Monday, December 7, 2015

MISC. MANGA, *Shadow Lady

Shadow Lady is a short-lived manga series by Video Girl Ai creator Masakazu Katsura. It started out as one of those "mysterious thief" stories similar to Saint Tail, it was cut short during its planned run and a new story arc was added halfway through the second volume out of the 3-volume series. This also included a one-shot special retelling of the plot that was released after the series wrapped up.

Set in the gothic metropolis of Gray City, Aimi Komori is a buxom teenage girl living on her own working as a waitress, but she happens upon a miniature demon named De-Mo who bestows upon her a magical make-up kit. Once she applies it to her face, Aimi can transform into the more energetic and slightly super-empowered character called Shadow Lady. She goes through grand exploits to steal small things from grand museums, not like priceless pieces of art but cheap items from the gift shop, but the police are still hot on her tail for all the trouble she causes. Enter Bright Honda, a young inventor turned police detective who sets out to arrest Shadow Lady and bring her over to the good side, but Aimi ends up falling for him even though she knows he loves Shadow Lady and not her. Bright's former partner Lime eventually shows up to win Bright back by adopting the secret identity of the vigilante Spark Girl, and actually gives Shadow Lady a run for her money. The story takes a sudden shift where agents from the Demon World arrive to take back De-Mo and killing him for interfering with humans, but make a deal with him and Aimi if they collect five Demon Stones which would each come to life and take over the world. So, Shadow Lady now has to collect the gems, at least three of which we don't get to see her get, and then ultimately the last Demon Stone becomes the Final Boss of the story bent of destroying mankind.

Following this was the Shadow Lady Special one-shot which takes place in an alternate universe. Here Aimi is a little younger and gets the magic make-up from her grandmother, but can only use a few times. This was more like a Sailor Moon wanna-be story, but still enjoyable.

This was a memorable manga, despite its building up of a decent story and subsequent derailing into a subplot because of its early cancellation. The entire manga was first released as 24 issues in English through Dark Horse Comics, plus the Special, and then collected into three trade paperbacks. It's worth a look if at least for Katsura's amazing character designs and details.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reminding me of this one. Shadow Lady was a fun series and it's a shame that it got short.


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