Title: Devil's Candy Vol. 2
Author: Rem, Bikkuri
Release Date: July 12, 2022
Publisher: VIZ Media
Devil’s Candy Vol. 2 continues the endearingly chaotic story of devils going to a school that mixes all sorts of creatures. We’re still on the initial bits of the narrative, which seems to be introducing characters and unique situations that will eventually lead to conflict.
The volume starts with an Eggscram competition. Eggscram is a unique devilish sport in which the teams use an egg meant to hatch during the match instead of a ball. It’s a bloody gridiron football, and players can crush and kill their opponents to claim victory.
Volume 1 established Hemlock Heart Academy is a mess, and this situation hasn’t changed. The principal is a big crybaby and depends a lot on his students, like Nemo, to pick up his slack. After the Academy receives a match request, the principal is unable to refuse but also can’t find a solution to the predicament at hand.
The team only has one player, and it’s clear this isn’t enough to face anyone, let alone a prestigious team. In the end, this chapter is chaotic and fun, as the team tries to have some semblance of unity and the game itself is full of weird rules. It’s Devil’s Candy at what it does best.
However, after the first chapter, there’s a little of an odd feeling to the volume. The story decides to focus on some side characters and bring them to the spotlight. Though I found them entertaining personally, the plot could have used more development to flesh out who they are and all the shady hints that something sinister is going on.
Not only is it too fast to flesh out the characters and plots, but it also impacts the feeling of the scenes. It’s hard to grasp if things will continue to escalate afterward, the importance of the events in the volume, and it still feels like not much has happened for not conveying narrative weight. Even for someone looking for a chaotic, dynamic experience, it feels like a little of a step back from the previous volume overall.
Besides the three main chapters, the volume includes some extra content that enriches the package. The first one is a short story about Kazu’s parents and their friends at a restaurant. These eccentric TV show heroes are a fascinating group, and the humor here is top-notch as usual. Another similar omake chapter has Kazu, Pandora, and Hitomi going shopping.
After that, there’s also an assortment of notes detailing information on the lore. Again, it’s a great read to dive even deeper into the concept of the world in a way that doesn’t actively hamper the action and comedy with exposition. There are also character profiles for some characters highlighted in this volume, a Devilizer short story in text-only format.
While I may have some criticisms of the story pacing, Rem’s art continues to deliver the charming cartoonish vibe that makes Devil’s Candy’s world so inviting. It’s a mesmerizing setting, and the whole concept is still as entertaining and crazy as volume 1 set it up to be.
Devil’s Candy Vol. 2 feels a little too hectic even for a series that thrives on chaos while missing the proper weight to the events. However, even with a confusing sequence of events, this is a world I still vouch for and want to see more. Hopefully, the next volume can put things on an entertaining track or make the weirdness pay off a little better again.
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