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Frau Faust 1 Paperback – September 26, 2017
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About the Author
An author of supernatural shonen, seinen, and josei manga, Yamazaki is best known for her series The Ancient Magus' Bride, her first to be translated into English.
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A famous legend tells of a scholar named Faust who sold his soul to Satan in return for all his wishes being granted while he lived. This book is an interesting retelling of that legend, with several enhancements that make the plot more interesting.
A teen age boy named Mark steals a book but is caught by a young woman. She uses some sleight of hand to let him escape from the bookseller. Then she blackmails him into doing a seemingly innocuous favor or else she will tell his mother about the theft. She is Frau Johanna Faust who appears to be in her twenties. After Mark helps her, she grudgingly allows him to follow her, and so the first chapter begins.
The plot is more intricate than the original legend in several ways. Having a companion causes Faust to answer questions about her plans. For some reason the demon assigned to her can’t grant her requests until she completes a complicated quest. And she is being pursued by inquisitors whose goal is to destroy demons and people like her who work with demons.
The novel is in Japanese style: The book starts on the last page to the right and ends on the last page to the left. There are 3 chapters and then the beginning of another story about another character that may or not be related to Frau Faust. Like a good murder mystery, the reader will have to look for answers to many questions. Some will have to wait for future books of the series.
As is typical with Manga it's read back to front.
The robber turns out to be a boy stealing books. The woman intervenes to save him and asks for a favor. It turns out to be entering the church.
And so it begins of how Marion meets Frau Faust. Yes, a woman Faust instead of a man. This Faust is trying to piece back Mephistopheles. The people who were tracking her continue to track her in order to keep her from bringing Mephistopheles back.
I say that the volume is a solid entry in that it establishes the alternate world that this story takes place. It isn't particularly different but it has specific differences. The plot itself is the usual opening chapter craziness of any new series. That is, there is a lot packed into those first chapters to catch readers's eyes. I liked it but it can't be a bit of 'everything but the kitchen sink' kind of thing. I expect that it will settle down in the coming volumes but I'm suitably curious which is the point of these chapters.
The last chapter is interesting in that it seems an extra chapter not quite part of the main story but still has the weirdness. It is called "The Invisible Museum" and it is intriguing. Weird, but intriguing.
The art is serviceable and clean. I was able to keep the characters apart from each other which is always nice. The text isn't cluttered so it was easy to keep track of who is speaking and what is narrative. All in all, a good start for a new series.
You know that Faust guy? Well Faust really wasn’t a guy, Faust was a woman named Johanna and she got in a bit too deep with a demon while searching for knowledge. I loved Johanna’s character and her strange combination of light-heartedness and darkness. Her demon is incredibly interesting as well.
The dynamics between the characters were well done and I enjoyed all the characters we met. I love the questing feel the story had to it and am eager to see where Faust’s future adventures take her.
The illustration was well done but not incredible. It was very easy to follow and I had no issues following the story either.
Overall I enjoyed this first volume of the Frau Faust manga and plan on continuing with the series. I was impressed with how the story and characters drew me in and was very entertained by them. I would recommend to fans of Black Butler and Ancient Mangus Bride.
Most recent customer reviews
I loved our female Faust and really enjoyed some of the surprises the story held - especially...Read more