Mao no Kyoushitsu (魔王の教室)
by Miki Yoshikawa
I remember when I first discovered Miki Yoshikawa. I randomly stumbled on Yankee-kun to Megane-chan and I started reading it on the name alone. I really grew to love her comedic sensibilities, sexy characters of both genders, and ability to keep her series feeling fresh and vibrant. I was a little disappointed to learn that despite being an assistant to Hiro Mashima she did not really have a fanbase in the English speaking world. Jump ahead to 2015 and her latest work, Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, had its own TV anime, a US manga license, and enough of a fanbase to get Cruchyroll to bring her over for Anime Expo. In honor of the new found love for this manga-ka I decide to shine the spotlight on one her overlooked short works that people might have missed.
Manami’s first day in the fifth grade starts with her meeting the King of Hell himself and he just so happens to be her home room teacher. The problem is that no one else in the class is convinced that Mr. Diablo De Mon is anything other than an extremely deluded teacher with a persistent case of chuunibyou. Is their teacher playing some long con on the class, is he just delusional, or is the Prince of Darkness really taken residence on Earth just to teach them mathematics while in exile?
For a while this looked like it was going to be the successor to Yankee-kun to Megane-chan but then Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches took its place. It seems they were a little worried that the elementary school protagonist would limit the story potential in ways that a high school student would not. That is a real shame because while I love the sexy nature of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches I think a story about friendship and finding your place in the world (with a little supernatural twist) would be equally fun.
Mao no Kyoushitsu has all of Miki Yoshikawa’s trademark fun while still feeling like its own series. Mr. Diablo De Mon is clearly a trademark Miki Yoshikawa male lead with a demonic addition. He is a goofy character but he has his moments to show his greatly nobility when given the chance. Manami on the other hand stands out from being anything like Hana Adachi and Urara Shiraishi. Her want to believe her teacher’s story is quite infectious. At times it is clear she is an unreliable narrator but that just makes her stand out. I am curious why she is so determined to believe her teacher’s story but that was clearly something that would have been revealed if this was spun off into its own story.
As always her series are all in the same world if your paying attention. An eagle eyed reader with catch a 5th grade Hana Adachi if they look carefully on page five.
Since Mao no Kyoushitsu is a single chapter it is an easy recommend. While clearly it was meant to be the prototype for a longer series you can read it in one sitting and get a complete story. Plus who knows. Maybe Mao no Kyoushitsu will get another shot after Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches wraps up.