One much anticipated anime this season is The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! and just as it begins airing, manga publisher Square Enix have brought the original manga to the English market. Does it prove an entertaining read? Let’s find out!
The story follows Jahy, who was the number-two ruler of the Dark Realm until a magical girl came and destroyed the mana crystal holding it all together. Now our protagonist has found herself in Japan in the form of a little girl, thanks to her lack of mana. If she wants to restore the Dark Realm to its former glory, she’s going to have to collect mana crystal shards, but first, she’ll need a base of operations and a source of income to prevent her starving to death…
After showing us how Jahy came to Japan, the plot fast forwards a little bit. Now she’s living in a rundown apartment and working in a bar for the sister of her landlord. Thanks to the small shard of mana crystal Jahy landed in Japan with, she can take the form of an adult for a limited period a day which allows her to do her job. On her days off, Jahy desperately hunts for more parts of the crystal, in the hopes of returning to her previous way of life.
As the synopsis may have suggested, this series is a comedy. Be it Jahy fighting with her landlord over paying the rent or her anger towards being treated like something cute by her boss, Jahy’s life always has a reason to make you chuckle. The nice thing is that she isn’t alone in Japan either, as she quickly finds out that one of her subordinates is also living nearby. Although Jahy is far too embarrassed by her living conditions to invite anyone back to her place.
The humour in many ways reminds me of Himouto! Umaru-chan, largely because of the fact Jahy’s personality is quite similar. Because of her role in the Dark Realm, Jahy is very full of herself and feels she’s above humanity. Although she can’t afford meat and begrudges paying her rent, she’s more often than not found fighting with her landlord and acting bratty (despite Jahy’s bad attitude, both her manager and landlord care for herwellbeing).
It’s difficult to see how the storyline is going to develop going forward, since Volume 1 only includes five quite short chapters, which are largely character introductions. There are also three ‘0’ chapters, which seem like an initial draft for the manga. They’re nice to have but because the numbered chapters largely use the same outlines, I admittedly found it a bit tiresome to read because of the repetition.
The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! is by mangaka Wakame Konbu, who is also behind Breasts Are My Favourite Things in the World! and The Maid I Hired Recently Is Mysterious. Although this series often has quite big panels, Konbu often leaves them relatively empty, choosing to focus on a character’s profile and expressions (although by Chapter 5 this is improving somewhat). The art does a good job of getting the comedic nature of the character interactions and thoughts across, which is the important thing here. It’s always easy to see what Jahy is thinking, even without reading her dialogue, for example.
As previously mentioned, The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! Volume 1 comes to the West thanks to Square Enix Manga and has been translated by Amanda Haley. The translation reads well and Haley has done a great job in making sure the dialogue conveys the personalities of these characters so well. The series is ongoing in Japan with seven volumes, while Square Enix has Volume 2 of the English releases scheduled for November.
Overall, The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! Volume 1 presents an entertaining comedy series with a likeable cast of characters. Those of you looking for something similar to Himouto! Umaru-chan or Gabriel Dropout will find a lot to enjoy here.
A free preview for the series can be found on the publisher’s website here.