Ryu’s Musings – Enchanter Volume 01

9781569708668 ISBN-13: 9781569708668
Language: English
Direction: Right to Left
Pages: 184
by Izumi Kawachi
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Type: Series
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Romance, Shonen

Haruhiko is 100% head-over-sneakers for his sweet, shy science teacher Yuka. After all, she’s a total brainiac…and incredibly hot! But what’s he supposed to do when an enchanted vixen named Eukanaria suddenly falls into his lap (in a tiny miniskirt) and demands Haruhiko’s help? Demonic battles, powerful sorcery, and a busy bee who can’t mind her own business…what will happen when magic and mayhem mix?

Character Musings:

Fulcanelli, a once human, once demon, now a soul. We don’t really get much information about him this volume, beyond the fact that he has a strong sense of right and wrong, doesn’t mind scaring the hell out of people, and is currently double dead. As in he was once a human then died and became a demon, then some how dies again.

Eukanaria is Fulcanelli’s lover, at least that was the impression I got. She’s a clone of Yuka in looks, and almost in personality. She’s a bit of a bimbo, but she’s dedicated to the guy she loves and is doing everything she can to bring him back. She’s a bit on the violent side, and very decisive about some things, but nonchalant about others. She also seems to lack a sense of morality and decency, and pretty much tortures Haruhiko.

Yuka is, well, an air head. Totally accepting of everything and anything. She’s a teacher (which really does say something about the level of teaching in that school lol), but can’t handle electronics.

Haruhiko is our hero, sort of. For the most part he seems to be a generic seventeen year old guy with a crush on his neighbour and teacher, Yuka. He tends to jump into things without thinking, but also has the determination and strength to stand firm when the crap hits the fan.

General Musings:

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this series, I’d heard of it, and it was on my to read list. DMP offered it to me to be reviewed which I was more than happy to oblige, but I was also able to get my hands on the paper release; so my musings here cover both.

The cover for this volume really was a bit of a disappointment, at first. After reading through the volume the cover rather appeals to me. However I do think it’s a bit skimpy and not really a good introduction for the story.

From the get go this volume is full of funny things that made me smile. There was no out and out laughter, but it was funny enough to keep me interested. The humour is a bit on the crass side at times and usually revolves around fan service. However other times it’s genuine humour that worked really well.

The other thing I liked was the way the volume started, it has a good start and kept it going throughout the volume.

While this volume focus a bit more on the action side of things we do get some interesting character developments. As well as some subtle hints that I’m really looking forward to seeing play out in future volumes.

The art for this volume ranges from average to pretty good. The characters are clearly defined and easy to see and follow. Which I found a refreshing change after the last two series I read.

The character designs, for the guys at least, are a bit rough around the edges. There’s definite room for improvement. The women (Yuka, Eukanaria, and Ai) are pretty well done, though like the men there’s room for improvement.

The settings for the volume, especially the Enchanters Workshops looked really well done, and I thought they were the better designs of the volume. Though admittedly since this volume was pretty heavily focused on the action, it’s hard to really judge.

Plot wise we get some interesting hints this volume, some of which are rather easy to miss on the first read through. When I read it through a second time I found some other hints that made me think.

Publisher Musings:

I had planed to talk about the eManga version first, but I wont be after all, as Enchanter is not currently available for all on eManga, only to reviewers. Hopefully this will get on their fully at some point.

The paper edition was a huge let down, though that was due in part to the expectations I had for the volume. First thing I noticed was that this volume had some really bad guttering. Guttering is where the white space between the spine and the art isn’t big enough, and as a result the art and text in the panel ends up in the spine.

This happened a lot in this volume, and on a few occasions I couldn’t read the text fully no matter what I did. Very frustrating, and distracting. Also the paper hasn’t handled the aging well. You need to remember that the first volume was printed back to 2006, the paper hasn’t aged well in four years. The copy I have has turned a bit yellow and the paper feels a bit brittle. 

On the up side though this was released when DMP where still doing their High Quality slip covers. While I don’t like the actual design, it is of an excellent quality and looks pretty great. They also get props from me for leaving the original SFX’s intact and just adding smallish (I think they’re a good size actually) translation next to them.

In the end I thought this was a great start to the series, and I’m looking forward to volume two. Guttering and paper quality aside, it’s been a good read.

Word of caution though, the first volume has a lot of fanservice, and I got the impression it’s only going to get worse (or better depending on your view hehe) as the series goes on. So I do think you need a high threshold for it, or at least the ability to ignore the pointless bits.

Author: Ryu Sheng