The story of Nicola Traveling Around the Demons’ World explores the life of Nicola, a young girl and her demon friend, Simon, as they traverse the bizarre and unique world of the demons. It is a simple yet accessible premise which allows readers of any age to get stuck in and enjoy what’s on offer.
As the first chapter begins, the reader is immediately plunged into this world as Nicola and Simon find themselves on the run in a strange city where humans are most definitely not allowed to roam. Within a short span of time, we get to know the two characters: Nicola is inquisitive and, despite being a witch, apparently only knows limited magic, whilst Simon is a trader, unafraid to deal in the dirtiest of bazaars.
The story also provides an intriguing perspective on the nuances of the demon world and the city being explored as, despite the threat above ground from soldiers looking to persecute any humans around, the seemingly seedy underbelly, filled with trinkets and eccentric peddlers, is more welcoming towards strangers. As an eye-patched shopkeeper puts it, “The demon world is supposed to be chaotic.”
Of course this dynamic is tested as soldiers invade the underground in search of Nicola who has to be restrained as the friendly shopkeeper from earlier is pushed around for not talking. The reader gets an opportunity here to see Nicola’s willingness to help others as an on-the-fly plan (involving a supposedly cursed necklace) works and from here each subsequent chapter revolves around a different scenario as Nicola and Simon continue their adventures.
The series contains some nice world-building as various species of demon are showcased functioning within the fantastical environments. There is also an insight given to the social hierarchy as they visit a mansion and Nicola befriends a Count’s daughter, learning more about magic in the process.
Indeed, early on in the story Nicola finds herself struggling to produce any magic, having been raised as a witch by her grandmother but not taught any spells, likely for fear of being singled out in the human world. Her only spell is one involving a flower, which she uses in various ways throughout the volume to varying levels of success.
Later chapters see spectral shenanigans and Nicola (literally) butting heads with a stuck-up child prodigy, which ends the volume on a more action-packed note.
Accompanying the story is mangaka Asaya Miyanaga’s unique art style, which feels reminiscent of sketchbook drawings that allows for plenty of expressiveness and attention to detail, something that would likely help younger readers to follow the narrative and remain engaged.
Nicola Traveling Around the Demons’ World is brought to us by Seven Seas Entertainment and was translated by Christine Dashiell and adapted by Rebecca Schneidereit, with lettering provided by Lys Blakeslee. They all do a good job as the stories are easy to read and the descriptions given for sound effects and the like add to the immersion. The manga is available both physically and digitally
The first volume of Nicola Traveling Around the Demons’ World provides an episodic journey through a world I hope to see more of, and offers a fun and engaging read for readers of any age, especially fans of fantasy and magic.
Nicola Traveling Around the Demons’ World© 2018 Asaya Miyanaga