Cover Image: Devil's Candy, Vol. 1

Devil's Candy, Vol. 1

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, VIZ for sending me a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Devil's Candy Vol 1 is the first collection of Bikkuri and REM's webcomic of the same name. Kazu, a devil, may have been too ambitious with his latest class project - making a human girl. Apart from the whole bringing her to life thing, Kazu has no idea how to look after Pandora, leading to some very weird adventures.

Pandora is quiet, protective of Kazu and a bit of a mystery. I'm not sure what I think of her to be honest? 

This has some horror elements so please avoid it if you don't like blood, action (fighting) violence, body parts being added or removed, weird scientists or monsters.

Kazu is cute and a bit clueless, but I think his friendly (exasperating) banter with Nemo is a fun contrast to the sometimes super serious world. Nemo is unafraid to tell Kazu to pull his head in, or talk his own intellect up.

I really enjoyed seeing REM's artwork again after loving her work in Soulless last month. She balanced expression, environments and movements so well.

Bikkuri also has some funny author insert pages to educate readers on the finer points of the supernatural world at the Academy Kazu attends, plus the other characters. VIZ have included character sketches and design notes from the pair - it's interesting to see their differing thoughts on the main crew.

This one gets a 2 finger guns from me - I really enjoyed it and will pick up the next volume.
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This book has a sort of "Monsters High" feel to it with an array of different monsters or demons and they all go to a school and some are friends and some are enemies. The book opens with the main character bringing to life a monster creation he made for biology class and when he gets to class, discovers he wasn't the only one. His creation becomes a regular character though and the interaction between the main character and his friends are pretty cute. The illustrations are really dark and a little hard to follow but it matches the story.
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A goofy little jaunt, this comic follows our protagonist Kazu and his monstrous creation, Pandora as they traverse every day life at monster school. So far it reads like a slice of life comic, with Kazu trying to teach Pandora all about life and what it has to offer. From science experiments gone wrong to kooky fashion shows, Devil's Candy is a cute comedic school life comic with a supernatural twist.
The artwork varies a bit between cutesy to action packed with occasional violent scenes. The main character is a bit helpless, but he does have Pandora and all his friends to help him out of pinches. Everything usually works out in the end. I did enjoy the little notes between chapters. Looking forward to the next volume.
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I am really bummed that this wasn't my favorite. I thought it was really cute but it just didn't keep my attention. I also had a difficult time reading it due to the large watermarks on every page. I might try giving it a re-read once there is a finished copy available.
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Demon Kazu Decker is working extremely hard to get an A on his latest biology assignment, and to do so, he's made an entire demon girl out of spare parts! He names her Pandora, and feels responsible with teaching her and making sure she becomes the best demon girl she can be! He even sets her up with his friend and fashion designer to make sure she looks the best!

There are a lot of demon/school tropes in this story and plenty of “easy” jokes (like they're the obvious ones everyone would think to make right there...). This is adapted from a popular webcomic into an OEL manga for Viz's new line of OEL manga. Most of the exposition and world building is provided in notes after each chapter, and this is where Bikkuri’s humor really gets to shine. These notes function sort of like translation notes in other manga, explaining references and giving more context to events and incidents in the chapter. The webcomic has color pages that are really well done, but it seems this volume will be entirely in black and white. It's kind of a shame that it won't be color, because the pages on the website make the art really pop. This could have been like Solo Leveling and printed in color, although I don't know if sales would have justified that cost.

Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
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I had really high hopes for this book when I asked to read it. I don’t know if it’s that I’m not in the right place to read it today, but I didn’t like it much. It felt very much like a Monster High/Soul Eater knock off. 😬😬😬😬
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She’s Aliveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Mangaka: Bikkuri (Story) and Rem (Art)
Publisher: VIZ Media
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Horror
Published: July 2021 - Ongoing

Because of the school project, biology, in particular, Kazu has to create the best creation of his life. So he, along with the help of his best friend, Nemo, created a Devil called Pandora. Pandora’s strength and personality could cause destruction pretty much everywhere. The school may be chaotic every day, but Pandora’s presence makes Kazu’s school life more exciting and fun in its way. How will Pandora grow as a devil in a world where she was brought to life by Kazu?

--- Spoilers Ahead ---

Discussion Time
Welcome to Hemlock Heart! We accept all kinds of devils to this educational institution, and we do not take kindly toward inequality. However, we also believe matters to be settled through either debate, conversations or even battles. If you choose to fight other students to conclude, be sure you will be hurt in the process. You have been warned.

Devil’s Candy is a story of Kazu introducing Pandora to the world he and his friends live in. Of course, society consists of a large diversity of monsters. The characters are memorable, and the designs… Yo, Rem has good taste. No, not the Rem from Re: Zero. We will get into the design aspect in the later section, starting now!
Why You Should Read Devil’s Candy

1.	How Long Was I Out?

This may come as strange to some readers, but holy cow, Rem didn’t hold back when it comes to the background designs, characters and the contrast. That includes Bikkuri as well. The conversations and backgrounds complement each other so well that it pulls us into their world while feeling as if the time either just slows down or speeds up. To explain things quickly, it’s like a Ratatouille moment that was mixed in a blender with Za Warudo.

2.	What Is She to You?

The biology project is part of the reason why Kazu created Pandora. Even though Kazu speaks to Hitomi, a female cyclops, sometimes, he is still shy when it comes to having a conversation with girls. His actions suggest that he created Pandora to help him build confidence to talk to devils of the opposite sex. 

At the same time, he sees Pandora as his daughter. He takes full responsibility to ensure he nurtures her to be a proper devil is not causing unnecessary trouble to others. Pandora is like a Frankenstein’s monster, but she learns things around her pretty quick and doesn’t talk much. But she silently enjoys the attention from others. 

3.	Ahhh Youth

The school has incidents happening almost every day. They served as a medium for characters to overcome them. Fighting against a mad scientist’s experiment, solving the school's ghost problems when the principal should have done it, and the fashion competition.

They also have a one-sided love between Hitomi and Kazu. Hitomi’s self-deprecating personality reminded some of us of our past, but the courage she possesses to push herself out of the comfort zone is admirable and cool. We are rooting for you, Hitomi!
Why You Should Skip Devil’s Candy

1.  It’s Not Scary

Yes, the world is set into a monster society, but they don’t exhibit the horror one would have expected. This series is more of a comedy and the shenanigans the characters have to put up while enjoying their chaotic school life. 

Final Thoughts

Devil’s Candy is the most immersive manga we have ever read so far. The background designs, clothes, characters and personalities felt like they are meant to each other. You will probably fall into a state where you will leave the reality and enter their world to experience the actions and comedy the story offers. The relationship between Kazu and Pandora is cute and wholesome. The character development as the story progresses is going strong. However, this series is tailored to be more comedy and less horror, so you don’t have to worry about jump scares and intense close-up shots of monsters appearing before you. When in doubt, please seek Skeleton Ninja Sensei. If you have read this manga, which chapter, scene and character is your favourite and why?

By Nobodies17
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Though not my favorite graphic novel this week, this one was still charming and entertaining. The art work is cute, fun, and eye appealing and the science fiction subject matter entertaining. 

Join Kazu Decker who has built a girl for their biology project. Though quite the specimen, Kazu doesn't objectify their creation or even really try to control it like all their classmates. Kazu views Pandora as her own person. A creation, but one that has their own will and desires. I like this take on a Frankenstein like monster story. Though completely enamored by their project, Kazu realizes that their classmates all had a similar idea (though judging by the artwork - Kazu's is the most impressive and the only one clothed...). 

Events take a turn when everyone else's projects get absorbed into one monster that tries to eat Pandora. But Pandora doesn't need saving and uses her brute strength to escape from the monster. But this won't be her only test and life at this scientific devil school might turn out to be the constant trial for survival of the fittest for a lab created creature.
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A mad scientist odd couple high school original English manga.  It is entirely possible this is not the story and style for me, given this was a successful webcomic, but I had a difficult time making it through this one.  I feel like a lot of the character relationships and development are just assumed to make room for more action scenes but the problem with this is that while the art is very detailed, that detail gets muddy and crisp and makes it difficult to tell what actually is happening in the action.  The stakes and low, the stories and silly, and instead of feeling fun it just felt like a bit of a chore to read.  There was the feel of the progression of a story, but none of it seemed to matter and the characters weren't fleshed out well enough and the gimmicks weren't interesting enough to keep my interest.
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Devil’s Candy Volume 1 is written by Bikkuri, (aka Clint Bickham), with art by REM, (aka Priscilla Hamby, or Tsulala), and lettering by Erika Terriquez. Originally released as a webcomic, Devil’s Candy Volume 1 is published by VIZ Media.


 
Containing a prologue, the first three chapters of the series, cast bios, and bonus comics, Devil’s Candy Volume 1 contains plenty of content to introduce readers to the world and characters.

In between chapters, there are notes from Mr. B, (Bikkuri), that discuss various elements from the chapter. Written like they exist in-universe, these notes feel like the reader is actually taking classes at Hemlock Heart Academy. Additionally, it is a clever and immersive way to build the world without bogging down the actual storyline in each chapter.

Devil’s Candy Volume 1 opens with scientist Kazu Decker finishing up his biology project last minute. And what is his biology project?  She’s a devil, named Pandora, created and brought to life by Kazu in his lab. Moreover, while this does make Kazu sound like a mad scientist, he’s really not.

Kazu himself is actually a type of devil, an imp to be specific. And he attends a school for devils and other supernatural creatures, Hemlock Heart Academy. Creating an entire life for a school project? It’s not too out of the ordinary for his world. However, Hemlock Heart Academy isn’t completely without mad scientists; Kazu’s classmate Gyro easily fills that role.


 
In addition to Gyro, Kazu’s other classmates of note include his best friend Nemo Musterman, a half Grindylow devil, and Hitomi Ookumo, a cyclops/mist nymph with a huge crush on Kazu. A crush he is completely, comically oblivious to.

At the end of Devil’s Candy Volume 1, there are character profiles for Kazu, Pandora, Nemo, and even the headmaster of Hemlock Heart Academy, Elliot Hemlock. The inclusion of these profiles at the end of the book is a perfect placement. By this time, readers have already had time to get to know the characters through their interactions with each other and their environment. And while the biographical details aren’t essential to understanding what’s going on in the rest of the book, they are fun to know.

The relationships between Pandora and various other characters are at the heart of Devil’s Candy Volume 1.  All of the main characters see her differently. Firstly, there’s Kazu.  Regardless of what Nemo thinks, Kazu did not create her a as girlfriend. He created her out of a love for biology, to see what he was capable of.

But he does care for Pandora. Not romantically, but as a friend. And as her creator, he feels responsible for her happiness and well-being, wanting to make sure she has a good life.

In contrast, there’s Nemo. Nemo refers to Pandora as a pet or a project. Not maliciously,  but he definitely doesn’t see her as a fellow devil. But because Kazu is his friend, he does care about keeping Pandora safe and healthy.

Unlike Kazu and Nemo, Gyro has a darker interest in Pandora. Namely, he wants to harvest her body parts to be used for his own project. In fact, this is the first conflict that occurs in Devil’s Candy Volume 1.

Each chapter contains a different main conflict, but they build off of the conflict in the previous chapter, creating a linear storyline. For example, Gyro’s body harvesting plan compounds in chapter 2, when the Science Club, of which he was the President, wants to harvest Kazu’s brain. And that’s still not as wild as it gets.

There’s a huge variety of designs that can be created since there are no human characters. And REM takes advantage of this. The designs are fun, unique, and very expressive. Personally, Kazu is my favorite. He’s adorable. He’s clearly an imp, but he still has this soft look that matches his earnestness and extremely positive outlook on life.

Devil’s Candy Volume 1 takes tropes like the boy-genius scientist and high school drama and puts unique twists on them. And that makes this book an absolute blast to read.
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Kazu proudly proclaims his latest science experiment a success. He’s created a humanoid named Pandora, a being of superhuman strength and agility. To impress his teachers and peers at Hemlock Heart Academy, Kazu brings her to Biology class. Her destructive abilities, however, cause more trouble than Kazu could handle. He has honestly created her for companionship (his famous parents are absent and emotionally unavailable). Chaos, monstrous creations wreaking havoc, and mad scientists defying the laws of nature follow. Pandora, in the middle of it all, realizes that it takes more than good grades and perfect attendance to make it through school.

Devil’s Candy contains a cast of distinguishable characters, swiftly drawn action sequences, and engaging monster fight scenes. The students and teachers are categorized by devil types like Imps, Cyclops, and Daemons. If you’ve watched and enjoyed The Nightmare Before Christmas and or Soul Eater, you’re likely to enjoy Devil’s Candy. There are familiar elements from the two, such as the setting and characters, but Devil’s Candy offers an entertaining experience that combines high school life, horror, and comedy.

The webcomic provides imaginative moments and comical character dynamics for its target audience. Its manga medium art style is appealing, and Pandora’s character development is one to watch. However, there’s also sexual innuendo and jokes here and there, so this webcomic isn’t for everyone.
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I did not enjoy this at all. I have zero clue what it was about. The story is so jumbled, as are the illustrations. Even my graphics-loving husband couldn't make his way through this one. To each there own, but I am clearly not the target audience.
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I've been on a search for sometime for our library for something along the line of Nightschool by Chmakova that will appeal to our teens while being completely engaging and approachable for adults as well. I was very excited to read Devil's Candy and have put it on the top of our list for purchase for our Graphic Novel section. The story is great drawing off of gothic stories like Frankenstein while weaving in fantasy and the academy motif. The artwork is great. It is a bit busy at times; however, it is easy enough to navigate. Readers are thrown directly into the thick of the action engaging readers from the beginning. Characters could use a little more development, but this in no way effects the enjoyment of reading. Definitely a fun read!
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This series has a rare charm and a gothic atmosphere that transfers us into an Halloweenesque world that has a great cast of characters that are inspired by horror lore from an era of Mad Scientists and combines it with action-packed adventures you would find in a Saturday Morning Cartoon, a brief hint of nostalgia with a great combination of Humor and wacky ideas. I felt that this was a nod to a classic manga series, Atsushi Ōkubo’s Soul Eater, while it was in a Dark Fantasy setup it still had gothic tones that fans compared to Tim Burton’s Nightmare on Christmas (but with fan service). Devil’s Candy has what it takes for a great story, it may be fast-paced but the action sequences keep it grounded enough where fans can follow the story, not to mention how well it translated from being a webcomic onto the Manga Page.

The Artwork in this volume is one of the things that will catch the reader’s eye, as mentioned earlier they are inspired by horror lore and it works so well for what kind of story that REM and Bikkuri are trying to tell. I wasn’t familiar with this series or Creative Team but the way these characters are drawn and how they were written caught my eye in an instant. Also, it offers readers fun bite-sized notes that help them understand the world that Kazu and Pandora are in. One thing I would like to point out that Hemlock Heart Academy is a school that welcomes all devils, something that would serve as a source of interesting characters and engaging storylines in future stories down the line.
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The style is adorable.  It's super cute. But I have no idea what is going on.  I feel like the story is missing completely until about 60% in.
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So much charm can be found in Devil's Candy - characters, setting, tone, and so much more. Reading this work transported me into this Halloween-esque extravaganza of gothic steeples and horror-inspired lore from mad scientists to mythical academies all while telling the wholesome action-packed adventures of a Saturday morning cartoon. Kazu's naivety and charisma breathe life and wonder to the cast and world around him. I felt his enthusiasm in creating his experiment - Pandora (a silent, ragged yet tough creation) at the beginning of the work - as well his determination in giving her a life of her own as a fellow denizen of the world. Along with Pandora, the side cast is also engaging in their own rights - Nemo's straight man duties anchor the wacky nature of the work; Hitomi's crush on Kazu is cute and endearing, making for my favorite moments in the work. In addition, the action is not only easy to follow, but it is also flamboyant with style and swagger. 

For those who love Soul Eater and Demon School Iruma-kun do not miss this! And considering this is one of VIZ's first line of originals, it is certainly a strong step to great titles to come.
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REM and Bikkuri’s delightful webcomic Devil’s Candy has translated well into a manga, hopefully with many more installments to follow.

Set at a high school that you might say is….monstrous, the story blends action and humor in the fast-paced way that the best manga always does. 

The art is at times busier than what I prefer, though I loved the way the characters are rendered and loved the way the setting (especially the school) was rendered even more. 

One problem (Regarding the ARC) is that it’s difficult to grade the art with certainty because the watermark added by Viz Media is so obtrusive. I completely understand the need to protect this when issuing a digital copy, but loads of graphic art publishers have found a way to do this without obscuring so much of the art. Perhaps don’t use a dark grey tone on a black and white manga?
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An action adventure that follows Kazu Decker and his science experiment.  It was previously a popular web comic.  I really wanted to like this book, but I ended up abandoning it.  First the review copy that I had was so filled with watermark images that I had a hard time seeing what was going on.  I know this impacted my review because images and dialogue have to work together in comics.  So to me, the story randomly jumped around and I couldn't figure out what was going on.  One minute they are eating breakfast and in the next panel they are talking about gender identity.  I was just very confused.

2 stars
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Well drawn, interesting characters, very colorful and fun to the eyes.  There's also ALOT going on at the same time that I had a hard time digesting what was happening.  I think teens would enjoy this though.  Will definitely recommend purchasing for our teen collection.
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In the canon of OEL manga, <i>Devil's Candy</i> falls somewhere between a goofier <i>Night School</i> and <i>Hollow Fields</i>. It's a better combination than you might expect; REM and Bikkuri manage to hit an artistic sweet spot where it feels like manga rather than a try-too-hard imitation, and the story can be genuinely funny. Hapless protagonist Kazu (who would probably not appreciate that description) is one of the sillier mad scientists to take the stage, and after he builds his Frankenstein's Monster, Pandora, as a biology project, he has pretty much no idea what to do with her. His much cooler friend Nemo is a put-upon picker-up of pieces (and clearly well on his way to becoming the school heartthrob), and Hitomi's raging crush on Kazu amazingly doesn't turn her into an annoying character. It's just overall much better than I was expecting.
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