Ryu’s Musings – Diabolo v01-v03

Cover180 (1)ISBN-13: 9781613134023
Language: English
Direction: Right to Left
By: Kaoru Ohashi
Publisher: Digital Manga Guild
Type: Series, Manga
Genre: Supernatural, Horror, Shounen


Volume 01: Something extra-wicked this way comes! Ren and Rai play with fire when they sell their souls to the demon Diabolo to save Ren’s cousin. Diabolo gives Ren the power of ultimate offense and Rai the power of ultimate defense. However, those who fall into the Diabolo’s trap start to go crazy at 17, and at age 18 they reach the point of no return…

Volume 02: When a little girl named Mio wants to save her brother from violent beatings, she turns to Ren and Rai to put an end to the brutality. However, it all might just be a prelude to greater violence. Seventeen-year-olds all around the world have been receiving the same message: “My name is Angel. I’ll save you.” But will this mysterious message really lead to a savior, or to the doom of them all?

Volume 03: Rai has fallen to the Diabolo! Ren ventures forth in an extremely risky effort to save his friend, but standing in his way are the Six Great Spirits. When these spirits converge, the world will be on the threshold of cataclysmic devastation! Is there anyone on Earth who can survive this ultimate struggle between good and evil?

This is sadly another title put out by DMG that has me scratching my head. And wondering just who does the QA for them. Who ever it is needs to be fired because the last few releases I’ve read have been terrible, and they’re getting worse.

So, lets get back to the manga first. As a title it’s not bad, but it’s also not good either. Part of the problem i feel is that the series is only three volumes, which really isn’t enough time for the story to develop and the characters to shine.

OutakuUSA liken this series to the classic series X, by  CLAMP; and frankly this is as wrong as you can go. The only thing even remotely like X in this series is a slight resemblance of the art style.Diabolo_large_and_small

The series is episodic, with a different ‘lost’ every couple of chapters. Yet each one has out heroes doing what they’re doing trying reach their goal. The problem i have is that the goal never really gets explained properly, and the way it’s laid out for us is confusing at times. I’ve no idea why they choose to name the series Diabolo, it’s a miss used word, a Diabolo is juggling cup as in the image to the right.

Cover180 (2)The story is nothing new, Diabolo tempting people with promises of power etc. etc. . In the case of the ‘heroes’ they were seduced by the promise of saving Mio, their cousin. The story then jumps forward and changes to a girl who is having some problems at home. As the chapter progresses odd events start to happen.

There’s a lot of potential in this series, but it’s never really allowed to run free. the stories don’t really have endings, they just stop. Ren and Rai figure out what’s going on, jump into save the person and then nothing. What you’d expect to follow is some sort of fight, a couple of pages at least. Yet it never materialises it just ends, making for an anti-climactic ending of the arc.

This is the way that most of the arcs tend to go, and even the ones that have a sort of proper ending, have oddities in them. They’re holes in the story where you would normally find explanations of events, but here they’re missing. I wouldn’t say these missing bits are ‘essential’ but you do notice their absence.Cover180 (2)

This carries on over the course of the three volumes, and if this was all there was to it I’d say it’s trash to be thrown out. However over the course of the trilogy we get more and more information revealed and a darker story unfolds.

I loved the way the story took a turn and became very dark and that ending!! Talk about out of the blue endings. Yet if I’m honest that’s why i think i like this series, it has a lot of flaws and story that doesn’t make a lot of sense. yet at the same time it tells a great story which is mature and doesn’t go for the lovey dovey ending a lot of manga go for these days.

However, DMG once again fail big time in this release. This is an on-going problem that they have and one they don’t seem to be addressing. I download the books as .mobi and use them on my Arc Tablet using the Kindle App. I’ve never had an issue with any other publisher, except for the titles gotten from e-manga.

Firstly we have a lack of naming consistency. For example if you look at the screenshot below of the Eremental Gelade series, you’ll see several different naming conventions used. This makes it a nightmare to navigate and find books, especially since some of them are even missing the authors name. This runs true for EVERY title I’ve gotten from them, and it’s now getting very annoying.


I’ve now had to spend several hours using an editing tool to manually edit every title so as it’s meta data (name, volume number and author) are all correct. Which is close to thirty titles, and none of them were formatted correctly.

Now, that on it’s own i could shrug off and just say it’s a minor problem that i can fix myself. Sure it’s tedious, but hey it’s better than not having any digital releases.

However the one thing i can not do anything about is the sizing for tablets. On tablets almost all of the titles I’ve read so far are sized for iPhones. What this means is that on my tablet, which has a display of 1280*800 the image is tiny:


As you can see there’s a huge amount of wasted screen space in the above screenshot. DMG is the only publisher i have this problem with, and it’s only been the past couple of months releases that this is happening on. I get that they can’t test every device, but I hope they improve this soon. As much as i love e-manga they aren’t the only digital store anymore.

That issue aside, DMG did a pretty good job on the release. Due to the scaling issues it was hard to read at times on my tablet, and that’s where i read most of my manga these days. However when i tried it on my PC i noticed the problem still persisted, though no where near as bad; and i don’t even use full HD (my monitor runs 1366*768).


The pages could clearly be bigger, which would aid readability.

As i said though on the PC it isn’t as bad as the tablet and reading was a lot easier. The fonts used for the text for the most part were okay, though there were a few issues from time to time with text on black . The translation for what i could see was consistent and flowed really well with no glaring over localisations.

So, finally, what i will say as that despite the problems with the series, i do think this is a series worth reading. Bear in mind though that this is defo for a more mature audience, there’s a lot of death and blood in this series. But it’s never OTT.

Author: Ryu Sheng