I’ve realized that I can be pretty bad with manga reviews during anime seasons when episodes are coming every week and demand to be imminently reviewed. In this short in between season break where there are only one or two ongoing series, I’m happy to have some time brainstorming other different posts rather than just anime reviews. Today we’re looking at my first impressions of Dictatorial Grimoire. It just so happened that when I came across the series, it was about to be officially translated by Seven Seas Press and brought over the North America. As a result, my first impressions of the manga series will encompass volume 1 and 2 encompassing the introductory stories of Cinderella and Snow White.
The art is really bishounen-styled, it’s well polished and makes for an easy read. My compliments go out to the editor for making the panels flow so well together. Ayumi Kanou’s manga style is really what attracted me to pick up the series in the first place. Volume 1 features Cinderella and Otogi Grimm, two of the main characters in a gorgeous glossy detailed colour finish. The story’s hero is a boy named Otogi Grimm who is “apparently” the descendant of the Grimm Brothers who wrote the famous fairy tales. Having grown up with these stories believing them to be fictional, he’s in for quite a shock when he finds out that the Grimm Brothers made a dark deal for their stories. In exchange for the lives of their ancestors, the Grimm Brothers were told the stories by Marchen demons. Now the Marchen demons are after Grimm and the only way he can survive is if he can reseal the demons and their stories back into the grimoire. Enter Cinderella. And never has Cinderella been this charming and gorgeous nor would I have ever considered the original Cinderella (at least in this series) to be a boy. Cinderella swears to devote his life to guiding and protecting Grimm through his predicament and there’s just the slightest tease of BL between them because Cinderella is just so mysterious at the beginning.
As far as the story goes, it starts out strong and consistent but right before you can settle into the business with the grimoire and the Marchen demons, they throw a twist at you which has Cinderella leaving Grimm for a short period of time. Cinderella’s displaces Grimm in the plot and makes it really awkward for the reader to follow pace until that slight issue is resolved. Usually it’s after three to four chapters of regular plot, in this case, Marchen-demon-hunting, before the story shakes it up but this comes a bit sooner than later as it ties into Snow White’s side of the story. Overall I enjoyed the first set of chapters in volume 1 and 2 and Grimm does slowly change from a passive non-committed individual to a rather endearing character.
If you’re looking for something really nice on the eyes, I would highly recommend this to the shojo demographic. Shonen readers might find the story a bit too girly for their taste despite some of the dark demonic elements of the plot. Red Riding Hood also shows up later on (and he’s pretty attractive). He’s also featured on the cover of volume 3!! Since each volume seems to focus on one particular fairytale, I can’t wait to collect the entire series. This is one of those series that to buy or not to buy is really a personal preference. The plot is not particularly captivating but I think the graphics itself are worth the purchase if you’re an art-enthusiast like me. The physical size of the volume is a little bigger than regular manga but I don’t really have a problem with it. Many of Seven Seas Press manga collections tend to be this way so it’s really a publisher matter.
Naturally if you love fairytale related stories or adaptations you will really enjoy the series. I hope you all enjoyed this first impressions review, thank you all for reading and I will talk to you soon!
What are you pondering today?