Manga Review- Diabolo

April 19, 2010

Years back, before I could even tell you what a manga was, my friends bought me Diabolo. I was really into horror movies then, and my friends insisted that I would love this series. Without know anything about the manga, I opened the pages and began to read, jumping into the world of Ren and Rai, and how their fate was sealed from the beginning of chapter one. I was really attached to the characters back then, which really made me love the story. Diabolo still has a special place in my heart, but, to be honest, it’s not one of the best manga out there. Although I enjoy reading Diabolo again and again, there are flaws with the series, which kind of makes it fall apart. To start, the story is kind of iffy. Although I like the idea of eighteen year old teenagers turning into monsters if they associate with Nema in their life, I felt that the story was really cliche and bloody for no reason, in some places. Sometimes, the characters were put into a situation that was completely irrelevant, just to show how they fight, or act. The very beginning of the manga was poorly done. The introduction of Ren and Rai could’ve been handled much better, and the pointless story with the girl that first appears could’ve been skipped entirely. The first couple chapters of the manga were really pointless, and showed, really, nothing important to the series later. As the story progressed and ended, I felt there were a lot of unanswered questions about, not only characters, but future plot and setting. I was really disappointed with the ending, overall.

Another thing I was pretty disappointed with was the characters. Although I enjoyed watching Ren and Rai develop through the series, I thought they could’ve been so much better as the story progressed. True, Diabolo isn’t a very long series, but there was still plenty of time to develop really interesting characters with plenty of background. The main part of Ren and Rai’s past, which they experienced together, is a huge part of the story, but Ren’s mother, after the first volume, completely disappears, when that was a huge reason Ren and Rai got back together again. By themselves, Ren and Rai are kind of interesting characters. Ren is the attacker of the group, and often gets aggressive in fights. He’s personality is all over the place, however, and this makes him very unpredictable, in a bad way. Rai, the calmer of the two, is the shield, and often puts himself in front of an attack to protect others. I feel that he’s pretty dependent on Ren, even though he lived on his own for so long. Rai is more developed through the series than Ren is, and I often felt more emotion towards Rai, and less towards Ren. The antagonists in the story are pretty well developed, but some questions arise at the end that are left unanswered about them. Those questions makes the antagonists seem weaker, character wise, and leaves a lot of holes in the story.

One of the things that I did like in the series was the art. Although some parts of the manga had some strange panels, the art was really easy for me to get attached to. With such serious art in certain parts, it was really easy to get sucked into the series. In parts, it was almost like watching the manga instead of reading it. At times, I felt the dialogue disappear and turn into words that just played while fights were going on. There were also a few humorous parts, which were helped along by the art as well. Although a few panels were a little too bloody, the art really did help the manga a lot, which increased the enjoyment factor for me.

Overall, Diabolo is probably a manga that should only be read a few times. Although the art is really good, the characters and story don’t really back up the art, and I feel that leaves the manga lagging in several places. Anyone looking for a dark manga about demons that’s short should look into Diabolo.



  1. sounds interesting O.o

  2. Cool!

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