If there’s one manga that makes me hooked since its first chapter then Shina Dark (Story: Bunjuro Nakayama, Art: Yukari Higa) is one of them. From the cover it seems like ur typical fantasy romance comedy manga, but there’s something about Shina Dark that somehow separates it from other titles of its genre.
Vol. 1 cover
The story takes place in the island of Shina Dark where the legendary Satan Exoda Z. Kurau is rumored to be sleeping. Then comes the time when the great Satan wakes up… only to find his island filled with virgins. Although the satan is a laid-back guy who loves sleeping and fishing, mankind has been making stories throughout centuries about his nature. And the most up-to-date legend tells that the great satan will be pleased if he received 1000 virgin girls as sacrifice. Although Satan is not interested in the virgins but the poor girls can’t go back to their home because there’s a rumor that if a virgin has entered Shina Dark she has become tainted with Satan’s curse. Thus begin Satan’s daily life in taking care the 1000 virgins as well as making sure that Shina Dark doesn’t run out of money from over-population.
The main character of the story is the legendary Satan Exoda Z. Kurau or just called Satan. He’s the lord of darkness but he definitely doesn’t look like one. He hates paperwork and loves fishing and slacking off. For a harem main character, I find him to be very interesting since he’s currently not interested in any of the girls. Don’t worry, our dear Satan does swing THAT way. But it seems that his memory is haunted by a woman named Cynthia. The Satan has two loyal vassals named Vincent and Noel. Vincent is Satan’s bishonen butler who actually looks more charismatic and satan-like than the actual satan. He’s titled the ‘Prince of Undead’. Noel is a flat-chested mechanical doll who works as Satan’s personal maid. She’s very energetic and seems to be in constant happy mood. A bit airheaded and she has her personal army of little robots called Teshita. Among the 1000 virgins, two are actually very close to Satan and they’re trying their best to seduce Satan and making him fall in love with one of them. The first one is the short-tempered Princess Galett of Vansable. She’s a typical tsundere character who’s an expert in swordfight. She will do anything to save her country even if that means she must become the bride of Satan. The second one is Christina of Estgloria. A shy princess who loves to read books. Her country is famous for giving out the title of ‘Brave One’ who will be sent to slay the satan. There’s also Marple, one of Satan’s virgin who is actually the youngest among the 1000 virgins. Even Satan himself couldn’t believe there are people out there who portray him as a maniac.
Shina Dark seems to be a typical harem manga, but there’s something different about it. There’s fanservice in it, but it’s not over the top and doesn’t disturb the storyline. The most interesting character so far is Satan since he must endure the stigma placed onto him as a dark and evil character while he’s completely the opposite. The scene when Satan threatened the arogant Brave One who hit one of the virgins is very strong and makes him as a gentle characters contrass to his image. Vincent and Noel are also interesting characters. Vincent might seem your another main character’s best friend type of character but he’s actually a person Satan can depend on. The girls are also cute and amusing. Galett despite being a tsundere is not as abusive as other tsundere and she seems to know her current position. So far I’m not too impressed with Christina but I’m sure there’s more of her we haven’t seen yet.
The art is nice and beautiful. The comical expression is amusing and the emotional scenes are well-drawn. But there’s one MAJOR problem. The battle scenes although very few but are drawn poorly and it’s so difficult telling what’s happening. The biggest example is when Satan is fighting the Dark Dragon. But I don’t think of it as a drawback since the battle scenes are still very few (so far).
Shina Dark is a manga with interesting characters. If you’re a fan of Zero no Tsukaima or other fantasy stories then I very recommend it. Unless you really hate fanservice (I know a guy who does) then Shina Dark is an interesting read to pass your time.
Shina Dark is scanlated by scx-scans.