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Tokyo Demons by Lianne Sentar & rem

Illustrated light novel 

Written by Lianne Sentar (Tokyopop, Seven Seas) and illustrated by rem (Tokyopop, Yen Press) in the style of the Japanese light novel/manga, this story follows Ayase, a young woman who can turn her body into a swarm of insects, and Jo, a young man with a talent for charm and pickpocketing, as they enter high school and are subsequently dragged into Tokyo’s supernatural underground gang war. Also serialized as a fully voiced/dramatized audio book by Rebecca Scoble.

Note: Tokyo Demons contains pervasive harsh language; also, some graphic sexual content and graphic violence.


A serialized novel, updating fortnightly

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Listed: Jun 24, 2012

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Tokyo Demons – Ambitious and fun to follow

By SgL, author of Tales of the Big Bad Wolf - Queen of Swans

Jul 10, 2012: Tokyo Demons is true to its inspiration. It describes itself as a work that was modeled after the Japanese light novel, replete with illustrations.

It was the illustrations themselves that brought this serial to my attention last year. Having been a fan of REM, artist on YenPress’ manga adaptation of Gail Carriger’s Soulless, I was very interested in keeping this story on my watch list.

What I think needs to be said about this work is that the team really has a great vision for it. Not only is this work illustrated, but it has an audio version that has been running alongside it. How they accomplish this, I have no idea. It must involve lots of caffeine and pizza.

I really do think the multimedia approach has worked well for this project. The illustrations are top notch (actually really beautiful and sexy) and clearly have brought in fans of REM to investigate this serial. But the audio performances have clearly also resonated with the fans, helping propel the creative team to a wildly successful Kickstarter to fund their first volume.

As a web serial publisher myself, it’s been fun watching these guys build this readership so quickly and successfully. (Definitely learned a lot watching them.)

As a reader/reviewer, I do realize that this setting won’t be for everyone on WFG. The more popular stories here seem to revolve around romance or superheroes. Well, we do have a variation on the superhero concept in Tokyo Demons, although I’d argue it’s more like superheroes manga style versus comics style. This isn’t X-Men. It’s more like Drrr! (aka Durarara!). The powers are secondary to the plot and character interactions.

That said, there is plenty of romantic tension . . . and plenty of characters to endlessly "ship," as we say in fandom.

But seriously, one of the strengths behind Tokyo Demons is that there is a "type" of character for every sort of reader out there.

In any case, I’m looking forward to what the creative team does next—both in the story and in the growth of their serial.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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