It has been ages since I reviewed any manga/comics/manhua/manhwa on the blog. I hope I am not rusty. This is both something I wanted to do for myself and a good friend of mine. Know that this is an unbiased opinion despite us being yuri buddies and this series already being mega popular in the yuri webcomic/webtoon community. Without further delay, this review is for peeps curious about my personal overall thoughts on this hit series so far. It is the first two seasons of Mage & Demon Queen, by Color-Les.
Themes: RPG, LGBT
Number of Seasons/Volumes: 2 (with a 3rd one coming soon)
Objectionable Content: Occasionally profane language, PG-13 sexiness from both sexes and occasionally bloody violence.
Plot Summary: Adventurers seek to take the demon queen’s head, but a love-struck young female mage wishes to take her hand. Join us won’t you, for this bawdy tale of love and persistence set inside a real-life RPG.
While both seasons have plenty of chapters, exploring several storylines big and small I can best summarize the main story with the “pendulum effect”. Not the literal meaning per se. Without going into major spoilers I bring up the pendulum effect because the first season explores the intrapersonal (and some interpersonal) struggles of one of our leading ladies whereas the second season delves into the other’s. Naturally the first heroine still has a dilemma but she is at the halfway point of her journey whereas the other heroine’s had truly begun in the next season. Besides their main quests to find the truth both so desperately seek they both follow additional routes to further develop their characters. Routes that go down the path or responsibility, finding other priorities without swaying away from their main quest (which work their hardest to stay on course), questioning their relationships with their allies and enemies, exploring their not-so nice pasts, understanding how the world works and of course SOMEHOW control their craving for sweet tacos or voluptuous Gordita Supremes respectively. As someone who read both seasons once they finished it was a long and smooth journey to the end of the second one. Would I have been in control had I read each chapter weekly instead of losing my mind over cliffhangers? Perhaps but I am alright for the reason I will get to in the next paragraph.
The setting follows familiar conventions found in many fantasy RPGs along with the story of a war between humans and demons but what I liked about the story was how well everything was paced and that almost every characters given screen time, no matter how big or small their role, had/has significance. If there is something about a character readers noticed but it was not followed up on in that particular season, rest assured the story will get back to them at some point if they have more to tell. Same goes for particular plot points. Like all slow romances, patience is key and paying attention because while there are plots and twists that are not entirely unexpected it is still very interesting to see where the writers take it and what purpose they serve in the grand narrative. It is this reason that I grew to like many of the cast alongside our wonderful leading ladies.
One such example is this lad right here who is pretty much the tritagonist of the story. Not that he gets in the way of main couple but his story is of great importance as it develops. His relationship with our adorable redhead lead is like that or buddies who tease each other and have their tussles here and there but no matter the hurdle they “usually” have each other’s back at the end of the day. Even his own little quest is kinda amusing. Being who I am I prefer a certain other to prevail in this side-story but I have a feeling it may end differently. not how I hope it does but with an interesting conclusion.
Later in S2 a certain girl is introduced. Thoughts on her so far? She fulfills her role well and admittedly has a certain effect on me…This is what happens when you consumed as many anime beauties as I have. At some point your sanity is questioned…but you are okay with it. I have embraced my madness long ago after all. Point being I am eager to see how her quest progresses too.
The art style is quite good I must say. Best shown in the pic of Queen Velverosa flexing her pecks as she shatters the puny frosty prison and our redhead almost loses consciousness. Readers who are caught up know which moment I am referring to. Not saying the rest of the drawings paled before that, ABSOLUTELY NOT. This series looked excellent from Day 1 but that Vel pic yo along with one particular disguise, Color-Les gets me. She does, yes.
Newcomers may ask after reading the summary whether this is “one of those series in the category that starts with the letter ‘I’ ” and the answer to that is…not really. It is not a video game world either. It just so happens to feature RPG mechanics such as inventories, stat boosts, status ailments etc as part of every day life. It just exists (for now anyway). The amusing part is possibility of squares announcing skills and achievements used for gags MIGHT be visible to the characters as well. There is a difference between opening up an inventory and a text announcing a character’s Ego boost. Point being it is a nice touch.
There are also anime references. Some yuri related and others cute or silly.
Finally we have our leading ladies, Malori Crowett (Mal) and Demon Queen Velverosa (Vel). Malori is at her core a kindhearted heroine willing to help people in need and do the right thing or what she perceives as “right” at that moment in time (before and after character development). Her greatest strength and weakness? Her undying love for the demon queen who stole her heart since Day 1. Be her judgment clouded or cleared after many ups and downs the one constant is her lifelong dream of marrying Velverosa and having her child. Even after she grows to become a better person over time, her hunger may change but she never wavers from her main objective. That and being the main protagonist she has some MC perks, mainly the ability to slowly grow stronger through trial and error compared to other characters who face similar victories and drawbacks. Velverosa meanwhile can be best described as a dragon woman molded by the gods (or rather devils) without a flaw, provided the viewers likes their women mighty, otherwise Malori is a lovely maiden also. Chiselled from the most beautiful stone on Earth (or heck) and possessing nearly unrivaled power and abilities she is truly worthy of her throne. However, she also has a very short temper and is a tsundere. What I especially like about this is Mal and Vel’s classic archetypes are not “because they are popular and cute archetypes” but they have valid reasons for being the way they are. Vel’s “tsundere-ness” makes sense and is more than her denying what she really feels for example. As mentioned above both women go through character development that changes their worldview, social interactions and even how they approach their “cravings”.
Overall Mage & Demon Queen is worthy of the hype it has garnered. The world, its rules and relevant characters are cool, the art style nicely done, the action scenes and RPG mechanics nicely implemented topped off with excellent main duo. I would highly recommend this to open-minded readers as we eagerly await its continuation.
Check out the main Webtoon Page HERE.
This link HERE takes the interested to the starting point of Season 1, Chapter 1.