I was excited to see that some shoujo titles are starting to pop up on emanga.com, because it seems as though most of the titles released through the DMG program are yaoi, and a little yaoi generally goes a long way with me. I often enjoy two volume series like Late Advent. Sometimes manga that’s complete in one volume doesn’t really follow through on character and plot development, but two volumes is often enough space to experience a short series without feeling rushed. I think this manga originally came out in Japan in 2000, but I thought it had a bit of an older 90s shoujo fantasy vibe.
Reira Bandou is going through her normal everyday life, going to her college classes and learning about eight classic statues that depict Buddhist deities. Reira is exausted because she’s been having strange dreams, and as she’s sitting in class a strange blobby demon starts crawling up her desk. Reira starts having encounters with odd people who claim that they knew her in a past life, and that she’s descended from Ashura, the Buddhist god of War. She meets Kubanda, a feral-looking hipster who introduces himself as her lover in a past life. She also meets the gentle Kinnara, a boy with a visible third eye, a talking myna bird who is Karua, and Shagara, whose human form is that of a cynical professor. As Reira starts to adjust to her changed circumstances and struggles to control her new supernatural powers, she’s aided by the deity Gobujo, who only seems to appear as a voice or spirt but hasn’t yet manifested in human form. With the eight deities gathered together, they have to face down the new invasion of demons that might have been triggered by their presence.
Matsukawa’s art is smooth and assured, with her deities shown as garbed in fantasy armor with fangs when they channel their godly powers. The adaptation here seemed smooth. I spotted one obvious error, but overall Late Advent was very readable. I found myself having a bit of difficulty following the sequence and reasoning behind all the demonic battles, and Reira seemed to gain new confidence with her powers between volumes. I was also a bit sleepy when I was reading Late Advent, so
some of my difficulties in following the plot were probably due to fatigue. One of the aspects of the series I enjoyed was the contrast between Reira’s occasional flashbacks or dreams and the current incarnations of the various deities. Elements of the past inform the present, and in some cases the current lives the characters are living provide a way for them to work through the trauma of their past lives. I did enjoy Late Advent overall. The Buddhist deities with super-powers but was a nice change of pace from some of the other fantasy series that I’ve read, and I enjoyed the old-school feeling of the art. This is a good series for shoujo fantasy fans to check out. As a shoujo fan, I want to see a good variety of publishers coming out with new titles, so I’m happy to see new shoujo on the emanga platform and hope that this series is a sign of more shoujo to come from emanga.
Electronic access provided by the publisher.