Gaba Kawa by Rie Takada: B-

Rara is a demon who has come to the mortal world for the first time. She’d told everyone back home that her goal was to drag human souls into darkness, but really she just wants to meet the celebrity demon du jour, Hiroshi Akusawa, and become his girlfriend. When a dashing boy called Aku saves her from falling off a building, she’s convinced she’s met Akusawa. That is, until she meets the real Akusawa, who is not at all dreamy, and realizes that the other boy is a mere human.

It’d be easy for Rara to claim Aku’s heart using magic, but she wants him to fall in love with her for real. Some of her female classmates (yes, the younger demons all attend high school) advise against pursuing him, claiming that he is weird (on account of having been abducted by aliens) and gay (on account of having been spotted hugging his best friend). Rara, undaunted and clueless, decides that donning a boy’s uniform is the way to win his love, leading to my favorite line of the volume:

I don’t care if he is a gay alien. Once he gets a look at me in this, his heart will be mine.

Rara is warned several times not to use her magic to benefit a human, but as she gets closer to Aku, she can’t help lending him a hand when he could use it, like when his ability to see spirits results in him being pestered by wayward souls. As a result, she begins to lose her demon powers, which include things like invisibility and flight, and faces punishment for her actions from her demon brethren.

The concept is fairly unique, but Rara is still more or less your traditional clumsy, not-too-bright shojo heroine who somehow manages to make the hottest guy in school fall for her. Add to that the clichés of the boy who can see spirits and the old “trip and smooch” maneuver, and it winds up being pretty well-trod territory after all.

Still, while Gaba Kawa may be fluffy and familiar, it’s also pretty fun. I’m inspired to check out more by its creator.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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