Devils and demons are generally associated with evil and malice. Religions across the world, especially the Abrahamic variety, often have an antagonistic force that threatens to lead the world astray and overthrow forces of good. The most notable is of course the Satan of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths. With a demon lord sitting at the pinnacle of all that is evil, his underlings are often painted with the same brush he is. However, demons (and sometimes Satan himself) in anime and manga are not always associated with moral depravity and unspeakable evil. In this medium that we absolutely adore, we see a different perspective – stories told from the demons’ point of view, stories where demons are loving and capable of acts of selflessness and goodwill; acts against the common conception of demons. Knowing this, we at Honey’s Anime decided to band together a list of some of our favourite demons in manga only. This is a diverse selection of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly; let’s get to it!
10. Elyse – Oretama
- Mangaka: Harada Shigemitsu (Story), Seguchi Takahiro (Art)
- Genres: Comedy, Demons, Ecchi, Romance, Seinen
- Volumes: 6
- Published: November 2006 – April 2010
Satou Kouta is an incredibly unlucky man. Due to a freak accident, Kouta now has the fate of the world resting on his shoulders… Or should we say his balls? Unfortunately for him, the most terrible demon, the Queen of Terror, was sealed away in Kouta’s right testicle. Eager to be freed and unleash unspeakable horrors on the world, the Queen of Terror sends for a lesser demon known as Elyse. Elyse’s mission? To make Kouta ejaculate, releasing the Queen of Terror once again. However, Elyse only has 30 days to complete her mission. The battle for mankind has begun – in Kouta’s pants!
Elyse is a lesser demon with goals of helping the Queen of Terror lay waste to the world in order to get promoted to the rank of “Devil”. In order to release the Queen of Terror, Elyse must make Kouta ejaculate – but it isn’t all that easy since she is… scared of his… penis. However, she is crafty and finds ways to encourage Kouta to free the Queen himself. Ironically, Elyse is a bigger prude than she lets on and even as a manga demon, she finds Kouta’s perversion difficult to stomach.
9. Lilim – Lilim Kiss
- Mangaka: Kawashita Mizuki
- Genres: Comedy, Ecchi, Romance, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 2
- Published: October 2000 – April 2001
Saiki Takaya’s life of vanity changes forever when he accidentally breaks the seal containing a certain succubus. Being a succubus, the demon is attractive, but she gains energy by draining people’s life force. Takaya is taken by surprise when she kisses him, draining his life force and thereby rendering him unconscious. She then heads out to drain the life force of more people, but because she believes Takaya’s life force to be the tastiest, the succubus returns to his side. She introduces herself as Lilium and Takaya later convinces his parents to let her move in with him as his “girlfriend”. Despite the fact that she is a succubus, Takaya can’t help but feel certain emotions develop towards the beautiful manga demon.
Lilim is a succubus. As a succubus, she is a master in the art of seduction and this is reflected in her personality. She is upfront and honest about her intentions and while her activities are considered evil from a human perspective, she only sees it as finding sustenance. Lilim is also quite resourceful as she very quickly tracked down Takaya’s male classmates in order to feed on them too, and in sticking to solely Takaya’s life force, Lilim found herself a sustainable food source.
8. Mephisto Bart Kucabara - Defense Devil
- Mangaka: Yoon In Wan (Story), Yang Kyung Il (Art)
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Demons, Mystery, Drama, Ecchi, Romance, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 10
- Published: April 2009 – June 2011
After being exiled from the Demon Realm, Mephisto Bart Kucabara needs to collect enough Dark Matter in order to return. As a devil lawyer, Mephisto plans to claim Dark Matter from the souls of sinners – by proving a soul’s innocence, he can claim their Dark Matter. However, due to his extremely kind personality, Mephisto always ends up using the Dark Matter to defend lost souls from the Shinigami that come to take them to Hell. Will Mephisto ever return to the Demon Realm?
Straight-laced, selfless and kind, Mephisto Bart Kucabara breaks away from the general idea of what a manga demon is thought to be like. Kucabara works in order to save souls from eternal damnation and has the ability to overrule their sentencing to Hell, as well as their very deaths. Despite these seemingly amazing abilities, Kucabara is quite the weakling in the physical sense, but he makes up for his lack of physical strength with his intelligence.
7. Beaut – Akuma to Dolce
- Mangaka: Suzuki Julietta
- Genres: Comedy, Demons, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo
- Volumes: 2
- Published: April 2005 – August 2008
Ogura Mayuri, a loner in high school, possesses a pendant and magic taught by her mother. Using her magic, Mayuri has already summoned a manga demon familiar to help her with small chores. However, her magical ability becomes a liability when she accidentally summons a high-level manga demon named Beaut, who will grant her one wish. Because Mayuri summoned Beaut upon spilling tea on her skirt, she wishes for the stain to disappear and this greatly outrages Beaut. Fortunately for Mayuri, Beaut is distracted by the sweet smell of Mayuri’s baking. Now in the know what makes the manga demon tick, Mayuri uses this weakness to make him do her bidding.
As a high-level manga demon, Beaut has a regal air about him that is characteristic of aristocracy and as expected, he looks down on anyone who isn’t of a similar standing. This includes Mayuri on their first meeting, as Beaut was very close to taking her life in exchange for the wish he granted her. However, Beaut has a major soft spot for sweet things like pastries and cakes – Mayuri’s specialty. Beaut also seems to be of the opinion that human beings live with only greed in their hearts, so it always perplexes him whenever Mayuri wishes for something mundane.
6. Amon – Devilman
- Mangaka: Nagai Go
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Demons, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Super Power, Supernatural, Psychological
- Volumes: 5
- Published: June 1972 – June 1974
Demons exist. Stronger than anything any human can imagine, it goes without saying that humans stand no chance against these creatures in combat. Only demons can beat demons and with this logic in mind, Asuka Ryo decides to hatch a plot to have his friend, Fudo Akira, possessed by a manga demon. Given Akira’s good nature, Ryo believes that the purity of his heart gives him a shot at controlling the power of the demon possessing him. Ryo’s plan works and Akira is possessed by the manga demon, Amon. With Amon’s power, Akira becomes humanity’s sole weapon against the demon threat that has haunted humankind for millennia.
Terrifyingly powerful, Amon is an enormous red-skinned demon with an unpredictable temperament. He is uncontrollable, terrifying and loves to fight – he is bloodlust incarnate. He cares very little for anyone else, he’s arrogant and doesn’t hesitate to taunt and belittle his opponents. He is, blow-by-blow, the kind of entity one expects when thinking of demons. If Fudou Akira is light, Amon is the coldest of darkness.
5. Hanzou – Tokyo Innocent
- Mangaka: Narumi Naru
- Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Shounen, Harem, Supernatural
- Volumes: 9
- Published: May 2006 – April 2011
Tokyo: a haven for manga demons. Coming from a small island and attracted by the city, as well as his goal to find a bride, 16-year-old Hanzou sets sights on Tokyo. Another 16-year-old, Ichijouji Mei, has for some reason developed the kind of constitution that attracts demons and youkai alike. Looking for someone who is beautiful, strong, kind and hard-working, is Mei the bride Hanzou seeks?
Enigmatic, determined and serious, Hanzou is as straight-laced as they come. With nothing but his mission on his mind, Hanzou set out for Tokyo. He is often expressionless and seemingly emotionless; however, Hanzou is also incapable of lying and is generally a good person, although sometimes he tends to say something that offends people without really meaning to. He enjoys bland food, has a soft spot for old architecture and trees and he is polite towards the elderly. A real keeper!
4. Vivi – Hana to Akuma
- Mangaka: Oto Hisamu
- Genres: Comedy, Demons, Mystery, Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
- Volumes: 10
- Published: October 2007 – November 2010
Fourteen years ago, a manga demon named Vivi decided to leave the Demon Realm and take up residence in the human world. In the human world, he found an abandoned baby and decided to keep it, raising the child as if it were his own. Fourteen years later, Vivi lives together with Hana; however, with a fourteen-year-old girl living with you proves to be a lot more difficult than Vivi bargained for.
At 200 years old, Vivi got bored of the Demon Realm and decided to live out the rest of his days with humanity. Since he’s related to Lucifer, the Demon King, Vivi is an aristocrat and one of significant stature having been granted his first title at a mere ten years of age. During his second year in the human world, Vivi came across an abandoned baby and chose to raise it as his own; a fact which is telling of his compassionate nature. Seemingly indifferent, Vivi has a major soft-spot for his adopted daughter (read “romantic interest”) and is often jealous of her interactions with other male characters in the series.
3. Usui Kyou - Black Bird
- Mangaka: Sakurakouji Kanoko
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Mystery, Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
- Volumes: 18
- Published: July 2006 – December 2012
Ever since she was a child, Hirada Misao has been able to see demons. She also vaguely remembers being protected from these demons by a boy who vowed to come back for her someday. Now a high school student, Misao is much like the average girl her age and she even wishes to have a boyfriend. Coming home from school one day, she notices her attractive new neighbour, a young man named Kyou, who turns out to be her long-lost childhood friend. On her 16th birthday, Misao is wounded by a classmate who turns out to be a manga demon. Springing into action to save the day is Kyou, who exposes his identity as the leader of the Tengu clan. He offers Misao an ultimatum: become his bride or live a life riddled with attacks from other manga demons who are drawn to her blood.
20-year-old Usui Kyou is a childhood friend of the protagonist Misao. A perverted yet powerful Tengu, Kyou is next in line for leader of the Tengu Clan. His feelings towards Misao inspired him to move into the house next door to Misao’s and he even became a mathematics teacher at Misao’s school in order to be able to protect her. Intelligent, powerful and protective, Kyou believes that Misao is worthy of becoming his bride and will protect her at all costs.
2. Kawakami Tomie – Tomie
- Mangaka: Ito Junji
- Genres: Drama, Horror, Supernatural, Josei
- Volumes: 3
- Published: 1987 – 2000
The beautiful Kawakami Tomie is a femme fatal sporting long black hair and a sensuous beauty mark under her left eye. Capable of seducing any man and even drives them to acts of murder; however, the curious thing about the murders of Tomie’s lovers is that the victim is often Tomie herself. Despite this, Tomie always returns to seduce another, without fail. Thus, it begins to dawn on people that the world will just never be free of Tomie.
Tomie is one of the most frightening examples on this list. Sexy, sultry and snide, Tomie ALWAYS gets what she wants. As human as she may seem, Tomie’s scariest characteristic is the fact that she is the furthest thing from human, in addition to the fact that she just cannot die. Each time she is gruesomely murdered by a lover or any random person, she returns to seduce another. As far as succubi go, Tomie is their queen; a horror of immeasurable magnitude and honestly, a date you’d be better off standing up.
1. Mizusawa Haruka – Saiteihen Otoko (Scumbag Loser)
- Mangaka: Yamaguchi Mikoto
- Genres: Mystery, Horror, Shounen, Supernatural, Psychological
- Volumes: 3
- Published: November 2011 – December 2012
Murai Masahiko is a perverted 16-year-old boy who has a strange fetish for the smell that lingers around the “scumbags” in his class. One day, a beautiful girl named Mizusawa Haruka transfers into his class. Spurred by his fear of becoming the scumbag he so vehemently frowns upon, he begins courting her and they start dating. However, Murai knows the truth: Mizusawa Haruka is dead and has been so for five years. So who is this new Mizusawa Haruka and why does she give him such a bad feeling?
Beautiful and intelligent, Mizusawa Haruka quickly becomes the object of most of the male students’ desires at Murai’s school; however, Haruka takes “man-eating” a little too literally… You see, Haruka isn’t quite human. And “Mizusawa Haruka” did in fact die five years prior to the events of the series. The current Mizusawa is a creature of unfathomable evil. In exchange for being Murai’s girlfriend, she expects a weekly sacrifice – she literally eats people and is capable of replacing them with replicas that then, like her, feed on people. Because Murai was selecting Haruka’s victims, each one was a “loser” in every sense of the word and in an unnerving manner, their replacements were always favoured more than they ever were by family and friends. An apparition from the horrific depths of the human imagination, or even beyond, Mizusawa Haruka is the number 1 manga demon on this list – because we were too scared to make it otherwise…
Manga and anime give people a means to explore different forms of culture. The best thing about it is authors’ ability to play with concepts; to deconstruct them and to change the norms. Demons in most cultures are seen as denizens of evil and harbingers of destruction, but the versatility of the medium that is manga and the genius of the creators behind these works allows us to enjoy beautiful stories about the good, the bad and the ugly.