Kyo Kain MAOH! Volume 1
In a world where people are harmed, murdered, mugged and probably pillaged on a daily basis it’s one of the modern moral dilemmas what to do. Is it safe to stop and try and help the poor soul, just to end up going to prison or being sued because of the criminals “human rights” or does walking on by sound like the best option. Either way it’s highly unlikely that anything really, really bad would happen.
Unlike poor Shibuya, the protagonist in Kyo Kain MAOH! He was casually riding his bike one day when he saw someone being mugged, someone he knew, and felt morally obliged to go and help him. Unfortunately the other person did a runner and left Shibuya to face the wrath of the two muggers/bullies who were attacking him. After only offering them a pitiful 2,000 yen they decided that a good, old-fashioned “bog-washing” was in order.
Much to Shibuya’s surprise he found himself not just in the pan of a woman’s toilet, but being sucked into this chasm and after a flashback, suddenly in some new world. After a lot of confusion, and assumptions that the poor lad had fallen into a cosplaying European theme park he quickly learnt that he was not just average Shibuya. Shibuya was actually royalty from another dimension. If that’s not enough for him to comprehend, he was also a demon and was now faced with the difficult challenge of killing all humans and burning their land to a crisp in this new and strange world.
However it would appear that not all in Shibuya’s new kingdom agree with killing all of the humans, regardless of how scared some of the children may be of them. Shibuya himself has trouble coming to terms with this statement as well; after all, it is genocide. Yet the manga is not serious enough for the moral issue of genocide and just glosses over the issue for the most part.
It’s clear that this manga is meant to be humorous and it takes itself very lightly as the protagonist falling into their new kingdom via a toilet is certainly a way of keeping the atmosphere of the manga light. Although it does have an element of internal conflict, magic, training and various other themes that are expected in a fantasy manga.
Fortunately all of the characters in Kyo Kain MAOH! are very distinct, with a character design that is brilliant. Although following all industry conventions each of the characters are easily distinguished, especially as they are well drawn and attempt to go for the semi-realistic route that a lot of manga has been doing recently. Additionally the characters often find themselves in situations that they have never known before, especially the lead character. This could easily be mishandled making the characters spew over used clichés and other painful expressions; luckily, these do not occur at any point.
Kyo Kain MAOH! is an interesting opening to a series that is going to be dealing with various issues from the word go. Falling through into the world through at toilet sets the light tone throughout the entire manga, although it touches on issues that are much darker. With magic, strength, battles and humour, Kyo Kain MAOH! ticks many of the boxes that people want in a manga.