanlation, but for something I’m going to buy, I expect consistency. Also, there is no table of contents or chapter number labels. However, there’s a nice color pages and some nice extras at the end of the volume.
Story — D: It’s a typical magical teen collecting demons in objects, and then using those collected demons to defeat and capture more demons. In case the main character Otogi (Fairytale — Haha!), he is capturing fairytale demons and sealing them into a book. I’m tired of this story mechanic, so it fell flat for me. Otogi himself is hot-headed and that’s all. He’s a very one-dimensional character. Cinderella, who happens to be a bishounen, is a neat freak M. Again a very one-dimensional character. The demons in this story are all murderous genderbent fairytale princesses. That’s the schtick. That’s all… yay? (Do I smell fujoshi bait?) Sooooo a whole lot of pretty pictures of pretty guys, bondage gear, and no story. I managed to slog through 80% of the first volume before boredom made me put it down. I can’t tell you which chapter, because like I wrote earlier, there are no chapter labels.
Overall — C: I am not the demographic for this series. I think if you like looking at pretty pictures of bishies in bondage gear and you don’t care about the story, then is is the manga for you. It’s all style and no substance. Perhaps for a person who’s into otome games or just into bishes, this could be a fun series. For me, no matter how pretty it is, it still needs a story. Mind you though, the artwork is very appealing.