An angel born of hell.
Story/Art: Kaori Yuki
Translation/Adaptation: Camellia Nieh
What They Say
I never want to feel that sadness again–!
With Nonoha spirited away by demons, Sorath infiltrates their territory only to find himself bearing witness to a horrific public execution dubbed the “Divine Judgment.” Surrounded by countless sacrifices, reeling from Leice’s betrayal, and faced with his beloved Nonoha having been taken hostage, Sorath’s memory is rekindled, and the night when he lost his dearest friend comes rushing back to him. Will Sorath clash once more with the fearsome being who preys on human lives, the Lord of Terror?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
In our times the idea of evil manifesting in vengeful behavior born of online celebrity seems like a logical modern update to the battle between good versus evil. The horrors of ancient demons collide with the modern in a way that is appropriately disturbing. Sorath heads into a theater filled with internet celebrities, one of whom is determined to make the world right by purging it of all those he deems corrupt.
The angel sitting on Hizumi’s shoulder is revealed to be the demon Shax. I’m not sure where the crane motif came from, but Shax has one goal, to bring the Lord of Terror back into the world. To do that he’s manipulated Hizumi into sacrificing the five thousand people in the theater. The trick was getting them all to sign a demonic contract without their knowledge, which was accomplished in the form of a survey. Acting under the sway of the demon they move to attack any whom Hizumi calls out.
That’s not the only trouble Sorath is facing. Hizumi kidnapped Nonoha and is holding her hostage on the stage. Shax was intent on using Nonoha to boost the spell. Leice takes the opportunity to attempt to win her freedom from Sorath once again. Leice hesitates when Nonoha is threatened, which was expected. It’s a bit too early to have Liece turn completely against Sorath and win. The fact that Nonoha is Leice’s daughter throws a kink into Leice’s demon nature.
Nonoha is very much a normal child in many ways and struggles with what she is and her powers. It’s discovered that she can act as a medium for the dead, but that she also amplifies the magical power around her. Her memory from before they time jumped is spotty at best, nonexistent at worst. Spooky little kids are hard to do well, but Nonoha is surprisingly well written. She feels like a character and not a plot device.
When the situation with Hizumi is resolved we get a flashback to when Sorath had just arrived in the present day. That answers a few lingering questions about how they got their hands on money to live and what happened to Samech. Those answers were badly needed after the whiplash suffered in the previous volume.
The artwork here continues to be lovely. The pacing in the volume is much improved over the last two, where events happened so quickly and so much was glossed over it was confusing. There aren’t much in the way of extras here. A color opening page, authors afterword and a very short glossary make up the only bonuses. There’s a short preview of the next volume to tide readers over, promising more to the flashback which closes out this volume.
Demon From Afar has become strangely compelling. The slapdash mix of elements from previous volumes solidifies by this volume, focusing on the challenges Sorath faces in his unusual battle with dark forces. The demons are appropriately hellish in nature, and Sorath holds strong as the luckless lead. Here Kaori Yuki manages to accomplish the difficult task of depicting an interesting magical battle. By the final pages, the story revisits some of the missing pieces in the timeline to flesh out the moments between the first two volumes. The improvement here is enough to draw me back into this twisted dark fantasy.
Content Grade: B +
Art Grade: B +
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: June 23rd, 2015