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Stray Little Devil: Volume 1    by Kotaro Mori order for
Stray Little Devil
by Kotaro Mori
Order:  USA  Can
Dr. Master, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

When thirteen-year old Pam Akumachi makes a wish for a kind devil, she awakens in a foreign land, greeted by several odd creatures that resemble rejected Pokemon ideas. Before she starts to understand her new predicament, a winged human swoops down and attacks her, calling her a devil and attempting to kill her. Despite her protests, Pam can't deny that the newly acquired horns sticking out of her head are a strong indication of her new identity. Thus, Pam is introduced into a world of angels and devils that hold to a very thin truce, which Pam has compromised by appearing on the land of angels.

She is rescued, but not without additional problems. She comes to learn that if she ever wants a chance to return home to Earth, she will have to become a full-fledged devil. However, she has no knowledge of this world, which everyone seems to emphasize to her at every opportunity. Pam finds herself back in school and trying to make new friends despite being ostracized. Under the tutelage of Lizyerra, she comes to better understand this new world, but if she is to do anything, she must find a familiar, a creature that she will bond with and that can help her with life in this world. But the angels are concerned with Pam's existence and are tracking her growth with concern.

Mori paints an eclectic and enthralling world in this initial book, one that readers will yearn to see more of in the future. Though the concept is nothing new, Mori adds intriguing elements including the 'law of conservation of luck' which creates consequences for angels or devils who help each other. She also keeps the action and intensity coming, so that Pam is never too far away from trouble and adventure. As a character, Pam is the typical young teenage girl with a tendency for trouble and a bit of naivete that shines bright in this new world.

Light, but intriguing with plenty of story to go, Stray Little Devil easily pulls in readers for an adventure that moves fast and keeps the story flowing. Mori captures elements of storytelling that will interest adults and children of both sexes, which is a great accomplishment for any tale, but particularly manga where series and writers can be put into particular niche markets.

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