06 Apr, 2010

Oninagi, Vol. 2

By: Grant Goodman

By Akira Ishida
Yen Press, 176 pp.
Rating: Older Teen

Every now and again, you will come across a manga that serves to remind you that for every enjoyable, well-planned title, there is an equally dull, poorly written one available on the shelves. Oninagi falls into the latter category, as it quickly crosses over from bad to worse with each passing page.

Here’s the basic rundown of the story: Nanami is part of a line of people descended from a demonic princess. Princess Kinkan left her three servants (referred to as puppets) to protect her. Nanami lives with her grandpa, attends school, and every now and again her demonic powers manifest. One of her classmates, Tomotaka, is a demon slayer, who has decided to use Nanami as a lure for other demons. The majority of volume two is taken up by one of the puppets’ decision to rebel against Nanami, a conflict that draws in Tomotaka, as well.

Out of the entire cast, there is not a single standout character to be found. This is probably because none of the characters actually have any genuine interaction with one another. Nanami has no real desire to talk with Tomotaka (or anyone, for that matter). Tomotaka herself is cold and boring in every panel. Kazuto (another demon slayer acquaintance of Tomotaka) spends most of this volume missing in action. Even the puppets have one-note personalities: the spunky kid, the obedient servant, and the rebel.

In many scenes, the art almost hurts to look at. The characters live in a world that has very few backgrounds or scenery. Every now and again there’s a cliff side or a tree or some floor boards, but that’s about it. Battle sequences are always a cheap mess. When Kazuto fights an enemy named Strength, Kazuto uses an attack where he clenches his fist to do… something. It’s never made clear. Whatever technique this may be, the next time Strength appears, his entire shirt has been shredded to bits. It’s bizarre and pointless, just like Ishida’s decision to have Nanami and Tomotaka swept up by (of all things) a tentacle monster so that the two girls can struggle helplessly for a few pages, only to effortlessly blow the thing up in one shot.

One of the more puzzling aspects of the story is how Nanami’s puppets are pretty much meaningless to her. Despite being there to protect and sever her, she never sees any of them; it’s a weird relationship. They seem to live on their own and Nanami does not seem to care about any of them in this volume until Mori reveals his “evil” plot. The puppets do, however, provide what is my favorite moment of the entire volume. It occurs when Mori, the puppet-gone-bad, asks Tsurugi, the super-obedient puppet, if he wants to know the reasons why he wants to kill Nanami. Tsurugi says “No,” and Mori still goes on to deliver his big villain monologue anyway. It is unintentionally hilarious.

Oninagi is a fine example of manga gone wrong. Forgettable heroes, uninspired villains, and second-rate storytelling make this title one you should avoid.

Volume two of Oninagi is available now.

Review copy provided by the publisher

2 Responses to "Oninagi, Vol. 2"

1 | Isaiah

October 28th, 2010 at 4:32 pm


Would you shut your stupid filthy mouth! You bash on other people’s comics well I don’t see your lazy idiotic behind making your own comic. So why don’t you actually go do something worthwhile before you try to tear down someone else’s accomplishments

2 | October

March 18th, 2011 at 2:27 am


I actually like the art style. It’s different and difficult to reproduce, which is a nice change from the easily copyable styles of Bleach, Naruto and other common mainstream manga. Its direction is interesting, and I’ve never seen a plot line like this used before. The story could use a bit of work, but nobody expects a comic to be perfect when it’s just starting up. I’ll bet it gets pretty interesting by the third or fourth volume.