Ryu’s Musings – Winter Demon Volume 01

winterdemon1 ISBN-13: 9781933664033
Language: English
Direction: Left to Right
Pages: 192
by: Yamila Abraham (story), Studio Kosaru (artist)
Publisher: NetComics, Yaoi Press
Type: Series
Genre: Fantasy, Yaoi

When three ruthless fire demons come to terrorize the monk Hakuin’s village he’s forced to seek help from Fuyu, the snow demon who tormented him a year ago. Fuyu is thrilled to see his beautiful monk again. He’ll defeat the fire demons only if Hakuin becomes his willing slave. Fuyu realizes too late that the fire demons are out of his league. Even worse, the lead demon thinks the fey Fuyu would make a nice slave in his own right. When Fuyu is put in the same position he put Hakuin a year ago he starts to realize the error of his ways. Maybe, in time, he can even be redeemed to his beloved monk.

General Musings:

Again no character section this time, this was due to the characters leaving no impact on me. The volume wasn’t bad as such, rather it leaves no impact on me, five minutes after reading it I’d forgotten what it was about.

I’m going to be honest, I don’t mind yaoi titles, and I don’t mind OEL titles. However after reading several of these OEL yaoi titles I’ve found I can’t help but hate them. They seem to bring the worst of art and the worst, or perhaps flimsiest of stories. Truth be told I got the impression that these stories were nothing more than a lame excuse for two guys to get together.

Winter Demon was the first of three titles I’ve read that have been lauded as excellent OEL yaoi, and I’m sorry but I just don’t see it.

The story for Winter Demon sounded great, and I was eager to get into it. Sadly it doesn’t deliver.

The first chapter was certainly interesting, but a bit skimpy. Reading it on NetComics I was interested enough to carry on with reading the volume (thank you NetComics for the review copy).

That’s where things start to go down hill a bit. The first chapter doesn’t flow right, rather the order it comes across makes no sense and should have been shifted a bit. The way Hakuin’s history is revealed just doesn’t mesh right. Thankfully this is only the case with this chapter.

The second chapter the story settles down and starts to make more sense. Sadly though the story feels rushed and it’s hard to feel anything for the characters. Rather, as I said earlier, it feels like the story  is nothing more than a pretext to get the guys screwing. Also, as seems to be the norm in OEL yaoi, it’s all about rape.

The art of the story isn’t great by any standard, but it is of a decent quality. I liked the character designs of the two leads, Hakuin and Fuyu. I also found I liked the designs of the fire demons, though they did look a bit weird.

The main area I have a problem with is the is the hands of the demons. I get that they demons and all, so claws and stuff are normal, but I think the claws were to weird and just didn’t look right on the characters. Especially since in one case they looked more like the hands from Edward Scissor Hands rather than just claws.

Several reviews I’ve seen of Winter Demon criticise the art of the volume. Mainly that they changed artists. Frankly I don’t agree with that complaint, not in the way it was being used at least. This volume has the main story and two separate ‘extra’ stories. The main story is done by one artist and the other two are done by other artists. I honestly don’t have an issue with this, I would have if the core story had had different artists, but not as it stands.

In the end this is a mindless story, in other words it’s perfect if you want to read something simply to fill some time and aren’t interested in the long lasting impressions of the series. I’m not sure if I’ll be getting the other volumes of the series.

Publisher Handling:

I find it hard to judge OEL series, this one is all the harder since I read it online. I’ve never read anything from Yaoi Press before and overall I don’t think they did a bad job on this release.

The only thing I wish was different is that they had removed the extra chapters. Extra’s are always a great thing, but this time they took up far to much of the volume. Considering this is a five volume series there was no reason to skimp on the core story. It would have been better with an extra chapter or two of the actual story. I mean people buying this want to read the Winter Demon story, not a couple of one shot stories.

Winter Demon has a good premise, but it’s not allowed to spread it’s wings and fly. I may pick up volume two at a later date to see if it gets any better.

Author: Ryu Sheng